There's not much strategy; just shoot the other tanks and don't stay in one place for too long. The frame rate is smooth enough, but the graphics are ugly. The objects are all sprites, which get very pixelated up close. The small text on your control panel is hard to read. The flat battlegrounds differ in color and scenery, but none are conducive to any kind of strategy.
The music and voice effects are very good, and include a deep voice that lets you know if you're winning or losing. The scoring system is useless; it resets to zero after each round (what's the point??). But the ultimate let-down is the bosses. These menacing-looking monstrosities are well-illustrated in the instruction book, but in the game they are nothing but tanks of a different color. Even the 2 player game is pointless. The 32X could have used a good tank battle game, but this wasn't what I had in mind. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
As far as the audio goes, the game tries to have a hip "rap" theme, but the opening song is pretty cheesy. The in-game music is funky, and some of it is quite good. Your big-eyed character must fly, jump, shoot, and kick his way through each level. While the game is certainly an eyeful, you'll soon discover that this is just a by-the-numbers platform game.
And although the graphics are wild, they are often so cluttered that you can't tell where you can go, or what you can touch (without dying). Portals that transport you around only add to the confusion. The control could be better also. The same button is used to jump and fly, and you'll often fly when you just want to jump. Also, Tempo moves a little slow for my taste. There is a nice stage select screen, and there are even some mini games available. But overall Tempo just isn't much fun. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
In addition to multiple punch and kick attacks, you can guard, dash, throw, stomp, and execute a bevy of special moves. I really appreciate how well-executed attacks do significant damage and keep the matches short. All the moves are listed in the manual, and there are over 25 for each of the eight fighters. I must admit that some gamers might not appreciate the "floaty" physics and the emphasis on jump attacks.
The fighters look blocky but the animation is remarkably fluid, making the game more playable than some of the more advanced 3D brawlers. They even change facial expressions! Matches take place on raised platforms, and ring-outs are possible. The generic background scenery (desert, mountains, water) is pretty sparse, and the city night stage just looks like a bunch of yellow dots littering the screen. If you want to experiment with the camera angle, you can adjust it while the match is paused.
The music is okay and the voice samples are quite clear. Play modes include the standard arcade, versus, and tournament, but what I enjoyed most is the one-player "Ranking Mode", which pits you against a series of cpu competitors and displays an analysis of your performance afterwards. Virtua Fighter is a fine example of what the 32X is capable of. © Copyright 2004 The Video Game Critic.
Once the race is underway, you can switch between several views ranging from the unplayable "driver's seat" angle, to the vertigo-inducing birds eye view. You'll want to select one of the in-between views for best results. You can compete against a friend in split-screen mode or go against a field of 15 (!) cpu-controlled cars in the single-player mode.
The scenery isn't spectacular, but there are plenty of banked turns, bridges, tunnels, overpasses, and alternate routes to keep things interesting. Flat backgrounds depicting mountains and rolling hills blend in nicely with the foreground. The trademark carnival rides are present, but they look a little flat. And I can't forget to mention the completely pointless pitstop area which I've never had to use in my life.
The steering is responsive, but spinouts will occur if you take a turn too fast (Hint: let off of the accelerator). The whining engine sounds more like a swarm of angry bees, and why does my car keep backfiring? The appealing Sonic-like background music is sparse but sounds great when it kicks in. All lap times are displayed on the screen, but despite some nice record keeping, these are erased when the game is turned off (rats!).
After each race, you have the option of watching a multi-angle replay of your race, which is often quite interesting. There are five tracks and three types of cars to choose between, including formula, stock, and prototype. Virtua Racing Deluxe runs better and offers more options than the $100 Genesis version released in 1994. You're simply not going to find a better game for the 32X. © Copyright 2004 The Video Game Critic.