I purchased Metal Mech: Man & Machine because it has a silly title. I don't think it's a stretch to say that most large death-shooting mechs are made of metal, so the title seems redundant. In Japan it was released under the name Metal Flame Psybuster, which is exactly the sort of name you would expect out of a Japanese mecha game, especially since it is so nonsensical. Metal makes sense, I would guess with Flame they were going for Frame because there is no fire in the game and referring to the mech as a Metal Frame makes enough sense. I'd guess it's called Psybuster because it sounds cool, because there wasn't any psychicing or bustering going on. Japan must like the name Psybuster, because Cybuster is a staple original unit from the Super Robot Wars series that was popular enough to get its own anime series.
Metal Mech was developed Sculptured Software, which I hadn't ever heard of, but has actually made a few games I've played. They mostly did console ports of arcade games, though as far as I know this game was original. Notable ports they were responsible for include various versions of WWF Super Wrestlemania, Punisher for Genesis, and the first three Mortal Kombat titles and Doom for SNES. They also made the three Super Star Wars titles for SNES which a lot of people like for some reason.
|Man & Machine, indeed.|
Anyway, the game is pretty unremarkable. I guess the idea of playing as a mech pilot that can get in and out of his unit could have been a fresh and cool idea for a game at the time, but everything about the game is either boring or awkward. The graphics are boring, and the controls are awkward. The mech is sluggish and it is hard to get out of the way of enemies. Your only attack is a tiny shot that is hard to aim where you want it.
This is why I preferred to step out of the metal mech and run around as the pilot. You can't take as much damage, but it is much easier to not get hit when you are such a smaller target. It is also easier to shoot because there isn't a crouching animation to make it harder to shoot where you want. Being on foot introduces a vertical element to the game, because you can climb ladders and jump across rooftops. One weird feature is that when you hit the select button while outside of the mech your character will automatically run back to it like a a crashed racer in Road Rash.
My main problem with Metal Mech is that it just isn't very fun. There isn't much to see and there isn't much to do.