Tank! Tank! Tank! really tanked tanked tanked. I mean, its limited package is a blast in short, very quick bursts, but its long-lasting appeal is running on empty. Tanks for nothing.
If you’ve managed to read this far without overturning your desk in a fit of pun-despising rage, then kudos to you. You’re better at handling the internet than I. It also gives me an opportunity to tell you what Tank! Tank! Tank! is all about, and warn you to stay far, far away.
TTT is yet another port inundating the Wii U launch line-up, but at least it’s one Australians are unlikely to have played. It was an arcade game released in Japan and the US in 2009, and boy, does it play like one.
I would have much preferred to see the multiplayer fleshed out as its own downloadable game.
I’ll say right here and now -- I would have been very happy had I paid 40 cents or perhaps even $1 to have a go at Tank! Tank! Tank! in an arcade. It may have even had some merit as a $10 downloadable title for the Wii U’s launch, but even that’s pushing it. I just can’t fathom how anyone thought it deserved to be shipped off as a retail disc with a hefty $70 price tag. “Good work, Jenkins, those imbeciles will buy anything at launch,” is how I image the conversation having gone.
Why haven’t I bothered to mention anything about the gameplay, you ask? Well, I touched on it during the opening pun-fest, but you mightn’t have noticed. Tank! Tank! Tank! is about driving around (three points if you guess which vehicle) and shooting ridiculous oversized monsters.
This helps to save the, err, world or something. I lost interest in the story immediately when I realised the first enemy was a horde of giant mechanical spiders. The only thing worse than cop-out giant spiders as a video game adversary is making them cyborgs as well to really roundhouse-kick creatively in the teeth.
This is all made more difficult by a weapons system I never fully understood, horrifically repetitive gameplay as you would expect from an arcade shooter, and clunky controls that are all broken.
You’re constantly dropped into a bland level that looks much like the last one to spam-shoot some mammoth creature that is intent on destroying the world. If this was really what the world looked like, however, I’d be keen to let it be destroyed.
Tank! Tank! Tank! doesn’t exactly unleash the next generation of gaming. Rouge Squadron II looked much better when it launched on the GameCube in 2001. It would have been heavily criticised as a Wii launch game from a visual standpoint. On Wii U, it’s almost so bad that nobody really knows what to say. Maybe it’s a satire observation about our obsession with visuals or something? Surely it’s not serious.
At least it doesn’t try to do something totally ridiculous with the Wii U GamePad. In fact, it really doesn’t matter that it was released on Wii U at all. All Nintendo’s funky new controller is used for is to take a picture of your own face to put a funny hat on it and stick it above your tank. It’s a good opportunity to admire your own look of disappointment. During the game it displays some bogus information that is totally useless.
At this point, the single-player campaign is bordering dangerously on “burn it now!” territory. But in good news, there’s a little respite with the multiplayer. Kind of. If you’re thinking about buying this cartoon-esque game for your 7-year-old child, I assure you that he’ll have much more fun with bubble-wrap or diving under the living-room table and screeching like a cat in labour. But if you’ve somehow already got the game, the multiplayer is at least fun in small doses.
The My Kong multiplayer casts the GamePad player as giant cyborg guerrilla with their own face mapped onto the ape’s head and has them cause all types of chaos. They stomp around, collect power-ups and pommel up to three other players with some surprisingly insane and dare I say hilarious moves.
It’s actually pretty fun in quick bursts with the full ensemble of players and is the only redeeming feature in an otherwise terrible game. I would have much preferred to see the multiplayer fleshed out as its own downloadable game.
Tank! Tank! Tank! should never have left the arcade. I’d be happy to pay $1 for a turn, but it’s absolutely heinous that Namco Bandai has printed a disc and slapped a $70 price tag onto one of the worst games to launch alongside the Wii U. The only redeeming feature is the multiplayer, which is a blast in short sessions with friends and should have been fleshed out as its own standalone downloadable game. As it stands, Tank! Tank! Tank! is destined for the bottom of discount bins. Tanks, but no tanks.
By Ben Salter