(Wii U)

Game Review

Tank! Tank! Tank! Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Joe Walker

Meh! Meh! Meh!

Every so often a video game comes along with a concept so amazing that copies should come with a roll of duct tape to keep consumers from having their faces rocked off. Tanks with crazy weapons fighting giant robot monsters in expansive, destructible cities seems like a concept that you’d have to work pretty hard to screw up. Apparently someone at Namco Bandai was really burning the midnight oil, because Tank! Tank! Tank! somehow manages to drop the ball.

Tank! Tank! Tank! has a simple premise: hop into your tank and blow up some monsters. It’s deceptively simple, as the controls only employ the analog stick and one button. Any vertical aiming is all done automatically – all you need to do is point your tank and what you want to blow up and push the button. Power-ups - which are scattered throughout the stages and are dropped by enemies - will override your default attack, so no weapon management is necessary. There are some pretty unique and fun weapons to find, including the awesomely-named “colossus missile” that’s essentially a nuclear bomb capable of devastating the landscape.

The game looks colourful and arcade-esque, evoking memories of the Sega Dreamcast - and that’s a very good thing in our book. Monsters all have eye-catching, distinctive designs bursting with bright colours. It’s all very "Saturday morning cartoon" and looks great in super-sharp HD. The music is also pretty catchy, with jazzy tunes livening the mood as cities crumble around your tank.

The coolest feature of Tank! Tank! Tank! has to be the photo-taking capabilities. Players use the GamePad’s camera to snap a picture of their face which they can augment with dozens of photo-booth style frames, making them look like anything from an astronaut to a cowboy to a blushing octopus. Plenty of time will be lost simply taking pictures and chuckling at the results. In-game the photos hover above the player’s tank and animate with word bubbles after kills and during the post-game summaries. It gives the game a ton of personality and will make even the most battle-hardened tank pilot smile.

The game is clearly built for multiplayer, with four modes to choose from. Each mode supports up to four players, with player one using the GamePad and the rest using Wii Remotes held sideways. A nice touch is that player one uses the GamePad as a personal screen, freeing up TV real estate for the rest of the players. While the games can be played with less than four players, any empty slot will be filled with an AI player so there's always the same quota of tanks in play.

Free-for-all is your basic deathmatch mode, with each player trying to score as many kills as possible within a time limit. Team Versus is the same thing just with a two-on-two twist. Monster Battle is a co-op mode with all four players teaming up to clear an area of bad guys. The highlight of them all, however, is My Kong mode, which lets the first player take up the mantle of a giant robot gorilla (complete with their face pasted on, naturally) tasked with destroying the other participants. It’s silly, stupid fun, but it’s hilariously addictive and is definitely the highlight of the package.

Single player is where the game (pardon the pun) tanks. Generic cardboard-cutout characters send you off to destroy different monsters, a process which simply isn't very fun without having friends along for the ride. You can unlock different tanks - each with their own unique attributes and special weapons that level up as you complete missions - but despite the aesthetic changes you’re still just shooting the same monsters over and over again. You can tackle the campaign in co-op (complete with off-TV play for player one, saving you from having to endure split-screen) but the second player is always stuck with the basic tank and is unable to customize it in any way.

As if it weren't boring enough, Tank! Tank! Tank! commits the cardinal sin of video games: making you needlessly replay levels multiple times in order to progress. Completing a level earns you a medal, which unlocks more tanks and more levels. However to earn more medals you need to go back and beat earlier levels with new tanks, a procedure which quickly grows agonizingly boring. Each level is only a few minutes long, but factor in load times and the fact that your “guide” characters say the same thing after a given level no matter how it’s completed and you’ll be slamming your face into the GamePad, embracing the physical pain as a means to free yourself from your mental suffering. You can’t even use the new tanks you unlock in multiplayer, making the entire campaign a largely needless exercise anyway.

Conclusion

Tank! Tank! Tank! does a few things pretty well, but a torturously mind-numbing solo campaign and a high price tag keep it from being a hit. The younger crowd will definitely enjoy the photo-taking aspect and simple multiplayer, but other than that it’s pretty barren. If Namco Bandai had lopped off the limp campaign mode and released the game as a multiplayer offering on the Wii U eShop for $15 then it would be easier to recommend, but as it stands now, Tank! Tank! Tank! is better described as Lame! Lame! Lame!

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User Comments (74)

TornadoX7

#4

TornadoX7 said:

awww man and i thought this game wud be Fun! Fun! Fun! no all i have to say is what a Poor! Poor! Poor! failure atleast they tried

Magi

#5

Magi said:

Saw this at the arcade in Disney Quest. Didn't interest me then, interests me even less now.

Gamesake

#8

Gamesake said:

I think most of us were afraid it wouldn't have enough content to justify the price tag. Too bad. I think Nintendo Life's eShop suggestion (try saying that 3 times fast) was the way to go.

Nintex

#9

Nintex said:

I'm still gonna get this game, because to me it still looks very fun and the multiplayer is what i really want. People are going hard on this game because it doesn't have this or that and thats really sad. As an old school gamer I remember playing these types of games all the time and having some serious fun with them. The game is what it sets out to be and that is a multiplayer fun-fest! If this had been released 12-15 years ago on n64 or dreamcast, I guarantee that it'd be a cult classic. With that said, I'm still excited to get this game.

MercifulLemon7

#14

MercifulLemon7 said:

I wish they made this a Wii U eshop game instead of a retail title. I might still get this game when it gets a price drop.

advance_melee

#16

advance_melee said:

@Nintex I see what you are saying here. I agree with you. I think people think to far into games as if they need every kind of option in the game out there.

SheldonRandoms

#17

SheldonRandoms said:

NO! NO! NO! WHY! WHY! WHY! THIS! THIS! THIS! WAS! WAS! WAS! SOMETHING! SOMETHING! SOMETHING! THAT! THAT! THAT! I! I! I! WAS! WAS! WAS! HOPING! HOPPING! HOPING! WOULD! WOULD! WOULD! BE! BE! BE! GOOD! GOOD! GOOD!

I still might get this, but at a lower price, games that use camera's are something I like, most notably Flipnote Studio.

rayword45

#19

rayword45 said:

I laughed so hard at the tagline.

And seriously, at this point, no online is unforgivable.

DerpSandwich

#23

DerpSandwich said:

I'm so sick of games bombing because of their price. It's like, come on, people. You can't try to sell me what's essentially a $10 download game for full retail price. It only seems to be getting worse, too. Developers are offering less and less content in their games, and it sucks!

Nintex

#31

Nintex said:

@advance_melee Your totally right about thinking into games too much. This game was meant to be mindless shooting fun and nothing more. Story... not so much, tons of perks and options, not so much, just a multiplayer bananza! People are still complaining about the price, everywhere i've checked the game is 49 bucks. Thats not expensive at all compared to other WiiU games retailing for 59. I don't know what people expect out of every game they get, but for me it's the FUN factor. If I had to grip about something for this game it would probably be that there is no online multi for it.

(EDIT) my bad it's 39 bucks, even better!

Linkuini

#33

Linkuini said:

I played the arcade version and had a good time. I liked how it showed you a bill for damage to the city and raised your score in proportion to the cost. :D

Still, it was over so fast, even for an arcade game. Figures. :(

SparkOfSpirit

#34

SparkOfSpirit said:

This looks fun, but it's not worth full priced retail. Shame no one will give it a chance at a lower price when it inevitably crashes down in price.

But then again nobody really gives these games chances anymore.

AVahne

#35

AVahne said:

Would've given this a chance if it was priced at $20 on eShop, but $50 retail? I know Namco Bandai was silly, but this is beyond any of their previous mistakes.

ShadJV

#37

ShadJV said:

Thank you for this informative review. I was considering this game for my Christmas list but didn't know much about it. Now I feel more confident letting this one slide. It's a lot of money for a title that may be a big miss.

Vollmernator

#38

Vollmernator said:

I bought it when I bought my Wii U Day this game is Fun I plyed by myself and it was still fun It has No online but at least you can play with your buddies and if you don't have friends to come over you can play against bots. I don't think it tanked. It's a FUN,FUN,FUN TIME,TIME,TIME Tank time!

HawkeyeWii

#39

HawkeyeWii said:

Wow this looks absolutely terrible based on the review. I'm surprised it even got a 5, I would have thought more along the lines of a 2 or 3

krunchykhaos

#40

krunchykhaos said:

I swear I'm going to punch anyone near me that says "meh". Am i the only one annoyed by that word?

DerpSandwich

#42

DerpSandwich said:

@krunchykhaos I'm with you there. I didn't hate it until everyone started using it as an auto-response no-effort sort of thing. People aren't even saying it in relation to themselves anymore; it's like they're saying it about things they haven't even experienced, but only HEARD were "meh"! But I could go on. I'm annoyed by just about the entirety of the internet...

SMW

#43

SMW said:

@krunchykhaos Same here. Minor nuisance, but still slightly annoying.

As for Triple Tank, it still looks like a good party game to me, which is what I was going to be getting it for anyway. I knew if there'd be a singleplayer mode, it would be lackluster. This games all about mindless multiplayer mayhem. Which I like.

LEGEND_MARIOID

#44

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

Nintendo Gamer Website, Official Nintendo Magazine and myself reckon this is immense fun. Especially in multiplayer. I can see where you're coming from, but its available for 24 quid at launch and is a brilliant family game blaster. It is a bit too basic, yes, and plays like a pick up and play arcade game

cfgk24

#45

cfgk24 said:

I'm gutted about this - I was expecting great things which obvioulsy would have been achieved with online multiplayer. . . . . . .

Azooooz

#48

Azooooz said:

I'm still getting this, it looks fun, fun, fun. I wish that they would implement online feature.

farfromsleep

#50

farfromsleep said:

I'd have to concur with those saying it would've been a better fit as an eShop title and should've had online. I'll probably still grab it when it's a teeny bit cheaper, it does look like a decent bit of fun, My Kong mode in particular is inspired.

misswliu81

#52

misswliu81 said:

i was on the fence before this review and after reading it, i'm not getting it. had it been an eshop title, at a cheaper, affordable price than maybe. other than that, i'll pass.

LEGEND_MARIOID

#53

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

Having played it, I agree with the assertion that it should've had on-line and should've been eShoped. STILL, REALLY fun. Laugh out loud kind of fun.

gojiguy

#54

gojiguy said:

I loved this game in arcades. I'll pick it up.

I think the biggest omission is a lack of online play... With online this game would be a must-have...

I guess I'll just have to make sure I have a buddy with me when I play!

LadyStarstorm

#57

LadyStarstorm said:

It's a fun game but unfortunately since the different tanks don't really function all that differently, the multiple treks through campaign mode just to unlock more levels are painful and redundant. Multiplayer is worth playing if you can get some friends together, but it's not worth the full retail tag. This will probably be in bargain bins by January, so I'd hold off til then!

PS: Saying that if it were released 3 consoles ago it would have been a cult-classic isn't a very good argument, because it's not being released 3 consoles ago. It's being released NOW, in 2012, at 2012 full-retail-dollar rates. If it were an eShop title or budget title I'd absolutely agree with you - It would be a total sleeper hit for some multiplayer fun.

rjejr

#59

rjejr said:

Well since you said it without saying it...

The funniest thing about this is that it is obviously an Alien Front Online clone, which was a Dreamcast game 11 years ago in 2001, and that game had 8 player multiplayer online w/ voice chat. 11 years ago. On the Dreamcast.

This is a $10 DL if ever there were one. And even at $10 people would be complaining about it not having online.

TheRealThanos

#61

TheRealThanos said:

@rjejr
And save for the lack of HD, you might even say that game looked better than this piece of shovelware.
I still have my Dreamcast and just for the hell of it played a little Alien Front Online to get into the spirit of things... ;)

But in all honesty: what did people expect from a semi-HD remake of a nineties arcade game that was average to begin with?

I totally agree on the ridiculous price tag though, what the hell were they thinking?

@Nibelilt
SLAP!!! ;)
(@krunchykhaos @DerpSandwich @SMW no thanks, guys)

LittleKing

#62

LittleKing said:

The last issue of NP gave this a 3.5 out of 10. That seems about right to me if 5 out of 10 is average.
Seriously. All you do is mash a button–any button since they all do the same thing–while moving around. If it weren't for multiplayer this would've gotten a 2.

SteveW

#64

SteveW said:

I totally ignored this game but even though the review gave it a low score I really want it now. After vatching videos of it I think it will be fun.

Smilesprower

#65

Smilesprower said:

This game is about FUN, FUN, FUN.
Some people forget what fun is. Now its all HD, 1000 achievement score, COD, FIFA & what ever other *&^% has plagued the gaming world.
Can you not just enjoy it for what it is?
I agree, bit pricey, but that will come down.......

tgru

#69

tgru said:

This game is worth the money, the game is not a AAA but its fun fun fun! Some Times games dosent need to have super graphic, super story... :|

maceng

#72

maceng said:

I paid just 18 bucks, used, from Best Buy. Its definitely a very good game for that price, as it has the co-op components, and the My Kong feature is very well done.
My son and 2 of his friends spend every single afternoon (now on the holidays) playing Nintendoland, Mario Bros U and this game. I just played for an hour with them in the 2 vs 2 mode and, pun intended, is a blast!!

Bottom line: if you can find it for 25 bucks or less, and have at least a couple of friends to play with, then go ahead and buy it. You will not regret it.

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