Tank! Tank! Tank!’s price of $49.99 retail is the perfect example of why certain Japanese game publishers are out of step when it comes to pricing and value in the age of .99-cent to 5-dollar handheld games.
Right after opening the game case, you know something is off when you look at the instruction manual and see that there are no actual instructions to speak of! The first couple pages are company and lawyer info while a couple more pages are set aside for the player to write down notes. In case you’re wondering, there’s also no in-game instructions to speak of as well. You would think that they would bother to include a page of basic instructions (which admittedly is all you’ll need) in a full-priced retail game, right? Especially for a game that is targeted to kids and families.
As for the game itself, there are two initial modes: A “story” mode and ”mutiplayer.” I’m putting these in parentheses because neither of these are really 100% true. The mutiplayer is offline only, and while there can be some fun in short bursts, unless you always happen to have a bunch of friends wanting to play Tank! Tank! Tank! around a lot; it’s not going to get much use. The Story mode pretty-much consists of you and either a friend or cpu player playing through levels before a set time limit expires. Normally these levels switch between killing a set number of creatures and battling a huge Godzilla-type beast. After completing missions, you get medals which allow you to select new tanks with upgraded weapons. Problem with that is you’re going to need to replay the missions over-and-over in order to continue getting enough medals to unlock the better tanks (some require over 400 medals!). That is something that most won’t do considering the repetitive nature of all the levels; not to mention the game itself.
The controls — like the rest of the game — are bare-bones as well. You use the analog stick to move forward and back while pressing left-or-right to turn your turret/tank. Both sticks do the same thing so you can use one stick to move and the other to turn so there’s some nice flexibility there. You can also use any trigger to shoot as well. While in a mission, you only have one main weapon while two random upgrade weapons occasionally drop on the field. Once you pick one up you’re forced to use it until it depletes in a few seconds, then it’s back to the normal cannon.
As for how the game uses the Wii U pad? It’s pretty bare-bones. The second screen is useless in gameplay, just showing off your tank and a speedometer that you’ll never bother to look at. You can play the game off the Wii U pad, but you’ll need to select that option from the pause menu while in actual gameplay which is odd, considering that most of the game simulcasts to the Wii U pad anyway, only switching to the useless speedometer interface once you start playing. There’s also the option to switch to tilt controls which allow you to use the pad itself to turn. While it’s an interesting novelty, it’ll wear off pretty quickly. Probably the best use of the gamepad is the camera, which you use to take a picture of yourself and a friend which will show up above each tank on the battlefield. It’s not much but it’s a nice little touch.
Overall, Tank! Tank! Tank! seems more at home as a cheap downloadable title than a full-priced game. Gameplay-wise, you can see almost everything the game has to offer in ten minutes, with the other levels being the same thing with different textures and characters models. Graphics and sound are an afterthought too, with many iPhone/Android games looking just as good if not better. In the end, there’s no reason why this game is $50-dollars. If you’re really itching for some classic arcade action, wait until you see this game for $5-bucks or look elsewhere.
- Simple to get into and play despite no instructions.
- Not worth spending the full retail price. Would be a better proposition as a $10 downloadable title.
- Should have included online play considering it’s a full-priced retail game.
Summary: While fun in short bursts, there’s no justification to spend $50-dollars on this game considering that there are better games on the Wii U for far cheaper. The days of releasing arcade ports and charging retail price for them are long over.
- Format: Wii U
- Developer: Namco
- Publisher: Namco Bandai
- Release Date: November 18, 2012