Google+   Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | DS | PS3 | PS4 | PSP | VITA | WII | WIIU | X360 | XB1 | All

foe_en_s4_b22.jpg

Tank! Tank! Tank! (Wii U) artwork

Tank! Tank! Tank! (Wii U) review


"Unfortunately, the only objective youíre ever given is to kill everything that moves. Thatís not entirely bad, since mayhem can be a lot of fun, but there arenít enough enemy types available to keep things interesting across so many stages. Youíll wind up fighting most of the same monster waves three or four times over the course of the campaign, and the last 20 stages or so are mostly just battles against the same few giant enemies."



Even if I hadnít already known that Tank! Tank! Tank! for Wii U was first released in Japanese arcades back in 2009, I might have guessed as much. Games that are designed to suck quarters tend to suffer from a lack of depth, which isnít a problem when you can drop a few quarters before moving onto other things. When those same attributes apply to a home conversion with a high sticker price, though, itís harder to overlook such flaws.

In Tank! Tank! Tank!, players use one of 20 different tanks to fend off mechanical monstrosities that are attacking Earth at some point in the (presumably) distant future. Thereís no more to the story than that, and the characters who talk to you between missions spend more of their time telling you how to play the game than they do fleshing out a story that didnít even really need to exist.

Tank! Tank! Tank! asset


Iíve never played the arcade version, so I canít confidently say how it presented the levels or even how many unique stages were on offer. On the Wii U, there are nearly 40 stages and they mostly require between one and four minutes to complete. As you vanquish foes, youíll earn coins that are automatically used to unlock additional vehicles. You also need a certain number of coins before you can access stages at a few key points, which bars you from clearing the game until you have obtained more than 100 coins. This system is clearly intended to force you to experiment with multiple tanks, since each vehicle is awarded a separate coin upon clearing a given stage.

While a roster of 20 tanks ought to offer a lot of variety, thatís not really the case. There are only five unique tank classes, meaning that the differences between most of them are cosmetic. The other distinction is that different special weapons and stats are also available. The latter can be improved as you gain experience points from finishing stages, but a fully powered tank isnít a lot more useful than one you get when starting out. The very first tanks that are made available to you also turn out to be some of the most reliable ones, so thereís little incentive to unlock any othersÖ though you will have at least 15 of them available anyway by the time you reach the closing credits.

Unfortunately, the only objective youíre ever given is to kill everything that moves. Thatís not entirely bad, since mayhem can be a lot of fun, but there arenít enough enemy types available to keep things interesting across so many stages. Youíll wind up fighting most of the same monster waves three or four times over the course of the campaign, and the last 20 stages or so are mostly just battles against the same few giant enemies.

Tank! Tank! Tank! asset


Perhaps the real problem, to a greater extent than even the recycled enemies, is the fact that you must clear every stage the same way if you want to find real success. Youíll start by doing minor damage with your regular guns while the computer informs you that you wonít win that way. Then you can grab special ammo pickups that materialize (itís possible to hasten their appearance by destroying nearby architecture). Those power-ups have limited use, so you must aim them carefully at your targets while strafing to avoid enemy fire, and you also need to watch for more ammo drops so that you can bring a steady stream of pain to your enemies. Your combat companion will probably beat you to the best weapons sometimes--and then mostly waste them--which is frustrating if youíre running out of time but not a particularly big deal if things are going well. Essentially, the winning strategy is to always go for the best weapon whenever it appears--even if doing so is mildly dangerous--and then try to use it against multiple enemies when possible so that you donít have to keep looking for still more ammo. Your comfort with that simple routine will determine how smoothly things go as you play.

If you want to have the most fun with Tank! Tank! Tank!, you should really try to play it on a large television screen available. Most of the gameís appeal comes from its bombastic approach, and the bulk of the action has more impact if everything looks ginormous and you have some sweet speakers. Buildings crumble like paper cups in a campfire, and the sight of a huge mammoth stomping into view is generally quite impressive even after youíve seen it a dozen timesÖ but a smaller screen does none of that any justice. Regardless of screen size, youíll soon realize that the environments where you battle really are really just giant boxes with nice artwork and a few rock formations or buildings sprinkled throughout. Enemies appear from black holes, and only a few of them interact with the environment at all. Knocking a huge mechanical gorilla into waves lapping against a resort shore wonít create the satisfying splash that it should, and the only purpose rock walls and such seem to serve is that they obscure your targets.

Much like the environments, the gameís control scheme is serviceable but unremarkable overall. The Wii U gamepad functions as a standard motion controller. You tilt it to adjust your cannonís aim, and the analog stick controls vehicle movement. A single button fires your active weapon, and thatís the extent of things. I played through half the game without realizing that tilting the gamepad affected things, until I found my tank wanting to roam in circles because I was holding the gamepad at an angle. The Wii U hardware ultimately doesnít add much to the experience at all, except when youíre taking a picture of yourself to use as an avatar (with ridiculous overlays that function as costumes, such as an oversized mustache or a ginger wig), or when you want to play the whole game on the smaller screen because someone else needs the television.

Tank! Tank! Tank! asset


Fortunately, simplistic controls mean that friends can join in by using Wii Remotes and not feel like theyíre at a real disadvantage. This allows for some chaotic multi-player modes, whether you have someone helping out in a cooperative mode or you decide to enjoy a free-for-all battle. Itís even possible for one player--the one with the gamepad--to assume control of a boss monster while everyone else tries to take him out before the timer expires. I wish that there were more options, but the developers were probably rushing to have things ready by the Wii Uís launch.

As a simple diversion, Tank! Tank! Tank! works well. It could really have benefitted from an online mode. Mission variety wouldnít have gone astray, either, whether it came in the form of more unique enemies or mission objectives or even just a few more distinct environments. Youíll probably tire of playing the game long before you reach its closing credits, just because so much of the content repeats, but that doesnít mean itís not worth a look if you can find it at a suitably low price. Otherwise, you should steer clear.

Rating: 5/10

honestgamer's avatar
Staff review by Jason Venter (December 23, 2012)

Jason Venter founded HonestGamers in 1998, and since then has written hundreds of reviews as the site's editor-in-chief. He also is a prolific freelancer with game reviews, articles and fiction available around the Internet.

More Reviews by Jason Venter
Urbanix (Wii) artwork
Urbanix (Wii)

There's a lot of content to clear in Urbanix and the design is generally inviting, but most of the experience is similar enough that you might not appreciate the volume.
Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (Wii) artwork
Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (Wii)

A light gun game might not seem like an ideal match for Raccoon City's horrors, but it actually works out quite nicely overall.
The Witch and the Hundred Knight (PlayStation 3) artwork
The Witch and the Hundred Knight (PlayStation 3)

Come spend 80 hours doing your best to turn a beautiful world into a messy swamp, because Metallia said so.

Feedback

If you enjoyed this Tank! Tank! Tank! review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

You must be signed into an HonestGamers user account to leave feedback on this review.

Info | Help | Privacy Policy | Contact | Advertise | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998-2014 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. Tank! Tank! Tank! is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to Tank! Tank! Tank!, its characters, screenshots, artwork, music, or any intellectual property contained within. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors.