Weeding through the Wii U launch lineup has been an interesting endeavor. We have ports of old games, new versions of classics and even a quirky arcade title. Tank! Tank! Tank! might be the most peculiar name for a game ever, but also the most fitting. This Namco arcade title explodes into the launch lineup with an identity crisis; it isn’t the most graphically capable title in the bunch, nor is it the most robust when it comes to content. One thing it does deliver though, is an immense amount of entertainment.
A game’s premise couldn’t be any simpler if it tried. Tank! Tank! Tank! literally has you going through missions, as a tank, and destroying robotic monsters. You can play solo or cooperative, and the controls are simple enough that you can use the original Wii remote, I mean there is literally only one button involved. This is an arcade game after all, so complexity is never its strong suit.
You have simple menus that let you pick your tank, and even snap a quick picture for you, and your co-pilot in co-op mode. You can dress them up with hats, and each match you snap a new picture. This is a novel thing, but one that I chuckled at every time I did it. You see these pictures on the screen while playing, which is really a neat little touch.
Playing with friends is where this game really shines. As I mentioned, you can play through the main story missions cooperatively, but there are also a host of local multiplayer games you can play that are really enjoyable. You have standard deathmatch and team deathmatch as well as a versus mode that lets you team up with friends and mow down hordes of enemies. The real treat though is Kong Battle. This pits one player as a giant robot monkey, while the other plays as a tank. The objective is to take them down. Again, the picture feature is hilarious when it gets plastered on the monkey’s head.
Multiplayer works well here as it takes advantage of the Wii U’s Gamepad screen. When playing two-player, the main player has their own screen, while player two gets the TV. This is one of the coolest features about the Wii U, and makes gaming locally a blast. The lack of online is really kind of a bummer, but playing with friends is really a great experience. This is definitely a fun party game.
The story mode is short and simple. As I said, it is all about killing enemies before the time runs out, rinse and repeat. You also get a series of upgrades for each tank as you earn XP for completing missions. There are also pick-ups within levels that give you extra firepower. Again, everything is simple and to the point, but I still had a lot of fun playing through almost every mode.
The part that is hard to swallow for Tank! Tank! Tank! is the price tag. This game retails for $50, and that just feels like too much. This is the kind of game that feels right around the $20-$30 price range, not the full on $50. Lacking most of the checkbox features of today’s games makes it even harder to swallow. There just isn’t enough here to warrant tacking on the full price tag.
The game looks like a Namco arcade game. Models are large and colorful, and the frame rate is relatively solid. Playing on the smaller screen definitely shows some artifacting, but the simplistic style makes up for it. Audio is standard arcade fare with catchy tunes and some wacky sound effects to round out the package. Everything here is clean and easy to navigate; I just wish there was more of it.
Tank! Tank! Tank! is a hard game to review. On one hand, I had a blast playing locally in both story and multiplayer mode, but the price tag is painful. I can’t honestly say that what you get is worth the full $50 investment. However, if it ever drops in price, I cannot stress enough how much fun Kong mode, and just smashing enemies is with friends. This is a polarizing game, due in large part to its price tag, and that is truly a shame. Check it out when it gets cheaper, until then you might want to steer clear.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.