"Wacky Arcade Action"
While I did get plenty of hands-on time with the Wii U between E3 2012 and eventually again after the release, there was one game that nobody seemed to be touching. This game was Namco's Tank! Tank! Tank!
I had heard of this little piece of video gaming kitsch in the form of an arcade cabinet release in 2009. Being the kind of gamer that wants to play it all, I decided it needed to be tried out, and maybe that was my first mistake as Tank! Tank! Tank! has plenty of flaws.
The idea of the game in itself is not bad. You are a tank, and you drive around in action-arcade fashion shooting up a slew of all sorts of super villainous robots collecting powers-ups. But for a game that is based on simply drive-and-fire gameplay, it does both quite poorly. Your turret can rotate, but you can't strife. Aiming is imprecise at best. Driving controls overall are pretty sour. There isn't much here to love for the serious gamer… or even the casual one, for that matter.
There is some joy to be had in the colorful craziness that takes place on the screen. Not that the maps are particularly interesting, but there are not very many games you get to go up against giant robotic apes and insects… and lizards… and anything else you can imagine in giant robot form. Tank! Tank! Tank!'s multiplayer modes add some flavor, but the entire multiplayer is local. You can expect your death-matches here, all of which just feel like PS One local death-match modes from the 90s. The most refreshing mode is probably the My Kong mode. In this mode one player plays the tank while one player plays a giant robotic ape. Sure, you can use the GamePad controller to snap a picture of your face to put on the ape (we really haven't moved past this gimmick, have we?), and that might be funny for about five seconds, but this entertainment all dies out pretty quickly.
The absolute worst part of Tank! Tank! Tank!, however, is the repetitive blandness. You will have to go back through maps over and over, and over again before advancing the game. This is because you have to collect metals, and like some sort of pay-to-play game, you grind for these pixels so you can move beyond your current maps.
It doesn't make sense that a game basing itself on strangeness and simplicity can't even pull off its style right. There isn't any wit or real creativity to be had here. While simple gameplay like this should come across in ultra-fun, progressive (yet old-school), fast-paced action with amazing controls, Tank! Tank! Tank! completely fails. There isn't much to say about Tank! Tank! Tank! because it doesn't offer much.
I had originally wanted to give Tank! Tank! Tank! a shot because I thought it would be a J-arcade classic that I had missed out on. I figured the Wii U version would give me a good taste of what the arcade version had to offer. Unfortunately, from what it seems, the arcade version is much stronger and more in its element than this wonky Wii U port. I guess if you are desperate to buy every Wii U launch title available, then Tank! Tank! Tank! is on the shelves for you to blow some money on, be entertained with your little brothers / sisters for a few hours, and then never be picked up again.
GameDynamo's Score for Tank! Tank! Tank! (Wii U)
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Three things describe Rando: Good beer, good food, and video games. On occasion, Rando flies a zeppelin through time seeking power crystals.
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