Review - Tank! Tank! Tank!

Posted on November 18, 2012 - 11:15pm

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Thought by many to simply be a downloadable title, Tank! Tank! Tank! shocked the world with a full console launch.  Being only one of the eight Wii U exclusive titles out right now, how does it stand as one of the first “next generation” games?

To be blunt, Tank! definitely feels like a launch title.  Though they don’t tell you how to play from the get-go, the controls are pretty easy to pick up.  All you need is one of the control sticks and any button of your choice.  That’s right, all you are doing is moving and shooting with the occasional button mash to get yourself out of an enemy bind.  Plus, aiming is automatic.  So when you see your red cursor land on a bad guy, just shoot the hell out of it.  While the controls are simplistic, it’s actually part of Tank!’s charm--anyone can play this title, regardless of prior gaming experience.   However, one big complaint about the game is that it seems that you have to use the Wii U tablet for the single-player campaign.  While it works fine, the game is best enjoyed on the Wii U Pro controller, a device you can only use in multiplayer games.

You begin the single player campaign with a basic all-around tank, set in Japan where you must blast your way through armies of giant insect and mechanical animals.  While blasting away, you have the opportunity to grab one of two super weapons that appear on the field.  Unlike your standard tank blast, these super weapons have limited ammo, but can be much more devastating.  There are two types of stages in Tank!: kill an x number of various mech within a time limit where most baddies die from a single, standard tank shot; or defeat one x super boss mech within a time limit.  At the end of each stage, you are graded on an F-S scale and you receive rewards accordingly. The main reward is a varying amount of experience points that will allow you to level up your tank, making one element of your tank more effective with each level.  Additionally, if you perform well in a stage, you are awarded a medal.  These medals unlock new stages as well as new tanks--these unlockable ones being more specialized to suit various play styles.  While this is all fine and dandy, there is a catch to receiving medals.  You can only gain one per stage, per tank. This means, that to unlock new levels you are going to have to replay stages you have already beat, but with tanks that you might not be as comfortable with.

Tank! looks like a 3D anime.  The enemy designs are really well done, over the top, and are interesting to look at. That is, if you can actually pay attention to them.  Chances are you are going to be too occupied with zipping around and killing the suckers with lots of flashy energy, flame, and bullet attacks to really appreciate them.  However, despite the graphical prowess Wii U boasts, Tank! simply does not impress, looking like it would be just as much at home on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.  In fact, it’s incredibly surprising that this game is a Wii U exclusive.  The only impressive way that Tank! utilizes the Wii U system is through the tablet’s front facing camera, which allows players to create custom avatars using their own image with anime-style overlays.

The music in Tank! is very action-packed and really sells a B-list movie style premise that “You are Japan’s last hope! Use your tank to destroy an army of mechanical spiders!”  The sound effects also fit the bill with laser, slash, roar, and shooting  sounds that would feel right at home on Toonami.  Unfortunately, the repetitive combat-status voiceover drowns a lot of those sound effects out.  No matter which tank you choose, all you will hear during a game is the same drill sergeant telling you that you acquired a new weapon, hit the enemy, missed the enemy, and that the enemy is sending in reinforcements.  You are going to hear the same phrases repeated over, and over, and OVER in any given stage.

Tank!’s single-player matches are rather short and some players are not going to be opposed to coming back to this game for some mindless fun. But where Tank! truly shines is its local multiplayer as there are no online features.  There are four modes: A four-player co-op against up to three waves of enemies, a two on two versus mode, a four player free-for-all, and the special “My Kong” mode.  In My Kong, the player with the Wii U tablet controls an extremely powerful gorilla mech while the other three players work together to take him down.  It is by far the most fun out of all the multiplayer modes.

In a nutshell, there is no way that Tank! is worth the fifty dollar price point as it looks and feels like a downloadable title.  It’s a load of fun to play, but it is easy to become bored with, as there is little to no variety.  Plus, the lack of online multiplayer shoots the game in the foot.  If you absolutely have to have this title, either wait for the inevitable price drop, or pick it up used.  Otherwise, if you are looking for a one-shot party game, consider picking this up from any place that still does rentals.


6 / 10
Above Average

(6s have good ideas, but may not be executed the best. It can be enjoyable by certain circumstances or fans, but may feel shallow to most.)


Drake McWhorter is's editor of  Hard News and the weekly video podcast, "SideScrollers". He also is the official video game trailer manager. Outside of video games, he is an avid fan of anime, tabletop gaming, voice acting, and is a connoisseur of the Internet.

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