Developer(s) – Bandai Namco Games
Publisher(s) – Bandai Namco Games
PEGI – 7
First gaining prominence in Japan as an immensely successful arcade game, Tank! Tank! Tank! was then ported to the Wii U as a launch title in all regions and has since become a free-to-play eShop download, and I would personally recommend anyone with a Wii U to play it. It is a critically wonderful console port of an arcade game and offers a level of gameplay variety unusually fantastic for a game of its kind.
Graphics – 7/10
Though the graphics may not be cutting edge, as with many titles on the Wii U at this present moment, there is no shortage of vibrant and sharp cartoon-like visuals, as well as there being a plethora of different monster designs such as giant spiders and a robotic hydra. The main criticism I have about the game’s visuals, however, is how generic the design of each tank is. There is a series of different weapons that can be picked up throughout each level, which give tanks different looks within the level, but each individual tank that can be selected for the beginning of a level does look pretty much the same as one another.
Gameplay – 7.5/10
The objective of the game is to take out every monster in each level within an allocated time limit. That may seem like all there is to the game, but regardless, it is extremely satisfying to do. A fair bit of incentive is also offered to the player for playing through each level, such as new tanks to unlock and level up in a traditional RPG fashion. It is rare that so much variety is ever added to an arcade game. Most arcade games, like House of the Dead, are simply straight ports with little to no forethought put into them, and I need to commend Namco Bandai for their efforts with this port.
Controls – 9/10
The only bad thing I can say about the controls is that moving the tank can be a little awkward at first, but payers can get to grips with it fairly quickly; it certainly isn’t awkward enough to the point of completely annoying players or hindering gameplay to any great extent. Otherwise, however, there are no other issues to address.
Lifespan – 6/10
It can take a good few hours to collect every tank in the game and their respective upgrades, as well as finish the main game. It’s particularly impressive since one playthrough of a traditional arcade game tends to not even last an hour; for example, The House of the Dead 2 can take an average of 40 minutes to finish. It’s just another way whereby the Wii U port has been effectively adapted for consoles, and how much thought went into the entire process, as opposed to simply porting it as it was.
Storyline – N/A (10/10)
There is no clear-cut story to this game, but instead, simply a basic premise. Your character, modeled off your own likeness, must undertake a series of missions whereby certain cities and landscapes are being overwhelmed by menacing and towering monsters and must be taken down with your little green tank. I think that it’s acceptable that this is the case, because oftentimes when arcade games try to incorporate a plot, it’s either not very good or well thought out, or because the games generally tend to last for so little time, not enough time can be invested on the player’s behalf to care about anything that’s happening.
Originality – 6/10
The game does have both influences in terms of both visuals and gameplay; looking a lot like many other generic games set in urban cities, and playing out a lot like games such as BattleTanx and Battle City. But having said that, it also provides a very unique gameplay experience from the point of view of Nintendo console owners compared with a lot of other games they are most well known for releasing. Because of that, I think it’s pretty regrettable that this game has been disregarded to the extent that it has been outside of Japan.
In summation, Tank! Tank! Tank! is a pretty enjoyable game, and especially since it’s now free to download on the Wii U, I would highly recommend anyone who owns the console to try it out for themselves. Though it may not have the same charm as the original arcade version, with the added feature of having the cabinet chair jerk the player around with every shot fired, the gameplay has been greatly handled for the console port and will keep players entertained for a time abnormally long for an arcade game.