At Namco Bandai’s NYCC booth, facing Nintendo’s booth were some playable Wii U titles. The game I got a chance to play was TANK! TANK! TANK!, an arcade game revolving around tanks, tanks, and more tanks. After playing the game a short while, I can say while it was enjoyable, but I am also worried about its content.
The demo on the show floor had two modes: a monster battle mode and a multiplayer mode. Once a mode was selected, the game took a picture of my face using the Wii U GamePad's camera and used it as my player icon. It might not be ground-breaking, but it was a nice touch when playing with multiple players. Sadly, besides the use of the camera at the beginning, there seemed to be no real use of the gamepad. While I hear there is a mode that does fully utilize it, I would have liked to see it here in the demo.
The mode I played was the monster battle mode, which had me either take down a bunch of large monsters or one massive beast within a given time limit. The first stage had me shooting a horde of arachnids that were ransacking the city. Running around with three other tanks, it was my duty to destroy enough bugs before time ran out. Outside of the standard tank attack available, the battlefield was full of weapon power-ups which made mowing down spiders much easier. However, such large attacks not just kill monsters; it also destroyed various buildings around the city! This chaos spanned throughout the match to the point where only a few buildings were left standing. The multitude of enemies and the wonton destruction of cities reminded me of another game, Earth Defense Force, where it was my job to exterminate a massive amount of ants and spiders before they could take over the city. I could even destroy buildings in that game, too, and for the record, both games are all the more fun for it.
The second mission put me and my team against a massive three-headed dragon by the harbor. Despite there being only one monster, it had a large amount of health. The hydra dragon could easily bite down and destroy the tanks with its three heads so keeping a safe distance was the key to success. Like the prior mission, there were various weapon drops, although this time there were also missiles that could be fired at the dragon, dealing significant damage. Sadly, I discovered those power-ups too late, and we failed just short of victory as the dragon only had 3.3% health left. Darn it! Despite the failure, throughout both missions I had fun shooting and blowing things up.
With a name like TANK! TANK! TANK!, it is easy to see that the game has tank-like controls. There was no strafing, and I had to move the body of the tank separately from the head, which took some getting used to. I also had to get use to the in-game camera, as it would sometimes go into buildings or debris left behind. Luckily this only happened a handful of times, and it did not negatively affect my progress of blasting spiders.
For being a Wii U launch title, TANK! TANK! TANK! does not push the new console’s graphics at all. While everything ran smoothly and had no issues holding up through the madness, the geometry of the environment and tanks was rather basic. This lead to another issue the game has coming up: content verses price. The game was fun to play, sure, but if the content is limited and the cost is too high, the game will not be worth the time. Hopefully the final game will provide enough experiences for players to overlook the game’s graphical simplicities for its price point.
TANK! TANK! TANK! is a fun game to play if you just want to blow things up. The overall experience reminded me of Earth Defense Force 2017 in a good way. Based on what I played, the game’s fast-paced action and expanding chaos makes this game a great pick-up-and-play experience with or without friends. My only concern is whether or not the game has enough to do in it for people to pay full retail price on the game.