By Greg Newbegin
It's funny, you know. When I was a teenager, arcade games were all the rage. You could simply mention NBA Jam or Mortal Kombat off-hand, and people (gamers and non-gamers alike) would know what you were mumbling about. However, in today's modern climate - with home devices equally powerful to modern arcades - it's a different scene entirely. The modern arcade scene is nowhere near as strong as it used to be.
That's why -- when looking for a lead in for this particular preview -- I didn't know where to start. The truth is... I didn't know Tank! Tank! Tank! was an arcade title. I had no idea where it came from, to be honest -- it just looked like another silly mini game compilation. BUT! The important thing is... I had heard good things.
So how did I come to play this game then? Well... I was walking around TGS thinking to myself, "By golly, I'd really like to play myself a Wii U title," when I came across the Namco Bandai booth, which was offering a whopping TWO Wii U titles. Tank! Tank! Tank! had the shortest waiting time, so in I jumped.
And again, I'm at a loss for words. It's a strange game. No, let me do that again - it's a family game, or very firmly aimed at younger kids.
Tank! Tank! Tank! reminded me of the old Neo Geo arcade title King of Monsters. It played very differently, but it kind of looked the same. King of Monsters was a fighter of sorts, but this game...? Let me just describe my experience.
Upon walking up to the screen, I was handed a Wii U GamePad (see my impressions in the TGS report). There were several modes to choose from, but the demo obviously was focused on a single mode - My Kong Mode. In this mode, the GamePad player assumed the role of "Kong," a city destroyer (a la King of Monsters), and other players -- presumably using Wii Remotes -- played Tanks trying to take this enemy down. The game allowed each player to customise their avatar by taking a photo prior to play - even providing a bunch of "stickers" that could be used to accompany a photograph (gorilla faces and the like).
From there, the GamePad player played the game using the GapePad screen (allowing a specific perspective), while Wii Remote players fought off the enemy on the TV screen, firing bullets in their stupid face.
The GamePad allowed for several special moves -- standard ground slaps through monster butt stomps that could take out multiple tanks (performed by selecting the move oin the touch screen, or shaking the GamePad in a specific manner). This was really quite enjoyable. In fact, it was a fun game to play - when playing as the gigantic robot monster. The demo was very much skewed to this particular role. In fact, there wasn't much to the demo at all. BUT - it was fun.
All I can say as a result is - Tank! Tank! Tank! is potentially an enjoyable launch title. At present, it's unclear whether there is a strong single player element to accompany the multiplayer "party" feel of the demo, and in addition, I'm not sure how enjoyable the non-GamePad roles are. Still, for what it was, it was quite enjoyable. I'd be interested to see what the rest of the game offers.