Tank! Tank! Tank! Preview

For many people, this weekend’s MCM Expo will be their first chance to get their hands on Nintendo’s upcoming console, the Wii U. Alongside the first party games we covered earlier this month (all of which are playable in the Nintendo area of the Expo), Namco Bandai have brought along a couple of their Wii U games. One of their game’s playable at this weekend’s event is Tank! Tank! Tank!

Based on an old arcade game of the same name, Tank! Tank! Tank! sees you controlling a tank’s direction with the analogue sticks and firing with the trigger button. That’s it! The tank automatically moves forwards and auto aims when required for enemies that involve height, and is more about the fast paced action than any inherent level of skill.

I was able to play through three of the game’s modes at the show, a free for all battle, a creature battle mode and a giant ape mode.

In free for all, up to four players each take control of a tank. Each tank is identical in terms of speed, design and firepower. The environments are 100% destructible and the aim is to destroy each other as many times as possible in a set time limit. You can collect items like a machine gun or rocket launcher that randomly spawn to get an advantage, but they don’t last very long.

Given how similar everyone’s tank looks, the game allows players to use the camera on the Wii U Gamepad to take a picture of their face, pick a frame (like a soldiers helmet or a wig) to place over it, which will float above your tank during the match. It made it much easier to tell who was who, and was amusing, but I’m not sure how long the novelty of the feature would last. This mode could also be played purely on the Gamepad, not requiring the TV at all to play.

The next mode was perhaps the most interesting of the lot, and saw the player with the Gamepad paste their face onto a giant robot gorilla mech. The mechanical gorilla then has to survive the onslaught of three opposing players for a couple of minutes. The simian does have the power to take out a tank in a single shot by swinging the Gamepad downward, or to take off around half of their health with his two melee attacks (tied to the trigger buttons), but his lack of speed can be a real drawback and make it difficult to use effectively. If the Gamepad player lands a certain number of hits then they become a powered up golden version of themselves and become near unstoppable for the duration of the powerup.

While this mode was great fun for the player with the Gamepad, it was a little frustrating for the players controlling tanks with Wii remotes, as they had to regularly respawn and generally didn’t feel as powerful.

The final mode sees you take on two types of creatures co-operatively as a team. First you’ll face a swarm of mechanical insects like spiders or bees, then a giant mechanical creature like a kraken or three headed dragon. While these giant creatures felt challenging to defeat, the swarms of creatures require little to no skill. Due to the game auto locking onto enemies, you just have to point in roughly the right direction and mash the trigger buttons; not fun and rather tedious.

Why not give the game a try? It’s shaping up to be a great competitive experience to get out at parties, even if it may not have lasting appeal. Have you played Tank! Tank! Tank! Yet? Let us know what you thought in the comments below.

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