Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Tank! Tank! Tank!

Review: Tank! Tank! Tank!

12:30 PM on 11.18.2012 // Jim Sterling

Wank! Wank! Wank!

There's nothing more upsetting than a game that believes, if it's wacky enough, it can get away with being crap. It's hard not to love a game that seeks refuge in audacity, as evidenced by the cult fanbase of such titles as Deadly Premonition and Earth Defense Force

Tank! Tank! Tank! clearly seeks the same kind of cult success, as evidenced by its delightfully stupid name. It begins its first mission with the briefing, "Giant mechanical spiders are attacking the city," without context or reason, and the game is a non-stop, colorful, sense-addling marathon of tank-on-robot action. It sounds perfect. 

That, unfortunately, is the tragic lure of the wacky game that exploits its silliness to try and get away with being rubbish. Such an endeavor ends up, like Tank! Tank! Tank!, as nothing more than a waste of deliciously dumb ideas. 

Tank! Tank! Tank! (Wii U)
Developer: Namco Bandai
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Release: October 18, 2012
MSRP: $49.99

Giant mechanical spiders, robotic octopi with colossal artillery on their backs, armies of armor-plated centipedes and laser-spewing dinosaurs -- Tank! Tank! Tank! pulls out a checklist of ridiculous monsters and throws them at the player, offering in return a small legion of playable tanks with which to take them out. In essence, it's a simple concept that is plenty capable of greatness, but lazy design and underwhelming controls undo all the genuine good that Tank! Tank! Tank! could have offered. 

The core of the game is rock-solid. You're one of many tanks, and you skid around mid-sized arenas, picking up ammo drops and blasting a bizarre array of gigantic robots until you win. Tanks are unlocked with medals earned at the end of each mission, and each one boasts its own set of strengths, weaknesses, and unique weapons. They have an unlimited normal fire mode, though this is ineffective against bigger boss monsters, and two unique alternative weapons which are activated by rolling over ammo pickups -- yellow pickups for weaker, more rapid attacks, and blue for rarer, but highly devastating missile launches. 

Missions either charge players with defeating a large number of small enemies, or a small number of huge ones, within a matter of minutes at the very most. Creatures themselves are generally easy to fight, and even those that manage to kill you rarely do so before your lives run out. Most mission failures will result from the time limit concluding before the requisite opponents are defeated, and that can often depend on your having picked the wrong tank for the job (some of them are just plain unusable, with lackluster range and a worthless rate-of-fire).

A support tank aids the player in each challenge, which can either be controlled by the CPU or a human ally using a Pro Controller/Wii Remote. When a real-life partner is in attendance, the main player is relegated to viewing the action on the GamePad, thus avoiding any split-screens. Actual GamePad features are minor, outside of screen use and a few tappable menus -- you can steer with the gyroscope, but I'd advise against it, as motion controls aren't so good for open-arena driving.

The essence of the concept is beautiful in its no-nonsense, all-action approach, but it's a real shame that the tanks themselves control awfully. Although you can move each vehicle's gun turret independent of its chassis, any attempt to move will bring gun and body back into line with each other, meaning you can't strafe and fire, which is a real pain in the backside when you're racing to ammo drops while attempting to defeat enemies within each mission's incredibly strict time limit. Even the more agile tanks are slow and unable to avoid most enemy attacks, and weapons tend to fire at sluggish, stuttering intervals that fail to satisfy. The less said about the auto-aim system -- and its tendency to just have a seizure as you drive -- the better. 

Tank! Tank! Tank! is not without its charm, even with such an inept control scheme. Like Dynasty Warriors or EDF, it's still fun to race around and mindlessly blast stuff, while the rough presentation and overenthusiastic voice commentary add a sense of dorky charm. However, even if you can get used to the controls and enjoy the minimalist action, Tank! Tank! Tank! pulls something unquestionably vile from its bag of cheap tricks -- it forces you to replay levels dozens upon dozens of times in order to desperately pad itself out.

As already mentioned, you get a combat medal every time you clear a mission with a particular tank. If you replay a mission with another tank, you get another medal. Sounds fair enough, until you learn that the system has been exploited to force players to go through the exact same levels many times over in order to beat the game. After clearing a set number of missions, subsequent levels will become gated behind an increasingly egregious pay wall of medals. The only way to get more medals and progress through the campaign is to -- you guessed it -- pick new tanks and play old levels. A lot. 

I reached a point where I had 36 medals, and was informed that I couldn't unlock the next mission until I had 50. Bear in mind, this is after I'd already cleared two previous medal requirements, meaning I'd been retreading old ground more times than I care to remember before this. Missions don't change, and while the tanks all perform differently and can level up to boost their stats, nothing is compelling or deep enough to be worth all that repetition. 

This is made even more insulting when, further into the game, missions start repeating themselves anyway, putting you up against recolored enemies you already fought with maybe a few new attack patterns. In a budget game of half the price, this would be annoying, but Tank! Tank! Tank! barely qualifies as budget, and the laziness on display is appalling. It runs counter to what this game even sets out to do -- it's very hard to be mesmerized by something's inherent silliness when you're forcefully exposed to the same routine until you get sick of it. 

Outside of the shockingly slapdash campaign, there are four multiplayer modes to choose from -- local only. There's a free-for-all deathmatch, which isn't very fun, two-on-two team deathmatch, which is bland, a competitive four-player co-op mode, which is slightly fun, and a My Kong mode which, in all fairness, is pretty damn enjoyable. 

My Kong allows one player, using the GamePad, to take control of a gigantic robotic ape while other players control tanks and attempt to take it down. For added amusement, the ape can be given its player's face thanks to the GamePad's camera. Getting to be one of the monsters and smack other players around the map is certainly gratifying, and while it's not quite clever or polished enough to be worth more than a few tries, it at least gives this game something of a highlight. 

Tank! Tank! Tank! may be more fun in its original arcade form, but this Wii U release is clumsy, visually sub-par, and disrespectful of the player's time. While it revels in its own stupidity and hopes you'll do the same, it's one of those sad games that believes a ridiculous concept is enough to make for a worthwhile game, and in Tank! Tank! Tank!'s case, that's just not true. Indeed, there's nothing more upsetting than a game that believes, if it's wacky enough, it can get away with being crap.

This game does just that, and it's no less sad than it always is. 



Tank! Tank! Tank! - Reviewed by Jim Sterling
Disappointing - I feel sorry for this one. It came close to being passable, but dropped the ball too many times to prevent itself from being an embarrassment.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure JimSterling Tips
Destructoid reviews editor, responsible for running and maintaining the cutting edge videogame critique that people ignore because all they want to see are the scores at the end. Also a regular f... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Tank! Tank! Tank!

  Feb 14

Tank! Tank! Tank! is now free-to-play in Europe

This is how it SHOULD have been all along

  Dec 27

Tank! Tank! Tank! makes kid weep manly Christmas tears

Child becomes inexplicably overjoyed at rubbish videogame

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Thankful it's Over: Bioshock Infinite

Is Toei using Kamen Rider Ghost to address suicide in Japan?

Let's talk about Xenoblade Chronicles

Cblogs of 11/27/15 - Life is Strange, and Sad

Top 5 Reasons Star Wars Battlefront KICKS ASS!

Attack of the Friday Monsters: A Little Slice of Childhood

Top 5 Reasons Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 IS AWESOME!

Cblogs of 11/26/15 + Combat Heropon-isms

Video games go mainstream

I’m Not a SJW, I’m an Anthropologist: Making the Case for Diversity in Games

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Still in work clothes.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Welp, wrote up a blog for that there bloggers wanted. Its me bitching about Bioshock Infinite! Again! Yay!!!!!!
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
Just finished watching The Phantom Menace. Yeah, Jar Jar is as bad as people say. Baby Vader is so cute and also kicks some serious ass. One of the best lightsaber battles of the series, if not the best one. It was pretty neat!
Roxas1359 avatarRoxas1359
Can't decide where I should upload my latest project. Either on my YouTube Channel or on Game Anyone. On the one hand YouTube gets more exposure, but Game Anyone is where some of my more popular walkthroughs are. The game is 3D Land if anyone is wondering
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Thanksgiving dinner for days!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Anyone know if the Bethesda games on sale on Amazon for a certain amount of time, or through Monday?
TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
In light of the fact that Xenoblade Chronicles X is fast approaching, I suggest we start planning out a Destructoid Squad! NNID is TysonOfTime. From what I've heard, it doesn't appear Squads are region locked (except for Japan), so everyone's welcome!
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Typing of the Dead > all other typing games.
Lawman avatarLawman
Listening to this on a Tall Oaks level of RE: Revelations 2's Raid Mode is entrancing, for some reason.
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Need a reason to support Indivisible? Shantae is in it!. Back it or spread the word, every bit of help counts.
KeithTheGeek avatarKeithTheGeek
Sometimes I miss how hilariously janky Brawl was, and I still have a lot of fun playing it. Not sure if I could ever take it seriously as a competitive game, but I want to enter at least one Brawl tournament in the future. You know, if I can find one.
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
I love how on a slow news day I can always turn to Qposts for something else to read and think about. Keep up the mojo fellas!
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
I finally caved in to those sweet deals, got Shantae and The Pirate's Curse, Downwell and Super House of Dead Ninjas :)
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I hope that Prototype runs better on my dad's old laptop than it does on my AMD gaming rig. Some badly coded games run like ass on AMD cards.
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
Please spare me from issues in the process of publishing my blog! Especially since I modified CSS to unnecessarily pseudo-crop an image, and make it so some images float next to text, and make it look decent on mobile. I'm a frickin' nerd, love it.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
The night brims with defiled scum, and is permeated by their rotten stench. Just think, now you're all set to hunt and kill to your heart's content! #FashionBorne [img][/img]
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
Two more days to get in on the unofficial Christmas Card! [Url][/URL]
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django has got a mystery sale on T Shirts and Tank Tops atm, $5 for each. Only catch is they're random. But I've had some good luck, got a Captain Falcon one before, Zombies ate my Neighbors and a Persona 4 X Earthbound crossover.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
I would really, really love if "publish now" could work without me having to post a blog multiple because the site is such a mess right now.
fitzen avatarfitzen
I got it all the way back in spring, but I still haven't finished Majoras Mask. Think I've done the first temple.. It's hard not knowing where to go. All those linear corridors and objective markers in games has made me dumb and impatient.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -