Tank! Tank! Tank! is a game that came out originally in the arcades in 2009, long after most games had any business coming out in arcades. It's obviously inspired by the Earth Defense Force series, except instead of individual soldiers everyone plays as tanks. For some reason it got ported to the Wii U as a full priced launch title which I stupidly bought instead of Darksiders II (not that the Wii U could handle it, oh poor THQ) because I wanted a party game to play forgetting that I got the Wii U with Nintendoland bundled in. Eventually the publisher Namco Bandai tried to milk even more money out of this D grade title on Nintendo's worst sold platform that made it to its first anniversary by making it free to play as a downloadable title. For some bizzare reason, they thought putting the tanks you unlock behind a paywall, which is the only reason to play anymore than just the 3-4 player options, was a good idea. But I digress, this is a series about bad games that I still like (or liked) to play, so lets get to it.
Minimum Effort Games, LLC
Tank! Tank! Tank! is a game that fully embraces the schlock, you have an announcer blaring in your ear every 2 seconds about the ammo limited power ups you got and when you fire the biggest and baddest of them. Those weapon drops aren't strategically placed at a pick up zone that you have to get to or protect, no they spawn for some reason from the bizarre menagerie of insects, animals both extinct and not, mythical creatures, and animated buildings, iceburgs, and other non-living things that make up your quarry. Don't expect any interesting story, characters, or really anything other than blowing up a whole bunch of dinobots rejects and the surrounding local while trying to avoid getting squished in your poorly moving tank.
There isn't much in the way of strategy either. Each location is pretty much a small box with buildings in the way until they get obliterated. Each stage is pretty much identical, you're destroying a bunch of smaller robot animals (still twice as big as your tank, minimum), trying to take down a giant mythical robot animal, a combination thereof. Eventually, as you unlock tanks, each of which has their own stats that level up depending on how well you do in each level with it, you find that the ammo limited upgrades are even less varied than the tanks themselves, and most of the options are cosmetic differences that mix and match your unlimited ammo option, upgraded weapon option, or super weapon options.
If you find yourself stuck it's almost always because your tank is underleveled, not because there's any skill you needed to perfect in this action game. Of course the only way to fix that is to take your tank to previous levels you've already beaten and grind away the XP needed to get enough health and increase your damage to the point you can survive or actually take down the giant dumb robot beasts.
But you like it anyways?
Yup. Dumb as this game is it's still a lot of fun. Blowing up hoards of Power Ranger Zords/Zoids rejects triggers a similar dopamine hit as the Dynasty Warriors franchise, most of the Gauntlet games, or the old R.A.R.E. gem BLAST Corps. There's something primal about laying waste to hoards of foes with a simple button press. The other half of the campaign, sending arsenal that would level a city up against giant robot monsters, hits the same itch as the Godzilla, Transformers, and Pacific Rim franchises. Now this game isn't as pretty as any of those for its time, no not even close, but that doesn't seem to really take away from the brain-dead fun.
Even more fun is the multiplayer. Yes you can play through the campaign with friends, but the best part was when one of you on the Wii U gamepad takes control of a giant monster that has a poorly mapped picture of your face plastered across its head, um, area, and tries to wipe out the rest of your friends while they get to shoot you in the butt with a giant laser called "Excalibur" or a myriad of homing missiles. We used to swap out who got to be the big bad by whomever got the last shot off in the death cinematic. This was, of course, exacerbated by the vertical split screen that was shared across all tank players. It may have lasted for an hour max at a time, but that didn't stop the pizza and mountain dew fueled gaming sessions from being stupid fun in the way only such parties can.