If you had told me a very jolly man in a tank hat would be the person to convince me to get a Wii U, I probably wouldn’t have… been that surprised. I live in Japan, after all! The tank-adorned man in question was none other than Kunito Komori, one of the minds behind Tank! Tank! Tank!’s Wii U incarnation. After running into him repeatedly over the course of Tokyo Game Show, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by his latest work.
Originally a multiplayer-focused arcade game unleashed on Japan and the States back in 2009, the game had players taking photos of themselves before either working together to take down a common enemy or duking it out against each other. Rumbly seats aside, the Wii U version emulates the core experience of the game perfectly, even allowing photos of players to be taken with the Wii U GamePad’s camera.
Rather than the traditional four box splitscreen, multiplayer modes have one person looking at the Wii U GamePad’s screen while the other three players, using Wiimotes, share the TV in vertical splitscreen. Seeing as how the original arcade version used a vertical monitor, this orientation doesn’t feel too off for the Wiimote users.
The main addition to the Wii U version is the “My Kong” mode, where the player using Wii U GamePad a robo-ape boss and smashes as much as they can as the other three players try to stop him or her. My advice here is to make the most of having your own screen by “accidentally” standing in front of the main screen whenever possible. Just emphasise how you were really getting into it. A special attack can be triggered by shaking the Wii U GamePad violently, but this seems to work even better when you throw the GamePad at your rivals.
The new mode and a few extra power-ups are nice additions, but I can’t help but feel a little disappointed that there aren’t five or six-player modes. Most Wii owners will already have easy access to four Wiimotes, either through friends or owning them outright, so it seems a shame that there isn’t any mode that makes use of all of them as well as the Wii U GamePad. Admittedly, it seems like functionality for using two Wii U GamePads at once was a feature added quite late in the development lifecycle of the Wii U, but Tank! Tank! Tank! has missed a trick by not having a five-player mode.
It’s clear that Namco-Bandai are focusing on the casual, family-orientated market with this souped-up arcade port. After the press days of TGS, the game moved from the main Namco-Bandai area on the show floor to the Kids’ Area to make way for Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition. Mind you, Tank! Tank! Tank! a whole lot of fun for just about everyone. After playing through the new “My Kong” mode as well as co-op, it’s undoubtedly the most fun multiplayer game that’ll be available in the Wii U’s launch window.