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Tank! Tank! Tank! is E3's least effective Wii U showcase, is fun regardless


Tank! Tank! Tank! may not be what I would have shown off at E3 with innovative new hardware. It's fun in a profoundly goofy, vintage-arcadey way, but it's hardly pushing any new ideas or making any graphical leaps. In fact, it's not even a new game -- it was originally released as an arcade cabinet in 2009.

It doesn't make particularly interesting use of the WiiPad, either. In the demo shown in Nintendo's booth, one player saw the action from behind their own tank, while up to four other players could play on the TV with Wiimotes -- after everyone passed the WiiPad around to snap avatar portraits. The gameplay was the same -- even the view was the same -- just on another screen.

Gallery: Tank! Tank! Tank! (E3 2012) | 7 Photos

You move the tank around with either analog stick (or both) and fire with a shoulder button. Vertical aiming is totally automatic, even though I kept trying to tilt the WiiPad, thinking aiming would be mapped to a tilt function.

You shoot giant ants and other bugs, along with the cityscape and really anything else that you find at the end of your giant gun. In the mode I played first, the goal was to collaborate with the other players to kill 100 huge bugs before time elapsed. Another mode had us facing a waterborne hydra monster, which periodically grabbed a tank in its jaws. Power-ups abounded, allowing me to pick up limited-use machine guns, missile barrages, and massive, tank-sized rockets.

You might be wondering why I was so down on it at first, because it sounds like silly, lighthearted fun. Well, strawman, I thought it was a poor hardware showcase, while also simultaneously being a delightful little arcade game for local multiplayer. The Wii U isn't even out yet, and thanks to this game I've already reached the point where I don't care if its features are put to good use. By setting a bad precedent, Tank! Tank! Tank! allows me to relax right away and just enjoy shooting bugs. Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!

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