T.N.K. III Review

T.N.K. III (Available on PlayStation 3 & PSP)
ESRB Rating: T
Number of Players: 1
Genre: Shmup
Publisher: SNK Playmore
Developer: SNK
Release Date: September 6th, 2011

Parent Talk: T.N.K. III is rated T for teen by the ESRB because of blood and violence.  Back in 1985 this game was heavily played in the arcades by children of all ages, so use your own discretion.

Plays Like: Any vehicle-based shooter.

Review Basis: Played through the game.

Details: Available from the Neo Geo Station on the PlayStation Network for $2.99.

The Scoop:

Like virtually all arcade games released in the mid-eighties T.N.K. III is a shooter, a tank shooter!  Ok so there were also sports games and street-based fighters, but shooters were the staple diet.  The original arcade unit featured a rotary joystick, much like Ikari Warriors.  That allows players to easily rotate the tank in any direction.  Since the PS3 and PSP don’t feature such a revolutionary feature, players have to make do with the d-pad and the L and R buttons to rotate the tank’s turret, which feels a bit more cumbersome in comparison.  Since the game is much slower than Ikari Warriors it doesn’t destroy the gameplay like it did in that game.  It also doesn’t support multiplayer so you’re going to have to go it alone.

T.N.K. III is exactly what you’d expect from an old-school shooter, you move your tank around running over enemy soldiers and destroying enemy tanks with your machine guns and explosive shots.  Along the way power-ups are collected to enhance your rampage.  If you happen to get destroyed through, you’re pretty much screwed because you revert back to your default tank, which is completely useless in the later stages.

Players who grew up during the last generation or this current one will likely find the gameplay to be infuriating and outdated.  It takes a certain someone to be able to put up with the extremely high difficulty and primitive design.  I’m such a person, but who knows if you are.  At the very least it’s worth checking out for historical purposes or if you’d like to see if you have the skills to make it through a game that was designed to destroy you.  Either way, at $3 it’s a fun diversion.

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