Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Tank Force (Arcade)

Tank Force is the sequel to Tank Battalion, which got ported to NES and Game Boy as Battle City (why was that such a popular thing in the old days, changing the names of arcade ports? Was it a licencing thing?). The GB version of Battle City is easily one of my favourite games on that system, so you should definitely play it sometime. It gains a lot from the simplified graphics and the fact that you can't see the entire map onscreen at once.
But this post isn't about Battle City, it's about Tank Force! And I'll say right now, it's definitely a worthy sequel. In fact, it does everything a sequel should do!
If you don't know, the idea of the game is simple, the stages are simple, slightly mazey single screen maps with destructible walls, onto which enemy tanks will roll. You, also in a tank, keep killing all the enemies until they stop coming, then it's on to the next map.
Tank Force builds well upon this simple formula. The most immediatly obvious change is the improvements in graphics. TF is very colourful, and while the first game had simple, functional brick walls making up the stages, the sequel has various different buildings which, though viewed from above, still give the stages obvious themes: warehouse district, military base in a desert, etc.
There's also a lot of new actual game stuff, too. New power-ups, such as a range of temporary weapons, including a kind of sonic wave weapon that passes through walls without breaking them, allowing you to kill enemies from acros the map. There's new enemies too, including small, fast tanks that drop timed mines, and the biggest addition of all: bosses! The original game had no bosses at all, but every few stages in TF, you'll face really big super-tanks.
I think I'm beginning to sound a bit too much like a press release or something, with all this feature-listing and positivity. The problem is, I do just really like this game! I strongly recommend you play it, as well as the Game Boy port of the original.

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