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 Post subject: Retro Tanks (XBOX One - PC)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:09 pm 


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Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 250
Location: Autobot City, Sugiura Base
Time for another "Retro-styled" shooter. This time, Retro Tanks.

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In Camp XBOX, the wind doesn't blow, it sucks.

At first you're given 2 aiming options: "Free Aim" makes the sight stop in a specific part of the screen, but allows your tank to move anywhere you want, the only problem is that you can move 4 or 5 screens away from the sight, making the re-aiming one hell of a problem, "Move with Tank" locks the sight in the distance indicated by the player (1/2 screen away from the tank) and the sight moves along with the tank keeping the player's indicated distance, making re-aiming much easier.

Once you've decided what aim and player mode to select, you can choose if you want to play in Stage Mode or Retro Mode.


Stage Mode features 10 stages of combat in a navigateable maze-like stage pretty much like Konami's Jackal, Atomic Heist and Atomine. One of the main characteristics of this game is the bouncing bullets. Your shots can bounce into walls, giving you more chances of hitting your enemies and keep you away from danger. You can also use mines (called Bombs) to destroy enemies at a distance, but they take some time before exploding. However, destroying enemies is not the real priority in this mode, the real objective in this mode is to find the goal in the specific room. This is the most "Time Consuming" mode of the game, specially in the final 3 stages as the layout is more of a complex network of crossed paths.



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Gunnery Sgt.: HOLY [Expletive]!, ¿¡WHO THE [Expletive] WAS OPERATING THE TURRET!?
You: Sir, The turret operator is Private Kensuke Aida, Sir!
Gunnery Sgt.: ¿¡AND WHO THE [Expletive] SAID PRIVATE KENSUKE CAN OPERATE...
(Remembers he assigned him)...Nevermind. Tell him he's fired.
You: Sir, yes Sir!
(Private Kensuke was replaced by an AI Targeting System later that day)


In this mode, you only have one life before dying, also, it only needs 1 hit to take you down. So, clearing the stage as fast as possible is a must. But keep in mind, even your own bullets can kill you. Yeah, you can die by your own wall bouncing bullet, but this also applies to the enemies because they can take out themselves.
If dying by your own shots and 1 hit death are annoying, the game sends you all the way back to the title after clearing a level, so you have to select your aiming, if you want 1 player or co-op, pick Stage Mode, and finally the next stage. Something that could be easily fixed by adding a "Next Stage" option in the Mission Complete screen.



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You can call this game "Tank Party", minus the fun.

Retro Mode is a "Minigame" like mode where you are pitted in one-screen arenas and your objective is to destroy the tanks, which most of the times are from one to four enemies. Compared with Stage Mode, this game is a fast-to-complete mode despite being 50 stages long, 5 times longer than Stage Mode. Despite the large number of stages, it rarely throws you a group of more than 4 enemies. It features new challenges like walls that you and your enemies can't pass through, but the bullets can, adding a puzzle element, destructible walls, which are hard to distinguish due to the graphics and stage hazards like spinning axes and what appears to be spikes coming from the floor, so you can expect to die from something different than enemy fire or your own fire.
In this mode, the game grants you five lives and the option of continuing the game if you lose all of them.



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Watch Out! The Big One is Closing in!

Each 10 stages, you'll be facing a boss battle against a large tank, and its damage tolerance increases after each battle. Resulting in extremely easy boss battles.



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Reading the descrptions is a nightmare.
Is that an "s" or an "x"?, "o's" look like "e's". Caligraphy hell at its worst.


NORMAL: The main, basic arena shooter game.
HARD: Your enemies can take more damage and you only have three available shots and a reduced amount of mines.
BOMBS: In this mode, you can only use the mines dropped by pressing the Left Bumper or the B button (which also pauses the game, Ok...), fortunately, you can drop mines infinitely.
INVISIBLE MODE: Like its name says, it makes the enemies invisible, making clearing a stage way too difficult. If you want to be trolled by the game, then this is the mode for you.
SPEED MODE: Remember the "Warp Speed" on the PC game CD-Man, where the game goes absurdely fast after selecting said speed? Now imagine you have to destroy tanks and evade bullets at a very similar speed. Sounds like nearly unplayable already.



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How we can call this?: ¿TANXELAY?

Camera Mode is an unique mode since unlike the others that sends you to battle in a specific condition, this one changes the camera into an Axelay-style perspective game. Its a good idea, but with the horrible graphics it can be really confusing.

There's no endings after completing any of the game's modes. So this sums up the "I've played this game for nothing". Also, the achievements once again are the easy-to-get Gamerscore Milker that kills the fun. ¿Did you know you can use the "Continue Game" in the other modes after completing Retro Mode in "Normal"?, that will save you a lot of trouble, specially in Invisible and Speed Modes, and thank God for that because those two are a cruel joke of a game mode.



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There's nothing wrong with your TV, the game looks this bad.

The graphics...AAARGH!!, My eyes!, they look like an old camera / Local TV quality smeared with dirt and trimmed with sanding paper. I wanna think EpiXR Games tried to recreate the digitized graphic novelty of late 80's / early 90's arcade games like Shadow Dancer, Metal Black and Mortal Kombat, which was an incredible feature due to its closest thing to realism. In Retro Tanks case, they look like if the console used was the Sega Master System (remember their version of Shadow Dancer?), blended with Sega CD video quality (like Make my Video: Kris Kross for instance), making it look extremely unrecognizable. At first I don't know what to think, if the game didn't downloaded correctly, my XBOX One was malfuctioning, or if it was my TV or worse, all three at the same time. Is just as bad as Null Drifter, and that was an eye-injury of a game. If the idea was going retro, they've could try to make simple 3D polygonal forms like F-117 Stealth Fighter, Falcon 3.0 or even StarFox and Vortex, which would look as retro as the digitized stuff. The layout of the scenery can also hide enemies, resulting in potential cheap shots due to the enemies faster bullet speed compared with yours. Everytime to die, respawn or start the level, the game changes the colors of the stage, using some of the worst color combinations possible, there's even a monochrome-like where your tank is a complete black block since there's no visible "details". Also, the lighting will be against you with these color combinations, resulting in even more potential cheap shots from enemies.

The music, on the other side is quite good, with some fast action paced beats with serious tension moments in the style of an action-packed TV show. But this only works for the main menu, because the rest of the game you'll be playing in the absolute silence, so get your cellphone and music player apps ready.



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I HEREBY DECLARE EPIXR GAMES AS "DEVELOPER NON GRATA"

Retro Tanks is a mixed bag: Average-to-Decent gameplay, Great music (for a few minutes) but HORRIBLE GRAPHICS. I almost forgot, it's another Gamerscore Milker waiting for your cash. This game had a lot of potential in the idea of retro-digitized, but that's what kills the fun in this game, because the game feels like a deformed mess where its hard to tell where's your tank and where's your enemy.
If Null Drifter was the videogame equivalent of putting Tabasco Sauce in your eyes, then Retro Tanks is like if after putting Tabasco Sauce in your eyes, you put rubbing alcohol in them. Ouch, your poor ruined eyes.
LESSON TO LEARN HERE: Don't trust the advertising blurb, trust a shmup reviewer instead.


EpiXR Games wrote:
"We are giving our best to put a smile on your face and brighten up your day with a daily dose of fun and excitement."

Tell that to my god-damned eyes, this game was the exact opposite of what you're trying to do: Ruined my day putting a "What on Earth?!" on my face with disappointing gameplay.
All Shmups forum readers, stick to Thunder Force V, Natsuki Chronicles, Triggerheart Exelica and Blazing Star and keep your eyes and wallet safe from Retro Tanks.
_________________
Fan of Transformers, Shmups and Anime-styled Girls. You're teamed up with the right pilot!
Bringing you shmup reviews with humorous criticism.

STG Wikias: Thunder Force Wiki - Wikiheart Exelica - Ginga Force Wiki


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