Review by Warran Thad

Reviewed: 02/21/03 | Updated: 02/22/03

Who ever knew blowing stuff up could be so much fun?

This game is one of those unknown gems, a forgotten treasure that nobody knows about. This game is the best tank game out there, for any console. It may just be all the nostalgia of this game but it is one of my favorite.

Blowing stuff up is fun!

Battle city is an action game where you control a tank trying to defend his base while destroying all the other tanks that try to attack it. The game is in the top view. Your base is always at the bottom middle of the screen during each of the levels with no exception. This is definitely the best part of the game.

At 3 different intervals throughout each level power up’s appear, but after a certain time they leave as soon as they come. One of the more important one’s represented as a star improves your tank by making it look cooler and shoot faster. There are 4 versions for your tank. The first version shoots slowly and looks ugly, the 2nd version is still ugly but shoots a bit faster, the 3rd version shoots faster still and the 4th version can blow up metal/iron and shoots insanely fast. Other upgrades include temporarily being invincible, extra lives and destroying all enemies on the map.

Your tank always takes 1 hit to kill, unlike enemy tanks which take 1-5 hits (depending on the model) and vary in speed and A.I. Each level contains 14 tanks to defeat. Different levels hold different varieties of enemy tanks. While 1 level has only the strongest tank others can have just the fast tank or weak tank.

Your tank can move left, right, down or up and can shoot in the same directions. The map isn’t just a plain field. Depending on the level there is water (impassable), forest (camouflage) bricks (in most levels, can be destroyed by tank’s gun but is normally impassable) and iron/metal (impassable, can’t be destroyed except by 4th ver. of tank).

There is also a 2 player mode to this game where you defend your base together. With the addition of the 2nd player the game becomes much more enjoyable. If you shoot the other player they’re tank just gets stunned: they cannot move or turn but they can shoot. After destroying all the enemies in a level my friend and I try to stun each other before the level ends. I strongly advise you to play this game with 2 players, it will increase your enjoyment greatly.

The controls in this game are nothing special. You press B to shoot and use the d-pad to move. Even though simplistic, the controls don’t take from the game. The controls are also quite responsive.

This game is VERY challenging. It seems that the levels are ENDLESS and get harder every time. If you are playing with your friend I suggest you pause your game (courtesy of the start button) and discuss a strategy. If you do not you are doomed.

We may be 8-bit, but we can still blow stuff up!

The graphics in this game are decent at best. The background is very bland but the main tanks are very colorful. Most enemies are white but are nicely drawn but alas the background is just a plain black square with tanks and the forest, water, brick etc. on it.

In war there is much silence.

That pretty much describes the music in this game. It seems to be non existent… Except for the short cheery jingle at the start of each level. The sound effects are also sub-par and comprise of bleeps and blops. This is easily the worst part of the game.

All in all Battle City is a great game. I have not seen another tank game since Battle City to have such a fun or challenging 2 player mode (in which is most important for a tank game). Do yourself a favor and visit your nearest Funcoland and hope for the best. If you somehow find it you will most likely spend hours of your life playing this masterpiece. To summarize the game in 4 LUE like words:
Best. Tank. Game. Ever.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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