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BattleTanx – Nintendo 64

BattleTanx – Nintendo 64

battle tanx box artPlatform: Nintendo 64

Developer: 3DO

Publisher: 3DO

Release Date (NA): December 31, 1998

Genre: Action

Nerd Rating: 7 out of 10

Reviewed by Jitszu

Don’t forget to also check out NerdBerry’s review of the sequel, BattleTanx: Global Assault!

BattleTanx is a semi-obscure title for the Nintendo 64 released as Nintendo and 3DO’s counter to the popular Twisted Metal series, which also focuses on the theme of vehicle combat. How that worked out for Nintendo, I’ll never know (mostly because I’m far too lazy to look into it). But what I do know is that BattleTanx has the ability to stand on its own as a good game.

The curtain opens, it’s the year 2001 (funny to think that when the game was released 2001 was supposed to be the future) and ninety-nine percent (99.99% exactly) of the female population has been wiped out by a virus known as “X2.” The now male-dominated governments began struggling to collect the surviving women to ensure the human race survives.

Our protagonist, Griffin Spade, is preparing to marry his fiancée Madison, who is one of the X2 survivors due to unique body chemistry. So, long story to short story, the governments begin capturing their own women to “protect” them, fighting against their own male citizens. Madison offers herself as tribute to the government to protect Griffin (aww).

In retaliation, men begin forming into militias, their weapon of choice being (of course) tanks.  The governments eventually start nuclear war over women and civilization comes to an abrupt end. Griffin, along with others, manages to survive by way of his tank, which is equipped with an “NBC” (nuclear/biologic/chemical) system. So, the militias become little more than barbaric tribes who worship  the female survivors, hailing them as “Queen Lords,” and Griffin believes that somewhere out there, Madison survives, protected by a tribe, and he’s going to find her.

In short, BattleTanx is a love story (how far would you go for love?), with guidable missiles, nuclear warfare, and machine guns, which would make every love story better if you asked me.

Anyways, as a vehicle-based combat game, you wouldn’t be too far off to imagine a Twisted Metal title from Nintendo, but refraining from comparison of the two, BattleTanx has recognizable quirks that were enjoyable.

The graphics are reasonably good, though nothing to brag too much about. Good muted color schemes help to add to the game’s apocalyptic theme, and the map designs fit their locations well enough. And when the style is coupled with the mixing of epic battle music overlaid by the sound of cannons and tank treads rolling on turf, it’s easy enough to get drawn in.

BattleTanx (U) snap0002

Well that’s depressing.

As for the combat, there are three types of playable tanks that you’ll be wreaking havoc in, the large and heavily armored “Goliath” tank, the Swiss-Army knife “M1A1 Abrams,” and the speedy little “Moto” tank. Each tank has its own ups and downs and the line-up of your tanks (which is different depending on the Gang/Tribe you choose) can very strongly affect your game.

The Goliath and the M1A1 both use the tanks cannon as the primary weapon, while the Moto tank has mounted Gatling guns, but you can equip secondary weapons as well, a good variety of them too. Such as guided missiles, grenades, land mines, gun buddies (turrets) and more. Each gang starts the game with their own secondary too, so choose your tribe wisely.

BattleTanx (U) snap0003

The primary game mode is called “Battle Lord,” and it’s basically capture the flag, and the flag is the opposing team(s) Queen Lord. To win, you must have all Queen Lords captured, which may sound easy in theory, but trust me, it’s not. It’s chaos. As soon as you have a queen captured, your queen gets captured, if you somehow manage to secure the captured queen, it’s quickly after stolen, and it escalates into an unending tango of missile and rocket launchers, with every round easily lasting upwards of twenty minutes.

That being said, it’s fricking fun, especially if you’re playing against friends. And the amount of customization is just right. From choosing the gang with the right tank line-up and secondary to suit your playstyle, but not getting overly complicated to the point where it takes twenty minutes to set up for each match, it’s found a sweet spot. So, while the single-player campaign mode isn’t bad by any means, there’s just something about dominating your friends that provides a thrill unmatched by any other.

BattleTanx (U) snap0004

“Suck it losers”

Written by Nerd Bacon

Nerd Bacon


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  1. Dude I loved this game and the sequel! They were just so badass! And the cheat code to unlock all weapons and have unlimited ammo was fuckin gnarly!

    Great review!

  2. Pingback: BattleTanx Global Assault - Nintendo 64 - Nerd Bacon Reviews

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