By Steve Baltimore / March 21st, 2018
|Title||Girls Und Panzer: Dream Tank Match|
|Release Date||February 27th, 2018|
|Genre||Anime Tank Battles|
It was recently announced that a Girls Und Panzer game would be releasing on the PlayStation 4. This is one of my all time favorite anime. I mean, it’s about girls that use World War 2 tanks in a combat sport to see which school is the best. The concept of this show is awesome from the start, but throw in one of the best casts in all of anime and there’s no wonder it was a hit. I finally got my hands on Girls Und Panzer: Dream Tank Match after a long wait, so let’s see if held up to my expectations.
The story here is basically a recap of the events that take place in the Girls Und Panzer Der Film movie. The girls thought that by winning the Panzerfahren finals they would save their school from being shut down, however this wasn’t the case. Officials never thought they could win, so they already set in motion the shutdown of their school. The girls are given one last chance if they can defeat the All Star University team in Panzerfahren.
There are some secondary stories for each school in Domination Battle. This mode is a series of five matches in which the girls from each school are promised a great reward for winning them all in a row. These rewards don’t turn out exactly how the girls expected, but you are rewarded for each match and unlock a new tank for completing all five.
Graphically the game looks pretty good. The tank models are excellent and there are a ton of decals and colors you can unlock to customize your tanks. The stages faithfully recreate battlefields from the anime. These include the forest, the mountain trail seen in the movie, the amusement park, and more. There are some pop-in issues on some of these levels, but its nothing too distracting or game breaking. The game runs at a pretty solid framerate most of the time, but I did notice a bit of slowdown when there was a ton of Panzers all firing at once.
A lot of the music in the game is taken straight from the anime. This means you can expect the same upbeat tunes that get you in the mood for some military combat. The entire voice cast returns to reprise their roles and as always they do a great job. The game has no English dub, and the English localization is good for the most part. I noticed a few words spaced incorrectly, and they used the wrong name once for a scene. These mistakes are few and far between so this is a pretty decent effort from the Asia team, and nowhere near as bad as some of the SRW disasters.
The gameplay here is pretty straightforward. You fight in tank battles (Panzerfahren) with various battle types and try to get a victory for your favorite gals. The types of battles include Annihilation, Flag Battle, One on One, Reach the Destination, and Survival. Annihilation battles are usually six on six and the object is to eliminate all the opposing team’s tanks. Flag battles will have you trying to take the opposing team’s flag tank in order to win, which was the battle shown in the anime series. In Reach the Destination you have to drive your tank from point A to point B within a time limit. Sounds easy, but a narrow road and folks shooting at you make this dicey at times.
There are few different play modes found in the game. There is Story Battle, Domination Battle, Free Match, and Extra Match. Playing Story Battles will unlock extra tanks, characters, and support cards. Extra Match is a series of battles with specific rules that upon completion will unlock all the same goodies as Story Battle. You may recognize some of the situations from the anime. Free Battle will allow you to set up an offline battle any way you wish. You can choose the teams, match types and more. You will not gain any unlockables in this mode but it is a lot of fun to play around with all the different tanks. There is also a robust online mode that includes events and the ability to fight with random players, or make matches with just your friends. The online worked decently most of the time, but it can get a bit laggy at times.
Some will think the tank controls are a little difficult to get used to. You drive and steer with the left analog stick while the right controls the turret. Each tank drives differently, as they should, and you will need to practice with each one to get the handling down pat. Square will lock onto enemies you spot and gives you a bit of auto aim, but you will have to target certain tanks in their weak spots to do any real damage. Hitting a tank in the armor or when it is sitting on a slope will usually cause the shell to just bounce off. You can also aim at the enemy tank’s treads to disable their movement. When you fire a shot a reload gauge will appear, and if you tap the trigger at just the right time indicated on the bar you get a quick reload and can instantly fire another shot. If you miss this time you suffer a penalty and it will take even longer to reload. When your action gauge is full you can unleash a Panzer High, which will make you invincible, auto reload, and even show you the weak point on the opposing tanks. Certain commanders also have skills that can be unleashed with a full gauge. These provide many great perks such as improved stats or showing the location of all the Bokos on the map.
All the tanks you unlock can be customized at the Tank Garage. Here you can assign which commanders and teams you want in each tank. Everyone has different skills so they will boost certain stats of the tank they’re assigned to. For example, assigning Mako to a tank will improve its handling. You can also change the color of tanks when you’ve unlocked them by finding and shooting the random Boko the Bears hidden on each stage. Finding all the Bokos will also unlock some awesome decals to deck your tanks out with as well.
If I had to compare this game to something it would be World of Tanks, but more arcade-like with no pay to win aspects. The tanks handle somewhat realistically, but I dunno about drifting tanks and firing at the same time. I personally had a lot fun with this title in the 15 hours I played it. I didn’t unlock nearly all the decals and characters because there are just a ton of them here. I did complete all the Domination Battles and the Story mode. If you’re a fan of Girls Und Panzer I would certainly say pick this one up, you will be very happy that you did. I personally felt it was well worth the $53.99 price tag. If you’re not a fan of the anime and are looking for an arcade style tanks game you will find a lot enjoy here as well. You just may not get quite as much out of this as series fans do.
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Bandai NamcoDream Tank MatchGirls und PanzerTank Battlestanks