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Old Jun 16th, 2007, 04:10 AM   #1
Beretta55
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Tenchu Z

I rented this game today; I've been a fan of Tenchu ever since I first played Wrath of Heaven on the PS2 back in 2003. It was way too put under the rug and over shadowed by other games, this is the only Ninja game in recent memory that actually has you like a ninja, Ninja Gaiden is fun but sometimes you just want to come from the shadows and slice a guy open and watch him bleed out profusely.

I have to say, its pretty fun if you've played any Tenchu game then you will know what to expect. The stealth gameplay is still there with a few new tricks. Such as being able to grab people and drag them away into a dark little corner and stick them with your blade. You can apparently move dead bodies but I have yet to do this, I've killed entire levels of guys but I always seem to kill some guys away from another guard’s path. But I really do like it, I've always liked Tenchu and this game gets me a lot more of it.

The character creation is nice but not as deep as I would like and at the start you only have one really good costume that screams 'Ninja" everyone else at the start is not something a ninja would wear. They have kimono's for guys which is fine but then you have no arm, and leg support and basically look like a jackass who wants to not blend into the cover of night since the kimonos are not very dark colored. But I made a guy with full dark ninja clothing, bandaged legs, and some gauntlets for my hands, and I have a scarf and headband on alongside that half-full mask cloth thing that Rikumaru wears, I sort of look like his estranged cousin. :p

My only gripes really are the full game price, the game is awesome and I would like to own it but this is Tenchu, nothing major has been changed. Its sort of hard to justify the sixty dollar price tag of a game that while still a lot of fun feels decidedly last-gen if this was forty or lower I wouldn't really be complaning. The graphics are last-gen too, this really doesn't matter to me but Tenchu Z is not the game you show to friends to display the awesome graphic prowess of the 360, it's basically a high-res version of the Return to Darkness port on Xbox with some occasional high-tech stuff going on.

For example waterfalls and water effects look pretty damn cool in this game and your blade itself reflects the light from the moon, which in turn makes you stand out to guards so while there is some nice trickery going on the game is pretty much last-gen, don't let that get you down though. How your main character can look is awesome I really like how my guy looks and the development team obviously put a lot of effort into how your creations will look. You'll feel awesome running down a long pathway with your right hand on the end of your blade ready to pull it out and stab someone, stealth kills look especially awesome but I'd expect nothing less from Tenchu.

I don't have online on my 360 so I can't really say how the online is. It's basically the main single player game missions but with four players at a time with more enemies populating the level to make it fair. I have heard the US servers are rather laggy, but the game has been out for less then a week so perhaps it will iron out.

But I'd say if you are a Tenchu fan or of slow-paced stealth games in general I'd say this is worth picking up. The sixty dollar price-tag is hard to swallow but I might go ahead and give in to it because I'm having a lot of fun with the game. There is nothing quite like grabbing a guy from behind, shoving my blade through his back twice, pulling it out and doing a wicked Ninja stance while the enemies blood spills all over the place around me and in turn gets all over my clothes, its great.

Note: Rikumaru does return in this game if nobody was aware, he plays a smaller role though. He is basically your mission giver and boss since you join his clan of Ninja. I'm only nine missions in (out of fifty total) so story wise not much has happened. One other thing of note is that when you create your own Ninja you have to create another one as well. This is basically your partner Ninja, this character is a woman if you choose to be a guy and vice versa. This character basically shows up in cutscenes during or after missions, from what I gathered you have known this character for a long time and decided to join Rikumaru's Ninja for unknown reasons, they really haven't fleshed out much though. The partner character also never shows up in gameplay, just cutscenes but that might change since like I said I'm only nine levels in.

But overall, a fun game it finally made me dust off my 360 and pull away from FF12 for a little while.
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