Ninja Gaiden fans looking for "hot" Ninja action should stop here. Tenchu may have Ninjas, but the idea is to "appropriately" slow things down and go from full-throttle aggressive, to "stick and move" with stealth in mind rather than unapologetic domination.
However, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Ninjas are technically supposed to be stealthy. The premise behind the game is perfect. Take guns out of the Splinter Cell environment, and you should have a non-shooter stealth action title. Unfortunately, the series has not progressed along with the hardware it runs on. If the gameplay was as perfect as the premise, Tenchu could return to it's former glory.
Admittedly, it is fun for a while to run around and slaughter the herds of dumbfounded Samurai that stand between the ninjas and their goals. Tuning out the bad physics, lighting, and polygon collisions happens naturally after a while. A little twist of the imagination makes this game fantastic. However, we put money down so someone else can have the imagination and we can have the experience.
Don't get me wrong, Tenchu Z has some enjoyable moments. The first dozen or so stealth kills still make the player feel like a bad-ass, so it's not a complete waste of time. But many of the games coming out now leave us expecting a lot more than this paltry effort for our hard-earned dollars. For those new to the series, definitely pick this up, when he price is stealth-killed to the bargin bin.
Perfect Shuriken Throws:
-Character creation was a good idea: create-a-ninja! BLAM!
-Online co-op was a good idea
-Newcomers to the series will find enjoyment here
-AI is pathetic; hiding 20 feet away in the open works
-Repetitive levels, and repetitive missions
-Graphically disappointing. Shadows go through floors and solid walls.
Hits like: Every Tenchu before it.
Rent or Buy: Rent
Personal Appraisal: $24.99
What Other Reviews think:
5.2/10.0 at IGN
2.5/5.0 stars per gamespy.com
5.0/10.0 from tweaktown.com