Review by wolverinefan

"A poor entry in a long running series"

I loved the original Tenchu on the PS1 but wasn't impressed with Tenchu 2. I honestly haven't played any since then. In my quest to play all 360 games I rented Tenchu Z. Does it play like the old Tenchu games or have things been spiced up a bit? How's the LIVE game play? Read on!

You're a ninja for hire. You need to assassinate different heads of clans. I think that's the plot anyway. I really wasn't paying much attention to it.

The graphics in the game are kind of bland. Slightly detailed but rather flat in general. Enemies tend to all look the same unless they carry a different weapon, are commoners or they are the main guy you need to kill.

The sound in the game is okay. All dialogs are in their original Japanese dialect. Normally that might be slightly annoying to me but it fits with the game. Music has a very oriental theme going which again fits. The sound effects are bit lacking and it's hard to tell if someone is near since you can't hear their steps.

Control in the game is simple but I really hated how you do long jumps. Run, hold L and hit the jump button at the edge, it's just annoying but other wise the simple one button attacks really makes the game simple enough.

The game is made up of 50 missions. They take place in fairly large boxed in areas. Sneak around them by hiding in the shadows, plant life, on roofs or under the buildings. It's fairly easy but my one annoyance is that the grappling hook isn't here so it doesn't feel as slick as the original game.

The enemy AI is the worst I have ever seen in a video game. Yes, they attack and block. They do that all rather well. The problem is that if you're seen you just need to walk around a comer and they completely forget about you. It makes no sense and it makes the game so painfully easy.

The key success in Tenchu Z is to use stealth kills. Sneak behind someone and hit your attack button to instantly kill them. It isn't always possible so the lackluster action of hitting attack over and over and watching the enemy doe set boring after those 50 missions.

You can buy new items and stuff as well to make your missions a little easier. I liked that idea but I rarely found myself needing these extra items to complete the missions.

The game is long with the 50 missions but it does feel a bit tedious after a while. The achievements are slightly interesting. The game can also be played on LIVE. I believe it's just the 50 missions and you play with 3 other people. Can't really confirm how it all works since every time I got in a game the host would quit it.

It's not that Tenchu Z is a terrible game. It's a just a hollow experience. Poor AI, repetitive missions and what seems to be an odd LIVE community. It's worth a rental if you're interested but I really couldn't recommend buying this game.

Story - 6/10
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 8/10
Control - 8/10
Game Play - 5/10
Replay value - 5/10

Final Score - 5/10

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 07/13/07

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