"Did You Know: While Assassin's Creed II features a new protagonist from Desmond Mile's ancestry, Ezio, Altair returns for more action in the PSP title Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines."

 Home -> Reviews -> Tenchu: Shadow Assassins
Tenchu: Shadow Assassins By: John "Award" Del Percio
March 1, 2009
Developer :Acquire
Publisher :Ubisoft
Release Date :January 2009
Platform : Nintendo Wii
Table of Contents

· Introduction
· Closer Look
· Facts
· Final

And Now For Page Three. And Now For Page Three.

There are, as with any game, a few nits to pick. The graphics, while great for the Wii, do suffer some lack of detail. The Wii palette must not be as diverse as even classic PC gaming (despite the ATI graphics card.) There's a lack of texture detail in many of the shadows, more so than one would expect. In addition, there's the horrid truth that the game only outputs in 480i. While this is a non-issue for the scalars and deinterlacers in most modern TVs, It's a concern worth noting. That said, I'd wager the use of interlacing is an attempt to squeeze a bit of extra performance out of the lackluster graphics engine in the Wii.

More frustrating that that, however, is the extreme repetition that can occur. While Thief gave you large partially abandoned worlds to explore, and new freeform areas, Tenchu can play almost like a strategy game at times where your course of action is largely pre-planned. You must go in a certain direction to get a certain guard, and there are only a few ways to eliminate or avoid said guard. This, by itself isn't necessarily a bad thing, but coupled with a lack of truly diverse environments, and the feeling of the same gameplay over and over, against the same enemies over and over, can be a bit fatiguing. Couple that with the inevitable frequent detection, which yields the same tired enemy speeches while you vanish in a cloud back to the start point, and you may require frequent breaks from the game.

In addition, the afore mentioned Wii controls are not without flaw. Thrusting your remote can meet with mixed results in terms of the motion being properly detected. Twisting the controls for a good neck snap may sometimes require repeated attempts before detection as well. Sword fights, while generally well implemented in the blocking, aside from the blazing speeds the blows can come at you for some fights, is a bit less well implemented in the attack. Re-centering your hand after a strike may trigger another swing of your sword, wasting the limited shots on an unintended, mis-directed swing.

Last are the ultimate assassination targets. The game is structured so that your usual goal at the end of a series of missions is to take out the leader of the organization you've infiltrated, often a corrupt Daimyo or the like. These final kills aren't exactly Assassin's Creed, nor do they deliver the satisfaction of plunging your blade into the corrupt dictator that Altair presented. Rickimaru is a bit tamer and less foreboding. It usually ends in you barely recognizing that it's the final target you've encountered, and is no different to kill than an ordinary guard. These villains should present a bit of a special feeling that you've just snuck up on the invulnerable and made them vulnerable, rather than be just another rag doll.

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