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Tenchu Z!

The long-running Tenchu series has popped out another title in the franchise, but will it be any better then the rest?

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Final Impressions: The final impression is just that, our completed breakdown and overall thoughts on the game based off of our entire game playing time.

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Sub-Par Sprays: The Tenchu series has always been sub-par at best, and this latest game in the franchise is nothing more then that; sub-par. In the beginning of the game, you will create a ninja, and then put the clothes you want on him. Sadly, this is the most enjoyable part of the game, and that's not saying much.

As in most Tenchu games, Tenchu Z features a very limited range of stealth kills that vary depending on your ninja's position in relation to your potential victim.

If you are behind, to the left, to the right or in front of your victim, you'll get a different animation that usually places your ninja in the position of plunging his or her katana deep into a vital organ, resulting in a massive spray of blood, not unlike that of the Kill Bill films.

The problem is that this amount of blood spurting from your killed foe is not artistic like it is in games like Ninja Gaiden, its very goofy and artificial.

Again And Again And Again: Next to the gnarly (and we mean terrible) controls which make no sense and will have you breaking your fingers trying to survive, the worst problem with Tenchu Z is how shockingly repetitive the entire game is. While there are tons of "levels" there are only about four different environments, which means that you'll find yourself crawling through the same maps twenty times over.

Ninja Rampage: Beyond the replication of the same environments in several mission maps, the missions themselves boil down to "kill everyone, everything, in a couple of ways, especially this one guy hiding in a house drinking tea." Sure, the murder spree goal is dressed up with "exciting" mission titles like "Punish the Evil Merchant," "Assassination of Vassal," "Kill the Greedy Merchant" but even that is ruined with unimaginative titles (I'm thinking particularly of "Expose the False Landlady").

Why everyone you assassinate really deserves death is beyond me, but apparently ninja assassins are easily convinced to murder.

Ninja Warps: This fact especially obvious during multiplayer games, where you get to play the same tired collection of maps as you did in the single player campaign... except this time, you have friends that steal your kills or go Rambo and get noticed by enemies. Another annoying issue with the Co-op ninja action is the fact that the game suffers massive levels of outrageous lag.

Your fellow ninjas warp around the level like they move at supernatural speed, and you have no chance of catching up, and on their end, you're doing the same. Plus, voice chat is also affected by this unacceptable lag, and some of the missions we participated in featured our ninja buds' comments coming through in periodic fits of snips and silence.

Rent vs. Buy: Despite all of the horrible things about this game, it is still the best in the series since the first game on the original PS, but that's not saying much since the series has always been ninja-crap.

That's all this game is; ninja-crap that only hardcore fans of could even tolerate. The vast majority of the public is going to stay away from this game, but if you're able to suffer through repetitive gameplay, canned animations, laggy multiplayer, and an overall bad experience, then by all means get it.

Report Card

That's all this game is; ninja-crap that only hardcore fans of could even tolerate. The vast majority of the public is going to stay away from this game, but if you're able to suffer through repetitive gameplay, canned animations, laggy multiplayer, and an overall bad experience, then by all means get it. (Krakrabbit.com)


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