Tenchu: Z

2008-12-07 21:54:08

Tenchu: Z (Xbox360)

Tenchu Z is a Ninja game, the latest in a line of Tenchu games, most of which have been seen on the Playstation. I fully expected a Feudal Japan equivelant of Splinter Cell, sneaking around assassinating Daimyo's, stealing gold from fat corrupt politicians and giving it back to the people, you know Ninja Stuff. I had heard in reviews that the Tenchu series was a very serious Ninja Simulator. That's why I have to ask why then is Tenchu Z the Video Game equivelant to Naruto!?

Defining Ninja by Princeton online dictionary: a member of the ninja who were trained in martial arts and hired for espionage or sabotage or assassinations; a person skilled in ninjutsu. Where in this definition does it say "stealth butcher of armies of men"? I'm a Ninja, so I should be rewarded as one.

They start you off in a training exercise to teach you how to manuever cling to walls, silently kill and use a variety of ninja tools. However you are expected to stealth kill everyone you see. Not only is there no real option to merely render someone unconcious for a long duration, but you are rewarded with points and gold for every kill you make. Perhaps I was taking this game too seriously but I got very pissed off at the idea that I'm rewarded for "stealth kills" deducted for regular kills, and only given a pittance of points for being undetected and unharmed.

Take for instance the 3rd active mission in the game, I have to collect 10 explosive devices planted around a small Japanese village. The first time I kind of fucked it up so I got a Ninja 1 ranking, and 0 points because I caused too many regular kills and not enough stealth kills. So I decide to bust out my Splinter Cell awareness skills, and I managed to collect all 10 devices without raising a single second of notice, and without being injured at all. At the end of the mission I get yet another Ninja 1 Ranking(the rankings go from Ninja 1 to Ninja 9 with 9 being the highest possible score) and I only get 300 points because I only got 150 for being un-noticed and another 150 for being un-injured.

This of course prompts me to play the game in more of an Anime Ninja style, like I'm fucking Chuck Norris Ninja God of the Round House Kick of Death!!!!, which results in me sneaking along and anytime I see someone I pause, watch their path they take and then jump them when no one can see and Jack my sword through their chest and ripping it out in such a fashion that you'd swear that the human body consists of bones, blood, and skin. After swimming in the blood of my enemy, completely soaking my ninja costume, I move on to the next enemy. Repeat until the end of time.

As soon as I switch Chucky Mode on I started noticing my Acheivements spike. If you look at the Tenchu Acheivements listings You start to see a very tired trend. This is a game that only gives you points enough to rank to Ninja 5 by killing brutally everyone except women and "innocents" whatever that is supposed to mean, I've never come across any in game. Any of the achievements that aren't Ninja 5 rank related are either related to killing(in order to reach ninja rank 5) or completing missions. No special move use related achievements no achievements for doing anything truly awesome, just more of the same vanilla Ninja Butcher style gameplay.

One big reason this pisses me off is because it seems that any game out there that features Ninja's can only portray them as super duper Anime Style Ninja Scrolls bullshit, none of the cool crossing a river using boxes attached to their feet, or using Bear Claw hand grips to climb walls, or poisons and shrapnel to blind enemies as they stealthfully infiltrate a Daimyo's stronghold. You have either Ninja Gaiden(which is a good game for what it is, as a terrible anal rapingly difficult adventure game) or Tenchu, and neither of them can be called a stealther, granted Tenchu is Stealthier, but it's still very Anime and HURR NINJA'S R UBER mentality. Why can't we have a ninja game styled like Thief Dark Project, Hitman, or Splinter Cell? all of them have true stealth and not needless killing of everyone in the entire building.

So I ask developers before they plant their fat asses on the production toilet to shit out another fucking "Ninja" game that involves gushing blood and butchering villages full of people. Think about the definition of Ninja, what Ninja's really were, and stop watching Ninja Scrolls and Naruto before coming into the board room going "I've got this really great idea for a Ninja Game Brah". Also for those of you who have been watching my gamertag, you'll realize that I gave this game back to the stockers at Gamefly before returning Two Worlds, the game is just that bad.

Reason Rank
Start 10
Stealth System that uses shadow and cover +5
Stealth? Ha that's just setup for the Slaughter -7
Less points for being perfectly stealth than killing a single person "stealthfully" -5
Acheivements that required no thought to make and no thought to achieve.




Yes a Game so banal, so lame, so fucking boring that not only could I not finish it, but I returned it before what is critically acclaimed as being the shittiest RPG on the market "Two Worlds" The only way this could get any worse would be if they put in some sort of shitty minigame where you have to collect opium plants from hidden parts of the map to make heroin to sell to the masses.