Excerpt: Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven is the third incarnation of the stealth series and features the return of Lord Gohda’s assassins Rikimaru and Ayame. There is also the appearance of the thinly veiled third character (I mean, you can see him in the background of the character select screen as soon as you fire up the game, it doesn’t get more obvious than that).
Excerpt: The Tenchu series may not contain the best stealth ever devised, but it's certainly near the top. When the first game debuted in 1998, I was blown away by its sneaky gameplay, the freedom to roam rooftops, and bloody assassinations. (Incidentally, it was the first stealth game on consoles, though totally overshadowed by Metal Gear Solid one month later.
Excerpt: Back in '98 there was what could only be described as a "stealth boom." Three games came out that year that, apparently by coincidence, all featured sneaking as their main gameplay and subsequently ushered in the age of stealth gaming. Metal Gear Solid , with its military espionage theme and arcade-style gameplay, is probably the most famous of the bunch. Thief: The Dark Project , with its eccentric steam-punk aesthetic and meticulous level design, is probably the least.
Conclusion: You’re weapon and item selection is very comprehensive as well, providing all the useful tools a ninja could need with more becoming available as the game progresses. Players have access to smoke bombs, mines, and shuriken, among other offensive weapons, as well as a number of items to affect your character’s health from healing potions, to poison antidotes, to items that augment your strength. Players can also pick up weapons from fallen enemies to use.
Excerpt: In 1998, Activision released Tenchu: Stealth Assassins, a title which helped usher in the current covert action gaming craze and revolutionized the video game ninja in a number of ways. It introduced two heroes, the reserved Rikimaru and the effusive Ayame. Members of the honorable Azuma ninja clan, the shadowy duo performed a number of tasks, including assassinations on evil or corrupt men across the countryside.
Excerpt: I guess it is time I confessed: I am a stealth junkie. Some people dig sports games, some people love shooters, but not me. I get down by jumping out of the shadows and snapping necks. The sub genre of stealth action has really taken off in the past 5 years, with hit titles like Metal Gear Solid and Thief getting a lot of praise and attention. However, there is another franchise that has been lurking in the shadows since 1998.
Excerpt: The game tells the story of two ninjas of the Azuma clan: Rikimaru and Ayame. The Azuma are a mystical sect devoted to the virtuous Lord Gohda and visiting heavenly retribution on his enemies. Rikimaru, presumed dead at the end of the first Tenchu , has returned to help his kunoichi compatriot, Ayame, foil the plans of Tenrai, an evil warlord.
Conclusion: The thrill of the hunt in Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven can be quite thrilling indeed. The characters have different stealth kill moves depending on whether they catch the opponent from behind, from the side, from the front, from above, and more, and all these motion-captured animations look really good.
Conclusion: Plus it's got ninjas and a really, really funny card game gag. While it is not the next resurrection of Jubei Kepagami and Co, it is a solidly enjoyable 3rd person slasher with much going for it and just a couple of little faults that keep it from rising to the heights of perfection.
Conclusion: Tenchu 3 is most certainly not for kids. The sound effect enhance the gruesome, neck-snapping action, while a dark feel infuses the whole game. And while veteran players will have some advantages when playing, newcomers to the series shouldn't be put off. Tenchu 3 doesn't revolutionise the stealth genre, but instead refines it and nudges it a little forward. If the thought of being a sneaky, tooled-up ninja is appealing, then Tenchu 3 should fit the bill.