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Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven is a mission-based stealth game for the PLaystation 2 - the third in the series of games, which started in 1998. The game features the same two assassins you could play as in the first games: the silent and deadly Rikimaru, or the young Ayama.
The story carries on from the series and focuses mostly on Rikimaru's return, and a battle for power around three Jewels of Power. You can play through the game as either character and each character has their own route in the games and play the game to achieve slightly different goals. This gives the game good replayability as you can redo the entire game all the while being given an entirely different story. There is also a third character which can be unlocked afterwards, which again gives you another route and another way to play the game.
You are given a selection of weapons to choose from to bring with you before each level. As the levels progress you acquire more and more of these (although the amount which you are allowed to carry on you doesn't change, meaning you have to choose wisely which weapons you can use best). You are given a range of distractions for the enemy (rice cakes for example), deadly weapons like poison darts and ninja stars, and evasion weapons like smoke bombs, to make escape easier.
The aim of the game is to sneak around and take down people in the most skilled assassin way possible. In this way it resembles a lot a Metal Gear Solid game, although considerably less complicated and with a plot much, much easier to follow. Stealth kills are encouraged, and you are rewarded more for doing it that way, too.
Graphically, I have to say that by now it's certainly dated. While they were pretty good at the time, I remember thinking to myself at the time that the textures and backgrounds were altogether too flat, the characters not nearly as dynamic enough and there were some issues between shadowed areas which would have made the game a lot more fun. As well as that, the limited graphics and the less than brilliant intelligence of the guards do make the game a bit less fun. While the guards in Metal Gear seemed to be aware of everything, the ones in this kind of seem oblivious to anything that happens around them. They find a friend dead and sort of brush it off a second later as if nothing's wrong. Nonetheless, the game is incredibly fun to play. There are a lot of pretty challenging moments and it remains pretty good in terms of story and atmosphere. The cinmatics and bosses are all very decent, as well. It really is a shame that it just seems a bit rushed sometimes. After all, the basic gameplay - the running around, sneaking around aspect of the game is great fun - and has been adapted into countless other games, like Assassin's Creed (which was, I have to say, a lot, lot better). The game also features a multiplayer option which means you can face off against your friends (for a better opponent), or as tag-teams with a certain mission in mind.
This is a review on the third game in the series, a great stealth assassin game, know as Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven. This is a bit like Metal Gear Solid some of you may think, but it is set in feudal times, and you are assassins trying to gain honour / revenge and kill all of your foes.
This is the first Tenchu game that is on the Playstation 2. The aim of the game is to kill as many as you can without being detected. There are a few modes you can do, there is the Story Mode, Versus Mode, Co-Op Mode, each of them are all worth doing, and great fun. There are loads of characters for you to unlock, and lots of unlockables and much fun is to be gained from playing this game. When you play in any of the modes, and a person sees you, there is a circle in the bottom left of the screen that will go to a yellow exclamation mark, and he will start to walk closer to you, so when this happens, jump out of the way so he thinks he is going crazy.
Story Mode is you picking one of three characters (one is locked), and going through their story, having fun slashing enemies with cool stealth manoeuvres and kick ass storylines that will make your mind blow. Each character has their own single storyline that may intertwine with each others, and end up doing the same mission but with different characters, and having to do different objectives. Story mode is the place you play to unlock other stuff like characters to play in versus mode and that. You pick so many items before you do you mission, which can really assist you out when you really need it, like health bottles, which will heal your health, and throwing knives to kill your enemies from a distance. The story is very long, and will keep you having fun for ages. Keep up the stealth kills, and you will get a bonus at the end of the mission.
Versus Mode allows you to fight a friend to the death, with the characters that you have unlocked from doing story mode, there are lots of characters for you to play with, with their own unique moves. You won't be able to do stealth moves in this, so you will have to fight the old fashioned way, a battle to the death. The environments on the Versus Mode is great also, you get to run across roof-tops, and hide behind rocks so you opponent can't see you, but you spring up right behind them and kill them fast and sweet.
Co-operative Mode is great fun with a friend, as you will have a bunch of separate missions that are unique and different from each other, each of them will have different objectives, but watch out, you can still hurt each other, so stay away from each other. One of the Co-Op missions is about collecting these items that are hidden in this village / enemy ninja's are holding, so you will have to kill the ninja's silently and stealth like so you can kill them without alerting his ninja buddies. It is harder to kill the enemy when they are fighting back, so if you kill them all stealth like and sneaky, then you will have no trouble, but sometimes you can't always do it that way.
I recommend if you are new to this game, to do this first, as it is a tutorial for the game, so you will be able to get use to the controls, but moving around, attacking enemies, using items and lots of things. It is good for training, so you will be prepared to do missions and become a true ninja of the shadows. You will not be able to do two player tutorials, as that just seamed a bit stupid, yet it could be really good. This is the best place to go if you need to sharpen up on your tactics, or practice for an upcoming mission.
There are two main characters to this game that are playable in story and two player mode. Each character has their own storyline, and uses their own special unique weapon to make them the ultimate fighting assassin.
Sex - Male
Age - 26
Preferred Weapon - Sword
Info - Rikimaru is the leader of the Azuma Shinobi-ryu ninja sect. His patience, thoroughness and bravery have proven himself worthy of the Izayoi sword by the sect's master Shiunsai. Rikimaru is this cool ninja, that maybe a bit slow, but is excellently skilled in the art of combat and will kill anyone that stands in his way. You should fear if he is near you, as he may well get you when you least expect it, nothing will stop you from the fate of Rikimaru's wrath.
Sex - Female
Age - 22
Preferred Weapon - Twin Daggers
Info - Ayame is bold, yet quick, silent yet cunning; she has been trained from a young age of 14 in the art of combat and become a ninja. Ayame is very fast and does not let anyone get in her way, neither friend nor foe. She is good with weapons, and fears nothing; she becomes friends with Rikimaru, but still has their own path to follow. You may notice Ayame in the newer Tenchu games also, like Tenchu Fatal Shadows, and she kicks just as much ass in that as she does in this one, may be worth a purchase.
There are many missions for you to do with your characters, and normally at the end of each there is some sort of boss that you will have to face and hopefully defeat. Now as some of you may like going in all action and killing everyone as they come, well this game is a little different, you want to focus more on stealth then strength. Once you have done a mission, you will go to the next one, but before that you will get a mission intro, which will be telling you what you are up against, and sometimes you will get a cut-scene. Once done a mission, layout 2 will open up to you for the same mission, there are 3 layouts per mission, and you have to do layout 1 to unlock layout 2, then do layout 2 to unlock layout 3 etc, each layout will have more objectives for you to do during the mission, so you may have more fun doing it if you liked that mission first.
You will encounter lots of different environments along your travels, and lots of new reasons to fight the enemy. You will be sneaking around villages, mansions, swamps, graveyards and all sorts. All good advantage points for you to get some decent stealth attacks. At the end of each mission, you will get points; you will get points for how many stealth attacks you did, points for how many people you killed, points for items you picked up, and points for how long it took you to do the mission. Also you will get a final ranking, which will make, or break you. Just try not to get thug, as then you know you are not doing well.
On the mission screen, you will be able to level select on the missions that you have previously done, and re do them if you wish to, if you found the mission great fun. You can mover around on the mission screen by using the directional pad and click the X button to go onto the mission, when you are highlighted over a mission's layout, it will give you a little bit of information about the mission and the area. It may be wise to read that before you go diving into your own doom.
You have the chance to pick 20 items at the beginning of each mission, you will only start off with only so many items to pick from, and if you use them, you wont have them the next time you want items, so choose what you need wisely, and only use them if needed too. You can get new items, or stock up on old ones during missions, as guards sometimes drop items when they are slain, so you will pick that up, at the beginning few missions you wont find many new items, but later on, all you will find are new ones which can be really annoying as you will want to stock up, so don't use your items willy-nilly now, yet it is always worth taking items as you never know when you may need them.
Advanced Ninja Techniques
A true ninja is one that will never be seen, not even heard, and takes out enemies swiftly with no struggle, this game allows you to do that, and much more. You are able to do somersault to dodge your enemies if you get seen, or to take advantage of your enemies. You can move while crouching to get into those small gaps that you would not normally be able to fit in. You will be able to slide against nearby walls so that you will be less likely seen, and be able to see around corners without getting caught.
Use your grappling hook to get to higher places that you will not be able to reach by jumping, so you can take out your enemy from the air. Also it is wise to be patient, and wait for your enemy to enter the shadows, and kill him silently and wont be able to get caught. There are some problems though, enemies will be warned if they see a dead body, and as you can't pick up dead bodies in this game, you will have to kill everyone in the area or kill the enemies in the shadows so they don't notice.
I found this game very enjoyable, have had lots of fun with being to kill people from the shadows, the stealth and sneakiness to this game is brilliant, and is a long game and is fun with two player also. This game is very playable, it is great fun with two people or even on your own, and the story will keep you hooked for ages on end. I found this game quite addictive, the story kept me wanting to play it more, and the two player modes are just really addictive, only if you have a friend or a second person to play it with of course.
The game is pretty original, it has grown well in the series and it probably one of my favourite ones from the series, the first one was good, the second was a bit of a disappointment (they were both on the Playstation one) and this, and the third one has proven that it is not loosing its style. It has original characters, original storyline and original stealth manoeuvres, so you will feel all new to this game, and you will like the new and improved form of the Tenchu series.
The graphics are not bad, it is a bit pixily at some places during the game, but most of it is pretty good, and the cut-scenes have great graphics, and the fights are awesome and the environments are magnificent and lovely to roam around. But don't get too cocky, because you don't know whom may be around the corner. The background music to this game is all oriental like, and is soothing, and does set the mood, makes the game much better when something is matching the game, makes the game seam quite epic.
The sound effects are good, with the slashing, and the footsteps, and the breathing of the humans, it is very realistic, and shows a lot of emotion in the game. The voices are in English which is good, so you won't need to read crappy subtitles, you can hear it properly which is a big advantage to this game as most games are in original Japanese speaking which does annoy me sometimes. The game is pretty difficult, especially is you are new to the game, so practice in tutorial mode before you venture to the real thing, so you know what your doing. Watch out for the bosses, they are surprisingly hard, but it is still great fun.
This game is great value, and is really worth getting, shamefully it is only on the Playstation 2, so fans that have an XBOX, you will not be able to get this, even though there is an internet version of this game called Tenchu Return From Darkness, which is the same thing but on the internet, which looks really cool, so maybe that may interest the XBOX Live fans. I give this game 3 star * * *, as it is a good game, but I have just played better out there, and it is getting quite old now. This game is rated 15, because of violence, so if you are under that age, ask your parents before purchasing this game. You will be able to get this game cheap at Play.com for £9.99 if you are interested in purchasing this game, if you have a Playstation 2; this is a good one to get for your collection.
THIS GAME IS
Similar to Metal Gear Solid
THIS GAME IS NOT
A Dust Collector
Thanks for Reading, I hope that this review is useful to you, and I am looking forward to any comments that you may leave. Thanks!