Tenchu Dark secret is a game were you take on the role of a ninja (Rikimaru or Ayame) and the ultimate goal in each mission is to get from one side of the level to another or locate a boss hidden throughout the level and whilst doing this you have to eliminate a number of enemies. More points are given for eliminating the enemies silently and without alerting other guards and it also makes life easier as you won't find yourself circled by three guards with spears.
I'm a big fan of the Tenchu games and played all of them on the playstation and xbox. There's something satisfying about those stealth games were you manage to get from one side of the level to the other by killing every patrolling guard on the way and not getting detected.
Unfortunately when the game was made on the Nintendo DS it lost a lot of its good qualities. In the normal Tenchu games when you kill an enemy it cuts to a short video sequence of how you do it depending on how you approach the enemy and were from. For example if you run up from behind an enemy it will ultimately lead to cutting there throat and if you jump in from behind an enemy it will lead to the sword being pushed through them. In this DS version you just strike the enemy and they fall with no mini cut scenes. It sounds somewhat sinister but I guess thats why they always had a higher age rating.
As far as Ninja games go these are usually the best. However on this one the graphics aren't great and due to the angle the put the camera at compared with the other games it really loses out on its gameplay. The camera is at an eagle eye view but looking down at a slightly diagonal angle. If you've played any of the other Tenchu games you'll know this would lead to disappointing gameplay which it does.
The Controls are much the same for this game as they were previously however you do lose some of the more 3D based items such as the grappling hook, throwing knives and blow darts. In my opinion these were the best items in the games. With this version you lose all of the 3D stealth aspects like climbing across rooftops and jumping down on the enemy below which takes a lot of fun out of the game.
In short, the DS version has sacrificed too many good features that the old games had and would therefore disappoint any fans of the Tenchu Series.
Let me start off by saying... I am a huge fan of Tenchu. I've had every release on the playstation since the original around ten years ago. They're a fantastical original concept that focuses on a ninja clan, traditionally ayame and rikimaru, who have to stealthily assasinate whoever your master tells you to.
They all mix a great combination of necessary stealth and cringingly brutal (and at the same time poetically beautiful) assasinations in cut scenes that send heads and rms flying all over the place.
Purely for the fact that it was a new tenchu i ran out and bought this game for the ds. to put it simply its just not the same. the missions are still fun(ish) and the stealth aspect isnt too bad. The biggest problem is that the screen just isnt big enough, it wasn't made to accomodate for tenchu's need for a big screen to perfectly display it's brutality. the assanation cut scenes are ruined on the small screen and it also makes it confusing sometimes as to where you are. considering you don't have a decent view of the area you often are left wondering where the hell you are.
The other thing that ruined it is the limited size the game can be being put on the ds. It meant not as many assanition techniques as before and nowhere near as many missions.
i truly hope noone plays this series for the first time in the ds because they'll most likely never touch it again and have missed out on a fantastic series