A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this "Mature"-rated title lets gamers play as a deadly ninja, with access to nearly 20 weapons and hand-to-hand moves, too (including the ability to snap a bad guy's neck). Plus these killing moves are made with the Wii, so you feel like you are actually doing the motions. It is not for minors, nor should children watch this game. We've seen much worse in video games but the close-combat kills are quite graphic and seem realistic.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Nintendo Wii owners who've had their fill of cute cartoon racers and exercise games might be ready to slice and dice in a deadly ninja adventure. Players age 17 and older can master lethal ninja skills in \"TENCHU: SHADOW ASSASSINS, a new game in the coveted franchise but with a faithful look and feel to the original PlayStation hit. It doesn't matter if you're unfamiliar with this Japanese series, but this new quest continues the saga of two skilled ninjas -- the strong Rikimaru, head of the Azuma clan, and the acrobatic and beautiful Ayame -- who together must keep the peace in feudal Japan by relying on their stealth, cunning, and precision. The story tells of kidnapping, war, and abusive power, but we'll let you unravel the tale and characters for yourself as you move through Lord Goda's kingdom.
During the 10-mission single-player campaign, game-play is more or less divided into exploration and combat. With the former, players must stealthily move about and remain undetected by blending into the shadows and using the environment as camouflage. Players will learn how to hide behind walls, moves items (such as boxes) around a room to reach higher ground, hang on ledges, and extinguish candles to evade an enemy's sight by blowing water through bamboo shoots.
Is it any good?
If you can get past some camera issues, "clipping" problems (where your character might lose half his or her body in a wall or item) and no multiplayer modes, this game delivers the goods -- but not for the faint of heart. You can take out unsuspecting enemies one by one with your trusty sword (by mastering various offensive and defensive moves with the "katana"), tossing throwing stars ("shuriken") from across the room, or lobbing a small bomb, called "Ghostmakers." Players will gain access to nearly 20 historical weapons and other items. Kudos to the developers at Acquire, who worked on the original Tenchu, for integrating the Wii's wireless and motion-sensing controls so effectively. But some parents might feel it's too realistic.
Along with the 10 main missions -- which you can replay at anytime to increase your rank -- you'll also be able to unlock a few dozen extra assignments, training exercises, and side-quests, all of which are available from the main menu. If stealthy ninja action sounds appealing to you then don't hesitate to take a stab at the gratifying Tenchu: Shadow Assassins.
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