Tenchu: Shadow Assassins

Common Sense Media says

Graphic ninja action delivers -- but only for adult gamers.

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Gamers will play as both a male and female fighter. One female has large breasts and a low-cut top.

Violence

This ninja fighting game can be quite graphic, including the ability to snap necks of unsuspecting enemies, slicing and dicing them with your katana (using the Wii remote for extra authenticity), and plenty of blood from fallen enemies. Many of the close-up kills are quite vivid and some are shown in slow motion. Players will also see swords going into bodies and drownings.

Sex

A woman is depicted with very large breasts and is wearing a low-cut shirt. At one point the camera zooms in to reveal a sexy tattoo on her chest area.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether the Wii controls give gamers more of a virtual thrill when "killing" enemies because one does the motions using both hands, or if this doesn't have an effect on the player.

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo Wii
Price:$49.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:UbiSoft
Release date:February 10, 2009
Genre:Action/Adventure
ESRB rating:M for Blood, Suggestive Themes, Violence (Nintendo Wii)

This review of Tenchu: Shadow Assassins was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 14 years old Written byclaymore August 9, 2009
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

13 and up

only for sensible kids
Parent of a 13 year old Written byNancy Jones January 4, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

fine for mature tweens, but only if 12 and up

I got this for my 11 year old and found it was too violent I waited a year and found at that age they could handle the violence. This game is fine for anyone 12 and up.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written bywyvern986 December 4, 2009
AGE
14
QUALITY
 
A great game for anyone who is interested in ninjas. Definitely for the more mature young to mid teen because of the fact that there are different ways to kill your enemies (but hey, ninjas were assassins). I actually feel that Rikimaru, the main character, is a good role model - if you respect the silent and powerful type.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Poll

What are the different ways that you access Common Sense Media ratings and information? (Check all that apply)

Essential Apps Guide