Argue all you want with me, but Tenchu: Shadow Assassins for PSX was an amazing game. Sure it had it’s flaws. Mostly camera controls, but to me it was on par with Metal Gear Solid. I had the Japanese version, then I got the American version which actually came with the bonus Ayame in a thong code (not pictured here or anywhere on the internet).
This was a game that required you to navigate a 3D environment in sandbox style levels armed with a grappling hook, a Katana (if you were Rikimaru), dual short Katanas (if you were Ayame), some ninja stars, and an assortment of handy ninja gear. The missions included but were not limited to assassinations, escorts, information retrieval, and infiltration.
Tenchu featured a fresh game concept. It had a meter that would tell you the status of the enemies and your proximity to them. If unaware of you it would show as a question mark followed by a number representing your distance from your target. If you were heard or seen, the question mark would then become an exclamation point — indicating that someone has been alerted of your presence, but was still not convinced that they had heard or seen anything. If they were to spot you in a close enough proximity that question mark would become a double exclamation point outlined in fire! This meant you had better get the hell out of there or whip out your weapon because you’re about to receive a Samurai style ass-whoopin.
The other big innovation that definitely was the hook for me, no not the grappling hook (although it was awesome), was the “Stealth Kill” system. You had a “Stealth Button” which actually made you duck down, stick to walls, and sneak around without making a sound. Once you got close enough to the enemy without being detected, you could initiate a “Stealth Kill”. In the first versions of Tenchu there were only about 1 or 2 animations that occurred when you did this, but each and every time you did would result in an instant kill and a grotesque scene with serious amounts of blood.
In later games they expanded the characters and the animations for the “Stealth Kills” utlimately leading to, in my opinion, the best of all the Tenchu games: “Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven” for PS2. It really is one of the most under appreciated games of all time. In that game you get to control a bone crunching strongman of an assassin Tesshu who instead of using a weapon in any traditional sense uses bone shattering punches and grapples.
All this isn’t for nothing sirs and ma’ams. I bring this up because of my new found love of 3D technology. I need a good Tenchu for my 3DS. The 3DS needs more Ninja, period. And not just a shitty “Tenchu: Dark Secret”-like game. An all new most amazing 3D version. Or if nothing else I could go for “Tenchu: Return from Darkness” which is actually a PSP port with new missions and weapons :D. Throw in some of the 3DS' bells and whistles and you have yourself a complete package.
Street Pass for trading custom maps or mini clan battles, Augmented Reality for a shuriken throwing mini game like that one old school ninja game, System Coins for unlocking new ninjitsu tools and stealth kill animations, online wifi for some co-op shadow murder missions, Assassin's Creed Brotherhood style cat and mouse game, and leader boards of course. So many possibilities.
I wouldn’t even bring this up if it had not already been announced that Acquire, the developer responsible for the original Tenchu, was working on a 3DS game. Sure it could be any number of games: “Way of the Samurai”, “What Did I Do To Deserve, This My Lord?”, or probably a “Class of Heroes” RPG. Still one does tend to have hope in times of darkness... and don’t kid yourself, these are times of darkness for the 3DS.
Anyway are there any other Tenchu lovers out there that also happen to have 3DS' or are soon to buy one?
What creative ways can you think of for the team to utilize some of 3DS' features with this awesome IP?
Thanks for reading