Tenchu 3: Wrath of Heaven Review (PS2)

To light a candle is to cast a shadow. - Rikimaru

A Lot of New Moves
Unlike the previous installments, a number of special moves can be unlocked in Tenchu 3 - like clinging on the ceiling, faking death and mind control. You gradually obtain them as you stealth kill more enemies. These new things under your arsenal enrich the overall ninja experience and give room for creativity in your kills. Naturally, the graphics has also improved compared to its predecessors in the earlier console. Edges are sharper and the character features are well defined. Levels are huge, the puzzles extra-challenging.

Unpleasant Changes
A major bummer is that now you have a say on the enemy layout. At the start of every stage, you get to choose the initial foe positions used on the setting. If you have played a certain setup a couple of times, you can pretty much jump from the roof and net a kill without even looking. In addition, why can't you drag bodies anymore? This prevented you from alarming other enemies with the bodies of slain ones. It had been a good and realistic feature of Tenchu 2.

Same Moronic AI
The AI still has the same old flawed logic - the thugs don't look up - so you could be hovering above them by just a few feet and they won't see you. The morons also easily give up a chase, even if you are clearly still in their line of sight. Sometimes they actually fall off a cliff on their own because of sheer stupidity.

If you're going to play Tenchu 3 expecting to see something revolutionary, think twice. Nevertheless, if you'll play the game just for the love of the series, then go on. The classic Tenchu we all loved remains there. People expect a lot from a game's first installment into a more powerful console, but the developers have failed to maximize the better hardware. This title was supposed to be the candle that will cast a shadow on its predecessors. But poof! The wind blew it out.

Rating: 7.0 - Satisfactory

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