Guest Author - Lis aShea
Tenchu - Fatal Shadows PS2 is a stealth ninja game from a classic series. At one time the graphics in this game were stellar - but they appear quite dated now.
You get to play a male or female character - something I always appreciate greatly - as you are roaming through a feudal Japan landscape. You primarily sneak up on characters and slash their throats. If you prefer the more frontal assault technique, you jump into the midst of your enemies, blades whirling, and cut them into little pieces.
You get a variety of ninja tools - grappling hooks to vault onto roofs, gas grenades to confuse your enemies. You move through lovely landscapes with running waterfalls, delicate gardens, shadowed pathways.
The sounds give you gentle Japanese flutes and music, really immersing you in the scene. There are times I'd rather it was just SILENT though, since I'm supposedly on a stealth mission and listening for every tiny noise.
I generally love stealth games, and I adore feudal Japan. I've enjoyed many other games of this style. However, Fatal Shadows is just FAR too shadowy. There were many times in here that I had no idea where to go next, and it's because a tunnel was hidden by shadows, or a room was hidden by shadows. Your eyes should adjust to the dark. You should be able to see where you're going.
Also, the camera drives me completely insane. It's never quite where I want it to be.
I highly admire the Tenchu series for all it's done in a variety of ways. It helped elevate stealth gaming. It brought an appreciation for the ninja style and for feudal Japan backgrounds. All of that being said, though, I think there are now many games which have surpassed it and which are more fun to play.
Rating: 3/5 as a game to play in modern times
Buy Tenchu - Fatal Shadows PS2 from Amazon.com