Customer Reviews: Tenchu: Fatal Shadows
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4.3 out of 5 stars20
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on March 12, 2005
People have been waiting for the next major Tenchu game since Wrath of Heaven. And it seems that Activision had left it in the hands on Sega to continue the series. Since Sega's line of game never let me down before, I was certain this game would rock!

Once I got my copy(and the awesome T-shirt) I was hooked! Even though the game takes place before Wrath of Heaven, it still reeled me in! Straying away from the supernatural evils of Tenrai and crew, and before Rikimaru made his return to the world of slice and dice, we have Ayame and a new character named Rin.

Ayame is still the same butt kicking chick as always, and still has some memorable one liners in her disposal And the new character Rin is one spunky ninja! And she's more physical than Ayame with her claw knuckles! Awesome! She even causes more damage on the enemy than Ayame OoO Amazing! And here I thought she would cause less damage than Ayame, or even Rikimaru for that matter.

The game still has the same old style of the previous Tenchu games, so veterans like myself should have no problem with it. Like other reviewers, I gotta agree that non-fans should keep away as that camera will get them frustrated. Plus the combat takes patience and timing to pull off. The stealth kills(like always) are a test of patience and timing, and the kills are awesome in this game. You can even see the skull shatter through a x-ray screen during certain stealth kills!

The A.I. sadly hasen't changed, the enemies are still dumb as ever to realize you're still around, even though you've been spotted over 4 times and you ran around the corner to hide. However, I gotta say the enemies are alot more aggressive this time around. Whenever they have you trapped in a corner, you barely can escape! Previous Tenchu games, the enemy or enemies would wait till you get up and ready to keep going. Avoid gang ups this time! You'll be done for!

What I also like about the game is that you can learn new techniques from picking up various scrolls from stealth kills. I like that, since you'll get rewarded for steath killing, fans will do more stealth killing instead of foolishly saying "screw this" and getting up close and personal. Gotta agree, we all get tired of getting THUG as a ranking.

The voices are good, Ayame and Rin sound convincing. But I miss the cheesy voice acting of WOH. I miss hearing enemies say funny stuff when they die like "My life....I see it passing by UGHHHH" or "I shall be another form! Ughhhh" LOL But this game has new wimpier voices for the guards, and sexy deep tone Geishas who pack a serious punch.

All in all, this game rocks! It's missing the fun multiplayer missions of WOH, and another hilarious assassion of Echigoya(just kidding) but the story and crazy ninja action makes up for it! I recommended this game, for any hardcore Tenchu fan.

Instead of dishonoring the series, Sega has defined it. Way to go Sega!
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on February 22, 2005
If you are fan of the series then it's worth buying.
If you have never played the series before, play the original Tenchu for PS1 before playing any of the others in the series. If you are however considering THIS game and have never played the series before, play Tenchu Wrath of Heaven which should be at great discount now.

- Game still gets adrenaline going.
- Fans of Tenchu series will like this as an add-on for the series.
- Story appears to be told from 2 points of view like in the film Rashomon.
- In easy level, if you die you can continue immediately where you left off.
- AI does appear slightly improved. E.g. In a botched stealth kill I landed in front of the enemy and got my throat slit and died instantly. Bosses appear to be more difficult too. You can't simply stand and block indefinitely anymore, they have special moves to counter blocks.
- I played this game initially in the most difficult level thinking it would be a breeze after having played all the other Tenchus. Nope. Had to go back down to Easy level to survive.

- Non fans will find this game dated- especially having played Metal Gear Solid and Splinter Cell. Just remember that the original Tenchu came out roughly at the same time as Metal Gear so it is one of the pioneers in the field- which is why it has such a strong, but niche, following.
- Camera is still as difficult as previous Tenchus- but fans will have no problems. Non fans will probably want to throw their controller at the screen.
- Models of characters seem rather chunky even for PS2.
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on February 27, 2005
This is for fans, me being one of them I love it. The producers did one thing right that the others failed to mention. This game is harder than the rest. {Cept maby 2} Definately harder than WOH at least, before the demon,spirit junk that appeared later in that game. I was overjoyed when I finished the first stage with a novice title. {I always got grandmaster in WOH} Therefore I was compelled to show this game who's boss. {Since they obviously have no idea who their dealing with} Its been awhile since I've had competition in games, I'm glad its come back in this last Tenchu entry.
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on December 9, 2005
I've been a fan of the Tenchu franchise ever since that fateful day in 2000 when I randomly picked a game from the local video rental store. That game was Tenchu.

Tenchu has been a favorite, because while it is a violent game, it differs from most games in that if you happen to be doing a lot of fighting in this game--you're doing it wrong, to put it simply. Stealth is the order of the day, and it can be very satisfying to make a rank of Grand Master without a drop of blood spilt. This latest version is, as most of my fellow reviewers have pointed out, more of the same, so if you like it, you'll like it, and if you don't, you won't. Clear enough?

The MAIN difference between this and the three before it is that they kicked up the difficulty several notches, as Emeril might say if he played ninja video games. I was used to playing earlier versions on the difficult setting, without much, well, difficulty. Not here, brave soul, not here. The normal level is quite a challenge, and was fairly frustrating at times. I couldn't even finish the final Boss without switching it over to Easy. Then I went back and started playing the game on Easy, and what a joy in comparison. So, my advice to you, reader, is to put that ego in your back pocket and play it Easy. You will thank me.
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on February 26, 2005
If you're a fan of the Tenchu series, I'd definitely recommend getting this title. If you liked "Wrath of Heaven", but were a little turned off by the cheesy supernatural elements of the plot (i.e. the emphasis on demons and spirits and whatnot), you'll be pleased to find that in the latest installment of Tenchu, there's a return to the more wholesome, traditional ninja stories involving revenge, justice, and a whole lot of sneaky throat slitting.

Unfortunately, the male half of the series has decided to sit this one out, due to being lost during a mission in a rock slide, and so it is his female cohort, Ayame, who takes center stage here. Of course, she was always my personal favorite, so I'm not too perturbed by the loss. Still, it is saddening to be playing a Tenchu title where Rikimaru is nowhere to be seen (don't worry; play "Wrath of Heaven", which is supposed to take place after "Fatal Shadows", to see what became of our favorite white-haired shinobi).

Taking his place is a spunky, Peter Pan-esque kunoichi (female ninja) by the name of Rin, whose story is intertwined with that of Ayame's in a complex and interesting fashion. She's a new addition to the series, and instead of fighting with blades 100% of the time like Rikimaru and Ayame, Rin seems to prefer unarmed hand-to-hand combat, only stopping to unsheath a sword she carries on her back when she most needs it. I was pleased that her character design seemed down to earth and didn't feature super-skimpy "ninja gear". Hey, this lady has a job to do, looking hot isn't a prerogative. I like it when games are realistic when it comes to women...

The game itself is set up cleverly to mirror the dark, strangely gothic images from master director Akira Kurosawa's old samurai films, and some more up to date fighting anime. The game is arranged in a decidedly cinematic format, which delighted me, personally, but I would also understand if other players might be turned off by the involuntary toggling between characters. For the story to advance, you're not given any other choice but to play one level as Ayame, and the next as Rin, and so on and so forth. There are some exceptions, and sometimes you get to play as one character in two chronological levels, but they're few and far between.

One of the latest benefits to the Tenchu series is that this game actually gives you the option to play the game with the original Japanese voice acting! It really adds a level of atmosphere absent in the titles that came before it. Hearing mangled Southern or "all-purpose-Asian-sounding" accents coming out of villagers and random guards just seemed to take a certain something out of games that were set in feudal Japan...

All in all, if you're a fan of the series, you should find some fun tidbits in this one, and be proud to place it among your collection. If you're new to the Tenchu universe, try checking out the original on Playstation or "Wrath of Heaven" on the PS2 to get a feel for the characters. This one seems to have been made for the more seasoned veterans who are looking for a different story this time around.
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on November 5, 2013
Stands among many underrated jewels that haven't received their acknowledgement, Tenchu take that line to lead. A beautiful Spin off of the main series that depict the story of Ayane following the event of Tenchu 1, and it introduces us to a new female heroine, Rin. Concerning the game mechanics, nothing is less than great. The story is very dedicated to the true fans, and I stand accused of loving this game so much. I wish I could go longer to express my fondness of this game, but I will let the game speaks for itself.

Having this game from mx_123 with a good price really made my day. I highly recommend mx_123, for they stand up to their services, and for the amazing prices they provide. Do yourself a favor and favor their page in your browser.

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on June 28, 2005
While many expected this new Tenchu to keep up with the compitition by re-inventing itself this is not the case. This Tenchu mearly offers long time fans what they have come to expect from the series. (slightly) Better graphics, new levels and new stealth kills with a new move or two thrown in for good measure. Simply put, the game plays exactly like it's 1998 original, which both hurts and helps this title. It offers fans what they have been loving about the series for the past 7 years, but also keeps all of the trademark Tenchu flaws (enemy AI problems, troublesome camera, unforgiving design, etc.)It is rather bizzare to see that this, a Tenchu game being released at the end of PS2's life cycle, contains the exact same flaws as the Tenchu game released at the begining of the PS1's life cycle...But still the game offers some great fun and more replay value than ever before, and in short is exactly what many tenchu fans were expecting (and have been recieving in the last 3 games) To new comers to the Tenchu realm, something you need to understand is that while the game is very enjoyable, It is not as polished nor does it contain the complexities of other stealth games on the market. In fact this game feels rather old fashioned when compared to more "modern" stealth games. Also, I wouldn't recomend this exact title if you are a Tenchu newcomer. If at all possible, I would recomend tracking down the original for PS1, simply for story purposes, and to whitness how the series got it's start. In closing, this game offers a lot more of what players found in Wrath of Heaven/ Return From Darkness, and while it is still enjoyable, it does little to push the series along.
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on April 2, 2005
As a big fan of the Tenchu series, I'm very pleased with the game. It's much more difficult than the previous games, which makes it more challenging to some, but might be frustrating to others. But it's still a lot of fun to anyone who enjoys role playing games and the creators have added some nice new features since the last Tenchu game (Wrath of Heaven).

The storyline and the music are great, although I feel that the graphics have taken a step back since Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven.

For those who have played Tenchu in the past, I'd wholly recommend this game, they won't be disappointed. But for newcomers to the Tenchu series, they might be more drawn to Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven, because it's easier and more user-friendly. Hope this review helps!
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on July 18, 2012
i super love this game although this tenchu is more likely for girls coz you'll play Ayame and Rin here. i felt kinda sad playing this part because i keep looking for Rikimaru but he's not here :( but all and all, this game was a lot of fun. i actually played this game three times. :)) worth it
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on September 10, 2005
I got my copy, get yours! This game seemed to reach out to the ladies a little bit. The story plot is, a lot like a soap opera, better than past versions of the series. There's replay value to unlock many features in the game. I terribly dissagree to some of the critic posts earlier. Consumers complain about lack of implovement while comparing every titles to masterpieces. If you're looking for a better Metal Gear in every stealth game, there will ONLY be disappointment. There is no limit to a consumer's satisfaction. That's why we are called CONSUMErs. Not comparing this title to any other, it's as addictive as winning your first game of solitare. Funfactor weighes the most.
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