Customer Reviews: Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven
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on April 10, 2003
Using the same controls as Tenchu: Stealth Assassins (hurrah)!This is the best game Activision has come up with. This is a maximum recovery over Tenchu II. I really enjoy the ease of controls over the characters. Some games get overly complicated and it detracts from the enjoyment. I also was impressed by the variety in the missions. In previous Tenchu installments, each character played exactly the same missions. You play each mission and win different ratings, special items and new abilities. It has few drawbacks (load time and some awkward camera angles), but this is a mission based game and if you use your controller and special items correctly, all difficulties can easily be overcome. You have 3 characters to pick from. Each has his/her own special missions and each mission has 3 different layouts. The difference between layouts are that enemies are positioned in different arrangements and in different strengths. Favorite character: Tessu. Daytime doctor, nighttime assassin. For some unknown reason, Tessu's attacks include animated x-ray views. It really hurts to see an enemy's neck snap! Ouch! Hoping to see more of Tessu in future Tenchu games. Rikkimaru has 2 varying outcomes. They depend upon choices you make mid-game. Ayame is the most agile. Her assignments are a bit tougher, but she is definitely a capable character.
So, if you are into sneaking and you get a satisfying feeling from taking out aggressions against some more than deserving foes, THIS IS THE GAME TO GET!! I rate it as best mission based game ever.
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on March 14, 2003
I've long been a fan of the Tenchu series, and still occasionally pop one of the two PSOne games in my console. As good as those games were, though, Tenchu 3 beats them hands down. The graphics are much better, as you would expect. Controls are also much improved, largely due to the incorporation of analog control. Steal kills are still the mainstay of the game, and the cut scenes for them have been improved. I especially like Ayame's stealth kills.
At its core, Tenchu 3 is essentially the same game as its predecessors, and this is a good thing. The developers tweaked the controls and the AI, and worked on the graphics, but gameplay remains largely unchanged. One great improvement is the size of the levels. There are numerous ways, usually, to get to your final destination, and you can either opt for the quick and direct route, or sneak around and kill anything that moves.
I would only recommend this game for patient gamers. Not because it's very difficult to progress through the levels, but because it is difficult to get through them while still getting "Grand Master" ratings (at the end of each level you are ranked according to how good of a ninja you were -- the more stealth kills and the fewer times you are spotted, the higher your ranking), and doing so requires that you sneak, wait patiently while your enemy moves into position, and then go for a stealth kill. Each level has three layouts to play, each with enemies in placed in different positions. If you're like me, you'll want to play each level at each layout until you get the Grand Master ranking for each, making this a long and challenging game. And unlike most games, I have found that the Tenchu series still holds plenty of replay value, simply because sneaking around and stealth killing enemies is so much fun, whether you know the ending of the game or not.
My only quibble is that while the enemy AI is greatly improved, it is still a bit too easy. Guards who see a dead comrade will only search for a few seconds before going back to a normal patrol routine.
If you enjoyed the first two in this series, I probably don't have to tell you to buy this game -- you undoubtedly have it already. If you have never played them before, go out and buy Tenchu 3 now. You won't be sorry.
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on September 27, 2004
It seems if a game isn't absolutely perfect in every way, someone will find a knock on it. All the reviews I have read have something to say about the AI or the fight engine or something, and for people who haven't played the game, they might be turned off and never try it out. Well, I want to make sure that doesn't happen. Tenchu WOH is one of the jewels in my (admittedly small) library of games. Never mind the comparisons with the previous two titles, this game is just downright fun no matter how you slice it (no pun intended). The gameplay is unique (say what you want about Splinter Cell and Metal Gear Solid, none of them gave you the total mobility of a grapple hook), and the attention to the details of old Japanese culture is always a plus. The stealth aspect of this game is, of course, the key element and it is fun. If you're a fan of all-out fighting, then don't bother. You can pick fights with guards, but they are relatively simple, and not what the game is about. The real fun comes when you sneak around the shadows, looking out on unsuspecting enemies, leap out and deliver a quick and deadly blow, then quickly sink back into hiding. In order to set up these highly satisfying scenarios, however, you need to be patient. But it's worth it. Witness the fun of murdering one guard right behind another guy's back, then offing him when he turns around. Or, if you don't want to try that hard, just keep your distance and use your blow gun. The gameplay is unique, graphics are nice, the music sets up a nice ambiance for the game, and the small shortcomings such as camera angles and limited man-to-man fighting do not take away from the fun. A must-rent at the very least.
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on April 2, 2003
I have always been a fan of the Tenchu series, the first being a totally unique experience(Remember MGS 1 was released AFTER Tenchu 1)and was the first true 'Stealth Simulator'. The Prequel was OK , with some interesting new characters, and storylines, - but it just tried too hard to cover too many issues, spreading itself thinly, leaving many fans dissappointed.'Wrath of Heaven'-whilst not being perfect is a glorious return to form (and formula) On the positive, although it does not present the most cutting edge graphics, it still looks very good - atmospheric lighting, smoothly animated characters and sublime weather effects. Gameplay has also been addressed and re-worked- you now feel much more capable of defending yourself, should you have to- the camera work and lock-on button do not always offer the best view, but it is tolerable. The stealth kills still look great- smooth and gory( Tesshus'are the most grimacingly graphic) but I do agree with one of the other reviewers' comments, that a few more to choose from would have maintained more freshness to a very common event in the game. The idea of adding the option to earn youreslf extra skills through stealth kills is a great innovation, and gives you something to strive for other than high scores- some of which are very useful-especially clinging to ceiling and offensive blocking. Lastly, on the positive, the characters, some are reassuringly present, Rikimaru,Ayame(deadlier than ever),Lord Ghoda,Onikage(insane!) all look very good, with new additions such as Ganda, Jinnai and Tenrai who all can present a considerable challenge to those who don't utilise their skills effectively. Tesshu is the unlockable character and a breath of fresh air, admittedly controlling Tatsumaru was fun in the prequel, but Tesshu is completely different. He is a complete character, strong, skillful and much more merciless than either of Ghodas' ninjas. His stealth kills too are completely different, and the look on his face during is chillingly blank. On the negative, my only real points are the camera angles which can still, on occasion completely obscure your view-even when aiming a projectile. The only other point is a midway save point could be an idea for future instalments, because an average level travelled through stealthily and carefully can take up to half an hour, and to fall off a ledge in the last few minutes or dying at the hands of a boss, will take you right back to the beginning-minus whatever items you were carrying- quite a frustration after 2-3 occasions!
On the whole though a very good game which has retained one of its biggest fans, it is a great experience and a great test on your abilities. Get out today and buy it.
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on August 29, 2013
I have played part 1 and 2. I am a bit disappointed in Tenchu 3. Because you can't do the left and right combos, like you can, in 1 and 2. Throwing ninja stars and poison darts, miss if the enemy is too far. Or, if there is an object or wall, left or right of him or her.

You can still do some stealth kills, and the regular combo, with an extra attack in the end.
1.) press the square button, and press the left joystick.
2.) press the square button (2)times, and press the left joystick.
3.) press the square button (3)times, and press the left joystick.

But I miss the side attacks in Tenchu 1 and 2.
1.) press left square, and press right square.
2.) press right square, and press left square.
You can't do epic combos like this in Tenchu 3. These combos were very effective in Tenchu 1 and 2. Helpful, if there are enemies around you, left and right of you.

I also miss the back attack, in Tenchu 2.
1.) press down, and press square.
You can't do this neat attack, in Tenchu 1 and 3.

To take short steps, is not easy and simple like it was in Tenchu 1 and 2. I don't know why they did this in Tenchu 3, I don't like it at all. Compared to the original ways. In the original Tenchu 1 and 2, to take short steps.
1.) press up(2)times. to take a short step forward.
2.) press left(2)times. to take a short step left.
3.) press right(2)times. to take a short step right.
4.) press down(2)times. to take a short step backward.
I liked this original way better.

In Tenchu 3, to take short steps.
1.) Hold down R2, and move around with the left joystick, to move sideways slowly.
2.) Hold down R2, and move around with the left joystick, and press x. To take faster short steps.
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on March 12, 2016
Awesome quality, super new condition. This game is ultra unique and highly addictive. The soundtrack is amazing! The game has many characters to pic from and very interesting cut scenes with a radical story line. One of the most under appreciated and memorable games you'll ever play. The game is multiplayer and has cheats if you are the kind of person who likes to unlock everything right away, then this game is for you, cheats are rare these days lol. You can play as either a male or female ninja in the main story mode, or a secret character that you can later unlock from beating the game. The map designs are variated so every mission/level seems new. The graphics are splendid, probably not to todays standards but still withstand the test of time. Great as a gift for friends or a treat for yourself. Everyone should give this game a try at least once. You should really contemplate buying this product!
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on March 13, 2003
Imagine yourself living the life of a ninja. The life of a ninja is quite simple. Kill your enemy and not be seen. The perspective on this game is great. It feels as if you are in the game. The graphics and detail are superb too, it only adds to why it feels like you are truly in the game. The Tenchu series, if you have not played them before, gives you the perspective of life as a ninja, as a ninja really lives. Ninja's are known for their deadly, fatal moves, to kill the enemy quietly and quickly, for their adaptness into the environment, for their ability and skill as a fierce fighter, and their lovely array of lethal and deadly weapons and accessories (did I just use lovely and deadly in the same sentence?). Well, there you have it, Tenchu in a nutshell.
You sneak around corners, slit the throat of the enemy, maybe even cut their head off if you are in that mood, all while their back is turned. They do not even have a clue that there death is awaiting them, and if you are good enough, their friends, your next victim, won't either. You use shadows, corners, roofs, trees, etc. as your weapon for stealth movement and you have an abundant supply of ninja stars, smoke bombs, explosives, etc. (etc. meaning the list goes on and on and on and on). A very exciting and fun game. There are so many levels to this game it is unreal. And with all these levels, there are three different layouts, meaning enemies are placed in different locations, which only adds to the increased enjoyment and replay value. Plus you can choose from either three different ninjas, the third becoming available after you beat the game, each with unique, and many different stealth kills. As I look back at the previous Tenchus, there were some 'things' about them that could've been changed. Such as the number of items (weapons and accessories) available to you. I have only beat a few levels on Tenchu 3 and I have so many items at this point, I can't imagine how many I will have by the time I get half way through the game. It is so nice. Another problem with the old Tenchu's was that the bosses were sometimes a bit too hard to kill, especially after playing an entire level to get to them. In Tenchu 3, the bosses, so far, have seemed a little easier than previous. Probably because of the abundance of health items available and the fact that in Tenchu 3 you learn new fighting techniques along the way as a reward for ten plus stealth kills in a level. I am sure you will be pleased with Tenchu 3, whether you are a die hard of the series or rookie. Simply put, it is a great game.
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on April 26, 2004
These days the term "stealth action" is used so often around the gaming industry its ever-broaden definition ranges from titles like MGS franchise to Splinter Cell to Hitman to many other less-known imitators. To many the notion of out-smart your foes is much more rewarding than blasting them into pieces. Techu:WOH falls somewhere in between that line though it offers greater amount of gore, blood and various type of instant-kills where you character sneaks up from behind the unfortunate and quite deaf guard and slice his throat or break his spine. In fact, it is the preferred way to eliminate the enemies you encounter because AI is quite effecient in blocking your attack should you choose to greet them face-to-face.
Control of this game can be quite cumbersome from time to time as WOH offers more than a few slick moves you can perform while investigating the surroundings and fighting for your life. Tricky camera angles can present the source of frustration for some. Over all the game's fast pace proves to be quite entertaining and the co-ops mode allows you to have more ways of taking out guards than you can ever imagine...
Words of advice - if you constantly find yourself being surrounded by multiple guards who's trying to stick their spears through you, you are not playing this game right.
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on June 2, 2013
Game Attributes:
Pros - Badass assassinations, plenty of blood and gore, decent melee, plethora of tools to spice up the game, 3 characters with different attributes and moves, every level has three different layouts so the game has high re-playability, not to mention you can play COOP with friends.

in between - There is no start menu option, you cannot just restart the level. If you die, you must start the level all over. To me it made you live with your choices so I kind of liked it. On the other hand I always want to ace levels and would prefer to just have a restart level if there was some stupid issue at the very beginning.There are NO CHECKPOINTS.

Cons - poor control of the camera (it tends to conflict with geometry), sometimes the ai is dumb, the story is awful as is the voice acting.

I purchased a used copy from " Nickstuff", his rating for the used product was very good and I definitely agree. There wasn't a single scratch on the disk, it was like new.
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on March 15, 2003
I own the previous two Tenchu games (both of which are PSX/1 games). The first game was amazing, then second lost a lot of the gameplay and tried to expand too much and lost the play-control. For this version they seem to have learned from their sequel's mistakes and made this game very true to the first one. It's great fun to sneak around on rooftops and watch enemies, drop down and slit their throat without them noticing you, and the controls let you pull most of it off like it was second nature after you quickly learn them. This makes the game very immersive.
The largest problem with this game is a common problem with most games today. The camera code sucks. It's especially bad when you're fighting and use the "Lock on" button to keep yourself facing your opponent. At this point the camera just lines itself up with you and your opponent -- too bad that means that you complete block your own view of your opponent. You don't know when they're going to strike which means you get hit a lot in straight fights. Two days worth of coding a camera that would stay on your side when you got into a fight would have made this game a lot better in that respect. (One other place where this character occlusion becomes a problem is with the "Ninja Sight" ability you can get, which is basically a zoom. Too bad the back of your head takes up 60% of the screen when you're zoomed in all the way....)
Now that problem becomes minimal when you play this game the way it was meant to be -- all sneaking and killing people in the one-shot kills from behind. But there is at least one point in the game where they force you into head-to-head fights and it can get very frustrating.
The other problems with this game are that the levels art and the game engine isn't as amazing at it could be. There are plenty of PS2 games that look better with the same size levels. Don't get me wrong -- the game doesn't look bad, but it doesn't look great. AI is taken right from the first game I think actually; I haven't noticed much difference. That's not a bad thing, but it's not the improvement they might have made on a faster machine. The last complaint I have is that the "finishing-move" animations are very limited -- I think there are 5 or 6 total. You get a little tired of them after a while; it would have been cool to have a little more variety, especially when you get someone from behind (the most common direction).
Back to the good things. The music and sound are quite good. I actually play by ear a lot, and can do it fairly well. The music tends to be unobtrusive but nice to listen to. Also, each level is laid out three different ways (different enemy layouts, not level geometry layouts) which lends to a good replay (well, two good replays really). There are multiple endings (which I have yet to get to <GRiN>). There are multiplayer Co-op and deathmatch which I have yet to play, but probably suffer a little from the fact that a split screen is a small screen. And the most important thing is that the game is fun!
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