April 8, 2009 - The Tenchu franchise of action-stealth games has enjoyed a long history dating back to the original PlayStation, but of the 10-plus titles released in as many years, most have proven underwhelming and ultimately forgettable. Perhaps this is because the development team that designed the innovative debut effort took some time off, leaving many of the critically-panned follow-ups to other groups within studio Acquire. I'm willing to accept that excuse if only because the original team reunited to create Tenchu: Shadow Assassins for PSP, and the resulting game is surprisingly moody and fun, even if it clings to some dated gameplay designs. So whether you grew up with Tenchu or are altogether new to the brand, as I presume some PSP owners will be, my review mantra stands: if you like stealth games you will like Shadow Assassins. And if you don't, you can stop reading now.
Shadow Assassins is once more set to the backdrop of feudal Japan and again stars Azuma Clan ninjas Rikimaru and Ayame, sworn to protect and serve Lord Gohda by any means necessary, which, of course, means that the two regularly carry out assassinations ordered by their leader. The game's storyline, presented convincingly through a series of well-choreographed and acted in-game cinematics, deals with the political struggles that Gohda faces, eventually resulting in the kidnapping of his daughter, Princess Kiku. Scarred Rikimaru and curvy Ayame are deployed out into the world to search for the princess and to dispose of any enemies who stand in their way. The cinematics regularly spotlight battles against guards and ninjas and effectively define the characters of the two ninjas, who are both ruthless in their pursuit of the princess.
* Explore the highly detailed settings of Feudal Japan. Unlock hidden levels by collecting special artifacts in a world of fierce combat and authentic tradition.
* Use your environment as camouflage as you master the art of the silent kill like a real ninja.
Published by: Ubisoft
Developed by: Acquire
Release Date: March 24, 2009
Genre: Third-Person Action
Also Available On: Wii[color=White][color=White]