Tenchu: Time of the Assassins

Format: PSP
5 060004 768011
Age Restrictions: 16+
26 June 2006

The latest in the famous
Tenchu series, available only on the PSP, brings together the best of classic Tenchu with five brand new storylines for five of your favourite Tenchu characters. With skill-demanding single-player and multi-player modes, stealth manoeuvres to die for and the return of the popular mission editor, Tenchu: Time of the Assassins sees the return of Rikimaru, Ayame, Rin, Tessyu and for the first time gives you the opportunity to play for the other side in the form of Onkiage, Lord Mei-Oh's evil servant...

Fans of Tenchu were no doubt pleased to hear that the franchise was making a leap onto the PSP. But, would the series we know and love manage to translate well to the handheld console, or would it fall flat on it's face?

It was a brave step to take. The 3D environments the series is known for have been translated onto the PSP with relatively little problem - apart from the fact that there is too much repetition of objects and backgrounds.

The game is fairly simple to get the hang of - battle your way through numerous levels, taking out the odd boss, as you progress through your character's story arc... and, in a nutshell, that's about it. Okay, there's the introduction of some familiar characters (including Ayame, Rikimaru, Rin, and Tesshu). You can also play on the side of evil - should the mood take you. There's also a free mission mode that lets you tackle 50 independent missions (but you need to finish the single player mode to unlock this), and a level editor that lets you create your own levels.

It's not that this game is bad, it's just that it's not what it could have been. Tenchu fans will probably love this, but everyone else should try before they buy.

Nick Smithson

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