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Tenchu - Dark Secret (NDS)
Section: Game Reviews

Game: Tenchu - Dark Secret
Rating: 5/5

Review:
Tenchu on the DS just hit local Gamestop stores on Friday 8/18, and since I was on vacation preparing to drive to PA for my Bachelor Party, I opted to pickup Tenchu and hit the road. Once I made it to town, I loaded some Tenchu up, and played after a drink or 2 @ the local Irish Pub, the local drunk told me to 'enjoy the scenery', but the bartender had my back, and said 'let him play with his new toy'.

Tenchu - DS is a Multi Card Title, that supports LAN Games in Deathmatch and 'Star Mode' style PvP modes. Since it is a Multi-Card Title, everyone playing will need a game card, and the LAN Modes supports up to 4 people. There is a WiFi Internet connection built in, but it is intended for Item Trading with friends or strangers.

Pros:
|+| Gameplay Pretty standard but not too tedious storyline, and interesting tools to kill foes with. You can also create new equipment from stuff you find on corpses and around maps.

In this 'crafting system', you can make +1 or +2 gear, that is of course, more effective then the regular gear. When you hear crafting, you might think of the Final Fantasy XI system, where it took you weeks upon weeks before you could make anything useful, this is not the case. From what I have seen from my + equipment, the crafting success looks to be random, or perhaps based off the score of your last mission.

Level Completion scores are based off of Stealth, Damage (lack of) that you take, Combo Kills and so on. If you do manage to run though a Mission like Charles Bronson, killing in broad sight without a care in the world, you can score negative on the mission, but you will still have it marked as completed, and move though the Storyline.

When Playing, it does seem that Stealth is going to be the key FTW, as when you get spotted, more people are called by the foe, and you are left w/ more ass to kick, and your Stealth Rating will suffer.

- Controls
This game uses the interface well, and your map and Inventory, are all on the touch screen. If you would rather not use the touch screen, the shoulder buttons, allow you to cycle your inventory. Gameplay learning angle is very minimal to learn and control.

- Graphics
The Graphics are pretty good, and the Menu System for displaying methods of death is pretty nice, as everyone loves to see Female Ninjas being thrown from a ball of fire into the air.

A few people complained about the look of your Character while on missions, but I feel this fits the gameplay really well, considering you are playing in an Overview camera angle, that can be tilted slightly, by pushing against walls and such.

Some folks have trashed this display, using it to define the game as unplayable, but quite honestly, I feel the graphics fit the Camera angle quite well, allowing you and your DS to Operate swiftly, and kill, not to mention the Death Screens are more then elaborate enough, to re-live your murderous flashbacks, in high detail.

I should also mention that you can sell your extra Fatality scrolls for loot, this is quite handy to finance those Magic Maps.

- Audio
The Music is average and goes well with the gameplay, while the Jump and Sword effects are pretty good, and kick some nice bass out of my car.

The few voice and additional sound effects work with the gameplay, but this music is not something you would want to have on CD, and play in your car every morning.

I do feel the music works very well for the game, and draws you into your mission and gameplay.

- Multiplayer
As Mentioned, Tenchu DS has some PvP game modes for LAN Play, and only has a Trading System, for the WiFi (Internet Play) side. The LAN game modes are:
Annihilator - Kill 'em All, Last Standing Wins
Glutton - Eat the most Rice Cakes FTW, others can steal your cakes by attacking you. (Similar to the Mario Star Modes)
Sneak - This is basically Ninja Tag, when you start, someone will be 'it', find them, and whoever does becomes it. To win, evade all other players and whoever is being hunted when time runs out, is the winner.

Kat and I only played with this briefly, but it looks pretty fun, especially with more then 2 people. I believe you have 4 Different Maps you can challenge people on. Game Time Modes are 1, 3 and 5 Minutes I do believe.

Cons:
Hmm, the only real Con I can think of, is the lack of Internet play for the 3 LAN Game Modes, but considering the map sizes and such, I could understand why they are not internet capable, but I am thankful there is a worth while LAN Multiplayer system.

GG or Suckaga Recap:
GG For Sure IMO, the Storyline and gameplay picked me up from start, and it has been the exclusive game of play since I picked it up (excluding some DS Web Browsing). I am a big fan of the reward system for saving villagers, as the items they teach you to craft, save you a ton of money.

I'm going to give Tenchu DS 5/5

My reason for this, is because the Single player is fun to play, and the LAN Gameplay is pretty good. I did not hold the Item Trading WiFi against the game, since there was good work done in the LAN Gaming portion of the Multiplayer.

If you like Ninjas, Killing people and Animals with some cool equipment, pickup Tenchu Dark Secret.

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