Tenchu 2: Birth of the Assassins Preview
We have just received a hands-on beta build of Tenchu 2 straight from Activision. The first Tenchu was a huge hit among critics and gamers. Some people have dubbed the game as Metal Gear "ninja style", though that maybe true, there are many traits that separate the two games, but I won't get much into that. Tenchu puts you into the role of two ninjas (Rikimaru and Ayame), and makes you fight your way through villages, caves, and other huge environments. Tenchu was such a great game that nobody had doubts about a sequel being released anytime soon. Tenchu 2 was announced around June '99 (correct me if I'm wrong), Activision said that they will be taking a different approach with the sequel. It turned out that the different approach was that the game would be a prequel instead of a sequel. From my point of view that fills many gaps in the Tenchu storyline, it was a good step by Activision. Read the in-depth preview of Tenchu 2.
The step in T2 isn't a huge one, though it isn't a small one either. The backgrounds look very sharp, crisp and have a more organic look. Backgrounds are quite the necessity in a game with huge environments such as Tenchu 2. Character detail has very few clipping problems with it, but the characters are very smooth. The skin specifically is quite smooth, both main Tenchu characters are detailed. Sadly in this preview there are some slowdown problems, let's hope that the final version gets that fixed. Texture smoothness is slightly better than the first Tenchu, to an untrained eye the change may not be noticeable, but those so called "hardcore gamers" out there may see the distinctness.
Tenchu 2 is the prequel to Tenchu, and this game tells the story of Rikimaru and Ayame. You have either one of ninjas to choose from. Each ninjas has his own strength and weakness, and each ninja is unique in many ways including storyline. Speaking of storyline, for those who want to know, Tenchu 2 begins four years before Tenchu, havoc has been raised, now it is up to Rikimaru and Ayame to avenge the death of their master Lord Gohda. Gohda was the two orphans' master. He has been teaching and training both of them since their baby days. His goal in making both orphans pledged ninjas was cut short, now both Ayame and Riki must avenge the betrayal of their master. Now you may be a ninja but believe it or not Tenchu 2 has guns and not only swords. Along with that you also have your cliché ninja materials swords, stars, knives, blinding dust and more. There is quite a wide amount of items and weapons to add into your environment. After slicing your enemy like a tomato you can search him for what he's got left in him. Stealth kills were what made Tenchu kick ass. Now you'll be happy to know that each ninja has 6-7 different stealth kills. Parents should also be advised that there is tons of gooey blood all over the place. The big step that T2 has over Tenchu is the Mission Editor, which is basically where you get to create your own stage, set textures, control AI of enemies, place enemy anywhere you want and many other things. Tenchu 2 is coming along great, not much needs to be changed in the game a few little adjustments need to be done here and there, but nothing that will affect the game greatly.
Tenchu 2 has quite an amount of voice acting, it may not be overwhelming but the quality and timing is right on. Environmental sounds are excellent, all the buzzes, the chirps and the squawks sound very realistic. Tenchu 2 should be available this summer, believe me this game will be just as good as the original if not better. Your Snake is never wrong, Tenchu 2 has tons of replay value, great gameplay and great looking hi-res visuals, T2 will be a winner.