PS1 Reader Reviews
Tenchu 2: Birth of the Assassins
Ahhh,Finaly,I have been waiting for a sequal since I beat the first one.If you havn't played the first one you are in for a pleasent surprise from todays action on action games.
This is where the game stands out the most. It's unlike any game in it's genre. Once you get used to the control's and the interface the game is extremely fun to play. It encompasses stealth and action and manages not to bore either aspect. Unlike the first Tenchu, There are more, larger and more detailed levels. There are 17 story based missions and 15 already created mission editor levels which are surprisingly challenging and fun. There are also 19 new and original items that can be used and achieved throughout the game. Each character has 6 stealth kill techniques And a mysterious 7th).You can swim, search and even hide bodies to keep your presence undetected. On top of all these things the story is very intriguing and well thought out. There are are starting and ending FMV sequences for every level plus mid level FMV's in some levels that last three to four minutes long. The game has very high replay value with it's enormous size and mission editor that is extremely detailed for the Playstation. It also has a high difficulty, which I enjoy. Levels get noticeably harder as your progress, unlike Tenchu where level difficulty skipped around.The only problem in this category would have to be camera angle's and control. Sometimes camera's are awkward when trying to stay hidden and still see the enemy. Control is almost identical to the first, which is not a set back once you get used to it. It can get frustrating during boss fights when trying to turn but it does not take away from the game enough to damage the experience.
This game really shows the Playstation's limitations. The overall graphic quality is not bad but for next generation system owners like my self will notice a lot of visual setbacks. A real problem with this game that does not effect the overall gameplay is the texture warping. Changing camera angles can make a straight spear hanging on the wall look like bolt of lightning with a spear head on the end. Even though some level environments may look rough or unpolished It easily makes up for it with highly detailed characters. Complete with blinking eyes and moving mouths. People are well proportioned and come in all different heights and weights. I think the greatest flaw in this category of the game would have to be the draw distance. No matter what level or time of day it is you are limited to about a 20 feet line of sight before everything disappears into a black/white foggy haze. It often can cause you to be caught by a enemy that has better sight then you. Over all the graphics are minorly dated for the Playstation and do not significantly dent the extremely good gameplay.
Most of the sounds in Tenchu 2 are from the original, including blood splashing, sword slashes and stabs and jumping and landing. Sounds are done very well in Tenchu 2.My only complaint would have to be that there is not in-game music like in the first one. Music is only heard when you are fighting a boss or during a FMV.It was a nice original and atmospheric touch to the first one that would have been gladly welcomed by me in the Sequal(Prequal)but is not unforgivable. First off, If your a Tenchu fan you can't go wrong.I myself have been anticipating this game since I beat the first one. I have beat the game with all three characters and These are the facts
1.)Each character has 6 different stealth kill techiques. (And a mysterious 7th)
2.)17 story mode missions.10/Ayame)(10/Rikimaru)(7/Tatsumaru)(Plus 15 non-story based mission's that Activision's team made with the mission editor)
3.)Highly detailed mission editor. For the Playstation)
4.)Eccellent memory usage of memory card.1 block for all of story mode)(1 block for each map)
5.)19 new and old items and weapons. Most must be earned)
6.)Hide bodies to help conceal your presence.Even search them for useful items.
7.)You can swim! (unlike the first one's drowning ninja's) Even use a bamboo reed as a snorkle to keep your body hidden.
8.)Very nice cutscenes (Both game rendered and FMV)
9.)Great immersive story line (Unlike first one which didn't have one at all)10.)Better blood effects (More realistic)
11.)No meaningless levels, all have you doing something important to the story line.
There are still a lot of bugs to work out of this game but gameplay is not badly damaged
1.)If in the middle of stealth kill sequence your character bumps into a solid object (I.E. Wall,Rock,Spear Rack) It will stop the sequence and end in a death not affiliated with the kill (I.E. It shows you slit a soldier's throat and your in a tight ally when it shows him put his sword away and he bumps a wall it will drop out of the sequence and show the soldier standing up again and bleeding from the stomach.
2.)Loading times are not so long but are many.
3.)Draw distance is way to short. Even in day missions you can see about 15 feet in front of you. It can cost points and lives in the long run.4.)No in game music like in the first one that really added to the gameplay.
5.)After loading a boss fight your have to unsheathe your sword/Katana's and it WILL! cost you lives before the game is over.
As you can see, the game has a lot less Con's than Pro's. It is a true Tenchu fan's next obsession. Though there are minor bugs which will most likely be fixed in the later versions, this is a stealth fan's,Tenchu fan's,and architects dream come true. There is no major reason why this game shouldn't be added to anyone's Playstation library. Released:August 5,2000(USA)
8/14/2000 Derek Tucker