Tenchu Z Xbox 360

Tenchu Z Xbox 360
Given the death-dealing awesomeness of ninjas, you’d think there would be far more throwing-star filled games — yet, compared to say, WWII grunts or near-future anti-terrorist agents, ninjas might as well be invisible. Which could actually explain the disparity — perhaps their propensity for stealth turns off the straight-up action fan while their blood-letting bores the strictly stealth gamer. Tenchu Z, the latest in a long line of Tenchu titles, sticks largely with the sneaking, even incorporating identity theft to avoid detection and a Splinter Cell-style sound meter to keep you silent. So to play properly, you must stick to the shadows and quietly dispatch the unsuspecting (and curiously unintelligent) AI enemies, but with 50 largely undifferentiated levels, this can get repetitive after a while. You get all the cool weapons (shurikan, grappling hooks, katana), learn special kill moves and your self-designed avatar looks pretty badass, but the stealth gameplay mechanics aren’t really advanced enough to make up for the lack of fun for more slice-and-dice prone gamers. In other words, this is a niche game for ninja junkies and while there’s nothing wrong with that, it might not quite satisfy even their jones. Still, it should at least keep ‘em (quietly) engrossed until the PS3’s upcoming Ninja Gaiden Sigma sneaks along. (Microsoft/K2/From Software)