Tenchu: Fatal Shadows PlayStation 2

  • Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Feb 15, 2005

Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 33
  2. Negative: 7 out of 33
Buy On
  1. 55
    Besides the higher-resolution visuals, you'd be hard-pressed to tell this apart from the PlayStation game that kicked off the series nearly seven years ago.
  2. This game itself would be fine if this was 1998 but considering Tenchu: Fatal Shadows sits between games with a similar mission and a more up to date feel I would say leave it on the shelf.
  3. All you really need to know is that Fatal Shadows is the best game in the series to date, and although there are a few considerable drawbacks, playing this game is a sneaky good time.
  4. Cheat Code Central
    There's nothing about Tenchu: Fatal Shadows that hasn't been explored in previous versions.
  5. This series has not evolved a bit. Other stealth titles are more tense; this does nothing to get the adrenaline pumping. Fifty bucks is way too much for this halfhearted effort.
  6. Edge Magazine
    Few games can capture the sense of being in the hunt so well, and by degrees few games can disappoint so much when this sense is lost to wrangling with the camera or gawkish, unpredictable controls shackling your weightlessness. [Oct 2004, p.108]
  7. A number of flaws kill the game's flow, namely a particularly atrocious camera, a weak lock-on system, a frustrating lack of checkpoints, and poor enemy A.I. [March 2005, p.124]
  8. With the dreadful lack of effort in the PS1-like visuals, and ghastly AI, even those with especially designed tattoos should consider their old friend exactly that: old.
  9. 40
    Constantly fighting the camera to get the view you’re looking for, sword duels with all the grace of a rusty robot, and unpolished graphics and presentation make Fatal Shadows feel like a much older title that hasn’t aged well.
  10. But this latest version of the game suffers from the same problems pretty much since the beginning. What was once tolerable due to technology constraints simply doesn't cut it in the era of "Snake Eater" and "Chaos Theory."
  11. Game Informer
    I'm a little disappointed that Tenchu isn't pushing the genre forward like "Splinter Cell" and "Metal Gear Solid" have. [March 2005, p.132]
  12. Continues on the path of cool ninja stealth action, but is thwarted by a plethora of traps like poor control and retarded AI.
  13. 50
    Just an average game really. Nothing really grabs you to keep playing.
  14. 70
    She's a good old dog but hard pressed to learn new tricks.
  15. It's not that Fatal Shadows is a horrible game, it's just that we've seen it before- it fails to distinguish itself from "Wrath of Heaven" and even keeps some of its most crucial flaws.
  16. This game might make a few halfhearted attempts to try to rope new players into the Tenchu fold, between its original story and its tutorial mode, but the gameplay itself is cumbersome, and the presentation isn't going to be good enough to hold most players' interest when the gameplay fails to.
  17. 60
    It might as well have been published by AT&T, because this is the most phoned-in sequel this side of a football game.
  18. What happened? The previous games in the Tenchu series were really good, but the developers of this game really dropped the ball.
  19. Fatal Shadows took a big step backwards by not making any improvements over "Wrath of Heaven." Stay away. You’ve been warned.
  20. If you’ve played any of the previous Tenchu outings you have already seen most of what is in this game.
  21. 65
    Not only fails to enhance the genre as a whole, but also fails to offer any serious improvements over its predecessor.
  22. When the rose petals fly across the screen after such a bloody intro, you know Tenchu: Fatal Shadows will be an extreme, if somewhat flawed, mixture of beauty and death.
  23. If you’ve never played a Tenchu game before, this is definitely not the one to start with.
  24. Suffers from one of the most useless cameras since the advent of 3D gaming. [March 2005, p.101]
  25. 50
    Fatal Shadows isn’t awful, but it’s simply too primitive for anyone else but Tenchu fans to bother with in this era.
  26. Pelit (Finland)
    Sneaky ninjas do not even have to sneak. Someone has been lazy when making this sub-standard game. [July 05]
  27. PSM Magazine
    By far the most useful addition though is the ability to pick up bodies so you can hide them. It's a simple little skill that should have been available all along... and now it is. [March 2005, p.80]
  28. Sega should have known better than to pick after Activision’s pile of rejects.
  29. One thing that fans of the Tenchu series will enjoy is the enemies have increased AI. You can't just hide in a bunch of bushes and be "invisible" to enemies anymore. [JPN Import]
  30. Fans will enjoy creeping around and using the wonderful grappling hook, but in a post Splinter Cell-era it is disappointing that light and darkness still have little bearing on the ninja's visibility to foes.
  31. Until K2 pull their finger out and bring the game engine into the 21st Century, Tenchu will be remembered as a Playstation classic with a load of all too similar sequels.
  32. Weekly Famitsu
    9 / 7 / 8 / 7 - 31 silver [Vol 815; 30 July 2004]
  33. 50
    About the only thing Fatal Shadows does well is the rooftop sneaking, and that's nowhere near enough to carry the game on its own.

Awards & Rankings

#86 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. Nick
    Mar 15, 2005
    F... people who say the camera is sh...y. Its fine for me! Oh, and the dude who says there's not enough checkpoints.waah wahh...does the F... people who say the camera is sh...y. Its fine for me! Oh, and the dude who says there's not enough checkpoints.waah wahh...does the BABY need a checkpoint because he keeps dying? Hey remember mario brothers? you get 3 lives to beat the game...thats it. No checkpoint, no f...ing save points. Idiot. Don't listen to anyone who says this game sucks, cause it totally does NOT! One thing that everyone is saying that is kinda true though is that its just like wrath of heaven. But who the f..k cares?! NOT ME! Tenchu rocks, and more levels equals more boners from ME! Full Review »
  2. RegnR8E
    Mar 13, 2005
    Having played every Tenchu game to date, I can say without a doubt, this is the best one so far. All previous Tenchu games have had camera Having played every Tenchu game to date, I can say without a doubt, this is the best one so far. All previous Tenchu games have had camera problems, along with nearly every other 3rd person game to date, so one learns to compensate. The AI is still stupid at times, but they are far more difficult to get rid of and will chase you forever and not give up unless you are hidden really well. This game is far more difficult than previus Tenchu games and I think it desreves a better overall rating than most people have given it. You really must be extra quiet and stealthy througt the entire game. Sure, it doesn't advance the stealth genere any but, Tenchu stays true to it's roots while offering up better level design, improved AI, more difficult boss battles and, praise the designers, terrific maps for once! Full Review »
  3. lisap
    Aug 26, 2008
    i don't know why so many people don't like this game. sure it has it's flaws, but so do all games. personally i think it'si don't know why so many people don't like this game. sure it has it's flaws, but so do all games. personally i think it's the best ninja stealth game i've ever played. maybe not the best in the stealth genre, but the best ninja one. this was the first tenchu game i ever played and since then i've become a huge fan of the others as well. i guess it's all a matter of preference with the variety of ratings for this..but i loved it. Full Review »