Metascore
56

Mixed or average reviews - based on 51 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 51
  2. Negative: 11 out of 51
  1. Tenchu fans will definitely not be disappointed. Tenchu Senran is easily the best Tenchu game to date. [JPN Import]
  2. Ninja games being as rare as they've become, its nice to have "Tenchu" back, especially given the number of refinements FROM have added, along with the online play. [June 2007, p.74]
  3. The story was completely disjointed, and the graphics were only satisfactory, but the gameplay was really fun, and the soundtrack is good, so I'm not going to hate on this one too much.
  4. For fans of serious stealth, the title is a must buy. Less hardcore gamers will probably be better off with something more mainstream, but if you're trying to understand what "cult classic" means, Tenchu is probably a safe bet.
  5. 70
    Stealth kills never get old, and the variety of mission types help to break the same old same old.
  6. 70
    Once I got past all of the problems in the collision-detection and accepted the fact that as long as my ninja stabbed the floor within a three foot radius of a bad guy, it was a kill, I had a mild amount of fun.
  7. Surprisingly, Tenchu Z comes off “chunky” in general; the antithesis of what a ninja game should feel like- sleek and efficient.
  8. It was a major letdown considering the extensive weaponry and ninja moves available, but in the end this game runs dry fast.
  9. Tenchu also needs a serious upgrade to its enemy AI. It’s hard to imagine that a developer would release a game in this day and age where if you climb up to a rooftop or crawl under a building while an enemy is taking a swing at you, he completely loses track of you. Ninjas deserve better.
  10. 65
    Although it's not a great game, it is worth investing time in, and one that grows on you in less than a half-dozen missions.
  11. Sadly the game doesn’t really reward you for playing like a pro and if you are looking for advanced action based combat a la Ninja Gaiden then you might be a little disappointed.
  12. 65
    The Tenchu series needs a series reinvention, but Z plays just well enough to warrant a look for anyone with a thirst for honourable blood.
  13. Too expensive, but find a cheap copy and it has a bit of fun to offer stealth fans.
  14. Tenchu Z may be a game that only fans of the series, or fans of stealth games could love. Some fatal flaw bogs down every aspect of this title that shows a glimmer of promise. You would have to be a true fanboy to overlook all of these flaws.
  15. The concept is solid and new elements like sense of smell are great ideas, but the execution and lackluster A.I. just don’t add up to the cohesive product it could have been.
  16. Tenchu Z is a fun game for Tenchu fans, and for fans of similar stealth-action titles. A few flaws and poor visuals detract from what otherwise would have been a resurrection for the Tenchu series.
  17. It’s a game that’s full of faults, but also one in which they can be immaterial to the experience of playing. [Sept 2007, p.95]
  18. Never has patience been a bigger virtue than in Tenchu Z. It succeeds as a game of stealth, but only as a game of stealth. Any deviation from hiding and throat slitting - say, katana-slinging your way right up main street like a samurai - won’t elicit much fun.
  19. With a little more work, Tenchu Z could've been a big hit, right up there with Team Ninja's more vigorous Ninja Gaiden games. The stealth kill system, customization options and co-op sessions give the game more weight than expected. Nevertheless, the game doesn't deliver a quality ninja experience.
  20. If you are a fan of the Tenchu franchise then this latest iteration, Tenchu Z for the Xbox 360, is worth picking up. For others, I would recommend renting this one to see if it's your cup of tea.
  21. As a stealth game, Tenchu Z hits the right notes with all the creeping around and silent killing, so it'll likely offer a few thrills for fans of the genre. But since it lacks useful "stand-up and fight" mechanics any casual players will likely suffer boredom with all the careful sneaking around through drab environments.
  22. If you liked the predecessor Tenchu games, then you’ll like Tenchu Z, at least a little. FromSoftware and K2 must have obviously not devoted a lot of their resources to this game, though.
  23. But we can't get behind playing it for very long, even as fanatics.
  24. It’s hard to completely dismiss the game as trash, but it’s harder not to feel like the game should be giving you a lot more.
  25. It doesn't do anything that hasn't been seen dozens of times before and fails to inspire the player to push forward. You can get this kind of stealth action elsewhere, and for a cheaper price.
  26. Tenchu Z is a pretty lousy entry to the series, and is one Xbox 360 title that doesn’t flex any next-gen muscle.
  27. Further damning evidence that this Eastern atrocity needs to commit 'seppuku' - and fast. [Sept 2007, p.76]
  28. 52
    Actually fun in short bursts, it’s easy to fall into a level-clearing rhythm. But the ease and overly repetitive nature of missions, which force you to experiment with your skill set simply to remain entertained -- not out of necessity – makes for a rather stale game.
  29. Whilst I normally enjoy choosing between a stealthy or combat-based approach like in the Hitman games, the idea of being able to very easily kill everyone in the level or just avoid anything entirely still seems odd to me.
  30. It's too bad that a game that allows you to play both as a stealth experience or a action game doesn't manage to do either of them very well.
  31. Appalling AI. [Issue #22, p.86]
  32. Unless you're plagued with a kimono fetish, you're just better off creeping around elsewhere. [Aug 2007, p.82]
  33. Tenchu Z just feels dated. The original Tenchu came out almost 10 years ago, and although there are some minor changes here and there, the core gameplay is exactly the same.
  34. Tenchu Z proves that just because ninjas and video games are a perfect fit that doesn't mean that all ninja games are fun to play.
  35. Newcomers really should steer clear though, if you must have a game based on assassinations, you would be better off seeking out Agent-47 instead.
  36. Tenchu Z is sadly a low point for the series and for stealth games in general. It’s not that it’s a horrible game; it’s just boringly repetitive and not very challenging.
  37. Sloppy effort. Such as disappointment. [Sept 2007, p.104]
  38. 50
    Don't get us wrong, we understand that Tenchu sucks, but some of us happen to like it regardless of its faults and it is those die-hard fans that will find Tenchu Z to be the most rewarding of the entire series.
  39. Ninja are usually encouraged to slay from behind, but Tenchu Z frequently forces a face-to-face duel. The game's clumsy swordplay makes those a real bummer.
  40. An average game experience with a number of small problems that result in mediocrity. On the plus side the gameplay is a lot of fun if you can forgive the AI's obvious deficiencies.
  41. Ninjas, ninjas, and more ninjas can't save the technically flawed, uninspired Tenchu Z.
  42. Assuming you actually take the time to understand the cryptic controls, you’ll find yourself never having to use your ninja abilities because you can simply hack and slash your way to the objective.
  43. The single-player campaign doesn’t even contain a full-blown plot. To add to this laundry list of blunders, the multiplayer is a snore-fest and a lag-laden cesspool. In short, avoid Tenchu Z like the plague and never look back.
  44. Unfortunately for Tenchu Z there are games that do the stealth action genre a hell of a lot better, and with nothing else going for it other than ninjas, this one is best left in the dark.
  45. 40
    Tenchu’s been chugging along as a slightly-above-average series for quite a while now. And it’s disappointing that such a great concept has once again fallen victim to poor game design and crappy presentation. Even if the online co-op mode ran better, it doesn’t help the product feel any more fun.
  46. Yes, sneaking around as a ninja in dark and eviscerating your enemies is good for a bit of fun in short bursts, but Tenchu Z's gameplay is so broken and poorly designed that even the parts that the designers got right are lost in the shuffle.
  47. As Tenchu Z is already outclassed in every area by last generation stealth games like "Metal Gear Solid 2," it fails almost completely when stacked up against "Hitman: Blood Money," "Splinter Cell: Double Agent" or upcoming treats like "Assassin's Creed."
  48. A sloppy co-operative mode adds little to the overall experience, and a laughably restrictive customisation mode is the final nail in the coffin for this dreadful game.
  49. 30
    It’s too much hard work to get any enjoyment out of this game, there are just too few good parts to make up for the many flaws. Instead of offering a fun ninja experience by itself, you’ll have to look up ways to enjoy it yourself. Not even the four way multiplayer can save this hopeless attempt at a fun game.
  50. Repetitive, sloppy and inane, Tenchu Z trots out an old ninja that is more of a nut-kicker than a stealth killer.
  51. The pithy cut-scenes are about as easy to follow as a quantum physics lecture and are as elaborately detailed as a newspaper comic strip.
User Score
7.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 49 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. AaronC.
    Sep 7, 2007
    9
    A fantastic game! I had loads of fun and huge replayability factor, I only wish it had more missions so I can keep on playing!
  2. YourMommaMomma
    Aug 9, 2009
    9
    Best Tenchu Game to date. Don't hate on me too much. I've played them all, and none of them are as fast as Z, nor do any of them require as much skill. Skill not required to beat it, but to beat it and make it look easy as well as stylish. The fact is, there is problems with it. AI is crap, graphics are poor even for being an xbox 1 port, and the customization, while interesting, doesn't add anything to the game. I suggest a better co-op, able to have two players on one system, more extensive ninja techniques, a little revamp on the graphics, and physics engine (But keep the fast pace!) and an AI overhaul should make a winner out of the next Tenchu game. Just keep it away from the Wii, please, stay with 360 or PS3. Full Review »
  3. AdamB.
    Apr 10, 2009
    8
    This is a very fun game once you get past the steep learning curve for the controls (I hadn't played in a year and had to do the tutorial again). It's not a standard fast-paced fighting game; it's a much slower game with a more intelligent, deliberate feel. Though you can storm through the stages, to get real enjoyment you have to go for the Ninja 5 rating which requires very careful gameplay. Character customization and online play are fun, though there is a bit of lag and most frustrating to me, there's no ability to have multiple save slots or to change your character mid-game (or even give them a name). If you want to try a different ninja you'll have to start over and lose all your hard-earned items and Ninja ranks. This significantly hampers replay value, especially since there are only a few types of map to play in. As for the AI and combat system, it's not meant to be about enemies planning complex strategies and chasing you around the map, but it's about the placement of the opponents and figuring out the best way to cut a hole in the defense, avoiding combat. Reviewers complaining about the AI and combat depth is like complaining about Super Mario Bros. for the same reasons. Still, an improved sequel would be appreciated. Full Review »