previews\ May 10, 2006 at 8:00 pm

Tenchu: Dark Secret - NDS - Preview

E3 2006 First Look Preview

These days, no game series is safe from the wrath of the Nintendo DS. It’s devouring titles faster than you can scratch out a sentence in Picto Chat. Tenchu: Dark Secret will be the DS’s first spy/mission game since Splinter Cell was ported over. Key gameplay mechanics are the same, as are some of the levels, characters, and other integral elements are present. But as much as this is a Tenchu game you already know, it’s also one you don’t know.

Let’s start with the camera. Tweaked to a new perspective, the camera gives the game a semi-isometric view. It’s not quite top-down, but definitely not a behind-the-back-of-the-assassin view either. This small change alone affects how an attack might take place. You can see your opponents better when within their vicinity, but have a disadvantage when they’re far away because they are no longer in view. Whereas in the PS2 version you could look forward and see where your enemy is hiding, it doesn’t appear that the DS version will give you that option.

Tenchu®: Dark Secret™ Nintendo DS screenshots

Attacks are done with the D-pad and face buttons, which should appeal to fans of the series expecting a familiar atmosphere in a handheld world. Tenchu uses the other screen for map information (a la Castlevania series), but Nintendo has hinted that final version may involve something more than a useful piece of eye candy. While there are no plans to change the controls to something along the lines of The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, we might get a puzzle or two, or a special attack exclusive to this version, that makes the touch screen a more interactive experience. Keep your swords crossed.


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