A funny thing happened while thinking about what my Top 10 favorite games of All-Time were. I was at my parent's house cleaning up my old room when I happened upon my old copy of Tenchu: Stealth Assassins for the PlayStation.
Instantly I remembered how much I loved this game and it seemed like a natural No. 10 for me. It was the first game I remember spending hard-earned money on. Instead of parental gifts or chore money, it was money I gained from mowing the lawns of neighbors. I used it to buy a used PlayStation, a memory card and Tenchu at FuncoLand.
Tenchu was the ultimate wish fulfillment games for me, and from the popularity of the series, many others. While most ninja games like Ninja Gaiden focused on action, slicing and platforming around a level, Tenchu brought a true ninja experience to gamers. And what 11-year-old didnt want to secretly be a ninja? Just saying.
To 11 year old me, the concept of playing a game to kill only one person, your target, was unheard of, but also challenging. I'll never forget the training dojo mission of Tenchu. Here I am thinking I bought some ninja action game and yet I'm being instructed to walk past the enemy undetected and leave them be.
A game about killing where you don't want to kill? It soon grew on my why this was such a great idea.
Ninjas did'nt just indiscriminately kill people and play rock music (like one website once said). No, in fact, they spent their time learning their mark's actions, his vices and paths. Then, the kill. Tenchu brought some of that into play and it made for a ninja experience that 11 year old me wouldnt forget. Plus it certainly helped there was the cartoonish blood and limb dismemberment that only a ninja b-movie would have.
Part of me hopes that the Tenchu series lives on as the next generation comes about. I think theres still a lot of places to go with the franchise and with system technology advancing to include motion, touch pads and even Microsofts proposed room projection, I think thats reason enough for more adventures for Rikimaru and Ayame.