From Software program Principally Made ‘Ninja Bomberman’, And It Was Nice.

Nowadays, From Software is just about a family title. With their terribly profitable Dark Souls sequence, From Software program pioneered a complete new style of ‘soulslikes’ — making video games extensively acclaimed by audiences and critics. However, past the returning Armored Core and maybe the Dark Souls predecessor King’s Field, not that a lot is thought about FromSoft’s back-catalogue.

So there is a good probability you’ve got by no means heard of Shadow Assault: Tenchu. A part of the ‘Tenchu’ sequence, Shadow Assault launched on the Xbox 360 Arcade in 2008 to combined critiques and little notoriety. How does it maintain up? Surprisingly nicely.

Shadow Assault Tenchu

On it is face, Shadow Assault is fairly unassuming. The graphics are normal fare for the 360 and the sport does not appear to have a plot. Upon beginning, you are spat onto a menu display screen the place you possibly can shortly leap into considered one of Shadow Assault’s 30 solo levels or choose a multiplayer mode.

The gameplay is the place Shadow Assault grabbed me. Ranges are top-down affairs that run on a timer of only some minutes. These levels are populated by a few enemies, who comply with sure paths till you steps into one of many yellow tiles surrounding them (denoting their strains of sight) — at which level they will chase you down earlier than shedding curiosity and returning to their set path.

Your job is to make use of the instruments across the stage to assassinate a specific goal or kill each enemy within the stage (until the stage is about reaching a sure location, through which case it may possibly more-or-less simply be run via). While there are a number of throwable objects, your predominant tactic is to seek out traps within the stage and place them within the path of an enemy. These traps might be positioned on their lonesome or strung collectively in Rube-Goldberg-esque vogue (akin to throwing an enemy via a number of spring traps or over spike pits) — which turns into vital throughout boss encounters as they will regenerate well being if left alone for too lengthy.

RELATED: The Long Shadow of Tenchu: Stealth Assassins

It is primarily Ninja Bomberman — notably with its top-down levels, components of destructible terrain, and enemies that keep on with a path. The parallels are even stronger within the sport’s multiplayer, the place gamers acquire factors from damaging one another with fast-paced trap-placing. Shadow Assault is brief and candy with a novel premise in addition to a great deal of improvement on its core concept that retains the gameplay recent — managing to evolve on the ideas present in Bomberman.

An vital a part of this depth, and considered one of my favourite features of the sport, is how Shadow Assault helps you to use detrimental ways to your benefit. As an illustration, you may generally must blow your self up with mines to destroy components of the setting and enter extra of the extent. One other instance could be how some enemies will comply with you thru hazards when chasing you — or how one can stroll over these hazards as a shortcut. Regardless of its simplicity, Shadow Assault has a number of layers of mechanical complexity that heighten the sport’s puzzle components.

After all, the sport is not good by any stretch. The multiplayer, although it resembled the primary sport, lacks the stealth facet and makes lure placement a chaotic bumbling since everybody (even AI gamers) can see traps on this mode. Furthermore, regardless of a sprinkling of mechanical depth, Shadow Assault continues to be fairly bare-bones. I had no thought, as an example, why I used to be mowing down vague martial artists whose solely crime was patrolling round conveniently positioned spike pits. Not that any of this considerably detracts from the core expertise, nonetheless.

Shadow Assault Tenchu Stage One

Shadow Assault: Tenchu might be considerably repetitive, and it is no award-winning masterpiece — however it presents a fast little bit of enjoyable with some respectable mechanical depth. Anybody who needs to make artwork for any medium must spend a while within the mines to sharpen their abilities and advance within the subject. The thought of an auteur studio that creates genre-defining experiences on their first strive is essentially a fable — with From Software program standing as a major instance.

Total, I like to recommend giving Shadow Assault a glance. It is an inexpensive sport on the Xbox retailer that is value a go for some basic arcade enjoyable.

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