|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Acquire||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 3, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
In rare instances when you find yourself face-to-face with an adversary and also happen to have a katana in your inventory, you're given the opportunity to engage in a little first-person swordplay mini-game that has you blocking incoming attacks by tilting the Wii Remote and delivering blows by flailing about wildly. Like other aspects of the game's control setup, these intense encounters are awkward at first but get easier with practice. The general movement and camera controls can be unwieldy at times, and the game takes on a slow pace to match your inability to move around with any amount of actual speed.
From the excellent musical score to the nicely detailed characters and level visuals, Shadow Assassins packs a solid presentation that looks good, sounds good, and does a great job enhancing the story themes. Still, there are a few kinks. Slain enemies will occasionally wiggle strangely after death (among other occasional visual glitches), and the enemy dialogue quickly becomes repetitious to a fault, yet the moving story and frequent cutscenes balance this out. Overall, the serious tone and mature content is certainly welcome on the Wii.
The quality stealth-based gameplay in the main story spans more than 10 missions and is enhanced by dozens of side-quests to explore, hidden items to locate, and other features to dig into. In its early stages, Shadow Assassins has the potential to become frustrating as players become acclimated to the clunky controls and pacing, but the gameplay improves once you overcome these hurdles. The further you delve into the game's entrancing plot and ninja sneakiness, the more you'll come to appreciate its high points. Plus, who doesn't love being a ninja assassin?
CCC Staff Contributor