The Top 7... series run into the ground

They had it. They lost it. Here they are

Tenchu

OK. How do you screw this up? Everybody likes ninjas. Ninjas sneak. Metal Gear and Splinter Cell already sorted out sneaking for you. So why...?

Once the "it game" - back in the days of the original PlayStation - the series is now the ultimate also-ran. 2003's Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven wasn't groundbreaking like the old games, but it was still fun. Things took a sharp downward turn with the sequel, Fatal Shadows, though, and have yet to recover.

Like a poisoned rice ball, somebody choked on the crappy PSP version of the series. We never saw it in the US, just Europe and Japan. The Nintendo DS version just plain sucked: Nintendo never even sent us a copy to review.We did anyway. We wished we hadn't.

Now, there's Tenchu Senran for the Xbox 360. Official Xbox Magazine, our sister publication, included a demo on one of its discs recently... and opinions were definitely mixed. There's still hope for this series, but unless Senran yanks the series out of its slump - it's all over.

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