It's rather easy to decipher why reviewers haven't been too fond of Tenchu Z. First of all the game plays exactly like all the other Tenchu and needless to say that isn't a good thing at this point. Tenchu is a series that could have evolved to something really good but the developers are too lazy to try and be different. Let me just say this before I start ripping Tenchu Z a new one. I had fun with this game it's my biggest guilty pleasure game in quite some time. Despite it's numerous failures as a game I still found playing through it to be a good time but there is no doubt in my mind that it is still a bad game no matter how you spin it.
The graphics aren't flat out awful but there is no doubt that they fall into the category of mediocre and at times plain ugly. There is little variety in the levels and you'll soon be repeating the same level over and over again. You'll get that feeling of deja vu as you realize you are doing the same exact missions in the same exact levels over and over again.
The game play is the standard Tenchu affair. The X button is your only ally and stealth kills are really cool. The combat still sucks ass. There really isn't much to it. The game itself isn't much of a struggle and is without a doubt the easiest game I've played all year. Most of the missions you do involving killing some person. You can easily beat any level in under minute by simply rushing to the target and killing him.
The enemy a.i. is without a doubt the worst I've ever encountered in a videogame. It is just hilariously awful. Enemies that see you will give up pursuit the second you turn a corner. Enemies can smell you if you fell in a cesspool but they can't see you killing the guard that is standing about ten feet in front of them. They can't hear their friend’s screams as they are gutted directly behind them. I mean there are just so many things wrong with the a.i. I couldn't even begin to describe them.
Well in summary all I can say is that the a.i is close to broken and as a whole Tenchu Z is a mockery to the stealth genre. Admittedly it's something that still can be a bit of shameful fun but there is no doubt that it is a crap game.