One game that never played as a kid was Ninja Gaiden. When seeing The Messenger trailers and stills it brought me back to my childhood and the missed opportunity of playing. Does The Messenger bring that aesthetic to today and still make the gameplay a blast today? It sure does!!
You are an ordinary Ninja who trains day in and day out. You were told of legends of mighty demons coming back to the world and of a western hero who will stop them. All of a sudden the demon legion arrives back and starts attacking your village and the world.
You are tasked with bringing a scroll to the highest peak of a mountain to the east and are named The Messenger
The Messenger is an action platformer like Ninja Gaiden and Castlevania. You travel through each level using your slashing and jumping skills. The Ninja has an ability that allows you to gain an extra jump after killing or hitting an enemy as well as lantern like objects throughout the world.
As your progress through the game you are offered more abilities such as throwing stars, wall climbing claws, gliding, and a sort of grappling hook.
You collect orbs that can be used in your skill trees. With the skill tree you unlock things such as more health, starting with more health after death, etc
Speaking of death. You really don’t die in the game. A little demon “saves” you each time you “die” and you have to pay off a debt of orbs that prevents you from collecting more. There is a skill that reduces his price by 50% but it does stunt your skill tree progression.
Visuals and Sound
The Messenger really draws you back like you were playing a NES or SNES game. The game offers wonderful 8 bit graphics and sound. Later in the game when you go to the future all of the aesthetics move on to a 16 bit visuals and sound.
The Messenger is a fantastic Indie game that makes you think quick on your feet or otherwise die an untimely death.
I dislike the save points. I feel they are few and far between and hated that after a death I had to go back so far to start over again.
The bosses each offered variant patterns to learn and defeat and I enjoyed every single one. Even tho I died tons on each I always felt that I was making progress.
I couldn’t get enough of the visuals and sounds. It brought be back to the 8 and 16 bit era and really hit that nostalgia feel.
For a 20$ game i definitely got my money’s worth. I died a heck of a lot more then I wanted to but I think with my age my reflexes aren’t what they used to be. If you enjoy NES and SNES era platformers then The Messenger is right for you