GamingReview: The Messenger

Review: The Messenger

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The Messenger is a beautiful realisation of retro 2D platforming that proves that these games still stand up as gamings very best. The Messenger is a retro 2D platformer that leans on past ideas to create a fresh new platformer. That is outstanding for all intents and purposes.

Platforming Magic

When I first started The Messenger, I was instantly transported to a bygone era of the late 20th century where 8-16 bit platforming gameplay was all the range. You, the player, find yourself as a young Ninja, destined to transport a message across your home island. In the hope of saving the world from the apocalypse.

The game is stunning and breathtaking from the get-go in terms of graphics and art style. The Messenger leans on classic retro 2D 8-16 bit graphics and creates a familiar and new aesthetic. Aesthetically, the game is outstanding and is one of the very best looking games in the genre. The game also has excellent level design and variety, making every section of the game feel fresh and new. Furthermore, the game has a stellar story with one of the best narratives in the genre. Likewise, The Messenger has a fantastic variety of enemy types adding further variety to the gameplay and challenge.

Classic 2D Platforming

Ninja Reflexes Required

Thus, the game is challenging from a gameplay perspective and will challenge even the most veteran platforming players, which is a good and bad thing. The game is adhering to the challenge of its predecessors. But is far too hard for the casual gamer and will become quickly frustrating for many. Thus the game is best suited to hardcore fans of the genre.

Hardcore fans of the genre will enjoy the classic 8-16 bit tunes of platforming present throughout the game’s entity. The soundtrack is outstanding, with beats being catchy and a musical master class in retro bit music. The combination of classic retro graphics, music and excellent gameplay make for an outstanding game. It rivals and matches the classic 2D platformers of the retro era. It is hard to describe how nostalgic this game is. The game delivers on everything it sets out to do, staying faithful to the 2D platforming games of old while making the game relevant enough to make the genre stand out in the present age.

Although The Messenger is challenging, limiting its accessibility, the game is an incredible piece of art and should be recognised for this. It is a game chock full of retro era nostalgia that quite simply makes you feel warm inside.

Varied Level Design

Verdict

Overall, The Messenger is an outstanding game that stands out amongst games within the current era of gaming and amongst its predecessors. The game is the perfect package of retro 2D platforming nostalgia and successfully executes every element of 2D platforming that we love. Despite it being a challenge at times in terms of its difficulty, you have to pick up this game. You owe it to yourself as a gamer to play one of the best 2D platformers out there.

SUMMARY

+Stunning 2D art style and graphics
+Excellent gameplay
+Charming and nostalgic soundtrack
+Great story
-Challenging gameplay

(Reviewed on Xbox Series S, also available on PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC and other Xbox One consoles)
Jack Boreham
My name is Jack. I've been a video gamer all my life since getting my very first starter Pokemon on the GameBoy Advance. When I'm not becoming a Pokemon master, I'm a freelance writer, podcaster and content creator. You can check out my work on my website PixelPolitics.co.uk

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