With Time Traveling Ninjas, moral filled short stories you’d probably want to tell your children and pets, demons and sass combined with tight 2D platforming, The Messenger pulls off a fantastic blend of nostalgia, reward, flow and creative writing.
But first I want to start off by saying, “This game kicked ass.”
The tutorial is straightforward and quick. Naturally it forces the player to use each ability at least once when you and then test the skill immediately. One thing that it does well is combining the skills for base progression:
Jump > Hit [anything with a hitbox], repeat… at first.
It’s just that simple. Remember the good old Screw Attack from the Metroid series, that just forced you forward? Well imagine doing that but being able to sit still in the air as long as you master the timing of the Jump > Slash skill combo.
You might be thinking, …”that’s it?” No. The level design is built to accommodate the skills, and well designed levels they are. Most objects you will be hitting in mid air contain Time Shards (currency/xp) and this design choice not only pushes a good forward momentum with reward and visual aid, but it forces you to practice the most basic skill set necessary.
Once things start to get comfortable, you should always expect developers to add more challenge with the progression…