Ninja Side-Scroller ‘The Messenger’ Coming to PS4
If you’re a fan of retro platformers and haven’t yet heard of The Messenger, then I’m about to make your day. Last year, Sabotage Studio released this throwback to Ninja Gaiden on PC and Nintendo Switch. This year, The Messenger will release for the PS4 on March 19th.
What you’re seeing in the trailer is, on its surface, an old school platformer inspired by Ninja Gaiden, but The Messenger is much more than that. Notice when the ninja passes through the blue energy lines how he suddenly gets a neat hat and everything looks different? That’s actually a time travelling mechanic that switches the game back and forth between 8-bit and 16-bit graphics. It also alters the soundtrack between 8-bit and 16-bit versions, so you basically get two different kinds of retro in one game!
Here’s a more focused display of the transition between graphics styles. See how different the same area and enemies look when traversing time portals?
Also not seen in the trailer is the game’s self-aware sense of humor. Quirky and flirtatious with the fourth wall, The Messenger’s writing is not that of an ordinary platformer, and is undoubtedly part of the reason it won Debut Indie Game of 2018.
Here you can see some of the original creators of Ninja Gaiden giving The Messenger a try.