The Tarnishing of Juxtia PC Preview

The Tarnishing of Juxtia is a 2D side scrolling RPG in the vain of Dark Souls and Castlevania created by developers Actual Nerds.

By JoshuaBurt, Posted 13 Jun 2022

The Tarnishing of Juxtia is a 2D side-scrolling RPG in the vain of Dark Souls and Castlevania created by developers Actual Nerds. You play as a Tarnished (Has no connection to the tarnished of Elden Ring) and you must stop the tarnishing from destroying the world. That's the essence of the game's narrative that gives you a driving force as you push onwards through the various enemies that stalk you throughout the world.

This will take us to the gameplay of the game. It is stellar. While it may be more simplistic than its counterparts like Dark Souls due to its perspective, the game still manages to capture the essence of a soulslike while maintaining its own unique identity.

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The combat is the game's best feature. Weapons have different attack animations, speeds, and scaling meaning certain weapons are better for your character builds than others. The combat can be slow and deliberate as you swing with your heavy sword, timing your shots against a tough enemy, Or it can be frenetic and fast as you hack and slash, dodging and weaving at every opportunity.

This variety allows the combat to continuously be engaging and truly enhances the experience to make the game more and more fun. In addition to this, the game also features other ways of facing down enemies. Magic is another aspect of combat which is also incredibly fun. Specific relics and gifts can both detract and boost different areas of your combat prowess allowing players a lot of opportunities to experiment with what works well for them.

Furthermore, similarly to Bloodborne, the combat incentivizes attacking as you slowly build focus which unleashes a charge making both your stamina and mana recharge at an astounding rate. This emphasis on attack prevents you from being too complacent and makes the game that much more engaging.

Moreover, the game also features platforming which fits perfectly into the game and the platforming is continuously kept fresh as new platforms create more intriguing puzzles for you to reach the next area. Sometimes due to the game's controls, the platforming can feel slightly cruel as you have to perfectly time a jump, but on average it feels fair, with every mistake being your own.

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Similar to other Soulslike titles, the world map is connected with shortcuts and various areas allowing for a large amount of exploration. While the game is only 2d which innately stifles that feeling, the level design still maintains its exploratory nature through clever level design and interesting locations.

It would be remiss of me to be doing a preview of this game and not mention boss battles. It is clear that it is one of the main focuses of the game and in the 1-2 hours of demo playing time, the bosses were brilliant. Well designed and fantastic to look at. While the arenas feel slightly contrived especially with constant rolling back and forth, ultimately these fights were the best part of the experience and I cannot wait for more.

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The game's style is excellent. The pixelated art is exemplified further with the intense use of color that the developers have used enhances this game to the next level. Some environments look absolutely stunning with immense backgrounds which in some cases makes some of the environments look a little stale by comparison.

The game does suffer from a difficultly problem and it's not one most would expect. The game can feel really easy at times as enemies just stand there taking damage, on the other hand, other enemies can feel punishingly hard. I am not sure what creates this feeling, but in some cases, when fighting a basic enemy it felt almost harder than a boss and vice versa. It was odd and strangely enough seemed to be consistent, at least for me.

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While the game is in a demo state right now. One of its biggest issues is the frame rate. The game dips to very low frame rates the more complex the map and background become. The game slows to a crawl as you jankily attack and dodge, praying the lag hasn't gotten you killed.

The weakest aspect of The Tarnishing of Juxtia is its narrative. The characters aren't very strong and unlike contemporary titles like Elden Ring, the characters' mysterious aspects aren't enough to hold interest and maintain a level of care for the characters. It's something that could be improved, at least a little bit prior to the release.

Overall, The Tarnishing of Juxtia is a game that is brimming with potential. Its combat is incredibly fun and addictive, combined with a large amount of variety lending to an even more entertaining experience. The boss fights are splendid fun and well-designed boss fights. Though the combat can be a little contrived, especially with the repetitious back and forth as well as some poor boss arenas, the game still manages to excel in terms of its combat. The art style is fantastic and though the narrative is a little poor, The Tarnishing of Juxtia has a great deal of potential and I cannot wait for its full release later in the summer of this year.

The Tarnishing of Juxtia demo is available right now on Steam, check it out and see what you think for yourself. Comment down below what you think of The Tarnishing of Juxtia.

Joshua Burt (@JoshuaBurt123)
Senior Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Mastiff
Developer(s): Actual Nerds
Genres: Role-Playing
Themes: Action, Indie, Fighting
Release Date: 2022-07-26

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