The Tarnishing of Juxtia PC Review

An adequate attempt at a soulslike that doesn’t quite do it right.

By LCLupus, Posted 03 Aug 2022

The Tarnishing of Juxtia is the second game by the dev team Actual Nerds, and it is a soulslike 2D hack-and-slash game that may seem like a metroidvania at first glance, but it isn’t. It’s a rather straightforward 2D fighter that doesn’t play all that great despite looking gorgeous, if somewhat uninspired at times. It has a dark, pixel-art style reminiscent of many 2D soulslike games, so the atmosphere is definitely present for those who want it. But other than that, it isn’t such a great game.

The Tarnishing of Juxtia, PC, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Healing, NoobFeed

The Tarnishing of Juxtia is about a world consumed by some kind of an ancient, malicious, and infectious force. You know, like in Dark Souls, Bloodborne, Hollow Knight, and any other assortment of Souls/soulslike games. So, it doesn’t exactly do anything new on that front. However, that could also be seen as part of the soulslike vibe, so if you’re into that kind of narrative, then it’ll be your vibe too.

However, because it’s a soulslike, it also has a rather vague narrative that is cryptically handed to you over the course of the game. You know… like in Dark Souls. But that may be a little unfair, as similarly Souls-inspired games tend to get a bit more love than this review would imply The Tarnishing of Juxtia deserves. However, that’s generally because those other games have a more satisfying gameplay loop.

The Tarnishing of Juxtia is a slow game. If there’s anything you definitely need to know, it’s that the game is slow. Your character moves slowly, attacks slowly, thankfully dodges quickly, but he suffers from input lag that makes The Tarnishing of Juxtia feel clunky to play and handle. There is a responsive dodge mechanic, but sometimes it isn’t responsive enough, such as in some boss fights.

The Tarnishing of Juxtia, PC, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Graphics, NoobFeed

The game has a similar focus on challenging boss fights, much like other soulslike games, but the thing that makes it different here is that despite your character being relatively slow and taking ages to hit anything, the bosses are rather quick. The dodge often feels like an inadequate response to the high-speed enemies that take your health down in seconds. None of the bosses or enemies have particularly large health bars, but theirs are still astronomically larger than yours.

There are bosses that will kill you in two hits, and to make matters worse, every time you go back to fight a boss, a cutscene starts to play. These can be skipped, but not immediately. The devs did not take the principal important aspect of tough boss fights, and only showed you the cutscene once! Which is not great. Not terrible, but still irritating. No one wants to rewatch the same cutscene, even if it is the first few seconds of it, ten times in a row.

The Tarnishing of Juxtia is also a simple game. There is effectively a dodge, an attack, and a few magic abilities. There is weapon switching, and some weapons are faster or slower, heavier or lighter, but there is no alternation of attacks. There are no heavy and light attacks. It is very simplistic. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it also means that the combat can become rather dull rather quickly. It also means that upgrading your character is merely a numbers game in which your total damage or health or whatever other stat you want to improve, only increases by a few points at a time. It never feels like there’s anything particularly big that you can gain. Essentially, the game has vertical progression with little horizontal progression. Little choice in how you can develop your character.

The Tarnishing of Juxtia, PC, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, The Brandmarker, NoobFeed

Other than that, there isn’t much to say about the game. The Tarnishing of Juxtia is a competent soulslike game that should tide you over if you’ve run out of soulslike games, but there are far better versions of this out there. There are games like Hollow Knight and Blasphemous that offer much more robust combat systems, unique worlds, and more original art styles.

This is a game for when there’s nothing much else to play. The world does not feel particularly unique; the combat is rather barebones and could have been further expanded; the lack of means to progress and the minute amount of exploration potential means that this game cannot be easily recommended. The fact that the character moves so slowly through rather large spaces is also a cause for concern. Whenever a character moves too slowly and attacks too slowly, that’s something that you can’t just ignore. It’s an ever-present issue.


So, play this if you don’t have any other soulslike games to play, and it is also recommended that you probably get it on sale if you decide to play it. It is pretty, but it isn’t a unique kind of pretty. It has promise, but unless there are some movement and combat overhauls, the game simply isn’t all that fun to play.

Justin van Huyssteen (@LC_Lupus)
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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