Thymesia – Cloud Version Review (Switch eShop)

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (handheld/undocked)

To note: This cloud version of Thymesia has been tested on blazing fast 100MB broadband using both 5G Wi-Fi and wired LAN connection.

The Kingdom of Hermes has fallen into an era of calamity. In a world where the use of powerful alchemy was once widespread and welcomed, things have gone horribly wrong. The now blood-soaked streets are filled with plague-ridden monstrosities and it’s up to you, Corvus, to take out the mutated trash.

OverBorder Studios’ Thymesia is the latest in a long line of Soulslike experiences that attempt to capture the magic of FromSoftware while adding a few of its own gameplay twists and wrinkles for good measure. As if strictly with gender, we have the same ground rules as usual at work here. Bonfires, now known as Beacons, dot the landscape and offer a chance to rest and boost your stats while regenerating any nearby enemies. Death sees you leave behind your collected memories, giving you a chance to return to reclaim them, and there is a central link, here known as Pilgrimage Hill, which you can return to when you want to wallow in the atmosphere. sullen about the game or having a disappointingly short chat with the only NPC residing there.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (handheld/undocked)

Yeah, if you’ve played Soulsborne you already know the gist of how things work in Thymesia, but this is a game that’s managed to garner some extra attention in the lead up to its release because, hey well he looks deals. There’s a nice art style at work here, Corvus is a quick and flashy protagonist, and at first glance the haunted forests and bloodstained streets you wind your way through give off a bit of a Bloodborne vibe which, let’s face it, is a vibe worth clearing up.

Additionally, the game’s combat has enough new ideas to warrant investigation. Corvus attacks enemies with a combination of fast saber slashes and a slower, heavier claw attack. The general idea is that enemy health bars have two elements that you must work to destroy. Hit them with your saber and you’ll see the white bar turn green, indicating you’re dealing wound damage. White will regenerate and recover all exposed green area unless you then hit with your claw, permanently removing the green portion and causing real lasting damage in addition to temporary wounds. Bring the bar down to zero and your enemy will be open for a finishing move indicated by a glowing red spot stolen directly from Sekiro.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (handheld/undocked)

It’s a system that encourages you to stay front and center, getting stuck into enemies with combos – there’s no stamina to worry about here – in order to prevent their wounds from regenerating. On top of that, Thymesia introduces a neat plague weapon mechanic that allows you to steal any weapon skill your current enemy has by charging your claw attack, then unleashing it, sending Corvus forward. to wrest the essence of their weapon from them. for single use.

The plague weapons on offer give you plenty of gameplay options, there are 21 in total to collect, and they cover big big hammers, whips, swords, axes, scythes and other exotic bloody dishes, which add a layer of strategy as you go through levels, collect memory shards to boost your stats and skills while keeping an eye out for the boss lurking at the end of each area.

After a while, you’ll also unlock Plague Weapons permanently in your inventory, giving you the option to set them to a second slot and gift Corvus with a mix of Plague Weapons for permanent use. and single use to play with. As you claw enemies, you’ll receive random drops of weapon-specific upgrade points that can then be used to boost your collection’s attack stats. Use your claw to attack a hammer wielding enemy and they will drop hammer upgrades, sword enemies will drop sword upgrades, etc.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (docking station)

When it comes to leveling up Corvus base stats you only have to worry about pumping your memory shards into strength, vitality and plague attributes and each level you gain rewards you with a talent point to use in the game’s skill tree. This is where you can freely unlock and then reset various skills at your convenience in order to build a Corvus that best suits your playstyle. being pumping all your points into your saber, for example, making sure it gives you back a lot of energy when you attack – energy is what you’ll need for successful plague weapon attacks after all – and there are also buffs for your claw, dodge, deflection skills, feather darts, and more general stuff like buffs to your attacks when your health drops below a certain level.

The core combat system here is really quite solid and unique, at least on paper. However, you may have noticed that we mention feather darts, dodges, and deflects in that last paragraph, and that’s where things start to fall apart somewhat. Thymesia has far too many systems in play for its own good, some of which seem entirely unnecessary and most of which feel like they need to be refined and adjusted due to their annoyingly few windows of opportunity.

Take the game’s feathered darts as an example. These are used to stagger an enemy’s charged attacks and delay wound regeneration, and are deployed by quickly pressing the left trigger. After being introduced to this mechanic in the tutorial, we completely forgot about it. It just seems pointless, does very little damage – at least until you upgrade it – and just dodging away from charged attacks and then moving around for a few saber and claw swipes seems to be the way to go. best option.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (docking station)

This same problem extends to the game’s deflection system. Time your block with the left shoulder button and you’ll deflect an enemy’s attack. Fair enough. But the rewards for that are not worth the difficulty of mastering the extremely tight and tricky timing. There’s no enemy opening for a fancy riposte here, and so you’d be much better off just dodging the way.

However, even the dodge has its issues, feeling unrefined – especially in this Switch Cloud build, which we’ll talk about in a bit – and for the most part we opted to hammer the dodge button rather than try to enter a rhythm of perfect escapes.

This all translates into combat that feels loose and loose on the defense side, never reaching a spot where the player feels in complete control, weaving in and out of enemy attacks and delivering ripostes when the opportunity arises. present. In short, on offense Thymesia feels great for the most part, but other than that it’s a messy mix of mechanics that could and should have been streamlined. Get out the feathers and the deflection and just give us plague weapons, saber/claw attacks and dodge and it may have felt a lot smoother overall.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (docking station)

Apart from combat, well, you have to consider the independent nature of Thymesia and the budget price here. There are only three distinct areas in the game, with a small hub and a final small boss region to buff things up a bit. Not too much variety overall. You’ll go through an area once and face its boss, then you’ll be offered a series of sub-quests that will see you return to a slightly different version of that same area to collect something or fight a secondary boss. That equates to a lot of backtracking and repetition in scenery and enemy types and it’s a problem that’s exacerbated early on by a major first boss that we had to grind for a good few hours to beat. Not an ideal start.

This early game grind didn’t just leave a bad taste in our mouths, it also made us feel completely over-leveled for the rest of our adventure, resulting in mundane enemy encounters and boss battles. which felt much easier later in the campaign than anything we encountered in its opening hours. Or at least it would have been if we hadn’t constantly been plagued with terrible input lag, image quality issues, artifacts, and other issues related to the fact that it’s was a cloud version.

We have had good experiences in the past with people like Hitman 3 – Cloud Versionand yes, we had serious problems (Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Cloud Version), but here things are at their worst. Due to the fast-paced and intense nature of Thymesia’s gameplay and narrow success windows to successfully deflect, dodge, and attack, input lag and image quality issues here result in an experience that is truly unplayable. on Switch. Consider smashing your way through Dark Souls for the first time with very heavy lag, unresponsive controls, and attack animations with completely messed up timings and you’ll get a general idea of ​​how this one works.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (handheld/undocked)

Of course, we realize that your experience may vary depending on your internet configuration, but we tested this game on high performance 100Mb 5G WIFI. and a wired connection with very little success. Just take a look at the screenshots throughout this review to get an idea of ​​how blurry and unreadable this game is in combat. Muddy image quality and compromised inputs in this demanding, action-packed type of game is just not something we can live with, unfortunately.

Ultimately, what you have here is a very poor version of a game that’s already a pretty average experience, even when playing on hardware that can run it flawlessly. Thymesia’s combat is a mixed bag, its level design quite bland and its lore underdeveloped. Had it worked well on Switch, we would have recommended it only to the most ardent Soulslike fans. However, with the performance of this cloud version proving so intolerably poor, this is one version of OverBorder Studio’s indie adventure that we’d advise you to steer clear of.

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