Nexomon Extincion is the sequel to the successful mobile game Nexomon, the similar sounding name to a certain franchise isn’t merely a coincidence and we are going to take a look to see if it is a pale imitation or a viable alternative.
Now let’s get this out of the way off the bat, Nexomon is a trainer game, often considered to be a Pokemon clone. I will try and avoid comparisons as best as I can but I have limited exposure with the sub-genre of RPG and the most prominent is Nintys go-to.
The world of Nexomon is in ruin, you could almost say its bearing extinction. Great trainers fought a terrifying legendary dragon and while not completely defeating it, managed to hold it long enough for our hero to get involved.
The story starts you off being made a “Trainer”, you are to travel the world, build your guild level by accepting quests and battling Nexomon with wild Nexomon and other Trainers.
There is naturally a little bit of Hero Syndrome going on and your character in the first 10 minutes is, attacked by legendary dragon, meets a ghost, gets to choose any of the starting Nexomon from a mysterious hooded person and has a little bit of telepathy going on.
The story in Nexomon is a lot stronger than I expected. I also found myself laughing alot more than I had anticipated and I mean ALOT more, the writing is brilliant throughout.
Nexomon Extinction not only has a really really strong art direction but it looks so crisp and HD you can’t help but be wowed and endeared towards the game from the get go. The monster designs range from average as you’d expect to really well designed and interesting.
Character art is about as deliciously over the top anime as they come and it really helps the overall feel of the game. The world is nice and varied and just begs you to explore every inch, helped by the hidden items but the visuals also help with drawing you in and the narrative. Old car ruins deep in the woods and traffic lights covered in vines.
The gameplay in Nexomon Extinction is as you would expect from the tamer genre, you fight, train and capture monsters. There is a greater focus on completing side quests in this which I quite enjoyed and for a good few reasons it provides quite the challenge in several ways.
The balance in Nexomon Extinction isn’t quite as refined as you would initially hope, this was a launch problem and as far as I could tell has remained post Patch 1. You are given the choice of 9 starter Nexomon, 1 of every element. While this seems quite fun it soon shows why this isn’t the best idea. Because the game offers you all 9 it also means that trainers and wild Nexomon in the opening areas are going to have/be all 9 elements. This means you’ll be forced into making a team and hitting the grind from the get go, rather than being eased into it, learning the element chart.
Secondly actually getting an effective strike doesn’t actually give you that much more damage output, intact early hours I had base attacks that hit much harder than striking an elemental weakness.
Moves are all performed by taking energy from a “mana bar”. Now genre standard usually the the moves have individual usage pools, the fact all moves use the same pool requires alot more forethought as you don’t want to leave your Nexo tired and vulnerable.
The A.I in Nexomon Extinction is quite brutal, when facing trainers expect them to switch Nexomon out and run your entire teams H.P and Mana down. While it is fantastic to be challenged this much, it makes the early game much more of a grind than some may want and means you’ll be spending much of your time, to and froing the local healing centre.
Money seems to have been improved slightly in Patch 1 for the game but everything is still quite expensive, this means very early you’ll have to decide if your trip is going to be focused on trapping Nexomon or sticking up on items for the inevitable difficulty spike of which there are a few.
Capturing Nexomon in game is a whole thing in itself. You damage, debuff, negative status enough until you think the Nexomon is ready to be caught, you throw a trap, complete button sequence and pray to the nexogods. There are many Nexotraps to help improve chances with certain types and you can even throw food to make them more relaxed so you can capture and weaponize them!.
The game is free roam to a point, you will eventually hit a wall without making certain progress but you are mostly free to explore. While it’s great it doesn’t hold your hand, you can often walk into areas that are ready to make you its b***h if you aren’t high levelled enough.
Another interesting aspect is that once you beat a trainer, after a while they are ready for a rematch, great for grinding but not so great during your panicked dash to the healing centre. The rate these trainers are ready to throw down in insane, don’t be surprised to fight the same trainer a few times over half an hour, especially if your grinding out some levels.
The most glaring issue with Nexomon Extinction and what I feel is going to put a sizeable audience off is the fact there is no multiplayer of any form. I know the dev team have been looking at feedback, while I can’t say if this is on the cards or if it’s even possible at this point, if the game had multiplayer, it would push this game much further than it does currently as a single player experience.
There is a world of fun to be had in Nexomon Extinction, even if you aren’t an avid fan of the Monster Capture subgenre. It offers quite a sizeable challenge, mostly at the start but does maintain a tougher than expected challenge throughout. It has a gorgeous art style and over 300 Nexomon for you to capture, none of that silly version splitting!. It smashes the 4th wall with some fantastic writing and has one of the most exciting worlds to explore of 2020.
While the lack of multiplayer is a big blow to the game, the tasty price point, gorgeous graphics and addictive and tough gameplay make Nexomon Extinction the respectable and legitimate alternative that it should be.
Nexomon Extinction proves you don’t have to have the pedigree of Ninty to provide gamers with essential monster-hunting gameplay