Out now for several platforms, here’s my Nexomon Extinction review for the PlayStation 4.
Reviewing an RPG title puts a bit of pressure on as these types of games are HUGE and when you’re juggling multiple titles, it’s hard to get balls deep enough to unlock the relevant spells, level increases and bosses to put an appraisal on it.
Nexomon Extinction Review
You couldn’t get more Pokémon than actually playing Pokémon, but Nexomon Extinction does feel like a direct clone of the series. Enter a world where creatures and humans co-exist, with trainers carrying devices to capture and train them in battle.
As a non-fan, as in ‘I was too old for it’, I have no allegiances – the game can be anything it wants, but having played Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Pokémon Sword, I got the impression that the franchise was a heavy influence.
But it’s a good game and is set apart by some self-aware, witty dialogue.
In the opening sequence, you encounter your first impossible battle and must choose a Nexomon to accompany you that will be with you for life. Don’t make me choose!! Instead of there being two or three, there are nine creatures to pick from. Without playing the game, it’s a lot of pressure, but I’ve always favoured fire types, so I went with Masquiti, a psychic type. Wait, what?
It wasn’t the best choice, but I liked the way it looked, simples. However, within moments you can pick up new Nexomon by bashing them a bit, then when they’re on the ropes, throw a NexoTrap to capture them.
Gotta Catch ‘Em All
The capturing process is an interesting one as there are lots of hints on the likelihood of gaining a new Nexomon for your party. Aside from stats and HP, if a Nexomon is well fed, they’re easier to catch, and on that basis, the probability of capturing one with one of your NexoTrap is high.
Once you enter the ‘battle for possession’, a QTE pops up, and you have to hit the right combo of buttons before your time runs out. If you fail, you can still win the Nexomon, but obviously, the success rate is higher if you complete the event.
What now? You give them a nickname – of course, you do! My kids think it’s weird that I named every single Pokémon I’ve caught, starting with common human names then substituting for household objects such as a lampshade, scales and scissors. It personalises the experience. But we all know that deep down you’ll have a select few of go-to characters and aim to level them up.
Levelling up comes through the battles, and unlike Pokémon Sword, only the Nexomon in play with getting XP points. It’s a bit of a graft, but you soon become inseparable from some of the characters, and there are some unique ones on offer.
There’s a reasonably good story in the game which is better than a quest for being the best tamer with its counterpart, but one of the more prominent selling points is the freedom allowed. Except for a few key story locations, you can practically go everywhere without feeling too overpowered.
You’re accompanied by the bittersweet Coco, a talking cat who is a little wiser for its age and has some pretty gamer-aware lines that made me chuckle here and there. In some ways, Nexomon Extinction did feel a little like a sandbox as there’s no waiting to get access to decent creatures.
Level With Me
Levelling up can be a little bit of a grind as the XP is a bit stingy. Also, you’ll find that you’ll use everyone in your party as it’s quite often that you’ll lose your key members through fainting. It’s not a rogue-like in that you lose them for good, and healing them is quite simple enough. My biggest beef was the controls when exploring.
You can only walk up, down, left and right – no diagonals. Is this to play into the retro gaming mindset of RPGs of yesteryear? If so, it was a strange move as it feels very backward as I would often walk past an item I wanted to interact with by a step or two. It felt like playing the Nokia classic Snake (shameless link – Snakeybus), only in choppy movement only – it was just so clunky.
The visuals are crystal clear, and I’d say that Nexomon Extinction was one of the easiest titles to read than any other I’ve played of late. I’m not sure if that’s a compliment as such. It’s not done in Comic Sans, but the text is super crisp and easy on the eye. Everything in the game has a real sharp edge to it, only muted by the cuteness of it all, plus the superb colour palette.
In any of the towns you visit, if someone is standing in your way, the game turns into an unintentional puzzler as you try to get past this mobile obstacle. But to counter that, Nexomon Extinction is a great looking game.
It does feel very much like a mobile game in presentation, but pause for a few moments and bask in the vibrancy of the colours used in this game. Nexomon Extinction feels like a theme park made of sweets – it’s so bright and engaging, I just wish real life was a little bit more like it.
Some of the characters felt a little basic, while others really stood out. When there’s a tally of 381, it’s understandable that some of them will be turkeys. Nexomon turkeys.
How long you’ll be playing the game depends on you, but I feel the urge to catch every single character and rename them; otherwise, it feels incomplete. At this time, I haven’t caught ’em all, but I will be steadily coming back and forth as the completionist in me won’t sleep. For everyone else, this is on par of a Pokémon title, coming from a non-Pokémon fan.