Title: Nexomon: Extinction
Developer: VEWO Interactive
Release Date: August 28, 2020
Reviewed On: PC
Genre: Monster Catching
We’ve seen Pokemon clones before. From the beginning of the Pokemon craze, many have tried to replicate its charm and appeal, but many of these series have faded into obscurity. Well, that may change with developer Vewo Interaction’s monster-catching RPG Nexomon: Extinction. This attempt at the genre may look similar to its inspiration, but it finds a place in the genre through its mature narrative and charming world-building systems.
Nexomon: Extinction introduces players to a world that has survived a devastating war against a raging Tyrant Nexomon. Years later, the Nexomon have become tame for the most part, but peace doesn’t last too long. The Nexomon begin to fight for who will become the leader and only one of these Nexomon is prophesied to be peaceful. This is where you come in as you set out on a journey of discovery to learn more about the hidden war and the secrets of the Nexomon.
The story has some pretty adult themes as you progress through the narrative. On top of that, the writing offers players some hilarious and almost overly witty moments of dialogue. It’s incredibly charming to the point where you want to read each interaction just to catch these comedic exchanges. Still, the dialogue takes on some epic scenarios that don’t feel out of place even with a humorous approach.
The actual adventure portion of Nexomon has players making their way through the world and turning on warp points to get around quicker. When you begin, you become a tamer and receive your very first Nexomon; however, the game quickly gives you access to many new partners to collect and add to your party.
In short, there are 381 Nexomon in the game, which means each encounter during the first 5 hours of gameplay will more or less be a Nexomon that you don’t have. It was interesting getting to know and understand an entirely new group of Monsters. During my time playing, I pretty much just based my party around who I thought was cute or not. However, there’s undoubtedly a meta here when it comes to creating an unbeatable group.
Battles are initiated in the grassy areas. Something I loved about the game is that you can actually see the grass moving and coming into contact with that will start the battle. It makes fights feel less random and gives you some level of control if you’re trying to get somewhere quickly.
Battles are turn-based, where players will choose from four attacks. Each attack exhausts Stamina, and if this runs out, your Nexomon becomes “Tired” and loses a turn to regain 10 ST. This makes battles visually easy to understand and read. Everything you need to know about the battle is on the screen, and you don’t have to go through many menus to look for anything.
There are status effects in the game too, but I felt that some of them just lasted way too long. I was Frozen once for five turns, while an enemy was frozen for one. It makes some battles take way too long at times, but it also encourages you to have items that can negate these effects.
Catching Nexomon has its own quirks where players will need to make button presses that increase the odds of capturing a creature. Further, there are traps that work better against specific elements. It makes the battle itself more engaging, and I never got tired of pressing the buttons.
There’s one glaring issue with the opening of Nexomon. As epic as the story is, the game is just too difficult in its opening moments. I died many times on route to the first few destinations, which brought the entire experience to a halt as I had to put time into leveling up the party that I had in hopes of getting stronger.
This introduces another issue, though, you see, the level of the Nexomon scales with the level of your party, which forces you to keep your entire early team’s level balanced. I found it tough even to justify catching a level 6 Nexomon unless I was going to spend time leveling it up because I could easily find a level 12 version of it if I just waited.
The game also tries to get you to carry a large stock of items with you to heal up after each encounter. I ended up getting annoyed by the fact that if I battled a few Nexomon and then initiated a fight with a trainer without healing up, eight times out 10, I would die. This happens dozens of times within the first few hours of gameplay.
It forces you to battle a Nexomon, then go back to a healing station, then go fight a trainer, then go back to the healing station, then fight the next trainer, and so on. Slowly, you’ll inch your way to where you need to go, but I ended up avoiding as many encounters along the way.
Also, if you fight trainers in the wild, they will want to fight again, which I thought was a cool feature. However, they seem to want to battle again after 20 minutes, and they come back with much stronger Nexomon, which you may not be prepared for.
However, many of my grips are fixed after about five hours because you end up collecting enough minerals that allow you to create EXP boosters and power level up your Nexomon. This made progress much smoother and made it easier to keep my entire team at a balanced level. It just goes to show that the EXP grind is slow.
In general, the level of customization that you have over the Nexomon extends past choosing which four attacks they can keep. Players can equip items that provide them extra strength or stamina in battle. The game rewards those who put time into farming materials and looking for secrets, which made the entire experience feel like a real adventure tailored by me.
Nexomon: Extinction provides a great sense of discovery as its world is vast yet condensed, made up of different themes. Each area you go to is full of sidequests and new things to do, which encourages you to speak with NPCs and make your way around.
You are told where to go, but you aren’t really forced to do anything. Taking the game at your own pace is required to get the most out of it, and rushing will only meet you with an early death. Still, that isn’t too bad as the game auto-saves for you, so you begin again in the room you were last in.
The entire world is just beautiful, if not a bit too busy at times. There’s so much to see and do that some things are just overwhelming when attempting to figure out how to spend your time. Luckily, there’s a journal that organizes quest lines so that I was never unsure of what to do next.
Nexomon: Extinction ends up being a great monster-catching RPG thanks to its clever character writing and overall epic narrative. You’re on a quest to save the world, but how you get there is made entirely up to you. There’s some balance that needs to be addressed when it comes to the opening moments along with the game’s difficulty level, but the systems and adorable creatures make this a worthy entry in the genre.
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