Nexomon: Extinction is the latest monster training game trying to take on the Pokémon throne. You’ll be collecting monsters – over 300 of them with nine different elemental types – and training them up to do battle with other trainers throughout the world, but there’s a deeper narrative here, with a fantastical story about tyrant Nexomon which threaten to destroy the world.
If you’ve ever played a Pokémon game, you’re going to feel right at home in Nexomon. Fights, capturing, training and healing centres all appear and work in the exact way you would expect. It’s a solid take on the genre, though it doesn’t have quite the same polish that you’d expect from the history of the Nintendo and Game Freak series.
Even though Nexomon is very obvious about it’s inspirations, it does attempt to change the formula around slightly. Where Pokémon limits the amount of times a Pokémon can use a move, Nexomon have a single stamina bar that powers all their moves. The more powerful the move is, the more stamina it takes. It’s an interesting remedy to the issue of being overly reliant on a single move – I’m looking at you Fire Spin.
Nexomon also changes the elements around slightly, keeping the likes of fire and electric, while adding wind and mineral. I felt the additional elements made its system a little unclear, where in Pokémon it’s easier to pick up on the system and find the strengths and weaknesses. The difficulty in grasping the element system made Nexomon more difficult than it should have been, although even without that issue it is far more challenging than Pokémon.
Most of the trainer battles are pretty unforgiving and you’ll find yourself regularly heading back to the closest healing point. It happens so often that it starts to disrupt the flow of the game, making progress feel a bit sluggish due to the constant need for healing. What made the original Pokémon games so enjoyable was the ability to go on adventures without constantly relying on Pokémon centres, and while long-time players now complain about a lack of difficulty in those games, that adventuring feel is something that is lost in Nexomon.
One thing that Nexomon really gets right are the monsters. The larger than life narrative paves the way for some dynamic and unique monsters that are as fascinating to discover as they are to catch and eventually train. It’s a shame that the starter Nexomon are a little forgettable. The game provides nine options to begin with, which is a little overwhelming for new players who don’t yet know the world. Fortunately, the option to capture monsters opens up pretty quickly, meaning you can build from the starter Nexomon right off the bat.
Nexomon: Extinction’s visual DNA lies in its mobile predecessor, producing simple and colourful graphics with an art style that isn’t particularly exciting. I’d like to have seen a little more distinction from the previous title, as they look pretty much exactly the same, which is a real shame. The presentation isn’t bad at all, it just never does anything particularly exciting and fails to really distinguish itself from other titles in the genre.