Since its release, Nexomon: Extinction has had some Quality of Life updates. This review is based from version 1.1.0 on the Nintendo Switch.
LimeTurtle Inc first formed in 2014 and Nexomon: One, a mobile only title, was their first full venture once partnering with the original team behind a game known as “Micromon”. Since then, the team has been working hard for their first full console release with Nexomon: Extinction.
Nexomon Extinction is, in the words of the developer themselves, “a return to classic monster-catching” and it is a fine example of doing what it says on the tin. As one of many orphans residing at a small Orphanage, you begin your journey in dramatic fashion which leads to you picking one of nine Nexomon as your starter. Although this may sound like a daunting decision early on, you can catch every single starter Nexomon in the wild, albeit they are very rare and thus hard to find. As a young Tamer, you set out on an adventure together with your friends with the aim of climbing the ranks of The Guild – a well-respected organisation to protect the world from any threat and to save humanity from the potential brink of extinction. Find out what we thought in our review!
Developed by LimeTurtle Inc
Published by PQube
Released: 28th August 2020
The bulk of the game consists of story driven content which follows the main character and his companion, Coco, as they travel the world as a Tamer of the Guild. As a Tamer, your job is to assist people with everyday tasks as well as helping in the fight against “tyrants”, a large variant of Nexomon that are very powerful and threaten the very existence of human life – hence the namesake of the game. The first half of the game feels very safe and it doesn’t stray far from what you might typically expect in this kind of RPG, however there are many twists and turns which kick things up a notch in the second half and will really keep you playing. Each key character also expresses their own personality from tongue-in-cheek sarcasm, wholesomeness and just plain “smell ya later” rude.
Coco, your companion, enjoys breaking the fourth wall as often as he possibly can which, on some occasions, feels very forced and over the top, and other times feel like a welcome joke about the tropes of the monster collecting genre. Overall the story develops in such a way to keep the player interested and at points I found myself simply not wanting to put my switch down.
As you might expect from this kind of game, each character is limited to a party of six Nexomon, all of which have their own typing and move set of up to four moves. This game is difficult enough to warrant some mindfulness going into the balance of your team. There are nine different types in the world of Nexomon so there is a slight art to adjusting your team to cover every possibility, but equally you don’t really have to overthink who to have in your team. I found selecting my favourites with a well balanced team in terms of typing saw me through. Something that did bother me was how each Nexomon tends to only learn Normal-Type moves or their own typing moves. So a Fire-type Nexomon would only have a Fire- and Normal-Type movepool for the most part. There are some exceptions, Normal-type Nexmon seem to have a bit more variety in their general movepool. For me though, this just felt like a missed opportunity to be able to plan my team more and perhaps be a bit more clever with the movepools.
Battling is very fun and very fast paced. This game encourages the player to switch out as much as possible in a single battle. It is very unlikely you are going to sweep an enemy team with just your lead Nexomon, there is something to be said for the strategy involved in when’s best during a battle to switch-out, and to whom in your team it might be best to switch-out with. This leads to some exciting and difficult battles as the game progresses.
One of the most daunting yet brilliant features of this game is that there isn’t really a lot to stop you exploring a lot of the world from the very start. The wild Nexomon and Tamer battles scale to your level as you proceed in the main story itself, so there isn’t anything stopping you from straying far off course to see what you can discover or capture during a bulk of the gameplay. Level scaling appears to grow depending on how far you are in the story. It can be punishing if you have been avoiding wild battles and side quests as the enemies will creep to higher levels than your team. Personally, I think it’s a good choice how this game encourages the player to approach side quests and battles from this perspective. If you’re thinking of getting this game just to rush the story to skip to completing your Nexomon database, think again.
Capturing Nexomon in itself has a number of features to think about. The type of “Nexotrap” you use will show you the likelihood of capturing a wild Nexomon with a percentage bar, which increases depending on any status ailments of the wild Nexomon, remaining Hit Points and what food you feed it as an optional, yet quite essential, element of capturing. Each Nexomon has favourite foods which will also increase the chances of a successful capture. Finally, as you throw the Nexotrap there is a final Quick Time Event system to overcome which will add an extra 5% onto the final figures of capture. All of these mechanics combined work for a very in-depth, yet easy to learn capturing system.
One flaw I found with the Nexomon themselves was that they didn’t feel unique enough – my level 60 Thornox that has grown with me and I have loved will have the exact same stats as a wild level 60 Thornox. I could essentially catch another one and bin mine that has been with me since the start of my journey and see no difference. This part of the game could benefit from a slight overhaul to ensure there is variety in Nexomon of the same species.
Being a traditional top-down monster hunting RPG, there isn’t much to say about the graphics. It is what it is, a charming old school feel with vibrant areas and atmospheric music to compliment towns and routes as you explore. My one criticism would be the graphics in the battles themselves. In some ways I felt like I was playing a flash or mobile game – the monsters movements were dull and I didn’t think the style complimented some of the designs as well as it should have. Perhaps this should be expected though as this was the developer’s first venture into Console gaming. The prequel, Nexomon: One, and their original game, Micromon, were both mobile only releases. This is something I really hope they improve on in future releases, even if they did just switch to traditional sprite art.
Overall this game is a fantastic call back to RPGs of the 1990’s and perhaps early 2000’s. Each Nexomon is unique in its own way, though some designs are ultimately bland or look poor, which is something you find with virtually any monster raising video game. There are 381 Nexomon to collect overall in this game, so once the main story has been beaten there is a challenge to complete.
There is unfortunately no further post-game content yet, though the developer appears to be working hard on upcoming features for replayability such as a built in “Nuzlocke” mode, a “Randomizer” mode and a fourth save slot. Hopefully there is more to come as the Developer has been brilliant in feeding through post-launch updates. The lack of current post-game content and the couple of flaws I mentioned do not take away from what I find to be an absolute gem and underrated game. As hard as I have tried to avoid the “P” word in this review, if you enjoy classic Pokemon – this game is for you!