A Monster by any other name. Nexomon:Extinction review

 

My potions are running low, my opponent is cunning and has a team of various creatures to combat me. The winner of this fight will determent by whoever makes the first mistake or sheer luck of getting a critical hit in. I am in luck he switched to a water based creature. No match for my electric pet. I do not even have to waste stamina on a large attack. A simple light attack is enough. Double damage due its sensitivity. Now we just mob up the remains and we prove we are the better tamer and collect a sweet reward.. which will go straight to the store to pay for more potions. Luckily healing your pets back to health will be free. We are one step closer to a silver badge and some more respect in the world.

What is Nexomon?

Nexomon is a classic monster catching /fighting game that draws heavy inspiration from shows and games such as Pokemon, Digimon, medabots etc. It has been nearly 25 years since we caught our first monsters in a trap and many games and copy cats have been released since and as a result a lot of the game will feel familiar. Regardless of its similarities to other those other monster collection games, this sequel to the first Nexomon game comes packed with a brand new story, eccentric characters and over 350 unique creatures to fight, trap and tame. 

The Story
The story of Nexomon opens to a peak into the future, the end result of your journey as you will and things look grimm. The world is on the brink of extinction as mighty Tyrant Nexomon fight for dominion over humans and monsters and by the look of things you seem to have taken side with the bringer of destruction. But soon you wake up and it seems it is only your first day of the rest of your life as you are ready to join the guild of tamers. An epic adventure still lies ahead of you. It is time to leave the orphanage choose your first Nexomon and start your life as a tamer.
I do not want to give away too much of the story but you end up fighting dragons, alpha Nexomon called Tyrants and a strange group of cultist who are doing its very best to capture you and a strange artifact that was given to you. The guild of Tamers is stretched thin fighting battles on all fronts of the world. So it is all up to you to change the tide and determine the fate of the world.
Even though all this seems a tad dark, have no fear as Nexomon execute its admittedly intriguing story  with its tongue firmly planted in its cheek. Breaking the fourth wall in regular fashion in order to point out the ridiculousness of existing game and anime tropes as well as point out its similarities with all those Pokemon games. Your companion is a talking cat who points out you are pretty much a mute, that is is probably not a good idea to send a bunch of young kids into a scary forest or that is it okay to think about NOT completing that suspicious side quest you were just given. The narrative is really sassy and to me, that is a good thing.

Gameplay

Nexomon: Extinction has a basic gameplay loop. Travel the world, Fight monsters, weakening them, trap them and either add them to your team, storage or trade them and challenge other trainers/tamers. As you use them the Nexomon will grow, level up and in some cases evolve to better versions of themselves. 


Each of the Nexomon will be of a certain type: Normal, Fire, Water, Plant, Mineral, Wind, Electric, Psychic, and  Ghost. The type determines certain weaknesses and strengths against other types. For instance a water type will be weak again electric types but strong against fire types. Of course level difference and attack types available will determine as well how you do, but it is important to learn the differences advantages and disadvantages and create a team that is best to take on your next challenge. You can only carry six Nexomon at a time but you can store the other ones at a health center data bank. It is possible to create multiple teams and have them ready for pickup when you are facing a particular challenge. For instance if you are heading into a water area of the map, chances are high you are going to need a lot of electric types to come out on top. How you make your teams is up to you. 


Trapping a Nexomon to add to your collection is pretty straightforward and has three basic steps and even if you do not do all of them they increase your chances to capture that elusive rare Nexomon. Number one, as mentioned weaken the creature. This is done by fighting it with another Nexomon. Lucky for you one is given to you in the beginning of the game , so choose wisely. 
Number two, feed the Nexomon you are fighting a nice snack to appease it. Be careful though they do not like every food type. But if they do you will up your chances of capture. 
Number three. Throw the trap. There are generic traps but also higher quality ones as well as type specific traps that will work better for those types. The trap works a bit like the ones you saw in the movie Ghostbusters and if you do well the Nexomon will stay in the trap and instantly is yours to command. During the capture sequence a bunch of symbols that correspond to your controller will appear and you can punch those in real quick to increase the capture chance even more. But there is always a chance that they escape, run away or force you to continue fighting.



There are 381 Nexomon to collect,  if you want to have a sneak peak you can have a look in the Nexopedia online here: https://pqube.co.uk/nexomon-extinction/category/nexopedia/

You will also take on challengers and dangerous foes in animated turn-based battles. These battles are tougher than fighting a single Nexomon and you do well to have a well balanced team and stock up on potions. These potions you can collect by doing quests, you can find them across the world or buy them from vendors. 
In addition you can also mine for shards. These shards can be sold or used to create cores that change the stats of your Nexomon. 

Fights,especially with other tamers are often challenging and as you level up your party of Nexomon the encounters grow as well. similar to Skyrim you will not be able to go back to your starter area and stomp on level one opponents. They all level with you keeping the challenge level fairly high. It is your Neximon customization, party configuration and wits that will have to bring you victory and more growth.  Grow your Nexomon enough and it can evolve into a new more powerful form of it self with new abilities and more hit points.


If you lose a battle then you will find yourself back at the nearest town ready to get back into action. Each area has a healer that is ready to treat your Nexomon for free, be sure to visit often. If you do win your party will gain XP, the ones that passed out however will not gain any and neither do any Nexomon you kept in storage, so swap out often to keep that team level balance. During my playthrough I found money to be a scarce commodity so it is important to do a lot of quests and tamer fights to gain the fund to restock and you can always sell shards to the vendor for some quick cash.

Presentation

Nexomon: Extinction is a colorful game with fun and creative character designs. The chibi style characters are traveling on a top down world map. Each areas is distinct and has its own unique feel to it. 

Emotions are drawn within little dialog clouds with emoji's such as a scared or smiley face. Some, including the main characters,  also have a drawing of them in  more traditional anime style providing more detail and atmosphere. Their designs are great, feel ripped straight from a cartoon and really make the story parts of the game.  You can speak to every inhabitant and doing so might net you useful information or a gift. Any person with a star above their head will have a quest for you to complete and earn more substantial rewards.

Locations are varied, large and have their unique style depending on where they are. There is city at the bottom of a volcano, and one high in the mountains there is even a city filled with spirits. There are more locations to explore and throughout you will find plenty of tamers, folk with criminal intent and wild Nexomon. Early in the game you will be offered access to pillars in the game that are part of the guild travel network that allows  you to travel across the various locations fast and save. Make sure you activate those pillars as  you find them, it will be a useful tool as you get further in the game. If those fail you then there is always the good old trusty airship.


The Nexomon designs vary from the basic sets to the Tyrants and the dragons are interesting and colorful. They have a unique feel to them and it was hard to put some of them in storage as I wanted to use them all. 


As you might be accustomed to with these type of games, fight scenes zoom in on the action. There is not a full animated battle though. The presentation is a bit minimalist, Basically the Nexomon on screen will sway around and when they attack they have minimal movement and an effect of one of the abilities will show on screen, like a slash or an explosion which are then followed by the damage numbers. It is not much but it does the job well. Am I the only one who wants to see a full on animated fight scene for these monster battles, complete with moving camera? In a way it adds to the nostalgic feel of this type of games, but I always wonder how nice the battle animation could be. 

The music has an equal amount of variety for each area, the battles and story parts, with fully composed melodies.  Sound effects themselves are basic but effective. Fighting Tyrants is challenging and menacing and the story moves forward at a steady pace. At times you have to grind a little bit in order to take on the next part of the game. Even though all battles level up with you it is possible to close the gap somewhat and better take on the tougher enemies. This grinding can get a little frustrating if you want to push forward with the story but can be overcome by not venturing out too far and keep visiting the healer between fights. Another part that I found annoying to deal with was the other tamers that challenge you, you do not always get to choose to fight them. Regularly they run up to you and start the battle, you do not get the chance to decline. If you just came from a previous battle and are mostly depleted it is a guaranteed loss which is not fun to say the least. No real harm is done, but sometimes I just want to move on and get my heal and move on and not spawn back somewhere else. 



















Conclusion

To jump straight to the point, Nexomon: Extinction packs a punch as a complete monster fighting/collecting game with a fun story line and a lot of content. It fully acknowledges its roots and inspiration and embraces it to the fullest. With a large world to explore, many quests and its detailed story it will keep you entertained. 

The issues start with the grind which too often slows down the pacing. Combined with the tough fights and expensive gear the game often forces you in cheap farming play styles in order to level up and gain some money in order to stock back up.This can be a real downer for those that just want to explore more and move the story forward. 
There is no heavy hand holding as the game assumes you, the player, is pretty much familiar with the basic concepts of this style of game.  How you play and build your Nexomon team is up to you. The game reminds you occasionally that you can take a breath and explore the area, do quests and catch monsters or ignore them and move forward with the story.  

The world that VEWO Interactive has build for Nexomon: Extinction feels alive interesting and unique. The concept of how the relationship between monsters and humans developed and is under constant pressure of chaotic forces makes for an engaging story. The humor keeps it at an even keel and from getting dark. It is nice to see the developers have embraced a colorful background for the world of Neximon, even if they poke fun at themselves at times about some of the narrative storytelling methods and cliches they use. 

If you like the monster collecting games give this game a serious consideration, if you were never into these style of games Nexomon: Extinction will not offer much more to you to change your mind.



Game information:
Title: Nexomon:Extinction
Developer: VEWO Interactive
Publisher: pqube
Release date: 28 August 2020
Platforms: PC (STEAM) Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4.
Review platform:  Nintendo Switch
ESRB: E 10+ Fantasy Violence Language


No comments

Powered by Blogger.