As the new Pokemon Sword & Shield DLC — The Crown Tundra hits 22 October 2020, I decided to try out Nexomon: Extinction. Safe to say I enjoyed this monster-catching game immensely, and as a longtime Pokemon fan (check out my Sword review) I loved this different take on a popular mechanic and series.
Starting off in Nexomon: Extinction, you’re immediately thrown into the chaos of a sinking airship — here’s where you set your name and avatar look. Shortly after that you’ll find yourself inside an orphanage, where you’ll quickly find yourself enlisting with the Guild to become a Nexomon Tamer. Right away the influences of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon — a game where you play as a human turned Pokemon and form a guild of your own — are incredibly apparent.
You’ll get your starter soon after, before embarking on a journey to hatch a Tyrant Egg — said to contain a powerful Nexomon. Nexomon: Extinction introduces these Tyrants, which are strong Nexomon vying for the vacant throne of King Omnicron, the previous villain of the original Nexomon game. I quite enjoyed the process of all of this, and under the Guild’s tutelage, I defeated both these Tyrants and their handlers, known as Renegades.
Lydia, handler of Eurus (Tyrant of Wind) is a Guild ally, despite owning a Tyrant herself. Eurus, when first met, seems to be placid — preferring to sleep all day. It is only after Lydia herself reveals the secret of their alliance does the story ramp up the adventure. Without revealing too much, I can say it was the most interesting and exciting portion of the game.
Nexomon: Extinction has battles akin to Pokemon, but with single-type Nexomon. The attacks are simple, precise, and allow for a lot of combinations. Each Nexomon has set stats and those stats are boosted by “cores” — artificial enhancements made from elemental Shards found throughout the region. Through this simple mechanic, I am able to understand better how the IV/EV stat system functions in mainstream Pokemon games.
You can also challenge NPCs again, and they gradually become more challenging as the game progresses. I find this mechanic a great addition, even though Pokemon has their own rematch system, Nexomon: Extinction grows with you and allows you the rematch as many times as possible. This is great for experience point grinding, and it was wonderful to see how each NPC had grown through their dialogue.
This game’s draw for me is the 381 Nexomon, and their Cosmic (recoloured) variants. The moment a Nexomon is encountered, be it through trainers or wild battles, it is immediately registered into the database. This makes understanding each Nexomon easier, as they have preferred foods for which to make their capture smoother.
There are also Nexotraps in abundance, though you start with regular ones, you can upgrade to elemental and Golden Nexotraps — the latter of which allows you to catch any Nexomon without fail. You can also buy various foods from merchants to lure the right Nexomon.
As a Tamer, I started out at Bronze Rank, and slowly work my way up by doing missions for NPCs, and helping the Guild. Shops in Guild-run areas balance their wares against my current rank, and I would say the payoff of attaining a high rank is worth it. I can buy potions, ethers, and elixirs — or I can choose to brave it out and rely solely on healing crystals scattered throughout the region.
The storyline of the game is sharp and witty, and jests about the various mechanics that Pokemon players (like myself) seem to take for granted. For example, early on in the game I attempt to enter a house in the City of Parum and am immediately greeted by the sight of a startled stranger and a boot out the door.
The game takes it a step further by having Coco, your talking cat companion (because all protagonists are mute), mention that you shouldn’t try to walk into a stranger’s home uninvited because it’s rude. This really got a laugh out of me, as I am guilty of doing this throughout my Pokemon gameplays.
I think the only thing that I have a slight issue with is the explanation of certain Nexomon moves, which can be a little confusing at times. Despite this small setback, the Discord community is very helpful, and as I play through the post-game content, I look to the sky and see a new horizon — one where the future is bright.