Nexomon: Extinction is a Pokemon-esque game where you catch and tame monsters called Nexomon. I am a big fan of Pokemon, so I had to jump in and give this one a go.
You play as a silent protagonist, who you get to pick from various different avatars at the beginning your journey. You have been brought up in an orphanage and it is time for you to leave and join the Tamers Guild on your journey to become the world’s best Tamer.
As soon as you begin, carnage occurs as a massive dragon and mysterious person turn up and offers you one of not three, but NINE different Nexomon, one of each type that this game has to offer. You don’t need to worry too much which one you pick as you can still find all these starter Nexomon in the wild. I decided to go for the cute fire kitty, or as my son called it when he chose it for me, “the orange one”.
You then start to adventure across the world, battling people to restore order. It is an epic and glorious story and the flow is so amazing. It is long but also very gripping. I guess I had low expectations when beginning this as I love Pokemon and assumed anything else would be second rate, but I have got to say it is a brilliant plot and just makes you want to keep playing.
There isn’t much hand holding during your journey. You will have to work a few things out yourself but it is simple enough with common sense. To assist you, you have a companion called Coco. He talks for you but will also break the fourth wall every now and again to take the mickey out of the RPG tropes. He is hilarious and at times has actually made me laugh out loud with some of the things he says.
Each Nexomon has a certain element or type; Normal, Fire, Water, Plant, Electric, Mineral, Wind, Ghost or Psychic. Unlike Pokemon, there are no dual types here. As you can imagine, different types will have advantages over others, for example Fire will beat Plant, Plant will beat Water and Water will beat Fire. If you are about to go into a battle, you may want to focus on a certain element to give you a better chance of winning. Also, different Nexomon will have different rarity. Each of the 9 starters are “Ultra Rare” but there are also “Common” “Uncommon”, “Rare”, “Mega Rare” and even “Legendary” ‘mons.
So, I guess you want to know about battling. You will either come across another Tamer that you can fight or you can fight wild Nexomon. When you enter a battle you will have 4 moves you can pick from and use. It is all turn based so you do not need to rush in picking your move. If you are fighting a Tamer, once you KO a ‘mon the battle continues, meaning you have no option to switch before fighting the next member of their squad. This makes it tougher as you might need to switch at a bad point to counter the type disadvantage. You can use items to heal up during battle but you can’t attack in the same turn. You can also heal your team after the battle.
Every Tamer you come across you can re-battle if you walk in front of them again after a certain amount of time. It’s good if you want to try and level up or build up cash, but you can also avoid pretty much all of them if you’d rather not fight them again. The Tamers will have a diverse team and actually switch to a different Nexomon smartly. They pick more effective moves and this makes it fun to battle them and keep it challenging.
To assist you with levelling up you can create an item called a Core which grants a perk, such as gaining extra EXP. Each Nexomon can hold 4 cores at any one time. Each core is created from an amount of shards of varying types. To collect shards you have to smash stones filed with multi-coloured gems that are scattered around the world. I would 100% recommend mining EVERY shard you see so you’re never left short when wanting to create a core.
My favourite feature is that everything in the world levels up as you do. Trainers, wild battles, everything is all based on your level, so no matter where you go you will be fighting stuff on a similar level to you. This prevents boredom but also makes it more challenging. You can’t just spam one Nexomon and try to breeze through but instead have to build a team and keep them all around the same level to keep winning battles. The other benefit is that if you want a new Nexomon for your team, those caught in the wild are at only a few levels under you, so you will be able to level it up in no time.
Speaking of getting more monsters, when you enter a battle you will need to weaken them enough so the catch rate is higher. You can also give them food before your capture attempt to increase your chances, but not all Nexomon like the same foods so you can have to pick wisely. On throwing your Nexotrap to try and catch them you will have a small button prompt mini-game that will increase the chances of capture. At first I was confused where you had to start as the prompts were in a circle with no line, but once you know to start at the very top (I know, sounds obvious right) you are good to go. It makes catching way more fun and because there are so many within the world you will want to catch them all! Once caught you can place the Nexomon in your team immediately or you can wait till you get to a town to swap it out. You can also create type-specific Nexotraps which increase your chances of capture, and with the elusive Golden Nexotraps there is a 100% catch chance for the tougher and rarer monsters.
Throughout the Nexomon world you can pick up side quests that can help you gain special or unique items. For example, some quests will give you a “Whistle” which permanently increases your chance of catching a type of Nexomon. These whistles are stackable too, further aiding your catch rate.
Nexomon: Extinction is a pure single player – there is no online trading. Also unlike Pokemon, there aren’t two different versions so you can catch every ‘mon in the one game. There are 381 Nexomon to collect, so there is a lot of variety available. If you want to catch them all I would imagine you will need to find a guide to assist you. For me, I love being unique so I hunted down the starters and have a glorious Mega Rare team of 6!
The art style is great and all the zones have a different look and feel to them with their own amazing colour palettes. Some areas can have a misty feel to them, why some can be crisp and beautiful.
There is also a great graphical feature where your character will have a little speech mark above their head with a sort of emoji when you have interactions with other characters or wild encounters. You can also find chests that will unlock the ability to have your companion follow you around.
The music is great too. It gets you in the mood for each phase of the game, with different areas and battles having different tunes.
Unfortunately, there is no multiplayer battling so you can’t go collecting an awesome team and battle a friend, but in all honesty, that doesn’t bother me in the slightest with how superior the single player storyline is and how much fun I have been having.
It is amazing that when you have been playing Pokemon for so long and really love it, you can pick up something different and enjoy it so much. I can’t help but imagine what it would look like if Pokemon actually added some of these features into their game – it would actually make it a fantastic journey.
Nexomon: Extinction is amazing and I have been playing it non-stop. As a big Pokemon fan I was a bit sceptical about trying something different, but oh my God I am so glad I did. It was glorious, so much fun and I can’t wait to dive back into it. For anyone who has been recently let down by Pokemon Shield/Sword like I was, I can’t recommend this enough.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by the publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.