Gotta Catch ‘Em All! and restore balance to the world of obviously!
In the world of gaming, there are many popular games all with their own worlds and game styles and have made their mark on the gaming world forever. Pokemon is, of course, the most popular when it comes to monster-catching with turn-based RPG elements thrown in. This, in turn, has made many others trying to follow suit in its popularity. Jade Cocoon was personally one of my favourite monster-catching RPGs and while the similarities aren’t similar on a large scale to Pokemon there is one game that is. Nexomon.
The game started out on Mobile phones as a free app with in-game purchases. Nexomon Extinction, however, is a full-blown RPG with no in-game purchases and is available on modern consoles. Nexomon Extinction starts you off on a destroyed aircraft cruising through the air where you get to pick how your character looks like in a comical fashion as they lie on the deck dazed. Once you do you are taken through the story of Nexomon. Unlike your happy go Pokemon Esque type story where you must become the greatest trainer the world has ever seen you are thrust into a world that’s on the border extinction. Once you leave the orphanage you will soon pick your starter Nexomon from the generous selection of the nine offered. Now while Nexomon has that world on the verge of collapse story going you would easily be forgiven for thinking otherwise. This is down to the fact that Nexomon is charming in so many ways. From the get-go, I instantly fell in love with the games art style from the overworld and characters down to the Nexomons themselves, the game is crowded with small details and mysteries which make it such fun to uncover them. On top of this, the game’s humour is something I desire and it delivers it in spades. It doesn’t even feel out of place, many of the NPC’s themselves also throw funny lines and sentences keeping the humour alive and it never feels like it’s going overboard either, a lot of the lines are also either digs at similar games like Pokemon or a reference to a meme, that sort of thing, the characters are in the game are just presented so well especially Coco the stray cat that accompanies you.
There are many other details I started noticing the more I played Nexomon, for example, there is the X shape that appears pretty much everywhere in the game from fences, to logos on the buildings and lampposts. The game is bright and colourful and the detail makes you wonder if it is a world in ruin but you will see that it is, broken trees, traffic lights and craters are all present in this world. The portraits that appear during conversation show perfectly their character and are so detailed, it truly brings these characters to life, they will also show an emoji above them sometimes depending on the situation which also adds to the detail.
Like Pokemon Nexomon Extinction plays similar, you grab a Nexomon, battle it out to level it and weaken other Nexomon and use Nexotraps to catch them. You can heal in most small towns and outposts for free and do a bit of casual shopping to buy more Nexotraps and healing items. You can only carry six Nexomon and any others are sent to a PC if you decide not to replace one in your team should you become full, each Nexomon can only hold four moves and if you wish to learn a new move you have the option of replacing an old move with it. Nexomon also evolve after a certain level and some with several evolutions. There are many borrowed elements from Pokemon however there are some things which are different. Nexomon opts for a different approach when using skills in battle, you can use any skill providing you have a sufficient amount of ST, skills vary from 5 ST to use and 20 ST for more powerful skills and there isn’t a whole lot of it to begin with, even when you level up you will find yourself running out quickly, this is because Nexomon is a grindy game. You will get your first few Nexomon and find yourself grinding a few levels and having to catch more just to keep up with the hard-hitting enemy Nexomon and other trainers Nexomon too; even if you exploit enemy weaknesses it can still result in a battle where your party takes quite the hit, although this is negated depending on just how much you level. There is a slight balancing issue and you will burn through healing items early on if you don’t make use of the free facilities when you can which I do thoroughly recommend. The good thing is healing items are cheap and money is easy to come by thanks to normal Nexomon dropping money and the fact you can battle Tamers again that you have fought already. Catching Nexomon isn’t as simple as throwing a Nexotrap, once you use one you will be required to input a small chain of commands, there is a percentage to catching a Nexomon with certain element traps being more effective and feeding a Nexomon it’s favourite food will also increase this.
Tamers are found throughout the landscape and if you get close enough in their line of vision they will request a battle, you can easily tell if someone wants to battle by the sword icon above there head. It is pretty easy to avoid tamers if you have a beaten party and also wild Nexomon as they appear only in tufts of grass that move. Items can be found throughout the world and are easily seen by a sparkle on a table or stone or a treasure chest, and these are very common throughout. There are also mineral rocks that can be mined from very early on by completing an easy exchange quest which rewards you a pickaxe to gather shards from these. While they can be sold for a small amount I would say it’s better to hold on to them until you can synthesis cores which you can equip on your Nexomon to give them certain benefits.
While Nexomon follows a story there are a plethora of other miniature side quests available, many of which include trades of items for rarer items or simply Tamers wanting a certain Nexomon, most of these will be beneficial to making your journey easier. Nexomon Extinction isn’t perfect and there are some things I would like to see improved. The Nexopedia I have found is not easy to navigate at all as there is no function to scroll quickly through it and there are a lot of Nexomon to collect in this game. What I will say though is that this is the best and closest Pokemon clone you will get on PS4 and with some improvements, it could really shine.
A PlayStation 4 Review Code was provided by PQube