ICYMI: ‘Nexomon: Extinction’ Is The Pokémon Game Fans Have Been Missing
ICYMI is GAMINGbible's simple way of highlighting a game that's not quite brand new, maybe as much as a few months old, but that we've been playing and loving, and we really want to tell you about it."
Pokémon Sword and Shield were disappointing." Does this sound like something you would say? Then, my friend, have I got a game for you. Nexomon: Extinction may not be a Pokémon game in name, but it does so many things that we love about the iconic franchise that you won't care about the difference.
An RPG all about catching and taming adorable critters, Nexomon: Extinction feels instantly familiar but still different enough to keep your interest. You name and pick a look for your character and begin the game with a brief glimpse of where you'll end up before being taken right back to the start of the adventure. Before long you're out in the world, accompanied by your first Nexomon and an anthropomorphic cat called Coco, because this game does whatever it wants.
Almost immediately, Nexomon: Extinction tells you it doesn't take itself too seriously. It leans into its similarities to Pokémon with a tongue-in-cheek humour and plenty of 'breaking the fourth wall'. In fact, it goes so far as to poke fun at video games in general, which is always welcome.
On your journey to become a successful tamer (*cough*), you'll meet a cast of fun characters, explore gorgeous environments, learn about ancient power struggles, and encounter dragons and tyrants. Tyrants are super strong Nexomon who are reviled by the Tamer's Guild, so you'll want to overcome them to earn rep.
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With each battle, you'll earn experience which levels up your Nexomon, so every encounter counts. You can also customise your monsters with cores that boost strength against certain attacks, or increase the amount of money you earn in battle. Each Nexomon can hold four of these power-ups, so experimenting with different combinations is easy.
In total, there are 381 Nexomon within Nexomon: Extinction, so don't expect to get through the game quickly. The main story alone will set you back around 20 hours, and that's not including the wealth of side-quests you can undertake. The side-quests are the biggest departure from the Pokémon game formula Nexomon: Extinction plays on, feeling more like your typical RPG. However, they're optional so don't worry if that's not your idea of a good time.
Just like in the Pokémon games, Nexomon: Extinction is full of characters to battle and trade with, and the in-game world is full of secrets to discover. Sadly, Nexomon: Extinction is purely single-player, which is the only real gameplay downside when you compare it to the franchise that inspired it. Granted, this isn't a drawback if you're content to play on your own, but it does feel like an opportunity missed, especially when you're looking for reasons to level up your hundreds of Nexomon.
In short, Nexomon: Extinction is the closest thing in recent years to the Pokémon game many fans claim they want. It may feel like a knockoff at times, but it knows what it's doing. This game is for the people who miss the way Pokémon games used to be, back when you felt like your character was the hero in a world full of adventure and opportunity. Before Sword and Shield abandoned that in favour of Dynamaxing and off-screen actions.
Nexomon: Extinction is available now on Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One and PC. Switch code for this coverage was provided by the publisher.
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