We’re not going to beat around the bush so let’s just address the elephant in the room right away… Nexomon is a Pokemon clone through and through. Sadly, there’s no way around this but thankfully there’s no need to do just that either. What Nexomon is and tried to achieve is what the classic Pokemon adventure brought throughout the decades that it’s been alive. It’s a kind of adventure game that while it does tackle a darker and more mature tone than a child trying to be the very best that no one ever was, gives off the same addictive collect-a-thon of monsters that you may or may not even use for the entirety of the game’s lifespan. Now it’s nowhere near a perfect game but if you’re after the classic Pokemon elements then you’ll feel quite at home here.
And much like Pokemon, Nexomon follows a similar structure to how your adventure unfolds—a few notable gym leaders to defeat and an evil organization to topple along the way. Although you don’t particularly get to choose from one of three unique monsters that are given by an old dude in a lab coat nor the annoying rival that forces you to a battle after choosing a monster that yours would be weak to. Now, most of what I just said doesn’t really matter at the end of the day because let’s be honest, it’s really more about the monster collection than it is about ridding the world of one less bad guy but its darker tone and mature element really sets it apart and made it more interesting to see its story unfold before my very eyes.
But beyond its darker tone or even the few comical skits, mechanically the game pretty much gets really stale when it comes to its overall gameplay and execution. Mind you, it did come from a mobile game so it did bring with it its little issues. For starters, the game’s menu system is a bit clunky even on the Nintendo Switch which for the record does have touch functionality to make navigating the menu take fewer clicks on handheld mode at least but opted not to include it. It would make a lot more sense to have a completely new menu just to make it a bit more organized but this is more of a minor nitpick. However when it comes to the execution of its battles, this is where the game goes into a game of rock paper scissors which is not a great thing to hear for this kind of genre. Most fights become a battle of who has the right elemental move to topple the other rather than setting up support abilities to keep yourself from dwindling down your mon’s health bars. It also doesn’t make sense that a monster that just came out after you defeat the previous one gets a free hit off you which honestly just punishes you from doing something good.
Being the collect-a-thon that it is, I have to say that it did a great job including rarities for monsters so you wouldn’t have to beat yourself up when you’re spending tons of traps for this one little critter that just doesn’t want to be on your party. It’s also a nice little touch to include in the database some information like at what level they evolve so you wouldn’t have to guess if they can grow to something a little fiercer than a chubby ape with a thick-ass monobrow.
Although one of Nexomon’s discerning points does come with its larger inclination to including animal-like creatures which if we’re to look at Pokemon doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. Like whatever could be the reason to have a Pokemon that looks just like ice cream on a cone or the fact that you’ll eventually come to a point in your life that you would command your pet to attack a floating chandelier. With the game just having over 300 monsters to collect, the developers still have a lot of creative freedom for monster designs and there’s enough of them to keep you occupied for a while as you admire the vibrant and colourful landscapes and cities along with its colourful cast of characters.
In a nutshell, Nexomon is a cheaper yet interesting take of the classic Pokemon formula. There are some issues here and there but it didn’t change the fact that it also has its shining moments when it comes to its story and overall feel and design. If you’re looking to just get that Pokemon itch off you for a while, Nexomon might very well do just that until the next Pokemon remake comes around in November.
Purchase your prefered version of the game at https://pqube.co.uk/nexomon-extinction/
The game is available on PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox and PlayStation
This review is based on the Nintendo Switch Version of the game
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