The monster-catching RPG genre has long been dominated by industry juggernaut Pokemon. There was almost a monopoly for several years, with very few games trying to do what Game Freak does so well. However, in recent years, there seems to be a wave of new competitors in the genre.
With the likes of Temtem, Coromon, and Nexomon, there seems to be some healthy competition with the granddaddy of monster catching games. All of these games are trying to do something interesting to stand out in some way, of course. With Nexomon’s sequel, Nexomon: Extinction, the genre has earned another respectable title.
ten Capture mechanics
Almost all monster collecting games are similar in their capture mechanics. First you debuff the opposing wild monster, then give it a status, then throw a ball/cap/trap or whatever. Nexomon: Extinction does a little more to differentiate itself from its competitors. While current health and statuses still play a role in your capture chances, there are more variables.
For starters, you can feed a wild Nexomon at Pokemon’s Safari Zone. Each Nexomon has a food preference; some will increase your chances more than others. Additionally, there are passive items called whistles that slightly increase the probability of capturing certain types of Nexomon. Finally, once you’ve decided to cast your Nexomon trap, you need to press some buttons quickly in some sort of quick event, or your capture will immediately fail. This is undoubtedly an interesting extension of the Pokemon formula.
9 Story structure
Pokemon games, especially in the beginning, were very strictly structured and worded. You would go through the Gym Leaders one by one, interact with the story and the bad guys, and that would be it. However, due to not being tied to such a long tradition of formula games, Nexomon: Extinction has more freedom.
In Nexomon: Extinction, you are immediately immersed in an exciting story and you are barely set on a set path. You become a member of a guild and are invited to help people around the world complete their quests. But that’s about all. The map is like an open world; you don’t have a set course from the start. Focusing on locations and characters is really refreshing instead of waiting for the next Gym to appear.
Many monster fighting games attempt to differentiate their battle mechanics in some way. Nexomon: Extinction does this by using a stamina system instead of Pokemon’s PP for moves. Temtem, another monster collecting game, also did this to decent effect.
In Nexomon: Extinction, each creature has Stamina and each move costs a certain amount to use. There are items to refresh stamina, and obviously stronger moves cost more stamina to use. This opens the door to a different way of thinking about the longevity of your Nexomon.
There are nine types in total in Nexomon: Extinction instead of Pokemon’s sixteen. Types in Nexomon: Extinction are Normal, Water, Fire, Grass, Mineral, Wind, Electric, Ghost, and Psychic. Like Pokemon, these types all have weaknesses and strengths against each other.
Nexomon also only has one type, and dual types aren’t a thing in this game. This makes rock-paper-scissors gameplay a bit easier, especially with many Nexomon who only learn two types of movements in general. The type’s effectiveness is also lower, with modifiers being 1.25 and 0.65.
Pokemon games are rarely praised for their memorable stories or writing. They serve to advance the story and not much more, and that says something about the games that the most iconic character never even talks about. However, in Nexomon: Extinction, the writing is lively and quite funny.
The writers have infused the game with a kind of tongue-in-cheek humor, and it serves the game very well. game of this magnitude. The main story is also quite interesting, introducing enough mysteries and motivations to encourage the player to explore.
5 Difficulty and level scaling
Many Pokemon fans have longed for a difficulty option in games or a slightly higher default difficulty. The games have gotten easier over the years, with the exception of the occasional Ultra Necrozma fight, and many fans are eager for a real challenge. Well, Nexomon: Extinction has you covered.
For starters, Nexomon: Extinction has a level ladder. This means that as you get stronger, so will Nexomon and wild NPCs. This immediately prevents you from rolling the game with a few powerful Nexomon. Fast travel and healing in Nexomon: Extinction are also rare, encouraging you to prepare before attempting to clear an entire area.
4 The monsters themselves
In Pokemon, monsters are differentiated by type, stats, abilities, movesets, and held items. Nexomon also has unique stats, movesets, and types, but it’s much simpler. For starters, Nexomon: Extinction has no abilities, which is a huge difference. They are also all one-designed, which eliminates many weakness/strength combinations from the equation.
Basically, Nexomon is much less original than Pokemon. They all learn similar moves, are only one of nine types, and rarely have widely varying stats. Imagine how different Klefki and Zacian are from Pokemon, despite both being Steel/Fairy type. That kind of variety just isn’t in Nexomon: Extinction. Sure, you can equip your Nexomon with cores to buff them slightly, but that rarely makes them stand out.
3 Game releases
The way Nexomon has released its games so far and Game Freak is doing it night and day. For starters, Nexomon got its start in the mobile market, with a Steam port to go along with it. The Nexomon: Extinction sequel was released as a cross-platform game, available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Pokemon has always had a weird way of coming out of games. For decades there have been two versions in each generation with very subtle story and content differences. They would then get a *definitive* third version that would build on both games. The series has also been almost exclusively on Nintendo handheld devices, and only recently, venturing into the mobile market and other consoles.
2 Economy and articles
In Pokemon, especially in recent games, buying consumables and items seems pointless. Money isn’t an issue, you have easy access to regular healing, and the only handy items are Pokeballs and their variants. This of course excludes competing items, but they are usually purchased differently anyway.
In Nexomon: Extinction, however, you have to keep an eye on money and items. Healing items and status healers are essential for clearing areas. You should also stack up on different builds of Nexotraps as they all improve your catch chance for different types. By adding foods to the mix, Nexomon: Extinction gives players a solid catalog throughout the game to consider.
Watching Pokemon visuals throughout their history is like watching the history of gaming. Starting in a very primitive place with Pokemon Red & Blue, the franchise has come a long way. Once using pixel art and simple 2D animations, Pokemon happens to be a 3D game these days. The best example is Pokemon Legends: Arceus so far.
Nexomon: Extinction fully commits to a cartoon-like 2D aesthetic and makes the most of it. With gorgeous locations, smooth shots and animations, it probably looks better than any 2D Pokemon game out there. The creatures are beautifully animated, the attacks and conditions have strength, and the occasional art that fills your entire screen will have you wondering how Pokemon got away with so little visual flair all these years.
Next: Coromon: creatures that should be Pokémon