Nexomon | PS5 Review
Updated: Nov 19
Nexomon, developed by VEWO Interactive and published by PQube, is a monster hunter, turn-based combat game in a bright animated 2D world. Nexomon is currently available on Windows PC, PlayStation, XBox, and Nintendo Switch. For the purpose of this review I was playing the PlayStation 5 version.
In a world where Game Freak has essentially ruled this genre since the late 90s, it's incredibly difficult to review or even play these sorts of games without drawing comparisons to Pokémon, however Nexomon really does just feel like it came straight out of Game Freaks world with very few differences. It seems to me that Nexomon is unapologetic about the fact it's essentially a Pokémon clone.
The story of Nexomon was probably the main highlight for me. Essentially, there is a war going on between Nexomon and the humans after a tyrant rose up. These Nexomon are trying to rid the planet of humans and some friendly Nexomon Tamers have risen up in an attempt to befriend Nexomon and use them to fight back against the Tyrant. The story itself is quite linear however there is plenty of reason to explore other areas either for training your Nexomon or catching others.
The battle system is mostly identical to Pokémon as well. Each monster can learn up to four moves and each monster has a type giving them a weakness to certain types and a strength against others. There was two key differences that I noticed between the traditional Pokémon formula and Nexomon. Firstly, rather than each move having a limit for how often it can be used, Nexomon uses an overall stamina gauge for the Nexomon so you have to play slightly more strategically and use your more powerful attacks wisely. Secondly, each Nexomon only has one type rather than the multiple that Pokémon has me familiar with. The type advantages are all very much in line with the typically accepted ones e.g fire is weak to water. Type advantage feels like it matters much less in Nexomon because I never truly managed to one-hit anything ever, meaning that even if you have advantage type-wise, the fights still require a bit of effort and you can't just charge through everyone with little effort.
One thing that I really liked on Nexomon is that while it follows a similar formula to Pokémon for catching monsters, it has its own little variation and provides ways to really maximise your chances of success. Rather than the typical PokéBall, you use traps and you can see what the chance is of catching the monster. You can increase the chance by using their favourite foods to tempt them and there's also a little quick time event that can increase your chances further.
One thing I really wasn't keen on throughout Nexomon is the level scaling. It takes a fairly long time to level up, even early on or with low level Nexomon. As far as I could tell, trainer battles throughout the game also scaled with you but always somehow left me feeling massively underpowered and weak making this game a bit of an uphill struggle.
I quite enjoyed my time playing Nexomon. It felt familiar and welcoming but did at times feel like it was a bit of a gimmick or a parody. I feel like it must be very difficult to create a game in this genre after so many years of Pokémon dominating the scene however games like Nexomon and TemTem give me hope that there is competition incoming to the monster hunter genre. It really intrigues me to see what could come in the future and how long will it take before a genuine competitor to Pokémon arrives and what form will it take?
Lj's Rating: 3 cute monsters out of 5.
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