Ever since Minecraft started motivating gamers to build and create their own worlds, more and more developers have tried to capture the game’s successful formula in their own projects. One such game was Dragon Quest Builders.
The first game smashed together elements from Minecraft and the Dragon Quest Universe and still managed to have its own identity. And, while Dragon Quest Builders did a great job of combining elements from both of these franchises successfully, it did have a few nagging issues. Enter Dragon Quest Builders 2, a sequel that takes the first game and streamlines many of its ideas and fixes many of its issues.
As with the first game, Dragon Quest Builders 2 once again puts you in the shoes of a builder, an individual who has the uncanny ability to build stuff. With a cult, The Children of Hargon, waging a campaign of destruction and outlawing building, it’s up to you to save the day, with the help of some friends, of course. After finding yourself shipwrecked on the Isle of Awakening, you meet two new friends, Lulu and a mysterious amnesiac called Malroth, who will help you on your adventure.
While Dragon Quest Builders 2’s tale isn’t the most in-depth, it does do a great job of getting you to build stuff, which is the main purpose of the game. During your adventure, you’ll be travelling between various islands, each with a specific theme and each with their own problems that need solving by a builder like yourself.
This is one of the biggest changes from the first game. The original was more level-based, meaning that once you completed a level, you were tasked with beginning the next from scratch. This loop made most of your efforts feel futile. Dragon Quest Builders 2 lets you travel around the various islands learning new recipes, building whole villages and making new friends.
Each of these islands, as mentioned, has their own unique motif. For instance, the island of Furrowfield is inhabited by a community of farmers who need your help in rebuilding their destroyed farmlands. Along with the main objective each island also offers players various side missions via the island’s inhabitants. These could range from finding a specific resource or ingredient to building them a little home to rest at the end of a hard day’s work.
It is immediately apparent from the get-go that NPCs in Dragon Quest Builders 2 isn’t as, shall we say, useless as they were in the first game. On the contrary, they’ve become quite an asset when it comes to building up the various towns and communities on these islands. NPCs can now help you maintain and plant crops (as long as there is a chest filled with seeds nearby), they can collect resources on your behalf allowing you to focus on the more important tasks at hand and, surprisingly, they can also help you build simple constructions granted you lay down a blueprint for them and make sure they have enough raw materials in a chest somewhere nearby. This made me care a lot more for my NPC buddies than I did in the first game as their many hands did help make my work a bit lighter.
NPCs also play a crucial role in you unlocking new recipes. For each mission, side quest or just plain nice thing you do, NPCs might drop some hearts. These hearts are called gratitude and is used to buy new recipes or level up your village, which in turn unlocks more goodies for you to build.
As you explore the islands, find new recipes and build ever more complicated structures you are bound to come across the nasties that roam around the map. Combat in Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a basic affair, with you basically smashing one button until your foes explode into resources for you to use in crafting. There are some RPG elements involved in the game, such as levelling up. You are also joined by fellow hothead Malroth, who helps out quite a bit during combat as smashing is his speciality. There are also times when you might be joined by another NPC depending on the mission.
Even decked out with some great equipment, there were times when the enemies got the better of me, especially some of the game’s larger foes. Luckily, you do gain quite a bit of health as you level up, which means that, although you don’t inflict loads of damage, you can take quite a few punches. While combat is a simple repetitive affair, it can also become frustrating due to the game’s camera which at times, especially when venturing underground, can act a bit unwieldy. Luckily, the game allows you to play in the first-person mode as well, which did make navigating some of the areas much easier.
When it comes to visuals, Dragon Quest Builder 2 looks as colourful and cute as you would expect. NPCs each look distinct and oozes charm, and I even found myself feeling a tad guilty when dispatching some of the more adorable enemies I crossed paths with along the way.
Dragon Quest Builder 2 is a sequel I didn’t know I wanted. The first game never quite stuck with me. Its sequel, however, has somehow stuck its hooks into me and I’ve found myself continually wanting to return and construct better and more complicated structures for my NPCs to inhabit and enjoy.
Sure, the story is quite standard and the combat is basic but, thanks to some overly cute visuals, improved NPC’s and some surprisingly fun building mechanics, Dragon Quest Builder 2 has become one of my favourite games of the year. It’s not perfect but it is fun, and sometimes that is all that matters.
Dragon Quest Builder 2
Dragon Quest Builder 2 is the sequel I never knew I wanted. It builds and improves on almost every aspect of the first game, offering a more streamlined and sometimes less frustrating experience.
- Large world to explore
- Building is easy and a blast
- Improved NPCs
- Repetitive combat
- Unwieldy camera
- Storyline 0%
- Gameplay 0%
- Graphics 0%
- Replay Value 0%
- Sound and Music 0%