Dragon Quest Builders 2 – Review
Follow Genre: ARPG, Sandbox
Developer: Square Enix, Omega Force
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: PS4, Switch
Tested on: PS4

Dragon Quest Builders 2 – Review

Site Score
9.1
Good: Story, Items to build, Proper guidelines, Stays interesting throughout the entire story
Bad: Some conversations feel a bit underwhelming
User Score
10.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Dragon Quest is one of the longest JRPG franchises currently on the market. The original releases started out on the first Nintendo Entertainment System, but are currently spread on a variety of platforms. While the series remained true to the formula of being a traditional JRPG, the creators allowed a bit of leeway when it comes to spin-off titles, such as the Dragon Quest Heroes series and now the second installment of the Dragon Quest Builders franchise. The latter is pretty much a spiced up Minecraft, with pretty graphics, interesting characters, and a proper storyline to make things attractive. While the first game was certainly a fun experience, we were wondering if a second installment could be any better after only so little time had passed. We had to swallow our prejudice when we found ourselves enamored with the world of Dragon Quest Builders 2.

Story

Dragon Quest Builders 2 throws us in a world where the strange cult of the Children of Hargon is gaining power by the minute. The cult, which mainly consists out of monsters, believes that the destruction of all things is the way to go. Builders, who are responsible for everything that flourishes in the world, are deemed evil and should all be eradicated. This brings us to the unnamed protagonist of this story, who is captured by the Children of Hargon, doing their bidding, before they dispose of him. Luckily disaster strikes when you are aboard one of their ships and you make it out alive, seemingly, as the sole survivor. It doesn’t take long before you come across another boy, Malroth, who has no memory of who he is. This name will immediately sound strange if you read the game’s introduction properly. It doesn’t take long before you find another survivor on the beach, the cheeky girl Lulu, who requests your aid immediately. You, an apprentice builder, are tasked to bring the Isle of Awakening to life, and to do so you’ll have to travel to different islands, destroying the damage the Children of Hargon have done, making friends and gathering materials along the way.

While games like Dragon Quest Builders 2 often don’t come with a story, the developers did their best to motivate you to keep going, to build new materials, new structures and learn the ropes before you start designing your own island. The story might be a bit on the simplistic side at times, and some dialogues may feel a bit shallow, the entire experience is pleasant and it’s the story that will keep players invested in the game until you finish the campaign.

Graphics

Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a very pretty game. The characters look like chibi versions of the normal Dragon Quest games, respecting the art style of the main series. There’s a proper diversity of characters you’ll come across on the different islands of the DQB2 world. The monsters you’ll come across also look like their normal Dragon Quest counterparts, which is certainly a plus for those also playing the regular games.

The world itself is beautifully sculpted and looks a lot like a cleaned up Minecraft, where the building blocks look detailed and fun to work with. Unlike Minecraft, things never get pixilated or unclear. The only thing that’s sometimes awkward are the camera angles in tight or small spaces, where you get zoomed in too close, unable to see what is going on.

Sound

The sound design is very similar to that of the main series. You’ll constantly hear familiar tracks and melodies from the normal Dragon Quest games, making things feel very familiar and interesting. The combat music is the same, the small victory sounds are identical, and we can’t help but love this decision of the developers. This makes the game feel more than just a spin-off, making it a real Dragon Quest experience.

Gameplay

Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a sandbox game with simulation and RPG elements. For the biggest portion of the game, you’ll be exploring the different islands the game has to offer, all while building houses, crafting items and killing baddies who try to prevent you from building. Overall things are very simple to get, but it does take you a while to get the hang of things and navigate yourself properly in a fairly big world.

The controls are very user-friendly, but you’ll have to remember a few button combinations for you to properly use your different tools. You can switch at will between your key items, making it easy for you to keep all your working materials at hand. The game also has a very expansive inventory system, which is a delight to work with. The only difference is that the third-person view makes it a bit harder to properly place your building blocks, compared to the first-person view in Minecraft. Nonetheless, for the most part, DQB2 takes a lot of items from Minecraft and makes them better or more original. We can easily say that this is no mere clone, but a true improvement on the game that started it all.

For some reason, it feels like your very own island is one of the shittiest in the game to properly mold to your liking. It hardly has any flat surfaces for you to start building, which means you’ll have to clear things out first, and you won’t have the right materials at the beginning, making it more fun to explore other islands and build fun communities over there.

The combat system in DQB2 is rather basic, as you can only chop away at your enemies, without any mentionable special skills, dodging or other abilities. For the most part, this works decently enough as your partner in crime, Malroth, does a decent amount of damage and also serves as a sponge for incoming attacks.

Overall the game feels basic, but at the same time, very expansive. You’ll have ample building options, you can kickstart your own communities on the different islands, as well as your own. Building specific types of buildings will allow your people to feel happy, cook for you, craft for you, etc. This makes the game feel alive, which is something Minecraft failed to do when playing alone. There is actually a lot more to say about this wonderful title, and how it keeps drawing you in, but then it would become more of a guide than a review.

Conclusion

Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a delight to play through. Not only does the game cater to a creative mind, but you’ll also get a fairly decent RPG experience while going through the game. You’ll have a lot of creative freedom, many quests to explore, a lot of items to craft and an entire world to shape to your liking. If you’re looking for a Minecraft game, albeit with slightly worse controls in terms of building, but amped up graphics and a very great franchise supporting it, then Dragon Quest Builders 2 should be on your ‘must buy’ list.

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Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Dragon Quest Builders 2 - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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