What do Dragon Quest and Minecraft have in common? Your guess is as good as mine. One is a widely famous JRPG franchise and the other a Role playing Sandbox game of similar fame. Put these 2 together though and we have… Dragoncraft? MineQuest? This unlikely union called Dragon Quest Builders had proven to be a hit, enough in fact, that we now have Dragon Quest Builders 2. Check out our review to see if DQB2 is worth your time and money!
Builders are evil! Evil, I tell you!
For starters, DQB2 is a sequel, but knowledge of previous Dragon Quest entries (even the first DQB) isn’t needed to be able to appreciate this game. Whether you are a newcomer or a fan of the first game, DQB2 allows you to jump in and enjoy at your own pace. You’ll miss out on certain references to past titles, but it should not hinder the overall experience.
Builders 2 takes place after Dragon Quest II, where the evil villain Hargon was defeated despite summoning the Lord of Destruction. In the aftermath, Hargon’s followers formed a cult called the Children of Hargon. Obviously, they aren’t the most creative followers out there as evidenced by their name. In any case, they kidnap your character and since they worship all things “Destruction”, then you and your “Builder”kind are technically public enemy numero uno to them. SOMEHOW, and don’t ask me how, your character manages to escape and thus starts your grand adventure to bring down the evil cult. It’s not the deepest nor the most original plot out there, but it is quite charming and it fits the whole direction of the game quite well. Don’t expect fantastic storytelling here!
Good attitude, good gratitude
The Isle of Awakening is your main hub and scattered around it are several islands, each with their own quest line that ultimately leads to restoring the population center in the area. There are a bunch of smaller quests, from fetch me this to build me that, and completing these will award you with Gratitude Points (GP) which turns into rewards that will expand your repertoire as a builder. GP can be collected by fulfilling various other actions as well – from harvesting your crops to simply waking up to eat breakfast (not a joke btw) – and you’ll want as much GP as possible because by leveling up your base, you open yourself up to more build options which will allows your imagination to run wild.
The core loop of the game is pretty straighforward but the overall design of the game is well made so that it rarely feels like tiring, even though you’ve built this thing for the 100th time already. The music is tranquil and relaxing, and is the perfect accompaniment to all these tasks you’ll need to complete. It also helps that the characters that you meet along the way are quite colorful and interesting, which makes all the fetch quests they make you do worth it in the end. There is satisfaction in seeing all your hard work pay off, and it will show in the thriving community that you helped build, which is a heartwarming reward in itself.
One thing to note is that building stuff for quest completion will require you to follow a set of rules. One quest, for example, will require you to build a room and the game will clearly describe conditions (enclosed area, bed, etc) for the quest to be qualified as complete. Other than that, during free roam, building anything to your heart’s desire is the main draw of the game.
Build it again… and again…
Of course, for a game such as this, there is quite the danger or repetition. Admittedly, some of the quests could use a little more variance, but somehow you just don’t mind it since you’re really busy concentrating on what to build next. There’s also the battle portion of the game, which I could say is the weakest link for DQB2. There isn’t much strategy involved apart from moving around and whacking your enemies. Sometimes, you stumble into an interesting boss battle that will have you use your builder abilities, emphasis on “Sometimes” because it really doesn’t happen enough. If you’re looking for a game with a unique battle system or interesting fight mechanics, this isn’t really the game you should be playing.
One thing I loved about the game though is how simple it all is, but at the same time fun and engaging. There isn’t any overly complicated system here and is perfect for younger kids to pick up and play while not alienating older gamers such as myself. Control scheme is also very easy to learn and to be honest, there’s barely any learning curve to the game which is a good reason why anybody can hop in and have a good time even with limited gameplay minutes.
What we liked:
- Charming characters with decent voice acting
- Engaging gameplay
- Tons of stuff to build, limited only by your imagination
What we didn’t like:
- Simple battle system
- Camera tends to be quite stubborn in narrow areas
- Quests types could be more varied
Verdict: BUY IT!
Ok this is a bit tricky. I’ve played Minecraft before so I knew exactly what I was getting into. I loved my experience with Minecraft and I could confidently say that Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a game of its own that fans of the genre and the Dragon Quest franchise will definitely enjoy. While it won’t win any awards for storytelling, it’s in the sense of fulfillment from building a thriving community that will easily win you over. Pair that with some quirky but lovable characters and you’ve got yourselves a good quality, but most of all, fun game.
IF you are not a fan of the genre but interested enough to try it out, Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a great game, just not at this price point. For first timers, I suggest waiting for a price drop because the cost of admission is quite steep compared to other games.