first_imgStay on target Review: The 8BitDo SN30 Pro+ Is an Elite Nintendo Switch Controller’Metal Wolf Chaos XD’ Is the Hell That Is America The original Dragon Quest Builders is one of this generation’s surprise hits. It took the basic premise of Minecraft and combined it with one of the world’s biggest JRPG franchises. The result was a unique game that fans of Minecraft and Dragon Quest could enjoy. We now have a sequel in the form of Dragon Quest Builders 2.Like the previous installment, Dragon Quest Builders 2 has a story. You start as a builder on board a ship commanded by monsters called “The Children of Hargon.” Though their religious order despises builders, the monsters keep the young hero around because of their usefulness. A storm destroys the ship and the hero finds themselves in a place called the Isle of Awakening. The hero soon befriends a fellow castaway named Malroth, who has a nasty case of amnesia. Together, the two set off on a grand quest that has them visiting strange new lands and encountering quirky characters.The basic loop of Dragon Quest Builders 2 is visiting new islands, helping the locals with their problems, and using the knowledge gained to build up your kingdom. In some ways, each island serves as a tutorial for building different structures. For example, one of the first islands shows you how to create a farm. Because of that, most of the game feels like an extended tutorial. Those who have played the original may find this frustrating, but it’s a good solution for newcomers.There is very little in the world you can’t use for your building projects. Trees, grass, stones, water, mud; everything is at your disposal. Frequently, I had to contain the urge to harvest/collect everything in my path to keep the story moving. It is rather cool how the entire world is at your disposal, and it is something which serves players who wish to build their structures outside of the main story.The Isle of Awakening and all home bases have work stations for crafting. As you progress, you’ll learn new recipes that allow you to create different items. While you can technically build a structure out of simple blocks, it is more satisfying to build one made out of bricks, wood, marble, and more. Adding furniture, beds, and lights also give each home or castle a dash of life. Some may find the number of options overwhelming. But if you’re a person who truly enjoys creating then you’ll appreciate all the tools at your disposal.As you progress, you’ll gain blueprints that help you forge larger, more elaborate structures. It’s all relatively straightforward. You find a patch of land, plop a blueprint over it, and follow the instructions. While this process doesn’t allow room for creativity, it serves as a way to help less imaginative players feel a sense of accomplishment. As with building materials, having a repertoire of blueprints gives you flexibility and options when constructing your little towns.Dragon Quest Builders 2 is also an RPG. Your character gains levels and becomes stronger over time. Combat is one way to level up. Fighting monsters is as simple as bashing them with your forged weapons. Combat is the weakest aspect of the game since there is little to no strategy involved. Every monster has a tell which lets you know when it’ll strike. It’s all a matter of waiting for it to attack so you can go in and counter-attack. You gain experience and materials from monsters, which in turn helps with construction. I could have done without combat, but I also understand its inclusion. This is still a Dragon Quest title, after all. Facing challenging bosses also adds tension to the narrative. I’m not sure how the developers could have improved the real-time combat without it overshadowing crafting. Thankfully, most encounters are optional and brief.Each island not only gives you new building materials but extra allies. Like the mainline Dragon Quest games, characters add life to the story through their varying personalities. Mechanically, allies serve to help maintain your settlements. This is an aspect some players may not find appealing since it wrests control away from them. I didn’t mind having NPCs doing mundane things like plowing fields or cooking. Considering how complex settlements become, it’s good to have settlers who run things for you while you go off to handle more important tasks.The game’s online component is a neat idea that isn’t fully realized. After progressing past the first part of the story, you and up to three users can play together. This involves having players entering your game or you visiting theirs. All of you can build whatever you desire within the massive sandbox which is the Isle of Awakening. While playing with others is fun, it feels too disconnected from everything. You cannot bring others to help you through the main campaign. But if you like building with others and enjoy sharing your creations, multiplayer has its perks. Personally, the ability to take snapshots and share them online is the most appealing aspect.Dragon Quest Builders 2 won’t blow you away with its presentation. It has a simplistic art style at best. This isn’t an issue since the graphics do a serviceable job of bringing the whimsical world to life. The contrast between anime-inspired characters and the blocky world they inhabit certainly makes for interesting visuals. Graphically, it is a perfect blend of Minecraft and Dragon Quest. The music and sound effects come straight out of Dragon Quest. While not as great looking as Dragon Quest XI, Dragon Quest Builders 2 is pleasing to the eye.One of the perks of being a video game reviewer is trying titles outside my comfort zone. Dragon Quest Builders 2 is one such game. While I can’t say I am now a fan of sandbox building games, I have a better understanding of the genre’s appeal. There is a certain zen-like state one enters when creating that the title captures beautifully. You’re given the tools to create whatever you desire. Conversely, you’re given a guiding hand if you desire it. If you’re looking for a focused Minecraft experience, Dragon Quest Builders 2 is worth trying out.Get Dragon Quest Builders 2 at AmazonMore on Are the Game You Should Check Out in July 2019Play These Nintendo Switch Games Before ‘Pokemon Sword and Shield’Review: ‘Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night’ Is Bloody Awesomelast_img