When I first got my hands on Dragon Quest Builders 2, I was thinking “Lets finish this game in 10 hours and move on”. God, I was so wrong! Dragon Quest Builders 2 is very simple but yet addictive at the same time. After clocking more than 40 hours of very enjoyable game time, this is our review.
Crafting and Building
The most enjoyable part of the game, with enough creativity and patience you’ll be able to build apartments, swimming pools, pyramids or even create the next wonder of the world. The only downside of this is, you don’t access to all the materials at first phase of the game, you’ll gradually learn more recipes and earn the ability to harvest different materials as you progress the game.
The game will only recognize a room when it is completely walled up 2 blocks high, along with a door to get in and out. Different type of room will require different items being placed in the room, such as adding a bed with a light source will then classified the room into a simple bedroom. Things became slightly more complex when item sets are involved. Placing correct items next to each other will form a set, for example placing a chair and table next to each other, with a decorative food item on the table will form a dining set. Placing the dining set in a room will classified the room as dining room.
After a certain point of the game, one of the NPC will introduce fanciness which kinda rate how fancy a room is. The material we use to build the floors (oh man, can’t use regular earth anymore), walls and even the materials to create decorations will be added to the fanciness. This adds another level of complexity on creating a perfect room.
The goal of the game is to terraforming the island of awakening and increase the population. NPCs will give you quests one after another, sometimes it might be creating a specific room, sometimes exploring and gather materials. Some major quest will send you off to another island. Completing the quests will advance the game further.
One feature that I am especially fond of is the soft level cap that Square Enix had implemented in the game. Sometimes we tend to dwell too long on a phase of the story and that might result us in over-leveling, forcing the gameplay experience for the remainder of the game boring. The soft level cap will be removed when we are exploring a new main quest island, which lets us experience the game like how it should be.
Walking and warping around with naviglobe (lets you teleport to it as long as you’ve visited the place before) is pretty tedious, that is until you get access to glide. Glide is a new feature for Dragon Quest Builders 2, and I can’t express enough how much time this ability saved. As long as we gain access to high ground (or we just make one ourselves) we’ll be able to glide and check out the area in a much wider scope.
Combat in the game is too simple and bland. We won’t be able to attack and move, and we also lack the dodge maneuver, which makes it very hard to dodge blows. The only feasible way to dodge attacks is just sprint around the battlefield. Having Malroth makes combat so much easier. Since he is the God of Destruction himself, he is able to deal and take damage better than you. Plus, we will get access to the combo attack with Malroth later on in the game.
One of the more interesting combat feature in the game is when monsters attack the town, able residents will defend the town alongside you (or you can just watch them do all the work). This also happens during the event of major boss fight. Combat experience will get better as you progress the story, after certain point of the story you will start encountering enemies that can only be damaged by hammer (which means you’ll need to do all the work since Malroth attacks doesn’t deal damage), still this doesn’t fix the combat gameplay experience by a lot.
This is one of the game that made me lose awareness of time. Countless times I told myself “Just a little bit more!” and I ended up playing the game till 3am at night. Building floor with two different materials and form a checkered design, building a farm with good waterflow design so the plants can grow quicker, build a staircase so I can build a farm on top of another farm, all the joy that I can get from doing all these are immeasurable. The more ambition, and more creative you are, the more joy you will experience when playing this game.
Parts of the game that are also fun includes smaller islands will reset everything you visit them, sometimes you’ll get to see amazing creation that others players had built. “Capturing” pets, arming town residents with your best weapons, Riding golem at Khrumbul-Dun island are also pretty interesting too.
Dragon Quest Builders 2 is fun, but it is not without its drawback. The button for engaging conversation with NPC and swapping gear is the same. Since Malroth are always with us, majority of the time “he will be overly talkative” when I just want to swap my gear in peace. Combat is very dull, although it is not the main draw for the game, but I felt that there are so much more the game could have offered. One last thing, the game doesn’t punish players when main character dies, it will just simply teleport the character back to town without any drawback.