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Review: Dragon Quest Builders 2 (Switch)

8.5

Great

Let the building begin in the second Dragon Quest Builders. Welcome back builders to Alefgard. In the second instalment of the building block RPG, you’re tasked with not only saving the people of the world, from the evil children of Hargon. But also given the quest of restoring the land to its former glory. A task that won’t be easily achieved, as the children of Hargon hold a strong influence on the people of the world. Influence that has created a belief that has cast a tale of deception. A tale that has lead the innovators and builders of the world on a path to extinction. And with this belief in place, the Children of Hargon have vowed to bring death to all builders and supporters alike.

With this dark introduction to Dragon Quest Builders 2, you begin a treacherous adventure. Narrowly escaping your captives, you’ll find yourself stranded on an island with nothing but the land to live on. Fear not though builder as you’ll soon find comfort in a companion, Malroth. Although fierce, savage and at times a little vicious, Malroth will not only be a building block in your prosperous future as a master builder. But also serves as an incredibly capable fighter and gatherer. As you venture out into the world, Malroth will be by your side accompanying you through every fight and search for materials such as wood, grass and other ingredients you may need for crafting and building. So, unlike the first game, Dragon Quest Builders, you’ll never walk alone…

Rome wasn’t built in a day

With ‘Builders’ being in the games name it’s obvious that the core mechanic is building. Just like the first Dragon Quest Builders, you’ll find yourself building rooms for the residents of your growing community. Rooms to sleep in, cook in, bath in and yes even relieve themselves in. However, unlike the first Dragon Quest Builders, where building and fortifying your base was one of the primary tasks to protect against monster invasions. You won’t need to worry too much in this one as long as you arm your residents well and fortify the main entrance of your town/farm. The monster onslaught only occurs at random instances throughout your playthrough, and also during encounters whilst playing through the main story. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be fortifying your base though. With sandbox titles and especially a title like Dragon Quest Builders 2 you’ll often feel proud of your creations when you step back and admire it. Or when your creation survives the battle of a lifetime.

Unlike the first Dragon Quest Builders, where building and fortifying your base was one of the primary tasks to protect against monster invasions. You won’t need to worry too much in this one as long as you arm your residents well and fortify the main entrance of your town/farm.

To arms

Although building is the core of Dragon Quest Builders 2, you’ll encounter and face off against many monsters during your adventures. Some, vastly more powerful than the rest. Luckily as you progress through the game you’ll not only learn new fighting techniques from Malroth, but also new recipes to create more powerful weapons and shields. And, unlike the first game, your weapons and armour won’t break. The combat is still played out in real time. Allowing the player to strike an enemy, strategically retreat and circle around to strike from behind. And with the ability to dash, you’ll be able to remain untouched if used correctly. Sadly, just like the first game, you’ll find yourself spamming the hit button a lot to fight off monsters which leaves the battle system feeling a little bland. The boss fights are a little more interesting, you’ll have to find a strategic way to take them on and cause damage. However, when the bosses become stunned in some cases you’ll still find yourself spamming the attack button. Leaving you feeling unsatisfied with your victory and sending you back into the building frenzy you were partaking in before the monsters invaded your village.

Sadly, just like the first game, you’ll find yourself spamming the hit button a lot to fight off monsters which leaves the battle system feeling a little bland.

Living off the land

Apart from building and defending the people of your developing country, you’ll need to feed the ‘valley’. This is where your ‘stars’ will shine and you’ll need to make ‘dew’ with whats been graced upon you. It’s harvest time. During your play-through you’ll have to develop a farm like land. Sewing seeds of different kinds that’ll bloom vegetables for your people. Some of these crops include Pumpkins, Cabbages and Tomatoes. Of course not all seeds can just be thrown into the ground and watered. Some of the seeds will need to be grown in submerged areas of water. While others need a pole to be planted into the ground first before they can sprout. What’s more is that once you’ve harvested these crops, you’ll be able to place them in chests in rooms that your residents will be able to access so that they can eat. In some cases, some of your residents will request a room to cook in. By placing a chest with all the ingredients within it, you’ll soon have gourmet like treats for you and your villagers.

All in all Dragon Quest Builders builds well upon its predecessor. With additions such as the ability to fly and explore underwater, players will be entertained further than just the core mechanic of building. Of course when I say fly, I actually mean glide. Think of Link soaring across Hyrule on his glider. This is basically what the player will experience. A really fun and speedy way to soar through the land, avoid enemies and reach islands that you weren’t able to before. Why though you ask can you not reach those islands if the game allows you to swim. Well, the problem is, Square has thought this through quite well. If you’re able to swim why can’t monsters right…well they can. Across your exploration of Alefgard you’ll come across some really powerful monsters, as I mentioned above. These monsters will not only be ten times larger than you and most other monsters, but also possess abilities that’ll leave you destroyed and soon re-spawning back at the base. And yes, you guessed it, some of these monsters, in fact, live in the oceans and lakes of Alefgard. So without the ability to glide across the body of water, your death will approach faster than you can say quidditch. With the added feature of co-op and especially the local co-op on the Switch, this is definitely the definitive way of being a master builder within the Dragon Quest world. Playing on the Switch is definitely the better option in my opinion. Being able to pick up the game on the go is unbelievably satisfying. Especially if you’re working on a specific task or mission in-game, such as completing a canal to create a waterway to assist your islands occupants in cultivating the land. Go forth builders for whosoever holds the hammer, if they be worthy, shall possess the power to become a master builder.

https://youtu.be/ijHllEWIHXQ

Good

  • Soaring across the skies on your glider
  • Underwater exploration
  • Diverse cast of characters
  • Light rpg elements mixed in with the sandbox wonder of building anything, anywhere
  • Building on the go...provided that you're playing on the Switch
  • Local co-op

Bad

  • In some ways, feels like an expansion rather than a full fledged successor/sequel in the series

Summary

Grab your hammer and jump into the path of destiny once again to become the master builder. With a new story, new characters and new lands to explore, this quest will be your biggest yet.
8.5

Great

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