We all know the huge impact that the series Dragon Quest has and continues to have on the Rising Sun, and also in the West it makes its way between one success and another, always establishing itself as a series JRPG valid and fun.
Some of you may also remember or have played the first one Dragon Quest Builders, released early in 2016 in Japan as is usually imagined from the series, which always comes slightly late for us Westerners.
As soon as the Builders series was born it created a huge aura of curiosity and skepticism, as it is clear how similar it is to the very famous Minecraft, progenitor of the genus sandbox and still today a real institution for the entire gaming universe.
Today in this review we present with joy the sequel to the series, Dragon Quest Builders 2, already released in Japan in 2018 and finally arrived at us on PlayStation 4!
Introduction to the title
As briefly mentioned in the first introductory phase, Dragon Quest Builders is a sandbox which makes its iconic universe an entirely cubic world, where our imagination and our creative spirit will guide us towards fun.
In this very inspired sandbox but with visible influences from other genres we will impersonate a Manufacturer, a craft that allows us to shape the land itself in front of our eyes and create wonders of all kinds.
for customization of our character we will be able to choose between a few combinations, including in all the hair, complexion and eyes.
Considering that there is the possibility of customizing ourselves with costumes and accessories, we do not think this thing is particularly bad, but certainly it would have been more satisfying to have a good character right away thanks to a few moments of fantasy between clothes and different haircuts.
The Builder would therefore be at first sight a highly admired profession, were it not for the dark forces of the gods Sons of Hargon, an evil cult that has spread with warlike ferocity all over the world, bring havoc and loathe this profession to death, so much so as to ban any type of construction activity.
Our task will be to escape from the clutches of this cult and set sail for new destinations, as the plot of this second chapter follows the events immediately following the end of the first Dragon Quest Builders, allowing the most accustomed to have a fresh and familiar start.
For the uninitiated, the Builders series resumes its own plot chronologically in line with the first chapters of the main series, with the first Builders taking place around the same time that Dragon Quest II's number one enemy Hargon is defeated.
Will we be able to defeat evil and bring order to this chaotic geometric world?
Roll up your Builders sleeves!
The Builders series bases its gameplay entirely onscouting and on crafting for the construction of materials and structures, which are achievable thanks to materials scattered throughout the explorable areas, allowing us to create walls, furniture, fences, tools, weapons and much more.
On this journey we will be accompanied by Malroth, a young man suffering from amnesia who will quickly follow us and will be very useful both in combat and in exploration, collecting materials with us and helping us to bludgeon some monsters in the surroundings.
In this title the combat is very marginal but still in RPG style, being able only to hit the enemy without any dodge or parry commands. Escape and create a vicious circle of "touch and run”It is not much fun, but it is an important resource for gaining experience and improving by leveling up.
We will also have a small inventory which will also show an image of our avatar, to which various items of equipment can be applied.
Later it will be possible to obtain a bag, where fortunately we will be able to deposit all the different objects and materials obtained without the need to throw any of them away.
To complete the RPG elements introduced within the title it will be possible to feed to restore one's satiety percentage and obtain Life Points. The different foods they must be collected on the map and can be eaten raw or cooked thanks to a bonfire.
Exploration is king
With the element of marginal combat, exploration is the basis of everything the crafting and construction process, as we will be the first to be intrigued to see a block never seen before and we will immediately want to get some materials.
In this pure sandbox mechanic Dragon Quest Builders 2 succeeds very well at put the player in the right mood, involving him in the collection and rewarding him when he has the right materials to immediately make the objects that the plot will require during his missions.
Our collection of materials will be achievable through different tools, all part of the equipment of each explorer and obtainable from the early stages of the game; among these we have for example the builder's gloves and the hammer.
A project for any problem
Speaking of constructions we will in some cases be asked to intervene on behalf of plot NPCs on problems affecting certain areas as closed water dams or simply to make a place of worship more beautiful.
When this happens they will come to our rescue the projecti, ideas fruit of our brilliant mind that will instill in us a surveyor's spirit, allowing us to draw a drawing of the area concerned and organize a restoration plan.
Restoring an area with a project will often mean simply intervening with the removal of some blocks and the positioning of others in specific points required by the game, in something relatively very simple but pleasant to see.
During our adventure it will often happen to us to complete missions useful for the continuation of the plot, as we will change the construction site several times through the island mechanism, different plot areas that can already be reached during the first hours of the game.
These islands will have within them different materials obtainable depending on the habitat of the place, with neutral, flat, sandy areas and so on.
Once finished the plot islandsfinally, we can give ourselves to mad joy by building everything we like best and being able to even impose our laws on the island, such as limiting certain actions to citizens or denying any type of monster throughout the area.
From the second island we will also see a really interesting mechanic emerge that takes its cue from the Management genre, or the found a village satisfying the demands of the inhabitants, who will often ask us to build different types of tools, furniture or structures for them.
The management component of this game is deepened even more thanks to the Gratitude, indicating that it will get up every time the tasks given to us by our inhabitants are completed, which will release small yellow hearts as a sign of thanks.
By collecting these hearts we will be able raise the level of experience of our village, here called Base, which will improve the more it will motivate and make the inhabitants productive and autonomous.
Once we improve our village we will additionally get a number of different crafting projects such as furniture and tools, allowing us to make our little cubic kingdom even more beautiful and varied.
To build all that we will achieve along the way, there will come to our aid function of the recipes, which we will often get by plot advancement, when we discover them by completing village objectives or by discovering a particular combination of ingredients or items.
A sequel that learns from its mistakes
It's nice to see how compared to the first chapter of the series there has been a big step forward with many elements, among which the camera which is now easily interchangeable between first and third person and the game storyline, which now actually plays a major role unlike the first Builders.
Yet another novelty is the multiplayer mode, which allows you to host and host different players in your world to build any whimsy all together passionately.
An important detail of the multiplayer mode is that varies by console, being manageable also locally on Nintendo Switch by detaching the Joy-Con and su PlayStation 4 solo in online, giving up a good added value of local cooperation.
It will also be possible share shots made with the game camera and modified with very amateurish filters but with an effect on the global community, which opened its doors from July 12th and immediately gave emotions worthy of the fanbase of this fantastic series.
Another small but important news is the possibility of our character to run, finally saving us endless journeys towards destinations who knows how far away, perhaps to then go back just as slowly.
The exploration is now added Fast Travels, which allow you to return to key places previously visited in comfort, a luxury that certainly deserved to be used by anyone.
Speaking instead of graphics and sound we can certainly say that the title rIt does the Dragon Quest universe very well, and it does a good job visually rather than soundly, where Koichi Sugiyama's magnificent soundtrack is not fully exploited and loses value.
Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a title that takes an example from its past mistakes and imperfections and creates a finished product, wonderful for sandbox lovers and really fun for anyone who likes to spend their time on a light but tremendously imaginative game with a ample room for the player's creativity.
This is one of those games that unleashes its full potential after hours of gameplay, in short, when we have freed ourselves from any limitations imposed by the plot and we can freely explore each area and obtain as many materials as possible from each island.
This title is appreciated by both newbies to the series and the most experienced, who will not back down to the idea of a game that combines a wonderful universe like that of Dragon Quest with “Minecraftian” mechanics in an explosive mix of gameplay and exploration.