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Dragon Quest Builders 2: Exceeds Expectations

Plot

Dragon Quest Builders 2 immediately takes you plunging into a big mystery. You wake up as the main character (male or female depending on choice) without memories trapped on a ship with many monsters. Through the information, you know that you are a Builders – a unique characteristic in this world where you have the power to create and build things. But unfortunately arrived, the ship was hit by wind and big waves. You end up fused together with the sea for an unknown time.

What do you know next? You wake up on an uninhabited island called Isle of Awakening, meet a man named Malroth who also loses his memory. From the case of the shipwreck that brought you here, only a woman named Lulu managed to survive. The three of you decide that the only way to survive here is to work together. Since the Isle of Awakening itself is not exactly rich in resources and the like, your main character must look for ways and help.

Super cute

It seems safe to use the word “cute” to explain what visual approach Square Enix has to offer for Dragon Quest Builders 2. With a more flexible approach like this, Dragon Quest Builders can maintain so many familiar visual elements that are inherent in the franchise’s identity so far. Not only the design of the main character, but also the variety of enemies that you meet along the way, which precisely maintains the shape and design. There is no obligation to change the visualization of everything into rough blocks, including various types of items, food, and weapons that you can mix and get later. This also automatically makes the real RPG taste more mainstream.

So what about the world? As we know, Dragon Quest Builders 2 borrows a concept similar to Minecraft where you can mine most of the objects that you encounter which will then end up being extra material. Dragon Quest Builders 2 offers a world wide enough vertically and horizontally to facilitate this. You can build a tower or any structure in a position that is high enough or vice versa into the ground. The game will provide a specific underground tile to provide information that you can no longer mine deeper. While limitas in space is only a barrier. If you are a mine-mining player who is crazy to just collect material or want to see a world that is falling apart? You can get that satisfaction in Dragon Quest Builders 2.

Square Enix has indeed succeeded in establishing the taste of Dragon Quest that should be on this one series, even through sound effects and music. Your first trip will be immediately greeted by “Overture” which becomes an inseparable part, along with CGI film pieces that are indeed used to provide an overview of your trip later. Some of the unique sound effects of Dragon Quest, from when you get items to leveling up for example, are also included here. So for you who always defines the Dragon Quest series from the OST and the sound effects that exist? You don’t need to worry too much about missing it here.

Beam RPG

First? Of course from the side of the story. That like the JRPG game that is supposed to be, Dragon Quest Builders 2 contains a story approach that seems familiar to you who likes this genre. It’s about the journey of two best friends in a mysterious world and the main antagonist who is respected, of course, still reinforced with the unique plot-twist style of Dragon Quest in it. This means, apart from the mechanics he stretches out, this game still has a story structure that is counted as solid as well as linear. That your movement towards the islands around the Isle of Awakening will be based on the missions that you have completed.

Second? The linear experience that we mentioned previously was translated through the structure of quest-based RPG which happened to be in this series, would require more solutions through shifting and forming beams and not just fighting using various skills and equipment. Then you will meet with a myriad of NPCs who occupy each island, who then ask you to do a specific task which if completed will end up encouraging story progress. Finished? Prepare to do the same thing again until you end up seeing the Credits screen at the end. This structure solidifies its position as an RPG game.

Exploration is essential because this is the only opportunity to find a variety of materials to complete the variety of quests that exist or simply help you survive. You can dig for extra building material to use later, “insignificant” materials that turn out to be the main ingredient for certain item crafting processes, to just food to ensure your main character survives. For this last one, you can’t just put it aside. Dragon Quest Builders 2 contains a hungry system that requires the main character to periodically swallow food, either directly from nature or that has been processed through cooking activities. If you are negligent, he will not have the energy to move and will often end up complaining, making your trip even more difficult and annoying.

It’s also impossible to talk about RPG games without talking about the battle system. But unlike the main Dragon Quest series that takes turn-based formats, Builders 2 comes with an action RPG system. There will be a button to jump, a button to attack, and a rotating attack variant to be accessed. Unfortunately, this battle system can be called the main weakness of DQ Builders 2. What is the article? There are many things that contribute to this. First, from the simplicity of a battle system that doesn’t even contain the same skill system in it. Second? Impact attacks are also weak because of the minimal effect of the stagger, where the enemy can still attack you when attacked. Third? It does not provide buttons for evade or roll for a more dynamic and fast sensation. These three things make the DQ Builders 2 battle system indeed counted, disappointing.

But in the end, you can’t help but do it. The fight is still positioned as a solution for several types of problems in this game. You have to do it to kill specific enemies and hunt for the material they drop or just defeat the boss which is usually the closing for certain story chapters. Here is also the role of your loyal companion character – Malroth will shine. Because the character who will continue to follow you is indeed positioned as a more dominant fighter, producing damage at least 2-3 times what you can spawn. Slowly but surely, this role produces dependency and attachment to the cool Malroth figure which will also be translated into the story. Our favorite part? AI Malroth itself. Not just fighting, it will also automatically help you collect the material that you just got.

With the presence of a battle system like this, Builders 2 also presents a system of increasing levels which unfortunately, is also superficial. You will get extra permanent status every time this level level rises, but the progress will be limited by the story. So increasing your level will not be higher until you reach a certain progress. Although not much is filled with additional fighting skills, but at some level points, you will have the opportunity to learn new crafting equipment recipes that of course offer higher automatic status, “strengthen” you indirectly as long as you already have the material needed to mix it up. At some point, Malroth will also teach you a new type of attack which, unfortunately, is not how effective it is.

So to support your activities as a Builders, various equipment and items that you can craft will also increase along with the progress of the story. Initially you are only equipped with a hammer to destroy the beam, then reinforced with an unfounded pot that can fill and remove as much water as you need, to a glove that allows you to lift even heavy objects. Items that you can mix will also increase according to the story, from the crafting table that can also inject Magic or Arcane transformation, to just a variety of beams from wood to gold though. Using these various tools is also sometimes needed to complete the mission requested from you, like one of them, asking you to do terraforming to create rivers and lakes.

Dragon Quest Builders 2 also offers online elements in it, where you can visit other Isle of Awakening gamers to get a little inspiration. But we ourselves had tried to access this mode and ended up failing, so we ourselves could not talk much about the problem. One other “online” element also ends up being an opportunity to upload photos of your Photo Mode results, which are also filled with various filters and super cute expressions in them. Square Enix integrates the voting system for the best photos by making it part of the loading screen.

Fantastic “Quality of Life” Element

In game design like Dragon Quest Builders, there are many things that can end up being wrong and your source of discomfort and dislike for them. But as far as the eye can see and our hands play, there are many QOL decisions that deserve thumbs up in this game. All of them produce a more comfortable and minimal stress playing experience until you can focus on specific things that you are asked to do.

It is as simple as an item storage system for example. The main character – Builders will immediately be equipped with a bag with almost unlimited content that will accompany the trip. Through simple instructions, you can enter and remove any item you want quickly. Cool again? This unlimited bag arranges items based on their type, not numbers. This means that every available slot can store up to 999 items before taking a new slot. This concept allows you to harvest or mine without any worry at all. There is no need to fear that your space is over because there are too many hoarding materials that you feel are important.

But unfortunately, this system is also followed by one deficiency extra. That Square Enix does not provide a “Search” or “Categorization” option to facilitate search. Along with the more material you encounter and the objects you build with crafting, slowly but surely the page-page slots provided by this bag will soon be full of icons. Trying to find one specific item among dozens of icons whose colors and shapes are similar to each other, this is one of Builders 2’s worst dreams. It is not uncommon for us to spend only 5 minutes searching for the item we need, ending up not finding it, making crafting to make it back, and found that it was automatically stored in the slot bag at the beginning, it was hard to find this. There is indeed a “SORT” system for tidying it up, but it doesn’t help much.

Often appearing as our plus, NPC behavior in Dragon Quest Builders 2 is indeed the best QOL implementation ever. Because instead of being passive and just “accepting” the actions and consequences of the steps you take, they play an active role. They will help take care of your plants, mine if needed, to join in fighting against enemies who are trying to destroy the city that you just built. What is our favorite? They play an active role in building super high or super wide buildings that usually act as a closing chapter, instead of asking you to be busy yourself. They will look for the material needed and help build it based on the Blueprint (based on the story) that you provide. It’s amazing and a relief to find that you don’t have to bother building a building that can touch the 7 or 8 levels.

 

Conclusion

Dragon Quest Builders 2 ends up being a fantastic product, offering a thick JRPG flavor but with a new approach. That in the end, it was not a series that was just built “borrowing” the name of Dragon Quest and melting it with Minecraft. Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a new and full experience that will be missed. Don’t say you don’t like it before you taste it.

Surprising, addictive, exciting, but also challenging at the same time, what we feel when playing and completing Dragon Quest Builders 2 has indeed succeeded in eroding all the skepticism that can arise when looking at the first series. That instead of a game that just wants to “borrow” the popularity of Minecraft by borrowing Dragon Quest skin – which is actually one of the most popular JRPG franchises in the world, Builders is a series that has a strong JRPG taste that “happens to” use a build-build system beam as a solution to many problems. The taste of this RPG flows strongly through the quest system, interesting stories, and various QOL implementations that minimize the frustration that must be recognized for games like this, indeed vulnerable. Combined with the music and design of the enemy that is so “Dragon Quest”, it offers an experience that exceeds our expectations.

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