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July 12, 2019 11:07 AM   Subscribe

Dragon Quest Builders 2 Is Much More Than A Minecraft Clone [Kotaku] “Dragon Quest Builders 2 makes me feel like a creative genius. It accomplishes this bold feat through use of brilliant game design. In summary, no, it is not a “Minecraft Clone. Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a full-length Dragon Quest game, which just so happens to supplement its cutscenes, exploration, and combat elements with cutely robust city planning mechanics. And, yes, perfectly fleshed-out, endlessly rich Minecraft building. [...] Dragon Quest Builders 2 is bigger, longer, deeper, and magnitudes more narratively exciting than the first.” [YouTube][Launch Trailer]

• ‘Dragon Quest Builders 2’ Is a Giant To-Do List, and I Love It [Vice Gaming]
“Dragon Quest Builders 2 is cute. Dragon Quest Builders 2 is simple. Dragon Quest Builders 2 is the game that I’ve been playing until 1 AM all week, completing “just one more task” before bed. If this is a measure of whether or not a game is good, then the game is excellent. Following on from the first game of the series, Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a third-person crafting game that puts you in the shoes of a little Builder who is working through a ruined world trying to put things right again. It’s got more than a hint of a Minecraft vibe, and it asks you to travel around talking to people, doing quests, and building small townships where those people can live and those quests can have a major impact. One of the reasons that I’ve been able to really tuck in to Builders 2 is that it is substantially more complex than the first game.”
• Dragon Quest Builders 2: Building a New Legacy [Nintendo Life]
“Though the Minecraft formula has been iterated on to hell and back, Square Enix managed to offer up an interesting take on the sandbox classic with Dragon Quest Builders. All the blocky aesthetics and open-ended crafting were present and accounted for, but these things were all couched within a wider narrative arc that included plenty of RPG trappings from Square’s storied franchise. There were missteps, sure, but it was a solid blueprint for how a more focused gameplay experience could be hewn from the endlessness of a sandbox game, and now Square has decided to take another crack at the idea with Dragon Quest Builders 2. As many sequels should strive for, this release proves to be a more refined experience than its predecessor, fixing many of its flaws, adding in a wealth of quality of life improvements, and generally providing a stronger case for its own brand of sandbox style gameplay.”
• Dragon Quest Builders 2: a little Breath of the Wild magic helps this sequel sing [Eurogamer]
“It was only a matter of time, really, until Breath of the Wild - one of the best games of the last few years, and a valid contender for one of the best of all time - started to make its mark on other video games, but this is the first time it feels explicit. Dragon Quest Builders 2 came out in Japan towards the tail-end of last year, a follow-up to the 2016 original that itself crafted together an exquisite mix of Minecraft and the long-running, much-loved RPG series. The sequel streamlines things, throws in a dash of Breath of the Wild inspiration and comes out of it all feeling refreshed and refined. The underpinnings are still mighty familiar from the first time out. You're stranded in a land where building is outlawed, and it falls on you to bring back a spark of creativity, pushing out further into the wilds to pick up resources that you bring back to your base to build it up and attract more citizens, slowly providing them with facilities to keep them happy. It's a hypnotic loop, and in keeping with the Dragon Quest vibe a sedate one too, as you engage in the lightest of combat out in the field before indulging in some light construction when you return.”
• Dragon Quest Builders 2: a crafting game with solid foundations [The Guardian]
“Dragon Quest Builders 2 balances creative freedom with direction, and allows even the most imaginatively challenged of us a taste of the joy of making something. Unlike the more open-ended Minecraft and its ilk, Dragon Quest Builders 2 is an adventure game, based around building, that gives you the option to flex your creative muscles if you so choose. Set in a world where any kind of building is banned by a destruction-worshiping religion, it drops you on to a mysterious deserted island, with an enigmatic amnesiac companion called Malroth. I was initially annoyed at the prospect of having someone following me around all the time, but Malroth endeared himself to me by fighting monsters and collecting materials at my side – and only very occasionally getting in the way of my masterful crafting. The story is intriguing enough to hold the player’s interest, but the real stars of the show are the dialogue and localisation work that shine in every Dragon Quest game. Packed full of puns and humour, it makes reading the not insignificant amount of dialogue a real joy.”
posted by Fizz (12 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
This sounds pretty great. I love Minecraft, and I loved Dragon Quest back in the days the US audience knew it as Dragon Warrior. I'm intrigued and I hope I'll get a chance to try it out.
posted by biogeo at 11:19 AM on July 12, 2019

I forget who on Twitter I’m lifting this from, but the best part of Builders 2 is that it functions as a follow-up to the NES Dragon Quest 2 game, just like the original Builders tied into the original DQ. This means that if it keeps getting sequels we’ll eventually get to build Torneko’s shop in DQB4.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:21 AM on July 12, 2019 [6 favorites]

My biggest criticism from the first game was that you had these various towns you would build up but whenever you moved on to the next town, your progress from the first was instantly erased/destroyed and so you would start each new town from scratch and that sort of sucked all of the joy out of creating something in your world.

It seems they've learned from that with this sequel and now you have a way of saving your creations on your island and you can also view other islands to see what other people have crafted/created. I'm down for that. It's like Animal Crossing only with swords, dungeons, skeletons, dragons, and minecraft. Yes to all of this.
posted by Fizz at 11:49 AM on July 12, 2019 [3 favorites]

The announcer for this is... weirdly exuberant. He sounds like the narrator from Battleblock Theatre. I like it, but it lends a (I think) unintentionally sinister undertone.

I skipped the first one, but the promise of Co-Op makes this super appealing to me.
posted by Zudz at 12:08 PM on July 12, 2019

I am so excited. At first I was like, shoot, I need to wind up my current Minecraft world or at least get it to a good "pause" point before this comes out.

And then I started thinking about the prospect of having my Switch at my desk and switching over to DQB4 every time I'm waiting for stuff to process in my Skyfactory 4 world.

I'm never going to get housework done again.
posted by Sequence at 12:09 PM on July 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

DQB2, obviously, and I missed the edit window. (Obviously switched numbers with the version of my Minecraft modpack.)
posted by Sequence at 12:33 PM on July 12, 2019

It'll be interesting to see how the upcoming (Spring 2020) stand-alone game Minecraft: Dungeons does as well and what they add to this formula. [YouTube][Reveal Trailer]

It adds to this growing genre of building/questing. I'm thinking of games like Graveyard Keeper, Stardew Valley doesn't have as much of this as it's more geared to farming, but the genre is growing rapidly.
posted by Fizz at 12:42 PM on July 12, 2019 [2 favorites]

Thanks for this post; I've been wanting a game like this recently. So I bought it on PS4 and have played it for a couple of hours. It's kind of tooth-achingly sweet and cute so far, it feels like it's aimed at 8 year olds. Which is fine, games should be for 8 year olds too! Just have to go with that. The building parts seem very simple so far, but the game gives you access early to other people's creations and I can see folks are doing things well beyond the blueprints you're supposed to fill in. Looking forward to seeing more.
posted by Nelson at 7:26 AM on July 13, 2019

This means that if it keeps getting sequels we’ll eventually get to build Torneko’s shop in DQB4.

Even better, DQ3 allowed you to make your own party, so the gameplay options in DQB3 should be greatly expanded....

I was excited for DQB on Switch, but while it was fun for a while, it got old fast. While the worlds in it may look Minecrafty at first it turns out they weren't randomly generated at all, all pre-built, which lessened replay value both of the main game mode and, especially, of the "terra incognita" extra mode. Plus, you were always going to new areas and leaving your previous works and characters behind, and the simulation aspects, in the end, turned out to be lacking. All this, and it just cost much more on Switch than it did on PS3, for joy.

I am extending cautious hope for this one though.
posted by JHarris at 9:42 AM on July 13, 2019

Ah, the video was made by Tim Rogers, of Insert Credit fame. He was the guy who basically introduced the world to Katamari Damacy. Long ago MeFi's opinion on him was fairly cantankerous, along the lines of him writing too-lengthy, navel-gazing screeds about video games, but speaking for myself at least, I've come around on his writing style. He's improved a bit as a writer, and I've improved as a reader.

Previously -
posted by JHarris at 10:08 AM on July 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

I know him primarily as 1) the guy who made amazing videos breaking down the Final Fantasy Japanese->English translation & 2) the reason everyone in taquito household can no longer express affection for something without saying "I LOVE IT" in an artificially deep Buffalo Bill voice.

[Tim Rogers voice] I LOVE HIM
posted by taquito sunrise at 6:18 PM on July 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

This game is real good y'all.
posted by Nelson at 8:41 AM on July 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

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