When Dragon Quest Builders launched in 2016 a lot of people probably dismissed it as a blatant Minecraft clone. However, if one dived in they would have found a fantastic blend of what makes Dragon Quest games great with some additional Minecraft elements. It wasn't perfect, but it was better than it had any right to be.
When it comes to sequels, it's always hoped that the downfalls of the previous entry, or entries, will be improved and in this case, it has been significantly upgraded. In order to help out those burned by the first experience, here is a handy list of some of the bigger upgrades along with a few tips to make the starting hours easier.
10 Multiplayer Present, But Restricted
First of all, the game has a sloooow start. Once players get the hammer at the Isle of Awakening, this will also unlock a notice board, which then also unlocks multiplayer. Up to three other people can join one’s game for a total of four, in case math is hard for some of us.
However, multiplayer is restricted to just that island, which means players can’t get, or give help with the story. It’s a shame, but it’s still fun as is even if the implementation is a bit sloppy. Here is hoping couch co-op comes in with the next game.
9 First-Person Mode
One of the biggest new additions to the game is being able to view the world in first-person mode. It's never really communicated to the player in some kind of tutorial box. However, at the bottom right of the screen is a constant toolbar of control tips. Simply clicking in on the right stick will flip back and forth between third-person and first-person perspectives. Going into this mode is great for precision building techniques. For being a blatant Minecraft clone, it's surprising this wasn't in the first game.
8 Constant Companion
The original game sometimes gave the player a companion to follow them around in order to help with fighting. This was not constant unlike Malroth in Dragon Quest Builders 2. He is there to greet players when they get up on the Isle of Awakening.
He will always be there to not only make battles easier, but if the player starts smashing blocks and collecting materials, he will do the same. The AI isn't perfect, but for the most part Malroth is a valuable companion.
7 Teach Your Settlements To Be Self-Sufficient
The first settlement one will interact with, the Furrowfield Farm, starts off small, but will increasingly become more complex. It can be a lot to take in when it comes to feeding the villagers, chopping crops, defending against monsters, and so forth.
In order to make things easier, villagers can be given weapons to make them stronger against monster attacks instead of using their puny fists. Villagers can also plant their own crops and make their own food sources. The further one gets, the more options will open up so pay attention to tutorial pop-ups.
6 Progress No Longer Resets
One of the biggest issues that was disappointing in the first game was the actual RPG progression. Defeating monsters did not net EXP. Instead it was gained through completing quests, which was fine, but the big downside is that traveling between each new area reset the levels. What kind of RPG does that? Well, not only do random monsters give players EXP, but also traveling to each new area will not reset progress. It's such a relief.
5 A Whole New Underwater World
Building didn't have many limits in the first game, but there were a couple. The ceiling limit wasn't that high, which has been incredibly lifted to make some truly inspiring towers, or floating islands.
The bigger get is that water no longer kills. That's right, the water can now be explored. The one downside is that swimming is awful. Players basically jump in order to get around. It feels and looks weird, but hey, baby strokes, right?
4 Mini Medal Challenges
It might be enticing to keep following with the story's directive in order to keep unlocking new things. However, it is highly encouraged to explore one's surroundings as well. There are optional quests out there, which will prove useful to progression as well like the Mini Medal shrines. These little puzzles won't bust the brain, but they are fun little interactions and further rewards will reap great benefits. This is the case with most Dragon Quest games.
3 Text Overload
Speaking of other games in the series, wow, Dragon Quest Builders 2 has a lot of text. If one thought Dragon Quest XI, the latest main entry, had a lot, this has ten times that. Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but everyone seriously doesn't know when to shut up and get to the point.
It's not that the story is bad, but the dialogue choices could have been significantly trimmed. There is no skip option either, which can really halt the momentum sometimes.
2 Fast Travel
For the first couple of hours players will have to trudge back and forth between Furrowfield and everywhere else on the island. It can get monotonous, but thankfully fast travel will eventually unlock. It costs nothing and is extremely fast without any sort of significant load time. Why Square Enix decided to not unlock this feature from the beginning is beyond this writer, but again, it's not that far into the game and Dragon Quest Builders had almost no fast travel so this addition is huge.
1 Building Shortcuts
This final entry goes along nicely with the article’s title, because this guy didn't learn it until much later into the game. See, if the player holds down the building button while putting down a brick, or something, the character will keep building and stacking it in whatever direction they are holding the analog stick in. It makes building walls so much faster instead of doing it piece by piece. Going into first-person mode will also show arrows allowing the player to dictate where and how tall the bricks will be repeatedly built. It saves a lot of time!