Dragon Quest Builders

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a game by Square Enix
Platform: Playstation 3
Editor Rating: 8/10, based on 2 reviews
User Rating: 9.4/10 - 7 votes
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See also: Open World Games, JRPG Games, Sandbox Games, Dragon Quest Series
Dragon Quest Builders
Dragon Quest Builders
Dragon Quest Builders
Dragon Quest Builders

It seems these days that every major game franchise wants to capitalize on the popular sandbox genre with their own characters and lore incorporated. What's bizarre about Dragon Quest Builders - is that it's a significant change from its traditional JRPG mechanics. I mean, did anyone actually ask for this game to be made? It just seems very out of scope.

Regardless of your thoughts, Dragon Quest Builders brings the world of Alefgard into the mix following the original game. As expected, you'll take on the role of a player destined to rebuild the world devastated by the evil Dragonlord. How much fun can a player have with this when they are used to story-driven JRPG games?

To Build a Better Dragon

As it turns out - Dragon Quest Builders does actually seek to provide a unique take on a sandbox game with its own franchise. Not just a Minecraft skin with characters and visuals of the franchise. The game is a bit more story-driven than the traditional narrative of the genre. It adds a purposeful plotline that resonates with the original JRPG game.

The visuals of the game feel all too familiar - but complement the expectations of the player. Blocky terrain and structures will serve as the assets you'll use to develop your town and get the people of Alefgard back on their feet. Clearly, Minecraft has been a strong influence in the shaping of the game's environments and mechanics. But it does have that pretty Dragon Quest flair with it.

The look and feel of the game are refreshing - and it is complemented by the NPC's and enemies inhabiting the world. Dragon Quest Builders does bring the urgency to make you feel like you're consistently on an adventure - even if it's just building a bridge across a pond. The game keeps players on their toes without pushing harder than you'd like.

Quests, crafting capabilities, and character interactions refine the sandbox game into an RPG amalgamation. Where it may seem ambitious - it surprisingly works and keeps players entertained. Though because of these additions, the gameplay may feel a bit repetitive and limits creative potential. Otherwise, a fair few hours can be spent restoring the world to its former glory.

Not Just A Quick Fix

There are many sandbox games out there that will just dump you into a barren wasteland and give you a set of tools. The whole concept does seem a bit tired these days - but Dragon Quest Builders manages to deliver a refreshing perspective. Why not incorporate a tailormade narrative and RPG elements into the mix? The Dragon Quest franchise is perfect for it, after all.

8

Obviously, Minecraft has been a colossal inspiration in development - but the breathing world of Alefgard also gives it some Animal Crossing vibes. Dragon Quest Builders, despite its limitations, works well on all levels of gameplay. Even if you are unfamiliar with the series, players can take solace in a very entertaining sandbox game.

Pros:

  • Beautiful visuals create a more immersive sandbox world
  • Well-integrated RPG mechanics into the traditional sandbox ones
  • NPCs and enemies make your world seem more alive

Cons:

  • Limit on creative potential with the franchises characters, assets, and narrative
  • The game starts to feel repetitive after a while, with similar challenges and unrewarding quests

Download Dragon Quest Builders

Playstation 3

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

As a spin-off of the main franchise, Dragon Quest Builders is a survival and crafting game that blends RPG-style progression with free-roaming fun. As the sole purveyor of life and light in a world of darkness and desolation, it's your job to rekindle the magic of a forgotten kingdom as you slowly build civilization back up from square one. Although it's simplistic in concept, this relaxed adventure is grand in scale, offering a great genre mix-up that will suck up your time in the blink of an eye.

Main Game Features

  • Gather resources and build up bases
  • Battle monsters in isometric combat
  • Open-ended and relaxed gameplay

Story

In Dragon Quest Builders, you control the prophesized architect of a dying fantasy world, compelled to rebuild the world after it has been gripped by evil. Although it's light on story set-up, this game acts as an alternative future of the original Dragon Quest RPG, wherein the hero chooses to side with the villainous Dragonlord instead of defeating him. This turns out to be a ruse, leading the kingdom into despair as villages fall and monsters roam the countryside.

At the start of the game, you must simply rebuild a town to the best of your ability, fending off any enemies that crop up along the way. Before long, survivors will join your blossoming village, requesting that you complete various tasks. Although there is a lot of text to read, the narrative is loose and up to your interpretation, as there are no clear levels or stages to complete. Instead, you'll experience the world of Dragon Quest Builders at a natural pace, discovering portals that lead you to new areas. If you're looking for a rich story full of characters, you won't find that here, but the world is familiar and enjoyable for fans of the franchise.

Gameplay

Unlike the main series, which plays similar to games like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest Builders has a lot in common with Minecraft. You start the game with very few resources and must craft tools to uncover more supplies. During the day, you can explore the large landscape, bashing rocks and other debris for usable materials. With these resources, you can create walls, doors, and other workstations, which protect you against the monsters that come at night. Luckily, you can also craft weapons like hammers and swords, prime for swiping at unsuspecting skeletons, slimes, and other iconic Dragon Quest enemies. Combat is easy and feels like a simplistic version of Diablo II, as each monster has different attack patterns that you'll need to learn.

As new villagers pop up around town, you'll complete small tasks for them, leading to other gameplay elements. Sometimes you'll need to complete blueprints to create specialized buildings, forage a certain amount of food, or defeat specific enemies. Health and nourishment are hard to come by, so you'll need to craft food recipes to continue to survive. After spending enough time reinforcing your base, you'll discover better equipment and recipes, allowing you to explore further away from home. This cycle of building, surviving, and exploring is consistently entertaining and a great way to spend a few hours.

Conclusion

Dragon Quest Builders is an interesting turn for the series, as it strays away from its RPG roots in favor of simple survival and crafting. However, this blend of familiar gameplay works incredibly well, at times becoming more addictive than the games it is inspired by. Since it's so easy to pick up and play, kids will have just as much fun as adults, likely spending hours building their ideal village.

8

If you like sitting back and mindlessly collecting resources while you plan your next big base expansion, Dragon Quest Builders is a perfect spin-off to try.

Pros

  • Very addictive gameplay
  • Easy-to-understand building mechanics
  • Good mixture of building and combat

Cons

  • Simplistic design
  • Way too much dialogue
  • Lack of waypoints and guidance

Snapshots and Media

Playstation 3 Screenshots

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