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Hero-of-Time

Dragon Quest Builders 1 & 2 (Switch)

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Demo is also up on PSN. I can't wait to give it a go. Easily one of my most anticipated games of the year. :yay:

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Is there any point in trying out the demo for 2 if the demo for 1 didn't impress me?

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33 minutes ago, Sméagol said:

Is there any point in trying out the demo for 2 if the demo for 1 didn't impress me?

Depends what you didn't like about the first one. I'd probably go with no though.

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13 minutes ago, Ike said:

Depends what you didn't like about the first one. I'd probably go with no though.

I'm not a fan of the "blocky aesthetics" you see in so many games in general, but I can overlook that. I think my biggest issue was the collecting grind. I can't be arsed to collect all the materials. I don't want to do it. I may have fun if it was just building stuff.

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1 hour ago, Sméagol said:

I'm not a fan of the "blocky aesthetics" you see in so many games in general, but I can overlook that. I think my biggest issue was the collecting grind. I can't be arsed to collect all the materials. I don't want to do it. I may have fun if it was just building stuff.

The demo is the beginning of the story, so no unlimited building materials.

Not sure if they made any changes to the full game for the free mode.

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My copy was sent today :D Probably won't arrive tomorrow, but I would be very happy if it did, otherwise it won't be here until monday.

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I've been playing Dragon Quest Builders 2 since Friday, but didn't want to post any impressions until I'd completed the first chapter.  I have to say, I'm a little bit disappointed. 

 

The first thing I noticed is that it doesn't run as well as the first game, with the loading times so long I actually wondered if there had been a mistake upon installation.  It takes approx. 70 seconds for the game to boot, and then a further 25 seconds to load the file.  Movement is also sluggish at times - from reading others' assessments, the frame rate is thought to drop below 30fps.  Personally, I would happily lose some of the graphical flourishes to get it running at a stable 60fps.  Thirdly, the camera can now be switched between 1st-person and an automatic 3rd-person, which I feel doesn't work as well as the three-choice close/medium/far camera of the original game.

 

Quite a few gameplay changes have been made, some for the better, some for the worse.  Weapons no longer break, which in my opinion is a major improvement to a moderate problem.  The Hunger Meter is still there, however.  Whereas I can understand stamina is part of the gameplay in some genres (roguelikes spring to mind), here I feel it's an unnecessary distraction.  More often than not I completely forget about food until I'm 0% full, at which point I get a few items out of the bag and eat them, which is rather hard to see the point of.

 

One thing that bothers me is that this sequel is not so good for those who like neatness and order.  In the first game, your base was marked out by a blue square, and the first thing I'd do was build a defensive wall around the perimeter.  Here, though, you are not set clear boundaries at all, so you can get confused as to which land counts as your base.  Enemies still only attack from one particular direction (so far), but as far as I'm aware none of the building blocks available are strong enough to withstand attacks.  In the original game, only arranged battles could destroy the strongest walls, but here it can happen when you're just trying to build.  In fact, this game often has a way of disturbing you when you're trying to get on with something else.

 

Gone are the buffs from buildings rooms, so there is less incentive to tinker about with bigger bedrooms, hotels etc.  I though the defensive buffs were one of the best things about the first game, and hoped they'd be expanded upon here - not just HP and strength, but also elemental and magic resistance, for example - but no.  This has been replaced by more focus on the NPCs as individuals - there are more of them and they do more too.  If you want to give them a better item, you literally have to find them and hand it over.  At one point they ask you to build a bathroom, but as far as I can see it doesn't have any gameplay benefit.  As I watched them use all these facilities it struck me that this is slightly more of a sim and slightly less of a game than before.

 

That's not to say it's all bad.  After five days, I suddenly got into it and am now hooked.  The seeking-and-building gameplay is still there and still addictive.  As the chapter drew to a close, the game asked me to build something so huge and audacious, I was at first annoyed, but soon after began to admire the ambition and wondered where it would lead.  Then I realised the NPCs build it for you and it's not used in the boss battle anyway. :p

 

And this is Dragon Quest Builders 2 so far - an elaborate story to play through, but you might not feel as though you're having a great effect on it.  I'd say the original is better by miles, and anyone interested in the series should be confident in checking that out rather than relying on the sequel being an all-encompassing improvement upon it.

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I'd say Builders 2 is the better game, there's a lot of QoL improvements and I prefer not having to build walls around the town all the time as I felt like that's all you do in the first one. :heh:

I'll post more impressions later.

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I'm nearing the end of the game now ( I think i'm on the final chapter ) and i'm in agreement with @Grazza in that I think the first game is a much better experience. I've honestly found the game to be an absolute slog to get through.

There is an insane amount of dialogue, with some it having some inexplicable long waits between the next sentence. What makes this even more annoying is during these sections you can't actually press the button to scroll forward like you can do with the rest of the dialogue. You have to sit and wait a very long time before the game decides to move on. It's such a weird thing and I have no idea why it's been made like this.

Some of the chapters just seem to go on forever and one of them completely removes the building aspect of the game and instead turns into a level that requires you to constantly run back and forth between characters just to chat with them, before having to tackle a fairly large stealth section. It feels completely out of place in the game and it just wasn't fun at all.

I do appreciate all of the QoL improvements they have made but the actual gameplay just seems less engaging and less intimate than the first game. It's such a shame because I was REALLY looking forward to the game but it has sadly turned out to be one of the biggest gaming disappointments of the year for me.

Here's a quick tip for those who are still early on. Once you unlock the ability to travel to other islands, make sure you fill in the checklist of items because this will net you unlimited resources for certain materials. Having unlimited ladders at your disposal, along with the little gliding cape you get, makes it so much faster to traverse the areas. Just climb up to the highest point with your ladders and fly away. :D 

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3 hours ago, Hero-of-Time said:

There is an insane amount of dialogue, with some it having some inexplicable long waits between the next sentence. What makes this even more annoying is during these sections you can't actually press the button to scroll forward like you can do with the rest of the dialogue. You have to sit and wait a very long time before the game decides to move on. It's such a weird thing and I have no idea why it's been made like this.

 

These moments are one of the things that honestly made me wonder if there was something wrong with my game.  It's bizarre to force the player to linger on a screen of text for so long.

 

After Chapter 1, I got back to the hub world and have been playing about there ever since.  One thing I will say is that the game is at least spectacular - but like so many games these days, bigger does not mean better.  It's all very well asking you to forge enormous landscapes, but at the end of the day you're really just doing what the game tells you to.  I would much rather have a neat square for my base - perhaps bigger than in DQB1, but still fixed.

 

The original game separated everything into four chapters + the free build mode.  I really enjoyed replaying each chapter, meeting the challenges, because as I say it did feel like a game.  By comparison, this feels like a slow-paced story mixed in with a heavy simulation/building aspect.  There's so much to do, it unfortunately, as you say, feels like a slog.

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4 hours ago, Grazza said:

The original game separated everything into four chapters + the free build mode.  I really enjoyed replaying each chapter, meeting the challenges, because as I say it did feel like a game.  By comparison, this feels like a slow-paced story mixed in with a heavy simulation/building aspect.  There's so much to do, it unfortunately, as you say, feels like a slog.

I think what you said about it being a slow paced story mixed with a building sim is spot on. A lot of the time I just felt like I was going through the motions when building. Those MASSIVE buildings you have to construct is a bit of a waste because all you are doing is getting the materials for the villagers to actually build the thing. 

It's such a shame that they didn't just add the QoL stuff to an already working formula that was the first game. I think it would have been a better game for it but then I seem to be in the minority as most people seem to be really enjoying it.

Anyway, the credits have now rolled for me. The last area was a little boring but what you build and get to play with makes up for it. You can see what's going to happen in the story from a mile off though. However, the last boss fight is epic and I had a huge grin on my face when the fight really kicks in. :) 

Despite my complaints, the game isn't without its charm. It captures the world of DQ very well and some of the stories are quite funny. The second chapter offered a fair few chuckles. Some of the random banter that happens with the villagers when you are just going about your building business is hilarious. As a British person I do appreciate some good old fashioned toilet humour and the game provides this. Keep an eye out on some of the dialogue when the villagers have finished using the toilet. Great stuff. :D 

In more positive news, the game seems to have done well over here, especially the Switch version which sold the most. It will at least get the DQ brand in the hands of more people and I'm expecting DQXI to do very well on the Switch come September.

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Just nabbed the platinum for the game. I actually enjoyed playing the post game and hunting the trophies more than playing the main game itself. Being free to build what I wanted, while trying to gain a massive amount of gratitude points, was much more fun than listening to all the characters  waffle on.

One trophy took ages to get. It requires you to breed a rare pet. It took a crazy amount of setup and waiting around. I had to max the happiness of my two cats, get them to have two kids and then start that process all over again with the newly born kittens. It had to be a 4th generation cat for the trophy to unlock and it took the best part of the day to finally unlock it. Thankfully this is where the Switch comes in handy as I could just leave Dragon Quest doing its thing on the TV while I cracked on with MUA3. :D 

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