Dragon Quest Builders: The Minecraft JRPG

The first game was self-contained zones. The structure of this one is a little different, with the hub world (the first game had an unlockable sandbox mode but no hub, but afaik it is similar.

A couple of observations after playing through 3 “story” islands now, along with time spent in the hub island.

The game is very childish. Most people who have played a DQ game before know this, but it’s worth mentioning here. It’s almost too much so for me, but so far, I’ve kept playing.
It’s also very hand-holdy. Sometimes, it takes control too much and gets frustrating. When I’m in the middle of building out a room, I don’t want to be forced into mandatory dialogues, or cut-scenes.
The story islands play out a lot like DQB1 for those that played it. You have a very defined set of goals and must meet them to advance. You do have some freedom to build a little on story islands, but are limited by space (the town zone) and must also fit in the required rooms per the goals.
The hub island, however, is a different thing altogether. You have much more freedom here, and much more room. There are goals, but it’s not tied to forwarding a story or anything. Basically, you bring some of the characters from the story islands back with you to the hub island, and make a new life for everyone there. I like this aspect a lot.

I did just finish my 3rd story “island” which I’ll put it’s name spoiler tags since it could potentially be spoilery. The Alcatraz prison lsland. .
I did not enjoy this one at all. I won’t go into any details, but it’s been my least favorite part of both games so far. I’m hoping the next destination is at least as decent as the first 2.

So, yeah I’m enjoying it overall, but I’m definitely not as high on it as the reviews seem to be. It has some frustrations, but I did like DQB1, and so far this is similar enough to keep my interest. Plus with the hub island, I’m sure to have more fun there.

Do different characters come with different skills?

No, nothing like that. Different personalities, but there really aren’t any “skills” in the game. All of the companion characters just ask for certain things (quests, sort of) and help build or cook. Well, except for the one uh… person/thing. He’s special in what he does.

Oh, I was hoping this game was more of an RPG.

:(

It kinda is, but not like a traditional RPG, or JRPG. You’re a builder. That’s the gist. You can make better tools as you go along, which have unique abilities to help you fight/build/destroy etc. You can also find items to increase your HP, and you do quests/missions, mostly centered around building specific things, but that’s about it. You have a follower who is basically tied to you for all combat and fighting, and you can give him a couple of better weapons as you progress.

Really enjoying the QoL improvements over DQB1. The dialogue is pretty annoying, and it’s a slow, somewhat grindy start, but it’s definitely made up for by the changes. It also looks a lot nicer now, at least compared to the Vita DQB1.

I have to disagree here. At least on the first themed island, each of the characters does have different skills. One is a fighter, one will till soil, another will clean up dirty soil, one will find seeds, etc. But having said that, apart from the fighter, they’re not like party members. They’re basically active NPCs.

Yay! The leaving your town behind and mostly starting over in each chapter was somewhat dispiriting to me. Probably why I didn’t finish the first one. I probably should put some more into it…

You still kind of do that, in that you leave behind what you’ve built and gathered on the chapter’s island. It’s just that there is something persistent in the hub.

Picvked this up, on the 1st Island with the farm. Really enjoying it so far. Plays well,looks great and so far is ticking along nicely.

Still enjoying this but struggling with teh farm 250 different crops. they keep dropping to 80 odd and I am still missing 2 types with no pointers, anyone got any advice?

I got stuck here - you have to go find that bow-goblin near the bog and grow grass for him - but you have to kill the grabbing hands in the bog that drop the materials you need to make this grass (the side effect of all the hand holding in this game is when it does not do it, you get confused easily!). Once he’s happy, it unlocks the quests to go and get the last two seeds (tomato and pumpkin). If you have 3 or 4 scarecrows in your town, its easy to get up to 250 crops.

The other main point some may miss is that you shouldn’t be harvesting the crops unless you have need of food. The seeds re-grow a limited number of times,and if you keep harvesting, you may out last the usefulness of the seeds, which are hard to replace. I just left everything fully grown in the fields until I got to 250.

OK that’s great, thanks for the advice

Yeah, I did that the first time but not ure who harvested the second lot causing it to drop

I am addicted to this, and it has revitalized my interest in Dragon Quest XI as well now. I play DQB2 on my PS4 when I can get the tv, and then play DQXI on the PC when I don’t have the TV. Also have finishing Dragon Quest Heroes 2 in the wings as well.

This game is crack cocaine and will keep you up at night.

Protip: On Story islands, don’t build important stuff outside of your town zone. You can tell you’re out of it when the music changes.

There’s a very weird and uncomfortable set of story beats on Story island 2, with the miners and Babs. They love her? All of them? Even the one who says he was ‘her favorite when she was a baby.’ But they also all may be gay, so it’s … okay? It’s weird and uncomfortable and feels about 15 years out of date.

Urgh yeah that whole playboy bunny thing was kinda gross.

Is there any sort of open world free-play once your beat the story (or before for that matter)?

The hub world is free-play. It’s huge, but there’s not much you can build there at the start as you have to unlock recipes by doing the story (e.g you can’t build rail tracks and minecarts until you get to the second story island).