Dragon Quest Builders is Square Enix’s version of Minecraft. So how good is it on the Nintendo Switch? Here’s my review of Dragon Quest Builders!
Dragon Quest Builders is a very pretty game. It’s one of the best looking Dragon Quest games I’ve ever played and it runs really good on the Switch too. The character models look great and I enjoyed visiting the different biomes spread out through different acts. The lighting is poor, but I appreciate that there’s a day/night cycle and that things get more dangerous at night like it did in the original Dragon Quest game. The various different armor sets and weapons look really neat and I even though the particle effects look like they ripped right out of the PS2 era of games I think the overall graphics quality is pretty damn good for a Dragon Quest game.
I considered placing this in the bad section because of the combat. The combat in this game is horrible. I would rather eat a jar of mayonnaise and I hate mayonnaise with a passion. You can’t cast spells (unless you count the enemy) and I don’t count the magic projectiles because they’re items. I wanted to roleplay as a wizard that builds shit, but I couldn’t… I had to stick to being a generic warrior with a sword/shield and hammer. Building shit is where this game shines. It’s not on par with Starbound or Terraria, but it’s good. The main quest in this game required me to build a shit ton of different rooms while providing assistance to my fellow citizens. The people that eventually flocked to my town are almost completely useless. They do leave some goodies in the chests scattered around my town, but it takes awhile. It’s not a feature that can be abused and it’s faster to just make your stuff. I mentioned that the combat was dumb above. The combat in this game is really basic. You just swing your weapon from side to side until whatever is in front of you dies. You eventually learn a charge attack that lets you pretend to be Link, but that’s how deep the combat ever gets in this game. It’s not good. It also didn’t help that every enemy can eat my attacks and hurt me so I got used to jumping attacks. I jump in attack and then jump out before I can get hit.
After you get to a certain point in the game your town can be invaded by the enemy. This introduces a tower defense mechanic in the game. It’s a bad mechanic because at the end of the act I had to go through wave after wave after wave of enemies until I got to the boss. The gameplay in this game is NOT good and I just wanted it to be over.
Dragon Quest has always had a really annoying soundtrack in my opinion. This game is no different and it’s really freaking loud too. I have to lower the volume on my TV whenever I play this game. The other sound effects aren’t much better. Explosions sound like shit and so does every monster. I was really disappointed with this section of the game because I’m a huge sound guy. I love listening to soundtracks, voice acting (if the game has it), and the various different ambient sounds that are present in games today. This game has none of that. It’s all terrible.
Dragon Quest games usually tell a pretty good story. This one does not. It’s something about some evil dragon that took over the world and our main protagonist has to rebuild it with his/her skills. The main quest is complete garbage and isn’t interesting at all. It only serves to unlock new schematics to build and make your small hamlet grow into a bustling town. My biggest issue with this is that after I complete an act it takes away everything I’ve done and starts me over with nothing. I don’t even get to keep the armor on my back. I start back in the same rags, a wooden club, and a hammer… Some people might like that, but I don’t.
I read an excellent review from Falcon Game Reviews on Dragon Quest Builders earlier today. Check it out here!
Dragon Builders isn't for me. I did not have fun while playing this game. I'm not a Minecraft fan at all and even though this game does enough to separate itself from Minecraft it did almost nothing to make itself feel like a Dragon Quest game. The combat is very simplistic, the soundtrack (all the other sounds) is horrible, and I couldn't think of a single reason to recommend this game to anyone for $50. If you like Minecraft and you're looking for something different then you might like this game. If you're a hardcore Dragon Quest fan looking into this I would recommend waiting for a price drop or skip it altogether. You'll be better off waiting for the next game in the series before wasting your time and money on this one. Dragon Quest Builders is an average game that did nothing to impress me.