A game that de­liv­ers on al­most every front

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - ENTERTAINM­ENT -

WHEN Minecraft was first re­vealed to the pub­lic around the turn of the decade, most any­body would fully ad­mit that they had never played a game of its ilk. The trou­ble with such unique ideas in the gam­ing world is that your in­no­va­tive idea will in­evitably spawn nu­mer­ous copy­cats.

Once the ti­dal wave of brazen pla­gia­risms be­gins to ebb, there even­tu­ally comes a time when de­vel­op­ers will in­stead seek to in­cor­po­rate and amal­ga­mate ideas from var­i­ous gen­res, in or­der to cre­ate some­thing more idio­syn­cratic and not simply another in­sipid fac­sim­ile.

What we are seeing with Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a rather biz­zare com­bi­na­tion of seem­ingly dis­aparate ideas. While it is most cer­tainly a fully-fledged RPG with a down­right mind-bog­gling amount and depth of con­tent, it also bor­rows heav­ily from Minecraft’s building me­chan­ics, leav­ing us with a rather pe­cu­liar but ex­tremely fun cross­over be­tween gen­res that, os­ten­si­bly, couldn’t be fur­ther apart.

When you aren’t busy­ing your­self con­struct­ing throne rooms and farms, and rejuvenati­ng var­i­ous aban­doned and ruined biomes, you will find your­self on grand ad­ven­tures that span a di­verse and vi­brant world. From puz­zles to plat­form­ing, to ter­raform­ing and a sur­pris­ingly deep and ac­ces­si­ble story (even if you are not fa­mil­iar with Dragon Quest lore), this game truly de­liv­ers on al­most every front.

How­ever, the one facet of the game that fails to de­liver is per­haps the most un­for­tu­nate blun­der pos­si­ble. For a se­ries that has al­ways taken pains to em­pha­size the im­por­tance of com­bat, the fight­ing and en­coun­ters in Dragon Quest Builders 2 are ut­terly limp and de­void of ex­cite­ment.

As a quick il­lus­tra­tion of the seem­ing lack of thought im­parted to the com­bat sys­tem, your char­ac­ter’s main at­tack takes so long to wind up that simply spam­ming your nor­mal at­tack ac­tu­ally does more dam­age per se­cond in al­most every sce­nario. There’s noth­ing en­tirely bro­ken or wrong about the en­coun­ters, but there’s al­most noth­ing right about them ei­ther. Even­tu­ally, com­bat in this game may be­gin to feel like la­bor.

Aside from the te­dious com­bat and some­times op­pres­sively ju­ve­nile sto­ry­line, this is a truly fan­tas­tic game, but per­haps the kids will de­rive more en­joy­ment from this one.

Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a rather biz­zare com­bi­na­tion of seem­ingly dis­aparate ideas.

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