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What’s in Your Box: Making Things Great Again

/ Oct 15th, 2016 No Comments

Dragon Quest Builders

Each week, we here at Gaming Illustrated are always playing a number of different video games. However, we may not be talking about them in reviews or editorials. That doesn’t mean they aren’t worth talking about, but for any number of reasons an avenue to speak on them doesn’t come up. To remedy the issue, we’re going to ask our staff (and you, honestly) what’s in your box?

What’s in Greg’s Box

Welcome welcome friends! As we peer deep into our souls, do we not peer deep inside a metaphorical box? Anyways, here are the games I’ve been getting into this week!

Guild Wars 2 has again been sucking up a lot of my time, but will begin to wane as I have hit max level. While I can continue my adventure in raids and endgame content, a lot is still off-limits to me without the expansion: Heart of Thorns.

The plans as of now is to wait until X-mas has come and passed then acquire the expansion to earn new skills and content. As sadly it is a waste of XP should I continue questing with my max level character. That’s what alternate characters or other “toons” are for right?

Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 has plenty to offer all players regardless of expansions.

Even after maxing out my character, I still stick by my word that Guild Wars 2 has more than enough to keep players occupied with just the base game alone. I have only explored 50% of the map and haven’t even done some of the low level dungeon stories.

If you need a free-to-play MMO that has a rich lore and very few, if any, walls created by the expansion(s) then Guild Wars 2 is a must.

When not MMOing like a fiend, I’ve sunk my teeth incredibly deep in Paper Mario: Color Splash. A full review is coming, but I’ve been taking my time with this one. As the series near to my heart, I want to make sure I give it the love it deserves, in terms of both flattery and critique.

To save some word morsels for later, I can say for now that the game is very well done. It has far more heart than Paper Mario: Sticker Star, but is not without a few rough edges.

Paper Mario: Color Splash

Paper Mario: Color Splash is a return to form even if it has some rough edges.

Fans of the Paper Mario story elements (i.e. the humor, writing, unique worlds) will find a lot to love and feel like Nintendo mostly listened to fan complaints regarding Paper Mario: Sticker Star in creating Paper Mario: Color Splash.

What’s in Kalvin’s Box

It’s been raining in Portland for basically the entire weekend so far. That made a perfect excuse to do nothing but play video games. This week my box has really only been occupied by one game: Dragon Quest Builders.

Alfegard Diaspora

Dragon Quest has never quite caught on in America like it should have. It is a monolithic series in Japan, but the States have always gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to Square-Enix bringing games over here.

Nintendo’s confidence in the series on the DS/3DS notwithstanding, things are changing for Dragon Quest fans. Last year saw Square bring over Dragon Quest Heroes and this week saw the release of Dragon Quest Builders, a quirky mix of RPG and sandbox building simulator complete with sexy voxels.

Dragon Quest Builders takes place in Alfegard, the setting for the very first Dragon Quest game. It posits an alternative timeline where the Dragonlord tricked the legendary hero into splitting Alfegard in two. The subterfuge allowed the Dragonlord to dominate Alfegard by destroying all the human towns and scattering the remaining vestiges of humanity. For thousands of years, monster ruled Alfegard under the Dragonlord’s rule.

And it seemed Alfegard was doomed to be under the blight of the Dragonlord forever, until hope dawned once again. The goddess Reemis finally decided it was time to intervene and awaken the legendary builder, Bildrick. With the extraordinary power to build, lost for ages, Bildrick can help humanity regain its former glory and defeat the Dragonlord once and for all.

Make Alfegard Great Again

You won’t be taking down the Dragonlord immediately. No, you have the immense task of rebuilding Cantlin first. For you to have any chance against great evil, you will need to build a thriving town to attract people who will help get you ready for your difficult task. The more you build up your town, the more access you will have to better weapons, armor, and food.

To build your town, you will need materials. Pretty much anything you see in Dragon Quest Builders can be broken down and used to create new structures and item. Of course, to break down certain blocks and objects, you may need better gear first.

However, to start rebuilding your town, breaking down basic Earth blocks is easy, and you gain recipes to build crude rooms right away. You are able to start styling Cantlin in your own image almost immediately.

Building rooms and crafting items is easy. You can get lost almost immediately in gathering materials to craft new items and build rooms to attract new villagers.

Dragon Quest Builders

Beards are trust worthy!

Progress in Dragon Quest Builders is smartly tied to narrative, which comes in the form of quests given to you by villagers. Completing these quests unlocks new abilities, weapons, blueprints, and ways to expand out your burgeoning town.

Also finishing quests unlocks portals, which opens up exciting new areas of Alfegard to explore. You can always do you own thing, but the game’s set-up makes it so you can’t get lost.

The narrative keeps the game from being an amorphous sandbox game without a sense of purpose like many of the same ilk. While combat is a bit simplistic, there is hack-and-slash gameplay is pretty satisfying.
Harvesting materials from enemies feels good because they can be used to create new and exciting stuff.

Why is This Zelda?

A funny thing about the game is my girlfriend was watching me play and said, “Why does this look like The Legend of Zelda?” It gave me pause because I know the conceit of the game and the series, so I didn’t know how to answer her. The more I thought about it, there are a lot of similarities between Dragon Quest Builders and The Legend of Zelda.

Dragon Quest Builders

This is too much.

Bildrick is a generational hero with a lineage of extraordinary ancestors that is awoken in a time of darkness to save the land. Even the heroes have an oddly similar look.

The combat is very similar to the point Bildrick gains a spin attacks as a way to gain leverage against enemies. And the look of the game is also pretty similar.

Obviously the games are wildly different, but it was an interesting observation that opened up some cool parallels.

Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
Kalvin Martinez

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