Indie Review: Minecraft — Xbox 360
Minecraft is a first person, sandbox, building game filled with endless possibilities and creativity. You craft and refine your world block by block.
- Worth The Time?Absolutely. This game will eat away time like there is no tomorrow.
- Things LovedGreat aesthetic and atmosphere. Simple, yet eloquent soundtrack. The retro look can't help but make you feeling nostalgic. Good crafting interface. Loads and loads of creative fun. Online co-op is a blast.
- Things HatedDisconnection issues. Inventory quirks.
- RecommendationFor those of you who are looking for a creative romp filled with all types of goodness, look no further.
- Name: Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition
- Genre: First-person, sandbox
- Players: Local: Co-op with 1-4 players. Online: Co-op with 1-8 players
- Multiplayer: Yes
- Platforms: PC and Xbox 360
- Developer: 4J Studios / Mojang
- Publisher: Microsoft Studios
- Price: 1600 Microsoft Points
- Reviewed On: Xbox 360
Running. Hearing and feeling your heart thumping in your throat. With the little hairs on the back of your neck standing up straight like a bunch of meerkats sensing the perilous danger that is slowly approaching them. Running away to the safety of your newly built home, away from the troublesome foes that are in pursuit. Reaching your home just in time and slamming the door closed with a loud and ear-aching thud. You quickly scurry over to your homemade crafting table, realizing you don’t have enough iron ore to quickly make yourself a sword. You begin to lose hope… Wait! You have a pocket full of charcoal and a few sticks in a nearby chest. You are able to make a few torches and wait it out until dawn. Looking out of the window you see the suicidal and merciless Creepers wanting to blow up in your sweat covered face… How will this night turn out?
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Welcome to the world of Minecraft! Now available on your nearest Xbox 360. We plunge into this block filled world that oozes with creativity. This is an expanding world that will make way for you and you imaginative building and mining skills. In other words: a bad-ass building simulator.
Minecraft does not have a story and you know what? It doesn’t need one. You won’t find yourself wanting a story. You are the story.
When you start up Minecraft, be sure to play the tutorial before plunging into your very own world. The tutorial will make your life much easier and much less confusing. It will explain the basic gameplay principles you will need to know. You will use these crafting skills you learned to survive in this world and truly make it your world. Grab some wood and make your own crafting table. You will use this table to make your own tools and all the necessary equipment. You will be overwhelmed with all the possibilities and at the same time be entranced by them. This game forces you to be creative, in a good way.
Begin to build your home out of the desired element, such as wood, wooden planks, cobblestone, iron, sand and the list goes on and on. Melt some sand in the furnace you made yourself and voilà, you have yourself some glass to use as a window. You can begin by building yourself a small hut-like home, that is comfortable and easy to begin with, or you can dive right in and begin by building a mansion. Believe me, your home will always be in need of something new, whether it be something small like a new window or an entirely new level, a balcony or a set of stairs. A farm in your backyard is always welcome. Harvest some wheat and bake your and your amigos some bread, and go to the ends of the earth to bake a cake. Grab a bucket and continue your search for a cow and steal some milk. Stalk chickens to get eggs and be victorious in your everlasting quest for edible treats. You will need resources to do anything. Kill a pig, pick up the porkchop, put it in the furnace, offer up some of your neatly chopped wood as fuel, and you have yourself a tasty meal.
If you are in need of some of the more rare resources, you will have to venture away from the safety and serenity of your peaceful and loving home to get them. Let’s say you need iron, you will have to make a hole in the ground and start mining! Ah, wait, first I need the correct tools for the calling at hand, a few shovels and a few pickaxes along with some torches so that I can be able to see the way ahead of me and find my way back to the surface. In that case I need wood, cobblestone and all that goes with it. Be sure of the fact that this game will burglarize you of all your time. Mining can take up a lot of your time and is very rewarding if you hang in there and make your way home with all the gathered loot. Be sure to have everything you need before heading down, and be thoughtful of the perilous danger that boiling-hot lava poses in these underground caverns and man-made tunnels. You will lose your current gear and all the items in your inventory. In order to reclaim them you will have to venture back down there and reclaim them, if the lava hasn’t burned everything you had on you to a crispy pile of ash. It’s an ever-expanding world waiting for you to expand it. You can’t just sit around and wait for the world to give you everything you need, you must venture out and let everything happen.
You can choose to play on four different difficulty settings. The easiest setting dubbed: “Peaceful”, contains no enemies wanting to slaughter you at night, and therefore you can continue mining and building to all of you hearts content without the fear of some skeleton archer putting an arrow in your behind. If you play on “Easy” or on a higher difficulty setting there will be enemies in your world. Some in the day and a lot at night. Be sure to find shelter at night if you want to have any hope of survival. And to make things interesting, some of the crafting items you will be needing can only be found on your lifeless foes. Packing a weapon for these ventures is essential.
The overall atmosphere is great. It’s not a graphical powerhouse, and you know what? A graphical powerhouse is not needed to convey all the creativity that this title has to offer. The look of the game is of a retro nature and have a nostalgic feeling to it. The soundtrack consists of simple, yet eloquent sounds of a surreal and classical nature. Crafting items and mining with a individual piano in the background is enticing and very relaxing.
You can play this game both offline and online. If you want to be alone in your world, you can play offline. If you want to explore the world and build with friends be sure to play online. Regarding the online experience, it’s a ton of fun, but disconnection issues I experienced didn’t help with the immersion. Players that joined the game disconnected continually and it can be extremely annoying to some. It is easy to join again, but your previous inventory may be lost in some situations, but it is usually there when you return again. You and your friends can share everything in your inventory and that can enhance the feeling of cooperation a lot.
If you want an indie title filled to the brim with creativity and a world that is truly your own, be sure to pick up Minecraft. The possibilities are truly endless.