I’ll admit that I have avoided Minecraft for as long as I have. I simply did not want to endanger any of my productivity time. Minecraft is more than just a game to some people, some argue that it is not a game at all. Whatever the case may be, the addictive premise of Minecraft cannot be ignored.
Of course, now that I have the god-forsaken responsibility of having to review this “game that isn’t a game,” it means I’m going to be trapped in its tentacles of addiction and lust. Quite frankly, there is nothing wrong with that.
For those who don’t know what Minecraft is, you can think of it as a sandbox game where everything is revolved around brick objects that you can break and build. The world is generated randomly, and there can be a lot of things to be uncovered above and below ground. You can think of it as virtual legos but with an added element of mining for the materials and crafting them into tools or building structures. There are adversaries abound that aim to make your nights a living hell, but there is really nothing much in terms of goals set by the game. In fact, the game has no direction. You can do or build whatever the heck you desire.
You will either love Minecraft because it is an open sandbox game where you can build a huge fortress with buddies, or Minecraft will not interest you one bit because what you see is what you really get. It is all a matter of perception, though. It does not take long understand what makes Minecraft so popular, as quick search through YouTube will answer all doubt.
Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition was built with the console gamer in mind. Minecraft can be a bit rough to get into, especially if it’s your first time. This edition seeks to simplify things to the point where internet research would not be required. Add on a tutorial, a simplified crafting engine, and a few tweaks to make it console friendly, Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition does a great job of bringing it home to consoles.
Multiplayer has always been an important part of Minecraft and the Xbox 360 does feature both online and local co-op. Fortunately, only people who are on your friend’s list will be able to enter your game. That means if you want to be a bastard, you will need to friend them first before you can destroy their work. Local co-op can only be done if the game is played on an HDTV, probably because of TV real estate issues.
There is no integration between the PC and the Xbox 360 versions and the patches are a bit out of date by almost a whole year. There are plans to continually update Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition and to try to keep it in sync with the PC version. Perhaps what will be the most important update is the Adventure Mode that has been in the works for awhile. When that comes out, we can only hope that the Xbox 360 will get the same treatment. Perhaps then those looking for a more adventure-like game will join the Minecraft phenomenon.
Minecraft is addicting as it offers itself as a huge palette for your creative mind as it always did. If you allow yourself, you can easily get lost in these randomized worlds. Being outdated compared to the PC version is a bit of a drag, but it does offer itself as a great entry point to those that have not played it before. What is most appealing are the updates that will be coming its way, most of which will most likely be free. Those looking for a full-fledge game with story, deep combat, or character development will need to look elsewhere. Though, don’t be surprised if you suddenly fall in love with this game the moment you try it out, no matter what type of gamer you are.