Review: Minecraft (360)

Unless you have been living on the moon for the last year, you would have heard about a game called Minecraft from the fantastic people at Mojang, A small indie game developer that came up with a huge idea which took the world by storm and made a computer geek, going by the name of Notch, a very very rich man.

For me I have been playing Minecraft since the early days when it first came out on the PC and since those early days it’s moved on so much.  It has moved to a crazy amount of platforms such as PC, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and now Xbox360 Arcade. It would seem if your system can run Java then Minecraft can run on it. Now that Minecraft has now hit the console market it’s going to do great things.  For those of you who wanted to try the game, but really don’t want to play it on your mobile device or you’re not really a PC gamer, now you can sit in your comfy armchair and sit in-front of your 42″ HD TV and start playing in this sandbox world.

The interface has totally changed, which I would have expected it to, as you will be using a control pad and change needed to happen. You still have the bar at the bottom of the screen, you also have your health above that, but keen Minecraftiens will notice that there is no hunger bar to the right of the main bar due to the 360 version being based on something near the 1.6 version of the PC game. I would like to think that the hunger bar would come at some point, along with the rest of the things that are missing at the moment.

The crafting side of the game has been updated as well.  It has been designed for the console market, basically it looks like the developers have taken some inspiration from some of the modding community on the PC, as it looks like they have added a Recipe Book which shows you all the things you can make and all you need is to have the components in your inventory and it will make it for you once you have clicked the icon. It took me some getting used to, as I am very accustomed to the PC version, and holding the control pad to do some of this feels a bit clunky, but again once you played it for a few hours it becomes second nature.

One of the biggest things for me was the multiplayer: it’s how the PC version should be. When you start the game you get the chance to make it invite only or an open game, it’s so much easier this way as the server lunches with the game and as you’re connected to XBL anyone of your friends can just drop in and play along with you, which is a great way to play this game. No paying for private servers to pay on the PC, like I have, or having to set them up with permissions and whatnot. There’s split screen fun to be had too, although this will only work if you’re living life in the HD lane.

As this is on a console it’s been locked down a lot so there will be no installing hi-res textures, like you can do on the PC version. Also, there will be no installing mods to expand the game more, however there is an option in the menu which says downloadable content and I am hoping that they see this as an opportunity to let you download some great new textures or maybe even some maps for PvP and roleplay adventures.

Overall this is a great game and I’ve lost so many hours on it it’s not even funny, and now it’s made it over to a console it’s great for anyone who likes Minecraft. But, and this is a very big but, in my humble opinion they are going to need to support this and if they start to slow down, the game will stop being played because Minecraft is only as good as what you can make and do.  However, if you are after a game that really has no end and you can just go around in this sandbox world making farms and making a home for yourself then this is the sort of game for you.

Reviewed on Xbox 360

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