Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition
May 9, 2012 (US)
is quite unlike any other game out there. Those of you who have played it on PC are already aware of this. But for someone like me without a gaming-quality PC(as a matter of fact, my laptop laughs in my face whenever I try to install any kind of game), the news of Minecraft
coming to Xbox 360 was an extremely welcome announcement. I’ve watched people play it and never really understood what all the fuss was about, but I can now confidently say I know why it’s so popular.
The story of Minecraft
is that there is no story. It’s what you make of it. You’re thrown into a randomly generated world with nothing at your disposal other than your fists when you first start. From then on out, it’s your job to build the world around you. Build a house, build a castle, build a fortress—it’s up to you.
Most of Minecraft
’s charm comes from its seemingly-outdated look of textured cubes making up everything in the game. That being said, for what it is, the game looks excellent on Xbox 360 and an HDTV. I’ve noticed some visual hitches and framerate lag after playing several hours in multiplayer, but the simplicity of the graphics is one of the many things that makes Minecraft
Zombies moan, spiders hiss and skeletons shoot at you with a ‘thwip’ of their crossbow. As you mine different textures—anything from gravel and sand to stone and wood—the noise your pickaxe makes changes to reflect the texture and density.
The music is peaceful and innocent, which reflects the theme and overall feel of the game and its world. Even when getting attacked by Creepers that can blow up and destroy your house, the soft piano intonations accompanied by the surrounding world and visual style create a nostalgic aura that brings back fun childhood memories of games of old.
Building. That’s what Minecraft
is really all about. You mine and you craft. You mine materials and you use said materials to craft other items or build whatever you want. Some might say that Minecraft isn’t really a game, and they have an argument. There’s no way to ‘finish’ or ‘complete’ the game. There’s no final boss or narrative whatsoever. Minecraft
is more about being creative, digging through mines for gold and treasure, and building things with your friends.
The game runs on a day-night cycle, and when it gets dark, all the creepy crawlies come out to play. This is why it's important to build a house with a bed to protect yourself from things that go bump in the night. When creating a new world, the first thing you'll want to do is build a house and equip it with a bed so you can sleep through until dawn. For the night is dark and full of terrors.
The meat of the game is in the multiplayer. You can invite friends or set the game world to open and have them join you on a whim to help build(or destroy, depending on how trollish they are) awesome things. Joining a friend on a quest into a dark, dreary cave filled with monsters to try to find gold or iron or whatever it is you need to help build your next construction project is a joy.
With this being a port of the PC version, those who have the game on PC might scoff at the Xbox 360 version. It is, after all, an outdated version of the PC game, and there is no possibility for mods. There’s also no “Creative” mode which the PC is famous for, giving you free range to pick and choose items and materials without having to work for them to help build ridiculous things, like this:
That’s not really an option in Minecraft
, and it’s disappointing, but I wouldn’t count the game out just yet.
There are a large amount of possibilities in Minecraft
. Start a new world, build within it to its limits and then start a new world and do the same thing. Or do it differently, it’s up to you. Playing the game with friends is extremely fun and a lot of replay value will be found building/destroying things with buddies in an Xbox Live party.
On May 10, Microsoft announced that Minecraft
was the fastest-selling Xbox Live Arcade title to date, breaking the record previously held by Trials Evolution
. Exact numbers weren’t given, but it was said that over 400,000 people were playing Minecraft
online on the first day. With this in mind, Minecraft
will be seeing a ton of downloadable content, that I can assure you. This is a good jump-off point, but I think that DLC will help extend the game to resemble its PC counterpart a little better.
for Xbox 360 is a watered down version of its PC brethren, but for those who haven’t played the game on computer or are unable to run it, it could be a very nice addition to your gaming library. I even have friends who adore the game on PC so much that they bit the bullet and bought it for Xbox 360 as well, and they enjoy it. Me personally, I have to give it two thumbs up. It’s an excellent change of pace from the world of first-person shooters and big-budget titles we live in.