Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Game Review: Minecraft for the Xbox 360

Joe (yes, the crazy awesome Joe from Mormon Geeks) recently purchased the Xbox 360 version of Minecraft.  The primary reason?  Split screen multiplayer of course!  I played Minecraft in the beta version of Minecraft, but found that I would quickly lose interest in the game after a week or two of playing it.  Whenever a new version would come out, I'd regain interest for a moment, but again would quickly lose interest.  One reason was because I wanted to play the game with other people.  Most of the online servers were either really hard to get onto, or were complete chaos.  A version of Minecraft that promised multiplayer with a friend in the same room was definitely tantalizing!

Our hopes were quickly dashed by what I consider to be a very poor design decision on the part of the developers of this version of Minecraft.  We quickly discovered that multiplayer could only be done if the Xbox 360 was connected to an HD TV with an HDMI cable.  Any non-HD TV or an HD TV without an HDMI cable will not work (we did end up trying both).  A few days later, we managed to commandeer the roommate's TV for a trial run of the game.  Needless to say, the fun antics ensued after that.

One of the first things that bothered me about this version of Minecraft is that it didn't have all the upgrades that the released version of Minecraft has.  Another thing that also I found annoying was the control scheme.  I've found it difficult to pick up (after about 5 hours of playing, I still feel a little shaky on some parts of it).  Trying to operate furnaces are especially annoying.  The inventory management system is scarier that Resident Evil 5's system.  Well, maybe that's a overstatement.  Another drawback to multiplayer is that all the players share sounds.  If one player hears a zombie, all of them hear a zombie.

One thing that I absolutely love about the game is the crafting system.  All the craftable items available are selectable with a menu.  There's no need to memorize recipes or where items in the recipe should go.  The players simply needs to have the items in their inventory to craft items.  One thing I like about the controls is that holding down the mining button doesn't hurt my finger like the PC version does.  Another thing that I enjoy is multiplayer!  We had up to 3 people playing at once.  It was quite a bit of fun.

As a brief travel log: Joe and I started out in a sandy, snowy area.  We quickly set out to find some trees.  After finding one near our starting area, we spied an island (well, island in the middle of ice) that had more trees.  We quickly made that home and set about building a hasty house.  Our house was blown up the first night after a zombie and a creeper invaded our home.  After rebuilding, our house was later blown up again.  After those first few eventful nights, we were able to get established a bit more.  Our house now sports a small farm plot, three bedrooms, and a whole network of tunnels.  Sadly, our world seems to be short in iron.  We've found more redstone than iron so far!  That aside, it's been a blast! (From all the creepers exploding).

If you have a friend to play with and a HD TV with an HDMI cable and are a fan of Minecraft, I would recommend buying this game!

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