Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition Review (XBLA)
Posted by Jim Cook, May 10, 2012 14:21
There will likely be two different audiences curious about Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition (simply ’Minecraft’ from here on), those who are familiar with its PC release and those who may have heard of it but have no meaningful experience or idea of what it’s about. The former crowd may wonder if this port is worth their time, to which I can answer “maybe; the local split-screen co-op might interest you.” Those not yet initiated into Minecraft should read on, as this is a very clever sandbox game that lets you explore and build your own world.
Played as a first person ’shooter’ (I’m hesitant to use that label because you don’t do much shooting), Minecraft generates a random world full of resources, animals, and monsters. Your immediate job is to build a basic shelter/house before nightfall, which you do by mining wood and other nearby materials. Your first few days will be tense, as you only have slightly over ten minutes per day cycle to get everything you need, assemble it, and safely get inside before you have to worry about monsters, ones you can hear moaning hungrily on the other side of your home. It’s hurried, frantic, and a little dangerous. Or if you’d rather it not be that way, it’s perfectly fine to set the difficulty to ’Peaceful’, letting you focus on just the constructive side of things.
Once the initial rush to make your first house is taken care of, Minecraft reveals a whole new layer of play. While mining for resources is a large part of the game, the ’craft’ part comes from building things. At first this is just adding minor improvements to your house, but you can create weapons and tools in short order. Once you’re in a stable situation, you can then consider expanding the home or even building a new one in a better location, adding decorations to make it more pleasant.
This escalating scale of construction is the true heart of the game. Why stop at just a neat house when you can build a farm, and create simple or complex devices to take care of security concerns? Why settle for mining near the beach when the really neat stuff is found by digging deep? It’s your world to venture through and create whatever you can manage within. Of course, you have to build it one block at a time. This can take a while for elaborate projects, though many players seem to have no problem with that and will gladly engage in Lego-esque engineering for hours at a time.
Rating: 5.0, votes: 1