MineCraft – Xbox Live Arcade
MineCraft is the indie game that could, a title that has shown the world that one man’s imagination and ingenuity can top AAA developers that rule the industries charts month after month. MineCraft has stepped into the ring of yet another platform by being released through an exclusive agreement between Mojang and Microsoft bringing the indie darling to Xbox Live arcade last week, and what a release it has been!MineCraft broke XBLA sales records the week of release becoming a profitable title almost immediately. Yet another “Notch” in Mojang belt with what is sure to be a heavily updated title and incredible sandbox for Xbox owner’s to play in for years ahead.
MineCraft is a mystery from the outside, oldschool 16 bit graphic style and lack of game structure seems to either appeal to people instantly, or immediately send them running back to pown more “noobs” on Call of Duty. Not being a PC gamer the XBLA release was my first taste, and it was love at first crafting table for me. MineCraft is a different game for every player and that is a large part of the appeal. It is the antithesis of a community game. If you are not the creative type jump into a friends world and play practical jokes on them, if you are an artist craft awe inspiring 16 bit art, want to lend a friend a helpful had sculpting their world then be so kind. MineCraft offers endless possibilities outside just mining blocks and building.
The only downside to the release could be the initial netcode work that must be improved for stability and the price point. At 1600 Microsoft pointsthe casual consumer may not see enough appeal to make the investment, butthe market has already proven the price point was justified so those wanting to stand on the other side of the fence may have a long wait until Minecraft is reduced to the standard price point of 1200 points. The netcode or RAM problem the game is experiencing if hopefully just a growing pain. Latency issues are rampant in the 360G community on this title with the community being spread across the globe this issue may persist, but hopefully is improved over the coming months. Also the game had multiple complaints of freezing Xbox’s. I have experienced this issues more times than any Bethesda title has ever froze my console, and “one mans” opinion is that the poor little Xbox’s RAM just can’t handle the constant loading the MineCraft requires. Hopefully some behind the scenes addressing of these issues will clean the cat poo out of this sandbox, and offer a great experience that many of us now will not be able to do without.
If pure inspiration is the heart of MineCraft then cooperative play is its soul, and Myjonghave delivered by offering both online play and couch cooperative play that is lacking from almost all AAA titles of the past few years. Hearing fathers and sons play together and husbands and wives enjoying time together is what makes the MineCraft community a great addition to the XBLA marketplace, and the online multiplayer is fantastic as well community members that don’t share mutual game interest historically are coming together building and playing in this sandbox, and that is why gamers game this day in age. They want to find new friends to enjoy gaming together. Gone are the days of locking yourself away questing, cooperative play in where Minecraft spreads its wings and fly’s.
Combat in MineCraft while simple is varied at the same time both ranged and up close and personal combat are present, or may be disabled all together by setting your game world to a peaceful setting. The combat is always challenging enough that you will learn quickly to be afraid of the dark. Enemy AI will find any dark corner to close in of you at you shelter so well lit safe zones are required to stay safe through the night. Community leaderboards are present so you may compare you kill count to others on your friends list further the gamey nature of MineCraft. While those who just want to produce beautiful vistas, or 16 bit art can take advantage of the peaceful setting. Those looking for a risk and reward mechanic can set there worlds to an east, normal, or had difficulty. Knowing that a Creaper could ruin hours of work at any time is an added twist that some will find gratifying and others will find an exhaustive grind. You will not know where you fit in until you try the multiple settings.
MineCraft is a title for the entire family from young to old, new gamer to seasoned veteran all will find some form of enjoyment from this quality XBLA tile. If price is your only concern then the trial will more than likely not sell the game to you all you can do is put your trust in the words you read on the internet and the opinions from friends that you trust. It will only give back what you put in at the end, so if you are committed then make the investment if not then just be jealous of all your friends stories and hopefully that will be enough for you. Minecraft is exceedingly addictive so also be sure you are well nourished and rested prior to a session, because if not you many end up like a Korean StarCraft player stewing in your own nappy ruining your Union Jack man blanket.
8/10 indie darling that has made the premier