The last title in the Arcade NEXT promotion has arrived, Minecraft 360 Edition. Developed by Mojang for the PC and 4jstudios for the console version. Without a doubt this is the title in this promotion with the biggest expectation among players, specially fans of the PC version of the game.
Being a Minecraft player on the pc for several months now, I cannot avoid having mixed feelings for this release, while i’m exited to see this finally on the Xbox 360, I can’t overlook and ignore the details that take away the magic and charm from the PC release.
Minecraft is a sandbox game in which your imagination dictates the limit, either if you like to build; houses, a castle or the hall of doom, you can do it. As this is release 1.6 it’s fairly outdated and things are different from the more updated pc version; there is no hungry bar, no pistons and some mobs are not in this release, giving it a nostalgic feeling a lot of player missed and enjoyed, if you wonder how Minecraft was during the beta, this is it.
Most of the features are present, game modes ranging from peaceful to hard, the use of seeds to generate worlds is also here. Sometimes you will end up with a world that has a bit of everything that you can call “perfect!” or others without snow or just a bit of sand (not good to obtain glass) so this is a bit of trial and error to get a good world to start playing.
The map limitations can be a problem when it comes to resources, especially for ambitious builders. Learning to build farms can help to obtain infinite resources such as wood and charcoal, definitely needed to avoid depleting the map of precious trees and resources, especially if like me, you like to build a lot of roads and have more than one house or base in your world.
Up to 8 players can co-op online, they can drop in and drop out at any time. This feature is quite good as it’s always enjoyable to build and play with friends. There is a downside and that is griefers, they can join and destroy hours of work, steal resources and what not, so be careful if you decide to go afk or you’re in for a nasty surprise.
The split screen looks great, I give you that, you need an HDMI cable or this feature will just not work, something to take in mind if you don’t own an HD cable and planned to co-op.
The new crafting grid lets you craft any recipe with one click if you have the necesary materials for it, certainly one of the more attractive features in Minecraft 360. Although i’m not a fan of it, it can’t be denied that this is a good feature for players discovering Minecraft for the first time, and does what it’s supposed to do very well.
The translation from pc to the console are perfect and nothing is missed graphics wise, quality is good. You will notice the game feel a bit slower against the pc counterpart, if not in the framerate you will notice this when you try to turn around, mouse prevails as the king versus the analog stick.
Other than that, the amazing retro style is there and it’s all good.
Minecraft never had a great sountrack to begin with, the music is calm and relaxing but can get to you after a while as there are very few tracks, nothing impressive to comment about.
Probably one of the biggest issues and a big letdown for many players of the PC version is the world size limit of 1000×1000. This may not tell you much if you are new to Minecraft, it means there is not an infinite world that generates as you explore the world, the world is just small and lacks the charm of the never ending adventure from the PC version.
For newcomers to the game or for players that will not build more than a house, a few farms and underground bases, but for true explorers and Minecrafters this is certainly not good. Another factor to keep in mind is if you planned to work on megabuilds, the game as of now with extremely limited resources will not allow you to work such projects. Creative may be added in future updates.
As this release is equivalent to the PC beta 1.6 biomes like swamps or jungles are not there, when they update the game your current world may not have these new biomes forcing you to start a new world from 0, for most experienced players this will not be a problem, it may for newcomers to Minecraft.
The new crafting grid and specially the tutorial, as much as it makes things easier, takes away the charm that was to discover what to do, how to survive the first night and learning the many recipes.
Here 4J Studios redeem themselves with nice awards including gamerpicture, avatar shirt, creeper hat and a clock. Very nice I have to say, it’s always good to have this fan service from the developers.
So, is Minecraft 360 Edition worth to play? Yes it is, the charm and addictive gameplay that made the PC version great are there, developers promised updates and hopefully issues like the world size limit may change. Is it better than the pc version? Definitely is not.
The game have a nostalgia air to it which make it appealing to old players and is a really good choice for casual players. If your pc can handle the game i will recommend to go for it, if you are new to Minecraft or don’t have a pc that can support the game, then this is the version you should choose.
Minecraft 360 Edition is available in the marketplace for 1600MSP.
Giving the game an 8 out of 10