Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition --- Late to the Party

Welcome to my first "Late to the Party" Ryview!

In "Late to the Party", I discuss my experience getting into a game that has been out for awhile, usually a popular game.

So, my first Late to the Party will be for Minecraft!

For anyone living under the same rock as I have been, Minecraft is a sandbox style building/crafting/mining game. It's a fairly unique game that has practically no plot or rigid structure. It's free form and basically completely up to the player. There are achievements that can help guide gameplay, but they are completely optional and have no bearing in game.

So, why did I put it off until now? I suppose I was hesitant to get into any game this aggressively popular, mostly for fear of becoming addicted (and strictly speaking, that fear was quite correct...I've barely put it down since I bought it). However, there was also a bit of ignorance on my part. I didn't really ever look up much about the game and I didn't know much about it. I just knew the graphics were laughable at first glance and it seems like a very strange game.

"Oh God, what is that!?" - Everyone, when they see their first creeper

Both of those things are still completely true, by the way. The graphics are purposefully backwards because everything is blocks, including the player character. It's charmingly retro and pixelated, which is honestly a selling point for the game in my mind. And the game is pretty much as strange as any mainstream game can get. You spend the entire game chopping, mining, cutting block to make other blocks, and somehow it's fun.

Essentially, I finally buckled down and tried it because I watched some Achievement Hunter Let's Play videos of it, and I fell in love with the lego-like atmosphere. And I must say, the lego-ness of it all is still why I think I'm so glued to the game. The concept of using practically limitless resources to build your own colossal structures is extremely satisfying for me.

"I must use my stone to build a stone pick axe to get more stone!"

Now, I don't want to spend this whole article gushing about how amazing Minecraft is to play. I'm still trying to give it a strong ryview, after all.

If you're already playing it, I'd love to get your comments about why you love it so much and maybe throw out some helpful pointers or tips.

For those of you who aren't playing it yet, here's what I think:

Is it worth the cost? Definitely. For $20, you can practically guarantee endless hours of fun and creativity, and on the Xbox 360 Edition you can play co-op, so you get nice bonding time during that experience. And because the game offers varying degrees of difficulty, as well as a mode where you're just building awesome things with no impedance, it really can keep you entertained for months.

Is it worth the time? I really feel that it is a great way to work together if you're playing co-op. It's a nice sense of adventure and it definitely is a great way to spend time with friends. For solo gamers, you may find that the main game gets a little stale after awhile, but I would still say that it's worth your time for quite awhile.

And maybe it's just me, but with so many options to choose from as far as building materials and different famous and/or nerdy structures to create, I really find it highly replayable. I don't see it getting stale for me, but that's the lego-building in me talking.

Plus, if you don't like the building side, there's about 5 dozen layers to dig down to from the surface, giving you lots of opportunities to explore abandoned mines, kill zombies, and loot random chests. It's definitely a good adventure game from that aspect.

And how do I feel after I set it down? I feel accomplished, I feel like I did something positive. Even it's just a video game world, I'm still building things from scratch in that world, doing it with my two hand (video game-ly speaking). And with no hard stop or canon ending, it really is finished when you say it's finished, and that's pretty powerful in my mind.

Here's the scorecard:

Time Value
Money Value
Final Score

Let me know what you think of Minecraft!

Until next time,


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