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Review: Minecraft

Posted by on January 15th, 2014 | 2 Comments | Tags:

Typically a review might serve as an informative collection of thoughts that helps you decide if a game is for you or not. Maybe it’s a game you don’t know much about or have just never heard of at all. Minecraft is a completely different beast altogether. I’ve listened to little kids, siblings, friends, and adults for the past few years share countless stories about their various adventures throughout Minecraft. You could probably spend hours watching video walk-throughs of some of the craziest and most amazing creations people have made. Up until recently I’ve admired Minecraft from afar. Never digging in (pun not intended) for myself but rather appreciating the ways in which it has inspired the kind of creativity in children you’d expect from giving them a box of LEGO. That’s changed over the past month and I’m happy it did.

My time with Minecraft has split 50/50 between time playing cooperatively with Chris in survival while also playing around in the game’s creative mode alone. Creative mode gives you full control and infinite resources to create anything you want. As I’m sure many of you have seen this is the place to build roller coasters, giant castles, replicas of real life monuments and just about anything else that comes to mind. For me personally this is where I find most of my enjoyment. I love the ability to just bypass the “mining” aspect of the game and just get straight to building whatever I can imagine. Those who listen to our podcast know that Chris and I have an unhealthy obsession with conspiracies, Ancient Aliens, and various other unsolved mysteries. So naturally I went straight to work building pyramids, underground tunnels, and anything else you’d expect to see on History channel these days. While not as impressive as many of the things people have created in Minecraft it was enough for me to understand why so many people spend hundreds of hours just building. I know it’s the comparison that is always brought up with this game but it really did remind me of building space ships and remote controlled robots out of LEGO. (LEGO Mind Storm blew my mind when it first came out.)

In survival Chris and I dug into the sides of mountains forming shelters, crafting weapons, cooking food, and exploring the vast abandoned mines below the surface. While much of survival mode revolves around the need to gather resources and find shelter from the monsters of the night there’s also an immense sense of discovery to be had. There were way too many times to count in which Chris or I would discover something really cool and immediately shout out towards the other to drop what they were doing and come take a look. One instance of this occurred when we found the fortress deep underground that would ultimately lead to the Ender Dragon. I was legitimately excited because, due to the nature of the game, I felt like we had discovered something on our own. You spend so long just digging so that in the moments when you do find something big it feels like a huge deal. So as much as the two of us talk about hidden underground tunnels and reptilians it was in these moments where it felt like Minecraft was made specifically for us.

As far as personal preference goes I’m the type of person who generally doesn’t care for equipment that breaks and killing enemies hoping to get a specific item to drop. (Especially when farming for those items is required to go to “The End”.) I also don’t really think that fighting the Ender Dragon is much fun. Of course as mentioned before that’s fine as Minecraft allows you to make it whatever you want it to be. Some people will love everything that survival mode has to offer while others, myself included, will tend to spend more time with creative mode.

The PS3 edition of Minecraft has the latest console update, with new console updates confirmed to roll out at the same time going forward, but a few bugs hold it back from being on par with the performance of the 360 version. At the time of writing the PS3 version does crash, Chris and I experienced this on occasion when playing multiplayer, and it seems some people are having their save files corrupt. I personally haven’t had any of my worlds corrupt but on a file where Chris was host we had to completely start over because of file corruption. That said a fix for these issues and a few others has been submitted for testing just a couple days ago. The PS3 version also doesn’t feature any of the texture packs that the 360 version does and it’s not clear how long of a wait it’ll be for those to arrive. One thing the PS3 version does have an advantage in? A longer trophy list complete with a Platinum.

Minecraft deserves to be as popular as it is and quite frankly there’s probably not much that I can add that hasn’t already been said. If you’re familiar with what the 360 version offers then you’ll already have a good idea of what the PS3 version is like. That said currently the crashing bugs and poor draw distance holds the game back a little bit. Luckily the crashing itself has become pretty rare and hasn’t prevented me from just enjoying the game.

Whether you never had access to something that would run Minecraft or just never got around to trying it I’d recommend giving it a shot at some point. Whatever version you choose I think Minecraft is at least worth giving a chance to see if it appeals to you. The PS3 version isn’t a bad choice but there’s also a PS4 and Vita version that might be worth waiting for as well. Either way it’s absolutely worthy of your time and, as I’ve come to learn, certainly worthy of it’s popularity.

This year will see the release of Minecraft on the PS4 and the PS Vita. At the moment there’s no information as to whether or not Minecraft will support cross-buy in any way. The precedent certainly has to been set by numerous other games in the past but, if you buy the PS3 version expecting to get the game at no additional cost on PS4, it might be best to keep in mind that cross-buy or even a discount hasn’t been confirmed at the moment.

A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.

General Info

  • At the moment this version is buggy
  • Draw distance isn't great
  • Personally didn't enjoy the Ender Dragon boss fight or what's required to get there.

  • vesra

    That last paragraph says it all for me. Played the trial last night and love the game. But with the PS4 copy looming in the future and no idea of cross buy, as well as the 20$ entry fee, I am undecided on diving in. I so want to, but if it turns out you have to repay for PS4 edition, unhappy thoughts inside.

  • Ryumoau

    Great review! I’m personally going to wait abit for the ps4 version before i get it.