There’s this small company called Mojang, I’m not sure if you’ve heard of them. Anyway, they created this game called Minecraft. Not heard of it? I thought not. Minecraft was originally released on the PC in the form of a very early alpha build in May, 2009. This then took off more than the creator; Markus ‘Notch’ Persson could have ever imagined, selling (to date) 7 million copies. Notch then founded the company: Mojang who developed the game further and branched it out to smartphones and the Xbox 360 to further their success. I’ve had a play through the PC and Xbox 360 versions and here are my conclusions.
I began playing the PC version in its early beta stages back in early 2011. I got instantly hooked to it and racked up a bucket load of hours: Mining for diamonds and building a shoddy looking house than no matter how much I did it to it, still looked shoddy. This continued for a few weeks before I stopped playing. I think it’s safe to safe that I had exhausted my supply of pickaxes and shovels.
I then went back to it a few months later when a few friends from college and I started up a server and the mods had begun to trickle through the gaps. The mods are really what kept me playing in the end. I loved being able to do hugely complex things with Integrated Circuits from CraftBook and huge redstone projects. Sadly, as with the initial launch, my interest left after a while and I stopped playing again.
Recently, I’ve gone back to it with the likes of Tekkit to keep me occupied and I am no where near short of stuff to do with it these days. There are just so many mods that I can put onto my multiplayer server or single player worlds to customise the game to how I want to play it.
Before getting back into it on the PC, I had a crack at the Xbox 360 version. This version is vanilla minecraft – there are no mods. You also don’t have to really learn to craft anything in this version because it is all there laid out for you. As long as you have the materials, it will make the item for you with a simple selection. This is occasionally fun to have a bat around on but after all, I’ve been through vanilla. It gets old and fast but I played for the nostalgic feeling and frustration of the vanilla build. I also enjoyed the 4-player splitscreen “couch play” but sadly, I could never find enough friends to fill the entire screen but from what I did experience of it, it was a blast. No, seriously, the amount of times our castle got attacked by creepers or blown up with TNT was ridiculous. I hate my friends.
The issue with the Xbox 360 version is exactly what I have noted above. If you’ve already experienced the likes of the PC version then you are bound to get bored pretty sharpish – unless of course, you prefer the vanilla version. Not only that but I found myself getting more and more frustrated with using two joysticks rather than my mouse to navigate. Don’t get me wrong, the Xbox 360 version is a great game but I really think that it’s aimed at those who haven’t played the PC version.