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S&S Reviews: Minecraft for the 360

Title: Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition
Format: 360
Release Date: May 9, 2012
Developer : 4J Studios/Mojang AB
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Price: 19.99
ESRB Rating: E

Ports are usually hit or miss. The transition can be smooth and painless, with the end result arriving on the same level or sometimes even better than the original item.

Or, the port turns out to be an unfinished mess with sloppy improvements. 

Minecraft for the 360 is the latter. A game that handles well on most computers, even ones from the Prehistoric Era, had to be heavily trimmed of its content. Those clones on the XBLA are looking really good right about now.

The first problem I noticed was the invisible walls. I ran to the end of the map before sunset. You read that right. There are invisible walls boxing in a small portion of the world. Exploration takes only a few minutes, and for a game like Minecraft, limiting the player really kills the fun.

The streamlining doesn’t stop there. This port contains an unnecessary simplified crafting system. Hardly anyone had trouble crafting on the PC, so I’m puzzled as to why 360 owners are seen as knuckledraggin’ dummies.

As titles like The Witcher proves, intelligent games and smart core systems can thrive on consoles too. Not everything needs to be cut down just because companies are afraid gamers won’t get it.

At least one glimmering ore appears in all this dirt. Players can go local, digging in split screen right beside each other. This wonderful feature is undercut by the low amount of space to play in, as your structures will most likely bump shoulders with each other.

Music is more constant, so there’s another bonus. The graphics are almost as good as the PC counterpart, even though the game's framerate chugs in a few places. Thankfully, the port isn't so unpolished that it's not much of a problem.

For 20 bucks, you can do better. If you really don’t have a good enough PC to run this low-end game, wait until this version gets more updates, although I don’t know if those can fix bigger problems like the size issue. Right now, it’s only the crust, picked away and thrown over to 360 gamers while the PC people enjoy a sandwich bigger than their heads.

Final Verdict = 3/10
Twitter: @mspoilersahead

2 comments: Leave Your Comments

  1. The reason they streamlined the crafting system is simple. People playing on PC have access to internet, that's a pretty safe assumption. But on Xbox, you can't assume players already know the recipes, and you can't assume they have a computer handy to google them. It's not a matter of them thinking players are stupid.

  2. Most of the recipes are common sense, though. Only a few things like switches seem kind of out there. I would assume that most people have the internet handy if they can download the game, barring a few special and unfortunate cases.

    I do see what you mean, as the brevity could help some people, but it cheapens the experience by becoming a bit too easy and introduces the staleness earlier. I personally found it more fun to mess around and see what comes up, but that's just me.