Minecraft 1.0.0 Review
2011 has been filled with awesome game releases from games like Skyrim and Assassin’s Creed Revelations to games like Halo C.E. and Battlefield 3. But 2011 is also filled a lot of great indie titles like Voxatron and EDGE. Yet, the biggest indie title that was released this year is also still in development. Let me introduce you to Minecraft, an amazing indie phenomenon that has over 4 million players on premium and 16 million registered. The most amazing thing is the fact that the number of registered players and premium players have not stopped rising (1 premium account is bought every 5 seconds (ABOUT) and 10 players register every 5 seconds (ABOUT)). But the real question is what makes Minecraft so addicting and fun to play, that is what can be answered with a bit of mining.
One of Minecraft’s more nostalgic features are its graphics, which are quite retro (unless you install a texture pack). I can’t say that this makes Minecraft bad, compared to other games, but it definitely makes the appeal a bit more narrow, when dealing with people who believe graphics need to be as amazing as possible. I must say that this retro feel , to me, was something that made want to continue to play the game. Sure, I could use texture packs but I like to have things be the way Notch wanted it to be. One of the reasons the presentation isn’t amazing is because Minecraft is presented as a complete game, when in reality it is still highly unfinished. I’m sorry Mojang, you can’t just slap a complete sticker on a game that is no where close to that state.
Minecraft is all about building and using your creativity to make what you see fit. But be warned, this game isn’t just about placing and destroying blocks, it also includes a small variety of mobs from the passive pigs and cows to the heart jolting creepers and endermen. Most people would relate Minecraft to legos because it lets you build whatever you want, but I see it kind of like a computer build, you work on it every day trying to make it as good as possible and right when you think you have it down you find out that you messed up (I sure as hell know that feeling). In Minecraft you are given 3 game options ; survival, creative, and hardcore. Survival is…., creative is where you have god mode and you get to do what ever you want, and hardcore is exactly like survival, but here you have one life, so if you die the world gets deleted. The reason Minecraft is so addictive is because it feels rewarding. Unless you play creative, Minecraft makes you work to get items and that makes it feel like you actually did something that was worth the effort. Minecraft makes you think, work, and have fun all at the same time, which is why it is such an amazing game.
There is just too much to put in the first paragraph, so here is one detailing some gameplay mechanics. There is a basic start to the game, punch trees, which gives you wood, which you craft into wooden planks, which you then finally craft into sticks. Sound easy? NO. The reason for that is because Minecraft has no tutorial. But some very nice crafters were able to build a wiki to fit all the needs of a newbie. Now let’s take a look at the more advanced stuff. If you like math you should know what boolean is. If you don’t, boolean is basically yes and no or true and false. You might be wondering what this has to do with Minecraft and that is reasonable, because I felt the same way when I started (WAAAAAAAAY back in Alpha). Redstone is a sort of engineering feature in the game. It allows you to build complex contraptions, using boolean, and with a bit of time becomes the one thing that you can’t get away from (The best thing I can do is make a door open when you push a button that is 5 blocks away). Farming; I’m going to stop there and move on. Animal Breeding; again, I’m not going to explain. A recent addition to the game were villages and NPCs. These have no use at all, other than temporary shelter and supplies. The NPCs are mindless Squidwards (you know what I’m talking about) to most people, when in fact, they are actually Squiliams (the other, rich squid). There are even pets, who have no GUI or use, which makes them an entity that could useful, but because Notch didn’t finish the project… yeah let’s leave it at that.
C418 makes most of the music in minecraft and does an amazing job at it. All of the songs give a sense of discovery and nostalgia, which makes them perfect for the game. In my opinion, C418 is the only artist who could make Minecraft’s music without totally screwing everything up, even deadmau5 can’t compare. Great artists are what make video games so fun to play, they bring the emotion, while the game provides the fun. We also have to thank the sound engine Notch uses for the in game sound, becuase it just made endermen 100 times scarier.
We might never see a game that made such a refinement to the sandbox genre for years to come and because of that minecraft deserves a great score, not the best score just a great score. So here we are:
Presentation: 7/10 – It’s NOT COMPLETE! THEY ARE LYING-ish!
Gameplay: 9/10 – Great, but a bit lacking.
Music: 10/10 – Amazing stuff.
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