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Review

Minecraft Review

  • First Released
  • Reviewed:
  • X360

Less isn't more in this updated port of Mojang's indie sandbox hit.

It's immediately apparent after digging into Minecraft on the Xbox 360 that the platform is well suited for Mojang's first-person sandbox-style building adventure. From comfortable controls and the effortlessness of jumping into multiplayer co-op over Xbox Live, to detailed in-game tutorials and a more user-friendly crafting system, this updated yet scaled-down port of the indie hit is deliciously accessible. Total newcomers to the game will no doubt find themselves blissfully swept away by the many opportunities for open-ended creativity found throughout the Xbox 360 edition. While coming to this version after spending lots of time playing Minecraft on PC is a jarring and disappointing experience, the joy of free-form exploring, building, and adventuring in randomly generated blocky worlds is nicely reproduced here.

You're limited only by your imagination.

The good news is that the essence of what makes Minecraft so absorbing is left untouched. From the second you spawn into your first 3D world, you're punching trees to harvest wood, digging deep into the underground to mine resources, forging handy tools, battling creepers, and building fortresses to year heart's content--or not, depending on personal preferences. You're free to do as you please, unfettered by preconceived objectives, and the slow pace of exploration is balanced by the fun that comes from gradually figuring out the style of play that comes naturally to you.

New built-in tutorial menus and in-game help pop-ups also do an excellent job of explaining the core mechanics early on, which means you won't have to fire up a Web browser and consult a wiki to figure out basic elements. This makes it much easier to get a feel for the game quickly, while also keeping the deeper elements hidden for you to uncover on your own during your travels.

Trading in the mouse and keyboard for the Xbox 360 controller is a comfortable transition. While you can't sprint in this edition, a minor problem that sometimes turns long-distance travel into a plodding trek, navigating the world and tackling the many tasks available is an otherwise fluid affair. One of the biggest improvements is the redesigned crafting system that streamlines the item-creation process and makes managing your inventory a lot more digestible. Instead of dropping individual resources into various formulas on the crafting grid to see what you get, all you have to do is open up the crafting menu and select the item you want to build. Hitting the craft button pulls all the necessary materials from your inventory automatically and creates the item. Any materials you're lacking are highlighted in red, which is helpful for tracking them down. It's great to not have to memorize item recipes, and you can forge the gear you need a lot faster using this well-designed system.

Crafting is a lot more streamlined on the Xbox 360.

Minecraft can be a real blast when played solo, but it's often a lot more fun when you've got friends messing around in the world alongside you. Setting up a proper co-op game on PC is a patience-draining nightmare that requires extra software downloads, server configuring, and far more irritating hoop-jumping than the average person has patience for. Multiplayer is a whole new deal now, thanks to the ease of access and functionality of Xbox Live, which allows for seamless drop-in co-op and party chat. You can invite friends to join your worlds-in-progress or leave them open for others to hop into while you're playing.

Either way it's a good time, and the lack of heinous setup mumbo jumbo is a welcome change of pace. Going one step further, the 360 edition also features split-screen co-op for up to four players. If you've got a large enough screen, a big comfy couch, some tasty beverages, and good grub, then this is the way to go for party play.

Unfortunately, a few excellent updates aren't a good trade-off for all of the content from the PC version that's missing. The 360 edition is a port of an older pre-Adventure Update Beta version of the game, which means the features, items, and updates that didn't make the cut this time around are pretty significant, and it shows. The variety of unique biome environments is limited, certain craftable items and resources aren't available, and some of the more exciting creatures are absent. There's no hunger or experience system, no alchemy or weapon buffing, and no Ender Dragon to hunt down and defeat. The free-form Creative mode is MIA too, leaving Survival mode as your only play option.

Eat your heart out, Robinson Crusoe!

Equally disappointing is that maps are no longer infinite. Wander too far in any direction, and you bump into an invisible wall. There's still plenty of room to explore and build, but the world now feels more like a caged-in biodome instead of a sprawling realm to map out. At least you can still build a portal to travel to the hell-like Nether dimension, yet even that region is constrained too. All of this will be less of an issue for new players who've yet to taste the PC extras, and some may even welcome the simplicity. But that same simplicity is enough to spur longtime Minecraft vets to stick with the PC version--at least until downloadable content either fills in the gaps or offers enticing exclusive updates.

While plenty of concessions were made to bring Minecraft to the Xbox 360, it's good to see that the overall depth and flexibility that made the original so engaging aren't completely sacrificed. However, despite the nice multiplayer options, the improved accessibility, and the refined crafting system, the missing elements are a sizable backslide from the PC version. But is the core foundation still a lot of fun? Absolutely--if you temper your expectations.

The Good
Core gameplay is still as addictive as ever
Updated crafting system rocks
Excellent multiplayer options
The Bad
Missing a lot from the PC version
No Creative mode
Worlds are smaller and constrained
7
Good
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Discussion

238 comments
wiggywiz
wiggywiz

As listed on the official website for Mojang, patch 1.8.2 for “Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition” will be bringing the following additions to the game:

Creative Mode
Superflat world type
Hunger
NPC Villages, Abandoned Mineshafts, Strongholds and Ravines
12 Music Discs
New Combat Mechanics

  • Chargeable bows
  • Critical hits
  • Sprinting
  • Players can parry with a sword

Ability to change the name of your world save
Chain Armor
Pressure Plates can now be placed on fences
New mobs

  • Endermen
  • Cave spiders
  • Silverfish

New Food Items

  • Apples
  • Raw Chicken
  • Cooked Chicken
  • Raw Beef
  • Steak
  • Melons
  • Melon seeds
  • Rotten Flesh

Cobwebs
Fence Gate
Iron bars
Glass pane
Stone Brick
Stone Brick Stairs
Stone Brick Slabs
Brick Stairs
Brick Slabs
Pumpkin Seed
Vines
Pumpkins and Melons grow from stems much faster, and do not require farmland around the stem to grow on
Sponges(Creative only)
New biome
Swamp biome
Ocean biome
Ocean floor now consists of Clay, sand and dirt, this makes clay easier to find
Mountain biome
River
Rivers flow through/in between biomes
Passive mobs will randomly flee if attacked by the player or other mobs (such as Cows)
Pig has 3D snout.
Sugar Cane can now be placed on sand
Chest has opening and closing animation
User-placed leaf blocks no longer decay
Skeletons hold full size bow
Shears can now collect Tall Grass and Vines
Exclusive Superflat option for the Nether
Option to turn clouds off
Large changes to Xbox 360 tutorial mode
Bonus chest world option
Option to turn PVP off
Option to turn fire spread off
Option to make TNT not detonate
Option to trust players (to op players)

Bug fixes:
Fix for duplication glitch.
Fix for aspect ratio of things in hand when in splitscreen mode.
Fix for issue with player data not saving (player starting world with no items they had when they saved)
Fix for redstone tiles burning out when they shouldn’t.
Fixed issue with Minecart with Furnace not being able to move another Minecart.
Fixed particle code for flipped 3rd person view.

lancerhawk
lancerhawk

Why don't they update this review? Half their complaints have been addressed in patches/updates!

acer_062
acer_062

This game rocks or should I say blocks. Very,very addictive!!!

bmart970
bmart970

My question: When does 1.8.2 come out?

florisvolcano
florisvolcano

New Updates are coming out Like the 1.8.3 version with creative 

and later the 1.2.4 update but when i dont know

TDUupdaterHD12
TDUupdaterHD12

Minecraft will be getting closer to the PC main release, because 4J studios as said that they are doing 1.8.2 that will include npc villages and creative mode, then they will leap to the 1.2.3 release that will make it more like the pc release but that might not come out until later this year even maybe early 2013

GhostofWar75
GhostofWar75

I dont understand people. Oh the pc version is soooo much better...THEN SHUT THE F*** UP AND GO PLAY IT. 

Gamer_Geek726
Gamer_Geek726

I never liked Minecraft, it's really boring to me. 

Cortana101
Cortana101

I don't think that the fact it is missing creative mode and is behind PC is such a bad thing. Over time they will update it and eventually make it equal to the PC. Xbox's biggest advantage is 4 player splitscreen mining.

72wolve
72wolve

i enjoyed this game very much

 

toshineon
toshineon

"One of the biggest improvements is the redesigned crafting system that streamlines the item-creation process" Streamlines... *shivers*

While I agree that the crafting system could use some improvement, this is the kind of praise that makes developers think that it's okay to over-simplify things *cough* EA *cough*

August34
August34

Just shows ya that no matter how many people buy the game there has to be one person in this world that has to crap on it cus it doesn't preform like the pc . Seriously need to fire some of these reviewers and hire monkey's to do it .

roosteraxe1
roosteraxe1

Honestly this game should have been reviewed by someone who hasn't played the pc version as well. It's a little biased to base a review on another game. A more fair review would have contained a Minecraft newcomer's opinion and maybe added a pc player's perspective at the end to let pc player's know if it's worth it. All this review does is tell people who have already played the game to let it go. Personally I enjoyed the game immensely. I appreciated the tutorial and the fact that I don't have to look online to figure out how to make something. I know pc fanboys are going to cry foul and explain how clearly the pc version is better, which it obviously is, but for my money I prefer the console version as I don't like being stuck at my desk to play games. Hopefully updates and whatnot will improve the console version over time, but in the meantime I'm still enjoying this game and recommend it to anyone who hasn't played Minecraft yet.

 

epic542
epic542

I'm pretty dissapointed that there is no creative, I started minecraft classic for the creative and then bought the game. I was excited to play w/ my friends and build awesome stuff, but it wasn't possible because there was no creative.

Xandiana
Xandiana

I was overall pretty disappointed with this game. I absolutely love the PC version but the Xbox version of the game is missing many features. To anyone considering buying this game, I would recommend buying the PC version instead. 

 

cblade51
cblade51

need sharks too but most of all skins and mods

 

cblade51
cblade51

need to be able to pick up wepons from archers and stuff

SpaceTrucker06
SpaceTrucker06

Talk about biased. Why base a review mainly comparing it against the PC version???

EzcapeTheFate
EzcapeTheFate

If you want a real Minecraft game pick up Battleship. Its more "Minecraft" than Minecraft could ever be.

360army
360army

I'd give it a 10!! In my opinion a game is awesome if its fun, i don't care if it has bad graphics or anything like that. IF THE GAME IS FUN THAN IT THE BEST.

 

rangegear
rangegear

I just cant get into it like all my friends do. I dont know.....

KingofCabal
KingofCabal

I think a Minecraft MMO would be a better Idea, liked the idea of the game. Just got lonlely after awhile. Worlds are huge but end up feeling empty...

RankJunkie
RankJunkie

Great game, good port.  Honestly if it was on the PS3 where the online players are not there are much a big chunk of the gameplay experience would not be there.  Since is XBLA it has a chance.

Berothar
Berothar

I personally believe that this game is the best on the XBLA market now. I loved it on the PC (still do), and I don't see how people say that this is terrible. I mean, come on people! Get your heads out of the clouds and actually play this thing! Easier crafting and no Wiki (thank goodness!). Pedro_Fayed- this game is waaaayyyy to addicting because once you get started you can do whatever you want. No boundries(except the bedrock) and go to awesome worlds full of lava. As Notch said "Your only limit is your imagination." and that makes this game unique. Yes some things were left out but they may be released in future updates(can't wait!). More to say but it can't contain it! Out!

solidsnake288
solidsnake288

@wiggywiz Games are reviewed on release. how they perform and are on release date -_-

JordanPaynter
JordanPaynter

@lancerhawk  I was just about to post that, lol great minds think alike...... fools seldom differ :)

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

 @Gamer_Geek726 I haven't tried it because I keep seeing stuff on it and then thinking it looks pretty uninteresting...so I keep wondering what all the fuss is about. *shrugs*, I guess it's just not my thing.

Changnoi28
Changnoi28

 @August34 

The difference between versions is important for multi-platform gamers like me. I want to know if I should be buying the PC, XBOX360 or PS3 versions. Got it?

bmart970
bmart970

 @roosteraxe1 That's true, but he has a point since it is modeled after the PC version.

MooncalfReviews
MooncalfReviews

Total miner is good for that mode. Or FortressCraft. Both indie games.

shadow580
shadow580

 @SpaceTrucker06 because Gamespot writes reviews based on expectations and how they are fulfilled. Since there is a PC version already available, one might expect the console version to be closer to that version while it clearly isn't.

shadow580
shadow580

 @KingofCabal I find it best to be played with friends. When we want to spice things up, we add mods.

shadow580
shadow580

 @RankJunkie What are you talking about? If it were on PS3, there would be more of a chance for people to meet each other over the internet due to the free PSN. Every copy would have online capability, while it is dependent on whether a person has LIVE subscription on the 360.

chinakat
chinakat

 @Berothar

 I still think Braid is the best game on the XBLA, with Super Meat Boy 2nd, but this is 3rd.

Pedro_Fayad
Pedro_Fayad

 @Berothar Thanks for the explanation. I think Little Big Planet has the same kind of creative gameplay, of course, being a totally diferent game.

xDonnaa
xDonnaa

 @Berothar To be fair, on the Xbox version there is a lot of boundaries.. The maps are not that big at all.. You can circulate around the whole map before the sunsets and once you start to run out of materials there's nothing left to do but take advantage of the lack of patches. Plus, the achievements allow little to nothing to be done either as you could complete them all within an hour.. True that it is the best on the XBLA market but to be honest, it's out of a bad bunch. Heh. The PC version just holds too much in comparison but I'm sure they'll change that all soon! 

lancerhawk
lancerhawk

 @wwlettsome  @Gamer_Geek726 You know, I originally thought the same as you guys. I looked at mincraft and thought there was no way I'd ever have fun with it. But after months of nagging from my friends I tried it, and I have to say I love it. Just give it a shot.

SpaceTrucker06
SpaceTrucker06

 @shadow580 Still doesn't change the fact that the review is biased. A review should be based on the platform being reviewed and not compared against another platform as much as this review has been.

Berothar
Berothar

 @xDonnaa

 Well that is the problem. Everyone is comparing it to the PC version. Of course it's not going to be exactly like the PC and as good as the PC version, but there will be updates so its not like it is completely done.  It will get better with time. The game isn't made for achievements or hard ones to get at that matter. And back on the matter of items not on it: you can't just transfer everything from a PC to an Xbox and this game is really expansive on the PC so it would take ages to encrypt( or whatever you call it)everything to Xbox standards. Plus no more Java! B Out!

chinakat
chinakat

 @SpaceTrucker06

 Well, if there are two versions of a game, and one version has been out for a while, and they are both in the same price ball park, and one version is inferior, then why not compare the two? If the PC version is better than the XBOX version, then it deserves a higher score because, as customers, we want the most bang for our buck. That's why we read reviews in the first place.

Minecraft More Info

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  • First Released
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    • + 7 more
    • PC
    • PlayStation Vita
    • PS3
    • PS4
    • Unix/Linux
    • Xbox 360
    • Xbox One
    Minecraft is a game that involves players creating and destroying various types of blocks in a three dimensional environment.
    8.6
    Average User RatingOut of 4532 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate Minecraft
    Developed by:
    Notch, Mojang AB, 4J Studios
    Published by:
    Mojang AB, SCEA, SCE Australia, SCEE, Microsoft Game Studios
    Genres:
    First-Person, 3D, Adventure
    Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
    Everyone 10+
    All Platforms
    Fantasy Violence