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Minecraft: Cross-Platform Creativity

/ Jan 29th, 2013 No Comments



Minecraft has made quite a name for itself. What was originally created by Swedish programmer, Markus “Notch” Persson, was later developed and published by Mojang. The game eventually brought itself up to become a worldwide sensation. Minecraft is a sandbox Indie game that never seems to stop getting updates.  The appeal of Minecraft is the dynamic, seemingly never-ending creativity it involves. It acts as a platform to create buildings that gamers may day-dream about being able to build or own one day. By including some other interesting aspects such as exploration, crafting, combat, and gathering resources, it makes for a very addictive and infinitely fun game. The main two modes available in  Minecraft players are survival and hardcore, which mainly differ in terms of their difficulty by changing the health and hunger of players.

Minecraft was initially released for PC in May 2009. Minecraft Classic is the older version, which is available to play online for free, but no longer gets updated. Minecraft 4k is a sort of simplified version of Minecraft that contains a finite map, and players are limited to placing or destroying blocks, which are just randomly located throughout the map, consisting of grass, dirt, stone, wood, leaves, and brick. The thing that excited Minecraft players and fed their addiction was the fact that the creativity didn’t seem to end. The reason for that is the fact that players could always create, upload, and of course download all sorts of mods. These added a variety of gameplay changes, such as new items, new blocks, new mobs, and even new mechanisms of craft.

Minecraft: Pocket Edition was the next version to be released on Android and iPhone. This port concentrates primarily on creative building and survival. Of course, it doesn’t contain all the features that the PC version does. Players only have access to a limited variety of blocks, and players cannot craft items or collect resources. This is understandable, since it’s the mobile version.

The version of Minecraft that players had the most complaints about was the Xbox 360 version. On one hand, players were pleased with the way this version was created to cater to the console’s users, as there were new in-game tutorials, split-screen multiplayer, the ability to play the game with friends on Xbox Live, the control interface, and the newly designed crafting system. On the other hand, the Xbox 360 version felt lacking when compared with the PC version.  It’s caused quite a bit of controversy that the crafting has been radically simplified. It’s been made so that players can now simply pick from a list and make what they want immediately, rather than placing materials in shapes on a grid and trying to figure out recipes by researching and guessing. Again, there are two sides to this coin, as some players are happy that it makes it easy to be able to do such things on an Xbox 360 controller, while others feel it’s lead to a game that’s been streamlined away. Another unfortunate note to mention about the Xbox 360 port is that since the console generally tends to contain less memory than a PC, and also is missing any dedicated online servers, it ends up with smaller worlds, and the game could never survive online independently of the creators. However, at the same time, it’s good to know that this port of Minecraft also makes it super easy to share your creation with some friends with the support for split-screen multiplayer, and also the addition of simple toggles that dictate whether Minecraft will be online and open or invite-only. Another unfortunate drawback of the Xbox 360 version is that gamers can’t take videos and post them online. The only feature available is to take screenshots and share them is via Facebook. It’s a new feature, which is great, and is enough to keep the game feeling alive, fresh, and social. However, all these changes tend to turn the 360 Minecraft into  a cult community game.

Overall, the Xbox 360 version definitely feels like a bit of a narrowed down, bubbled version of the original PC game, which lades some to have feelings of injustice and leaving much to be desired. Yet, it is well regarded for the way that it managed to maintain its grace. The 360 version does admittedly make the best of the limitations created by the console platform. It’s a way for casual console gamers to be able to experience some of the greatness that PC users have been indulging in for years.

Alejandro Grover

Alejandro Grover

Contributor at Gaming Illustrated
Alejandro is an official contributor at Gaming Illustrated and part of the editorial team. He loves movies, video games, and music. He is also a composer.
Alejandro Grover
Alejandro Grover

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