Currently Playing: Minecraft (PC)

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This is a game that started a few years back, it was even sold during Alpha and Beta stages at a low rate of 14.95 (which is like Php870). Curious of it’s blocky  graphics but seemingly addictive gameplay. I was intrigued about the game several months back because of how much people are into it, so, I tired it.

 

The game starts out by giving you an option to play “Survival” or “Creation” modes. With survival, you have to gather resources, create items, fight of creatures at night with the option to journey out into the unknown. Creation mode focuses on creating your own world without limitations, although you can’t play it on survival.

Minecraft is a full world on it’s own. The game starts off making a random world for you to play in. don’t think of this as a small game, it’s huge. Imagine a world 6 times larger than the Earth. From there it’s up to you what to do. Starting either survival mode or creation mode is both fun, but different because in Survival, you enjoy the world more by exploring new areas while trying to survive each night to keep the adventure going. While in Creation mode, the only limit is the blocky graphics and your mind, but anything is up to you.

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The game is fascinating, even with the blocky graphics, because in some way, it feels real but animated. You get to see wonderful locations like being in large amazing valleys or cliffs, or you get to see a small town, or even discover a hidden mine or cave. The sense of discovery is interesting, making you wonder what else can you find in these worlds that’s specifically made for you.

The controls are simple enough. The game is played through first person by default, you use WASD to move around, mouse to look around, you press 1-0 for item shortcuts, click left for action (generally smashes through everything), while right click to activate. But to get you farther in the survival mode, you have to create stuff like a workbench, axe or oven to get you farther in the game. Example, once you start the game, you always have to look for wood, once you have them, turn them into planks, the with enough planks you turn them into a workbench. Using a workbench you can create almost anything like tools, rails, food, oven, weapons and such. But then again, to survive, you need to make a shelter, by using the environment, you collect and build a home. You quickly discover that night time comes really fast and that’s where you have to be careful. Before dark you must have a small shelter and some light or else some creeps will attack you, you will notice a lot of them are roaming around like zombies, skeletons, giant spiders and all. You can make weapons to get you prepared to fight, or you can just keep on building your home. The game has a leveling up system too, you’ll need to eat to regenerate life, you can attack and level up your skills. After playing through a few virtual nights, I assure you, you’ll freak out every time you hear “sssssSSSSSSSS”.

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In Creation mode the game is very different because you can’t really play there, but think of it as a very big sandbox, where you can create anything that you like without any limitation, you can even fly for easier construction of high structures. All the materials in the world are at your disposal at anytime. You can create your own spaceship, although it will only be a house that can be floating in mid air, but hey, if you like creating you own stuff, it’s amazing. Have you ever felt that lego was limiting because pieces was too expensive to actually make your creation, here… you have all the materials you need.

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It’s interesting too that you can modify the game to change the look. You can replace the original textures into ones made by other people to make it look a little different. The game even encourages it, for you to change the graphics, but you do have to look for a good download, but it’s not that hard.

One of the best aspects in the game too is that you can make a multiplayer game. Setting up a server isn’t so difficult, as long as your computer can handle it. The only problem I suppose is some details are a little technical to get it freely available online, but I was able to setup a world of my own at home, but the only ones can access it are people within my network. There is a way to open it up online, but I don’t use my computer 24/7 and I don’t want to open up my network to people I don’t know, so I’d rather be safe.

Looking for a multiplayer map can be daunting, because there are so many servers out there that you can try, although some of them might be private. Keep on trying and eventually, you’ll find a good server to keep you playing for a long while. It’s fun to explore worlds that are created by several people.

The blocky graphics has 2 functions, to make the world easier to generate and to easily manage things that you create. The blocky characters in the game are purely aesthetic, but then again, it makes creating your own characters easy to work on. Even if the graphics looks like it came from the late 80’s this game is still using 3D, so it is very modern, and to generate a world larger than our own, is an amazing feat. So, the game can look a little boring at first, but when you explore or create things your own, it can get interesting and the beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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My only problem about the game is that it requires Java. I wish there was a version that doesn’t require that to play the game, but nonetheless, it is a good game and Java is free anything. It’s just a hassle to install Java, but that’s only the gripe I have, nothing more.

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The game has now been released in full which is sold at 19.95 (Php1,170) on November 18, 2011. Now do I think it’s worth all that? If you have the drive to be creative, then yes, it’s hard to put a price to have an entire world as your playground. You can buy the game for the PC at Minecraft.net or you can also try the Android version.

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  1. Thank You 2011, Hello 2012! « Pinoy Video Gamer

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