If it's crap ... We'll tell you
I've been waiting for this for a while. After first announcing it at last years E3, there was much anticipation for the release of the XBLA version. With a player base in the millions, some might wonder why even have a stand alone console version. Since my laptop can't run it on PC, this was my chance to finally get my hands on it.
So what is the point of Minecraft you ask? Well the core game has two mechanics, Surviving and Building. You are thrown into the world with nothing but a map, and it's your job to find materials to survive the night. Gathering wood and building a home is important, as well as searching for food and creating tools and weapons. By exploring the cave systems, you can also gather rare materials to upgrade your items from weak wood and stone, to strong iron and diamond. It doesn't take long for you to learn the basics and get an idea of how to survive. But don't let your guard down, once nighttime hits, the monsters come out. Skeleton Archers, Zombies, and the now iconic kamikaze monster known as The Creeper, will come for you, along with a number of other creatures.
I would like to say that this version of the game is an earlier version of the current PC Minecraft, so experienced players will have to take a step back and adjust their gameplay. New players will be guided with a tutorial option, as well as in-game guides that will help you identify items and their uses. Multiplayer works in two ways, up to 4 player split screen, and up to 8 players online with any combination of the two. You will find exploring with your friends is more enjoyable, especially if you are killed and must track down all your items that were dropped.
The controls are probably the biggest question PC players want to know, and I'm happy to say that everything handles great. Standard dual thumbsticks for movement, triggers for major actions, as well as a 360 exclusive menu and crafting system. All players need to craft items now is to simply have the materials. This saves them the trouble of having to memorize the shapes and placements of them to craft an item like in the PC version.
I do have a few minor complaints, since this is not the "1.0" version of the game, we are missing some key features. There is no Creation mode, which allows you infinite items to build whatever you can imagine. No Adventure updates including a hunger bar, abandoned mines, dungeons, and the actual End to the game. As well as no character skin editor.
Most of those complaints will be added later on as free DLC, so its simply a matter of waiting. In the mean time, the current game is still loads of fun. At $20 (1600 MSP), you might think its a steep price, but the amount of content that is in it now, as well as future content, could be endless. Pick this game up, chances are, everyone else has.