Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Minecraft (Old Version)

Minecraft Review

Kid Safe: Very High                     Game Quality: High

Genre: Open-World Creative
-          This game is identified by players having the ability to truly go anywhere and do anything in a massive open world. Players then have the ability to manipulate everything in that world in order to create anything that their heart desires.

Internet Requirements: Moderate
-          This game requires the internet in order to purchase and download this game. From there, individuals are able to play with others through a direct connection via the internet to another player's computer.

Story Summary: Minecraft, to the best of our knowledge, does not have a story; with players always
starting on a beach in a randomly created world. This may change as this title has yet to be finished.

Kid Safe: Very High
-          Foul Language: Very Low
o   Minecraft does not contain any observed instances of foul language.

-          Violence and Gore: Low
o   Minecraft features a low amount of violence with no notable amount of gore. In Minecraft, players are able to pick up and use any "block" or item in the world to attack animals and enemies with. Animals stated are pigs, cows, chickens, and octopi in order to obtain usable items like porkchops, leather, and eggs. Enemies are "zombies" (green humanoids), skeletons, and "creepers" (a speckled creature that explodes). Players are able to create and use weapons in the form of swords and bow-and-arrows.
-          Sexually-Related Content: Very Low
o   Minecraft does not contain any form of sexually-related content.

-          Use of Drugs and Alcohol: Very Low
o   Minecraft does not contain any usage of drugs or alcohol.

Game Quality: Moderate
-          Graphics / Visuals: Moderate
o   Minecraft features a moderate quality of initial graphics and visuals, with particular in the realm of resolution. The world that players adventure through is made out of randomly generated "blocks" of different material that make up everything from sand and gravel to trees and water, dirt and stone to gold and diamonds. These different types blocks, however, suffer from extremely poor resolution and graphical quality that makes them harsh to look at and, initially, difficult to differentiate. Everything has a very angular appearance that lacks realistic quality.

o   Based on the above statement, you might wonder just HOW Minecraft qualifies for a Moderate quality of visuals. The reason for this is twofold. The first is because every world, when a player first enters it, is completely randomly generated; meaning that everything from the bottom of the earth to high in the sky is randomly created when you first step foot into it. Likewise, this consists of everything from sprawling foothills and jagged mountains, flowing streams to massive oceans, even massive caves and hidden mines, deep inside the world, littered with veins of precious minerals. Every experience is different and, should players be able to full explore the world, they will find each one unique and fascinating in its own way.

o   Now, the second reason that Minecraft retains a moderate rating is because it allows players to modify the world's appearance. While the initially graphics can be a little rough on the eyes, the minecraft website features a collection of "Texture Packs" and "Mods" that will change the visual appearance of the video game; essentially allowing players to increase the graphical presentation to something they like better. As the game is not finished, this also suggested that the finished product may feature a higher quality presentation.
-          Audio: Low
o   Minecraft suffers from a low audio quality. The reason for this rating is due to the fact that, as the title stands right now, Minecraft features incredibly little audio. Each monster and animal has only one or two unique noises; probably the most memorable being a hissing sound from the "creeper" monster. Likewise, the gameplay features almost no background music on the exception of the uncommon, and completely random, moments that it will spontaneously play a gentle tune for a minute or so. While these sounds do not really detract from the gameplay, they do little to add to it either. We can only hope that more will be added later on.

-          Gameplay / Playability: High
o   Minecraft features a high level of gameplay and playability. To start with the negative, this game features one over-arching problem that is, once again, most likely due to the fact that the game is still in production and not a finished product. If you are not playing with someone who has already played this game, there is a high chance you will be extremely lost, frustrated, and confused. While players are able to collect different blocks and craft them together to form new items, the game does not feature any information on how to craft or what blocks create what items. While combining said blocks is incredibly easy (once you know what you are doing), I had to be instructed and look up on the internet on how to create just about anything. Likewise, new players will also quickly meet frustration when day turns to night and, not having realized that they needed to build a shelter, they are mauled by nocturnal monsters.

o   So, with all of these playability problems does Minecraft still retain a high level of gameplay. Once again, it boils down to the gameplay itself. While new players, lacking knowledge on how to interact in the world, may become frustrated; individuals who have had some time to experiment are able to do truly anything with this game. It is quite literally like walking through a world of lego blocks. Perhaps you would like to create a house; sure, go ahead. While you're at it, why not a castle? Heck, why not a floating pyramid? Building not your thing, why not explore the caves and the depths of the earth fighting monsters and creatures of the deep that dwell in underground dungeons; collecting vast riches as you go. Don't feel like fighting monsters? That's ok, you can connect with other players and either build or even battle THEM with literally no difference from the single player mode; the world is just as huge. We have seen this game been used to create massive machines and musical scores; I can't wait to see what will happen next.
-          Dollar-Value: Very High
o   Minecraft seems to have a high dollar value, especially due to the amount that can be done with this title. As I would normally quote an average length of gameplay, I cannot for this title since the game is completely dependent on what a player decides to do with it. Playing with several friends, I dedicated more than 50 hours of gameplay to the testing phase of this title; phenomenally more than most other titles on this site. We experimented with building, exploring, mining, and even battling each-other by creating opposing bases in different parts of the world and striking against each other.

o   Aside from the gameplay options, Minecraft features two options. First, you are able to play a version of this game for completely free; this version allowing you the option to build and construct anything that you would like. However, if you purchase the paid-for version, you will have the opportunity to enjoy that along with everything else that I have mentioned already (multiplayer with other players, exploring of dungeons and caves, and fighting monsters and obtaining riches, etc.). Minecraft only runs for 9.95 Euros, or roughly $15.00 USD; not too bad given the amount of gameplay we have gotten out of it.

-          As this game is highly kid-friendly, I cannot think of any other title to recommend. Likewise, as this title is invariably unique in its design, no other game truly matches its ability to create and interact with the world around you. The closest might be Little Big Planet for Playstation 3, but even that seems a big stretched in comparison.

Lastly, if you would like to purchase this title, simply click here or go to http://www.minecraft.net.

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