Minecraft (PS3) Review

Before we get started, let me set the record straight: I like games with a plot. Sandbox games leave me with a sense of despair because I don’t know what to do or where to go. Games that direct me to objectives are nice because I feel like I’m moving forward.

With that out of the way, let me talk about Minecraft. It’s a game that’s available for pretty much every single platform you can get your hands on right now. Its parent company was recently bought by Microsoft, but that’s another story that I really don’t care about. What I care about is what Minecraft is.

To the uneducated eye, it looks like an eye-searing mass of low-resolution pixels crudely slapped onto blocky 3D models. When I saw screencaps and videos of the game, I couldn’t ever picture myself playing it. What is it, I asked. Why is this popular? Sure, I saw things that people built. Skyscrapers, cities, vessels, whole worlds existed in those blocks. I never thought I could build any of those things. The most I could do, I thought, is crudely map out the layout of the Descent (from Trust) so readers would have a frame of reference for the action.

When Minecraft was released for the PS3, I rented it from the redbox. I figured I’d give it an honest try so I could say for sure that I didn’t like it. It’s one thing to talk badly about something, but I wanted to be able to say that I tried Minecraft. The very next day, I returned it to the redbox. I marched right to my workplace (walmart) and bought a copy for myself.

With that backstory out of the way, let me explain why I, a gamer who hates having no guide, bought Minecraft.

The tutorial world was a nice touch. I played through it so I could get the hang of the game, but after a while I decided to create my own custom world in survival mode, I plopped down into the middle of a clearing with some trees nearby. I followed the basic steps: create a shelter, build a workbench and tools, survey the area for resources. At a loss for what to do after that, I decided to take the name of the game to heart. I mined.

It was that sense of discovery that hooked me. In Minecraft, each world that you create is randomly generated. Even the same “seed” (a word or number put into one of the boxes at world creation) yields very different results every time. When I used yaoi at my fiancee’s house, it at first created a very stacked world with a ton of mountains that looked like pyramids. The same word at my house yielded the environment I described above.

I started digging into a nearby hill and discovered a cavern. I followed that cavern down and mined… and mined… and mined. When I had enough stone in my inventory to make a mortal man pass out, I decided what I wanted to build. My first building leaves much to be desired and also doubled as an Enderman trap. Endermen, in short, are scary as heck because they teleport and don’t like being looked at. If you look at them, they attack you. I had a good jump scare when I went to continue building and saw an Enderman inside walls I thought were safe.

Another thing that kept me playing was the ease of the controls. On PS3, your various menus are mapped to the buttons. Your inventory pops up with one button, your crafting menu with another. The trigger buttons on the controller make your character mine or place blocks. Despite opening the inventory plenty of times when I was after the crafting table, I had no issue with making whatever it is I wished.

Why is it addictive? I can’t really say. In creative mode, my fiancee built a ship and started to build a house while I decided to put jack-o-lanterns in the ocean. It was a completely random decision that nonetheless kept me occupied. It could be any number of elements. The graphics leave much to be desired, but at the same time their simplicity has a charm of its own. It could be that it lets you create your own story. I decided ¬†that I wanted to build a tunnel from one end of the world to the other. I decided to build a pyramid that really didn’t turn out as a pyramid as well.

I suppose this wasn’t so much a review as a narrative of how I played. However, this game is deeper than it appears from observation. I highly recommend getting your hands on it and trying it for yourself.


Things are happening

Hello again! It’s taken a lot longer than the expected few days to get the ball rolling, but here things are. I have set the official release date for Trust at July 26th, 2014. When it’s officially available for release, I’ll post again to let my wonderful followers know.

After that, it’s back to the grind with normal stuff. More books to write, you know. More writing will be happening. More reviewing, too! My next review victims shall be:

Minecraft (PS3)

How To Train Your Dragon 2

The Lego Movie

Any others you can recommend!

Seriously, I’m kind of waiting for other stuff to come out. If you want me to watch a particular movie or play a particular game, just let me know in the comments. I’ll be happy to do everything I can.¬†

Until next time~

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

I’ve decided to take a break from video game reviews. Let’s do movie reviews, instead! As you may have guessed, this review is devoted to the latest Marvel movie. Without further ado, let’s jump right into the meat of this review.

When this movie opened, I expected something that would blow me away. It started off strong with its opening, but quite early on I could see its flaws. The scenes outside of the new helicarriers screamed, “I’M FORESHADOWING!” and it was really jarring. I didn’t like feeling slapped in the face with something that would be better served as a surprise.

The part of the movie that really turned me off, though, was the overly long car chase starring Nick Fury’s car and a bunch of implausible stunts. It could have been half the length it was and still got the point across. From there, I just hung around to see how the plot points I predicted turned out. I guessed just about all of them. Predictability is not good for a movie whose intent was to invoke suspense.

The only thing I didn’t predict was the Falcon. I fell in love with those wings of his at first sight. It’s true that they aren’t likely scientifically possibly, but neither is Asgard. Disbelief, suspended. Jaw, dropped. Envy, thy name is Thea. His sequences were the best in the movie.

There will be light spoilers ahead, so be warned. I’m going to talk about the Winter Soldier now.

For having the movies subtitled named after him, Bucky seemed more of an afterthought than the main article. His character could have been replaced with any other’s with no effect on the plot. Rather than focus on the hidden Hydra agents in the movie, it should have focused on the dynamic between Bucky and Steve. This is the same studio that handled Thor and Loki, so it could have been done.

Instead, we get bare seconds of Steve and Bucky interaction before they’re ripped apart again. Then, Bucky forgets about it, and they have a battle that anyone can see the resolution to a million miles away. Only of slight surprise was the fact that Bucky survived to another movie. Given the events of the movie, however, I might suggest another subtitle: Hydra Lives. Perhaps Zola Strikes Back. The movie certainly wasn’t about the Winter Soldier.

Overall, I wasn’t impressed with this movie. The acting was superb, and the little bit of Bucky we got was wonderful. However, it’s best viewed when it arrives on Netflix.