Minecraft – A Modern Review

by cunningstuff

My tree house fort! Four levels of daring ingenuity!

Welcome to my experiences with the illustrious independent hit, Minecraft. Minecraft is a game for people who like to play with things in their own time, in their own way. It has simple graphic view that appeals to all ages, being unique and yet strangely familiar. Both exciting and difficult, it can also be as easy as you want, and I think that is the inherent quality that makes it such a standout game. I have a long history of following the game, and I have enjoyed almost every step it has taken. I will be talking about what it is that makes this game so amazing, so unique, in a world of so much copycat that a new game is almost unheard of.

I started playing Minecraft classic back in June of 2009. Still free to play, the classic mode allows you to be as creative as you want to be, within simple limits. There are really only size limits to classic, and there are no mobs, no damage, but in classic, it is all about expressing yourself. A ridiculously huge trend was to make two-dimensional cut outs from anime, manga, and gaming, with a heavy repetition of Nintendo games being the main course. Upon signing in, it was customary to fall a long way through some decorative tunnel, then be dropped in a world filled to the brim with rainbow buildings, neon tanks and weapons, and the stacked art all along the edges. My first time in, I really felt like a child again, and since so many kids played Minecraft, it was easy to get lost in a game of hide and seek, or to collaborate with each other and build a castle. The setting is what does it, it just frees the mind and puts you in this giant play room. There are no real toys so to speak, but it is filled to the brim with every kind of Lego block you could ever want, as long as you want the same 42 Lego blocks to build with.

I bought Minecraft in December of 2009, when the beta was offered with all future upgrades. It was a bargain, as I went on to learn a lot about the game. There is a certain peace to it all, setting up in a new world, getting your materials gathered, mining to untold depths of the land. Mobs had arrived, zombies, skeletons and spiders. The depths of the world were exciting, and all the new minerals were fun as could be. Minecraft has a very serious crafting side to it. Those of you who enjoy making untold numbers of worthless items in MMORPG’s soon found that in Minecraft, there was no such thing as a worthless crafted item, and we all got into crafting unlike any other game. Now there was a reason to make 2000 of something, and crafting became an industry powered by humans for the first time since 1890.

Redstone circuitry was added not much later, and the crafting problem really took off. I think redstone was the single most powerful item ever added to Minecraft. Because of redstone circuits, I started hacking real electronics, and now, I can solder and play with basic electronics and digital items. I built a disco in one of the early games, on a friends hosted sim, and it had a curvy roof made of blocks, flashing lights, and a Drum and Bass loop in the floor. All built of harvested materials, back when it meant something to build without “cheating.” Cheating was a concern during 2010, where using different mods, you could have all the materials you needed. The reason it was called cheating was because, for the most part, if you played the game in single player mode, you could not mod new items in easily. People would come to public simulators and be shocked at all the diamond armor laying about, full diamond blocks paving roads. It was really funny to be honest, getting upset over someone creating a pixellated item out of nothing, for nothing, with nothing. Ah well, I was of the do it yourself model because I took pride in knowing my crafting top to bottom, and being able to use various builds for aesthetic and utilitarian purposes.

Then the new mobs started coming in, and finally, adventure mode is almost ready to go now. The game has been one point x for a while, and the end of the game is a mostly finished product. Fighting is really exciting, if a bit simple, and taking a single player world and starting from start to end is still a fairly hard to master skill and long to finish project. Gathering the materials to finish the game takes a long time, and a good amount of work for a person who has never played, and even those of us who were ready for the end at the end it was still a shock and very hard to do. Enchanting really helped single players get the end finished, personally I thought it was to hard until the enchantments and potions came along to help.

The modifications that are available as well boggle the mind. Not only can you have an infinite world¹ to play around in, you have tons of modifications you can use to play around with as well. The basic game itself is complex, full of surprises, and the mod world outside just keeps plopping new ideas into the code. I have had guns, flying ships, airplanes, instant towns, 10 times the original creatures, steam punk settings and builds, nuclear devices, and the seemingly endless amounts of textures and colors you can add to the game leave you with a cornucopia of colors and themes to play in. I recently downloaded the new 1.3.1 update, and I am, for maybe the twentieth time, building a new world, playing with my little dude in my Felix Unger shirt, enjoying the mindless addiction of peaceful block breaking in a world of blocks, where I am a blocky guy, and my dog is a blocky dog, and we swim and hike over blocky mountains and through blocky rivers. I will always, I mean I will always love this wonderful, complex, simple little game. If you have imagination unto you the size of a poppy-seed, you can go for broke with it inside the beautiful blocky world of Minecraft.

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