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Minecraft: Pocket Edition


Mobile games are time wasters. That’s the primary purpose of games on my phone. Whether I’m in a waiting room or even at school they are time wasters and not a gaming machine. Minecraft doesn’t fall into the category of a ‘time waster’ for me. So how is it?

Minecraft was released a couple of weeks back and I’ll be doing another review on that soon or just a update on new features. Even before Minecraft was released there was development of the game coming to other platforms which is always exciting, especially Minecraft coming to the Xbox but Minecraft to the phone? Could it be possible? It already had been possible for months on the Xperia if I’m not mistaken. I don’t have an Xperia so I got it when it came out to other phones, I have a Desire HD and I have to say it’s really cool on the big screen.

Unfortunately this review won’t be like a review of Minecraft on the PC. I’m not sure of the exact process of porting a game onto another platform and in most cases it is often frowned upon, not so much in Battlefield 3s case, it was actually praised, the porting apparently made the game better on console because of the advancements on the PC. PC elitists may disagree but who cares what they think? Anyway, getting slightly off topic. It really feels like they’ve tried to put the whole game onto a phone then slowly bringing it back and removing content until it runs well, and it does but with a lot less items and environmental features.

At first I didn’t appreciate Minecraft that much but later on you start to appreciate that actually the game is pretty massive. One unaltered world is something like 12 million blocks but don’t quote me on that and with the texture shader that was added in the beta the graphics got a lot more intense. You also don’t appreciate the render distance in Minecraft, it might not be a lot compared to other games but once you open Minecraft: Pocket Edition you really notice the difference. It took me a little while to notice but the render distance is pretty much non existent when you compare it to Minecraft on the PC. That might be a bit of an exaggeration. Also after a little bit of exploring I noticed that you do eventually come to an end of your world. On the PC I haven’t experienced this. Digging down it’s something like 64 blocks down which which is a lot less than on the PC and the only ore I’ve found so far is iron so I’m not sure if there is other ores down in the ground. Minecraft on the PC it takes forever to get to the bottom. Falling through the Earth has been taken out which I’m not surprised about.

The whole game at the moment is Creative mode which a lot of people won’t be happy about. Personally I don’t mind, I don’t have the patience to start a whole Survival game on a phone. Not everything is bad though after all, it is Minecraft! One of the best games created in my opinion. The auto jump is a great idea, the controls aren’t amazing, sliding your thumb around the screen and the clumsy directional controls in the corner obstruct a large amount of your view so not having to tap that jump button all the time is great. The filling, negative circle is a nice touch, the crumbling block animation as you click on it is a little pointless since your thumb is in the way. I haven’t played over WiFi yet, I haven’t had the opportunity to but I imagine it is pretty cool and a lot more exciting.

Believe me when I say I love Minecraft but I do not think this is worth €4.99. It’s probably worth $5 or something as well. When I say it’s not worth it I mean it’s not worth it at the moment. Right now there isn’t environmental features and enough objects that make the game great. Huge mountains, cave systems and mobs are needed to make this game at least standard. I know comparing this to the PC version is a little bit unfair but it’s the only thing that we know and the PC version is the standard. Mojang have been raising the bar more and more and right now it doesn’t even feel like alpha, pre alpha more like. I have full confidence that Mojang will make Minecraft just as good as it is on the PC, my only fear is that will it only come with new and better phones? I’ll definitely check out Minecraft on the Xbox 360 when it comes out so check this space for that.


Minecraft 1.8 – Adventure Update


I love Minecraft and after aimlessly scrolling down my Facebook News Feed I saw the greatest thing ever, ‘Minecraft 1.8 is out! Go grab! :D.’ I quickly opened up Minecraft and ran the updater and hey ho I now have Minecraft 1.8. A pre-release of Minecraft 1.8 was released not too long ago but I couldn’t be bothered to go and get that when 1.8 was only days away.

The feature I was looking forward to the most was the Creative mode. Minecraft pretty much fuelled my IGCSEs. At my school we each get a laptop and a lot of us would play Minecraft non-stop. Even with two years of Minecrafting I passed with pretty good grades that I’m happy with. After the amount of hours I have put into Survival mode I was really happy to see this implemented into the game. After I played it on the web version of Minecraft when my friend hosted a server on there I really wanted it in the game. I have just started creating some huge pillars that will be the entrance to a mansion or something amazing.

The new start menu looks great, the game is starting to feel like a proper game with lots of content that won’t get boring as quickly as previous updates did. It has been Minecraft tradition for me to play the game religiously then eventually get bored. Starting a new game or waiting for a new update has always been the ‘cure’ but now it seems like this is the start of something great for Minecraft. A new feature is sprinting. Normal jumping will allow you to jump two blocks, while sprinting you can jump four blocks. If you hit an animal or an enemy while sprinting you perform a critical hit and do more damage. You now get steak from cows which was something I often thought about when I killed a cow, ‘why don’t you get any meat from the cows?’ Well now you do! There are now NPC villages but unfortunately they are not inhabited with NPCs. 1.8 is such a huge update it is being split into two updates. In 1.9 there should be NPCs walking around in villages. There are now, lakes and rivers and other things of that nature, I don’t think they have current though. A huge thing added to Survival mode is hunger. You’re hunger level will slowly deplete and when it reaches zero, your health will slowly go down too. Some may find this annoying but then again you are playing Survival. Hair grows back on sheep now, I’m not sure if that is going to be in 1.9 or not. I’ve only played 1.8 for little under and hour, I just really wanted to get something out about it. Go watch videos! Read other articles! You’ll get more information there.


The Impossible Game


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The Impossible Game isn’t impossible. I have watched videos of people completing it, sadly I haven’t completed it myself. When I first bought the game I spent the better part of 3 hours playing the game and over 400 attempts trying to complete the game. There was a lot of shouting and screaming but after a while I noticed that the thrill disappears eventually but it doesn’t make the game any less boring.

If you explained this game to someone who had never played it or heard of it they would say, ‘Oh, that sounds easy!’ Well it’s not, even though it’s not impossible it’s damn hard. The aim of the game is to complete the level by jumping over spikes and jumping on bouncy blocks to avoid falling into a pit. If… scratch that, when you die you are placed back at the beginning of the level. Easier said than done. The attempt counter at the top seems to make you play it more and more or maybe that’s just me…

The music in this game is incredible, I love the music in this game and it syncs with the game as you progress through the level. It starts off calm and once you get to the harder part of the level the music picks up. The song is called Fire Aura by Kid2Will and I downloaded it straight after playing it.

I was really surprised to find an actual good indie game on the Xbox Live Marketplace, most of them in my experience have restricted so much content that you just don’t if it’s worth buying or most indie games on the Marketplace are just plain bad, I pray for the day when Minecraft comes to console.