Monday, February 21, 2011

Minecraft - One of the best ever

Maybe it's because I only got 4 1/2 hours of sleep last night, or maybe it's that I haven't had a chance to play it in a couple days, or maybe it's because I've been talking to Crash so much about TOR, but it occurred to me today at lunch that Minecraft, really is one of the best games ever made.

Now that is a very bold thing to say. Many times games come out, look awesome and then poof within a week or so they are gone to the scrapyard of wasted time. Minecraft for me is different, and while this might just be me, the game has made me think differently about games as a whole, to me that is revolutionary.

Now I've been playing games for 30 years, all the way back to the Atari 2600, and since day one I have been enthralled by them, and through the years have been many games that I would say were exceptional, that I HAD to play. The original Zelda, Ultima 5, Final Fantasy, Civilization, Asheron's Call and WoW, and now Minecraft. And that list isn't complete, it's just a short list of some games that I remember being addicted to over the years. To me each game brought something new to the table that I had never seen before or was never hopelessly wrapped up in, just like Minecraft.

So why is Minecraft so amazing? I stated it 3 months ago when I first picked it up and I'll restate it now. The freedom allowed in the game is just amazing. Sure it would be nice to be able to make a plane or something big that can move, but I don't hold that as a negative against MC because without what MC is today, you'd never be asking for that in the first place. And that is the big thing, MC has me asking for more in my games, it makes me want them to go to the next level. The simple structure of MC is part of it's charm and fantastic gameplay, the highest complement to the game is that you never know what is going to happen next. Oh sure you know if you go exploring you will find a cave and dig for materials, but never knowing the structure of the cave, or when stuff is going to jump out at you and attack, that's fresh. The ability to make basically any structure and give it functionality has never been done before in my opinion, sure you can build a house in Sims, but it's just not the same.

Reading the forums for the game it's funny to see people come up with countless features that could go into the game, and then say oh it's boring because it doesn't do (something). To me that's one of the best complements ever, what else can this toy do? And that is what it is, a toy, a game that you play for fun. I've done years of grinding out levels and items in MMO's but the whole time it really felt like a treadmill, for some reason I don't mind going looking for materials in MC, I guess because it's never as simple as go there, click there, presto materials. Maybe it's that there isn't a leveling system (ok stone, iron, diamond if you want to be picky) but it never feels like you're doing something to boost your stats, because there aren't any, so you can't waste time in the building of a character, you build a world instead.

I'm pretty loopy today but I was just thinking about it and wanted to post it here, it's a great game and makes me look at gaming differently, hopefully the industry the copy cat that it is is taking notice. How awesome would it be to play a single player campaign where the quests were randomly placed around the world, along with the buildings and stuff? Would that bring Oblivion to life knowing that it's your world?

And MC is the reason that I question TOR now. I don't want to play WoW again, I want something awesome. To me MC has changed everything, and I'm not alone, PC Gamer UK named it game of the year, and it's in Beta. Over a million people have bought it. In a couple years when something from a AAA developer comes out that just blows the industry up, know that it started here.

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