Minecraft Review

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Minecraft, one of the most, if not the most, popular video game in human history has finally released its updated, cross-compatible software on the Nintendo Switch: Minecraft Bedrock Edition. With plenty of upgraded, and a few new, functions plus console exclusives, Bedrock edition has the potential to bring a whole new generation of players into its blocky worlds. As someone who hasn’t played for just over a year and a half, I was greeted to an upgraded yet familiar experience, one that seems to bring the PC, Console and Mobile versions all closer to one another than ever before.

The core values of Minecraft still exists, load up the game and choose your difficulty and game type; creative, survival or adventure. For the uninitiated, in survival mode you have to use the resources in the world to create, mine and survive. Creative allows for you to go wild, having access to all resources from the very beginning, allowing you to create masterpieces. Adventure mode acts like survival, except only tools can be used to break blocks, a useful game-mode to stop people griefing (destroying) your hard work. The Switch version of the game comes with a few exclusives, one of which being the Super Mario Mash-Up world which allows you to explore the cubic version of the mushroom kingdom which is expansive. You also receive the console exclusive Mario skins, as well as a couple of others which you can choose from. This is nice, however I’m not sure how I feel about all the purchases there are in the store, when some of them are purely cosmetic, but if you don’t care then  you don’t have to buy them; at least they aren’t loot crates.

Aesthetically, the game is pretty similar as it always has been, with some upgrades to certain textures and such. For example, water looks different, more watery and just overall nicer. There has also been the addition of different mobs (creatures) such as alpacas and dolphins and polar bears, all new editions since I last played. My favourite of these is the dolphin who will lead you to hidden treasure if your feed it a fish. The menus for the game have also had an overhaul, becoming more streamlined and accessible. The crafting menu now consists of four categories making it easier to find what you want to make. There is also a handy feature which will only show you items you can craft using the items in your inventory which is super convenient. The world has similar biomes to before, ranging from mountains to glaciers to vast deserts, all which hold secret dungeons and temples for you to find treasure. The music is the same as it has always been: therapeutic, engaging and not too repetitive, taking breaks between loops.

There have been a few upgrades to the gameplay as well. My favourite change is that when you fast swim in water, you now actually swim horizontally and faster, instead of awkwardly bobbing up and down a bit quicker. There are also some changes to items, such as the way maps are made and how they work. When I last played, every map was the same size and would show your location, but now you have to make a locator map and then boost it with more paper to make bigger maps. This seems a bit long-winded to me in order to achieve the same result as before. The world types have also changed, giving you three options. ‘Old world’ give you just that, a small world like when Minecraft first began, which can seem restrictive after all this time with bigger and bigger worlds. However after you can convert it too an ‘infinite world’ which goes on forever from what I can tell. This is great, as that means unlimited resources are available, however it is also super easy to get lost, so make sure you don’t wander too far. The final type is the ‘flat world’ which is mostly used in creative to make you own worlds from the ground up.

One of the biggest draws of this version is the fact that it is cross compatible between almost all versions of the game (sorry Playstation fans!) Let me tell you, it is worth it and the real question is why hasn’t something like this happened sooner. It feels great to finally break down console barriers and allow a community to play with everyone and not just be limited to the system of choice. Hopefully this will encourage other developers to strive for the same in future instalments leading to a larger gaming community. Sadly, there are a few things that need improvement, such as lag between systems can be quite noticeable and the log in can be quite tedious. You have to go to a website on a different console to sign in with a Microsoft account, which it says you should only have to do once, but I have now done thrice. It isn’t too much of a bother, just please let me stay logged in.

All in all, this is a great port of the game, standardising between platforms and encouraging players of different consoles and devices to play together which hopefully opens the gateway to further cross console titles down the line.

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to press@4gn.co.uk.

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