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Minecraft PS3



Apparently the big game for early teens in Minecraft - at least according to my 13 year old son. Unfortunately, he hasn't been able to partake in the game himself as we still haven't replaced the home computer (when will the Mac mini be upgraded to Haswell Apple, when?), nor can it be installed (even the "classic" version) on his Chromebook. But now the Xbox360 port has been ported to the PS3 - so I downloaded it as an early Christmas present.


We originally tried to play the demo (which seems to dump you into the tutorial with no way to save, but is otherwise unrestricted) split-screen, but doing so makes the text & icons difficult to read / distinguish at normal TV distances. So we've dropped back to local single player games.


My first game (seed = Daddy 1) started me in the middle of the ocean with one mushroom tree on the top of a mountain. Not a good start when you need wood to build a crafting table in order to craft almost everything else. My second start has worked out better and I have even survived getting lost, a creeper explosion and various other hazards. I'm mining (spiral staircase), exploring, and getting a little bored.


Technically, it's impressive. A nearly infinite, procedurally generated, massively modifiable, persistent sandbox world. But as a game it's less impressive. Once you get beyond the first few days in survival mode the challenge of simply surviving drops considerably. Yes, you can work towards entering the Nether and the End Game Dragon, but the game doesn't push you to do so. So the "game" drops back to the grind of mining for resources. Yes, you could spend time creating massive structures, but that's what creative mode is for. (My son likes creative mode because it gives easy access to TNT and blowing things up.)


I'm going to still play for a while longer. I want to put a skylight in my mine and explore a nearby cave. But I don't think I'm going to still be playing come the new year.



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A few friends play Minecraft, but I've been so busy with 2600 projects that I've never gotten around to checking it out. I recently ran across this video, and now I'm kinda interested.


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On Monday I played several hours of Minecraft - started a new world but then got bored mining. I declared I was done with Minecraft, but last night I played another couple of hours (another new world). So I'm obviously not quite done yet.


A couple of non-standard things I've determined:

  • Boats are cool in the early game. It only takes 5 planks (plus a crafting table) to build, so all you need is a source of wood and you're sailing. They make crossing water much, much easier. And spending the night on the water is very low risk. Even if a hostile mob tries to reach you, you can sail much faster than you can run so they can't catch you. The only risk is crashing (especially into the invisible wall which surrounds the PS3 map).
  • A 1x2 mineshaft is the quickest & easiest way to reach Y=11 (diamond depth). Put torches & blocks of dirt every 5 blocks for light & fall protection. A 1x3 mineshaft with a plunge pool at the bottom may provide quicker descents, but it requires more effort to build and iron for buckets.

In my last game (and the start of this one), I'd remove any gravel & dirt I discovered while mining. I'm now going to try a new tactic with a spiral mining pattern I've created and leave any non-ores alone.

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