Monday, October 16, 2017

Minecraft 2.0 "Better Together" Update (Xbox One) Review



Microsoft has released a brand new version of Minecraft for the Xbox One, mobile, virtual reality, and Windows 10. This new version has lots of new content and fixes to the game but the biggest change is that the platforms that I listed above will be able to play on the same servers across all the platforms. This review is about the single player game and doesn't talk about Realms or servers as I haven't played them yet.




I didn't know when this new version was coming out so when I turned on Minecraft the other day everything was different and I had to download the new version. Because I've purchased Minecraft on my Xbox One I was given the new version for free which is nice of them. I was able to import my old worlds into the new version which was nice. The only drawback I had to this is that everything that I had in my inventory was lost which was a blow since I had all my best stuff with me when I play. I guess I can live with that instead of having to pay for the game a third time on the Xbox.

First off I'll list some of the new items that can be collected and or found in the world. Some of these include parrots, book and quill, ravines, and a few new options to the stained glass windows and fireworks. Gameplay changes include paper doll viewer, a new how to play screen, and new achievements.



As far as game tweaks there are many different changes, mostly for the better. First of all the music and sound effects have been rebalanced so certain sounds are too loud or quiet compared to the other sounds. Other minor changes include ice blocks being transparent, render clouds and fancy leaves.

My favorite tweak has to be that at higher elevations the temperature gets colder the higher you go which gives mountains a snow white look up high which is a nice change. Also, the sandstone blocks I used for the outer layer of my "Great Pyramid" have been tweaked so when you lay them together they aren't level which makes it look just like how the real pyramid looks.



I've played about eight hours into this new version and for the most part, I'm OK with it. The crafting menus have been changed and it's going to take me a bit to learn as I've used the Xbox crafting setup during the last five years.

I've come across two major issues to my style of gameplay. First off one of the tweaks is to the speed which blocks are placed. In the new version, the blocks are placed at the speed your avatar moves at. I don't have any armor pieces enchanted to make me faster so I walk around at the normal speed. The problem I have is that lighter blocks, specifically the sandstone half slabs that I'm laying down in my "Great Pyramid" fly out too fast which has them quickly building up too many levels or in different directions that I want. I have to slow down when placing them that it's taking me double the time to lay them down.



If you've read any of my ongoing Minecraft Let's Play articles you'll know that I earn lots of my XP by turning cobblestone into stone with a furnace. In this new version unless you're within a few blocks of the furnace they don't burn. I would normally fill the furnaces with cobblestone to burn while I go and mine more but I can't do that anymore as when I get back from mining I'll find that the furnace only produced around five blocks of stone so now I have to go out every night to fight enemies when all I want to do is continue on with construction.



My brother, who plays Minecraft on his Windows PC, and I tried to play together Xbox to PC but we weren't able to. I don't know if you can only play in "realms" games on different consoles or if you have to purchase a server which both could play together on or what but we had trouble. Another issue I had was when I first loaded my world into the new game about half my pyramid didn't form so it would look normal but when you got the edge it was like the world was erased and I could see through the ground like I had X-Ray vision. I played for many hours and it never filled in which was lame because that was where I had been working. The next day when I logged in it had finally fixed itself so all is well now.


It seems like Microsoft has taken a page out of the Nintendo 64 playbook as I found down in the depths where I do my cobblestone mining the game's draw distance wasn't as good as it was before and to compensate I got a good dose of the fogging that plagued many of the N64 games including most notoriously in Superman 64. I don't know if this was because the game was trying to render the world and was having issues like above but we'll see.




Overall I'm happy with this new version of Minecraft and if that furnace XP sets changed to at least what it was like before I'll love this new version. As I play the new game I'll explore and learn more about the new changes so stay tuned for that. I give Minecraft 2.0 an 8 out of 10.

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