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Minecraft photo
Minecraft

Someone made Dark Souls' Anor Londo in Minecraft


Prepare to mine
Feb 10
// Chris Carter
LNeoX spent ages creating one of his favorite fictional locations -- Anor Londo of Dark Souls fame -- in Minecraft. It's a 1200x1200 map, complete with a dungeon and a minecart system. The screens are definitely awe-insp...
Minecraft photo
Minecraft

Minecraft is overhauling its website with some new features


Haha, the current site is classic
Feb 04
// Chris Carter
I still remember buying Minecraft in 2009, and the original site really hasn't changed all that much. But Mojang (and thus, Microsoft) has really been making strides since the acquisition, finally releasing the game on W...
Minecraft photo
Minecraft

Minecraft: Pocket Edition is still catching up to the core game


It's getting there
Jan 27
// Chris Carter
In case you weren't aware, a team over at Mojang started work on the Pocket Edition of the game, which sought to move the series out of the Java world and into C++. The project started in 2011, and it still hasn't caught up w...
Minecraft photo
Minecraft

Say hello to Minecraft: Education Edition


Coming this summer
Jan 19
// Chris Carter
Although I picked up Minecraft years ago on PC, I still play it to this day. Hell, I've been playing more of it than ever before lately thanks to the Wii U release. The train isn't stopping anytime soon either, as Mojang...

Review: Minecraft: Story Mode: A Block and a Hard Place

Jan 05 // Darren Nakamura
Minecraft: Story Mode: A Block and a Hard Place (iOS, Mac, PC [reviewed], PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: Telltale GamesPublisher: Telltale GamesReleased: December 22, 2015 (Mac, PC)MSRP: $4.99, $24.99 (Season Pass)Rig: AMD Phenom II X2 555 @ 3.2 GHz, with 4GB of RAM, ATI Radeon HD 5700, Windows 7 64-bit Where the first two episodes in the season induced apathy, this one causes ambivalence. It's a fine distinction: I was struggling to care about Jesse and his friends at first; now I care enough but find myself disappointed with the final result. For every beat Minecraft: Story Mode hits well, it stumbles once or twice. On the one hand, the more deliberate progression of this episode can be a good thing. It opens up the gameplay to include actual (albeit easy) puzzles along with the standard dialogue trees and quick-time events. Also, without lulls in the action, it could be bombastic to the point of grating. If it's always high energy, then it's all the same. On the other hand, the plodding of the first half of this episode is as dull as can be. There's a horse travel montage near the beginning illustrating just how far it is to get to the Farlands, and protagonist Jesse has the option of the classic whine "Are we there yet?" Even with the cuts of the montage, I felt the same. I get it; it's far. Let's move on. [embed]327542:61558:0[/embed] Once the action finally does pick up at the end, it still treads a questionable path. The full story about The Order of the Stone is revealed, and it plays out as foreshadowed. It's always a little awkward when a story treats something like an earth-shattering reveal when most would see it coming from the hints in previous episodes. Perhaps if I had led the life Jesse did, it would have been more impactful. Then, almost as if checking off all the Telltale boxes, we get another character death. This loss feels more important than the one in the third episode, since it's a likable character. Death in children's entertainment is nothing new (see: Bambi, The Land Before Time, Transformers [1986]), but it generally comes with a purpose. While we'll have to wait for the fifth episode, my sneaking suspicion is the only reason this death was written in was a cynical attempt at eliciting emotion. The really strange part of the whole scene is that in the middle of the mourning (when I have a full pout on my face), Story Mode lets loose a visual gag referencing the source material. Admittedly, it's probably the funniest thing in the whole episode -- so few of the jokes are worth even a chuckle -- but it feels wrong to have it punctuate the rest of the sad scene so bluntly. With the Wither Storm properly defeated, Jesse and the gang are proclaimed to be the new Order of the Stone, and A Block and a Hard Place ends with the vague promise of new adventures coming in the next episode. Unless it's tightly written and self-contained, I'm not interested. More likely, the last episode will open up a can of worms that won't get resolved until Season Two. This episode could very well be considered the finale for the first season. It wraps up the Wither Storm saga, it answers the questions about the Order of the Stone, and it delivers a semi-happy, hopeful ending for the crew. If only it did that without an utterly boring first half and the clumsy insertion of mandatory Telltale story elements, it might have also been a good ending. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Minecraft review photo
Denouement-craft
What a weird episode. After the high energy of The Last Place You Look, this one slows down the action shortly into it, and it doesn't really pick back up until the very end, which feels like the end of a season. But then, th...

Minecraft photo
Minecraft

Minecraft has sold over 22 million copies on PC and Mac


That's a ridiculous amount of sales
Jan 05
// Joe Parlock
Minecraft has officially shifted over 22 million copies for PC and Mac. In the last 24 hours, 13,000 copies of the game have been sold, and so we’re roughly looking at a million sales every three months for a game that ...
Minecraft screenshots photo
Minecraft screenshots

A cartload of Minecraft: Story Mode Episode 4 screenshots


Better late than never
Jan 04
// Darren Nakamura
Vacation travel kept me from being able to get to the latest episode in Telltale's Minecraft: Story Mode right away. I just finished it, and as always, I had my finger on the screenshot button the whole way through. Mayb...

Review: Minecraft: Wii U Edition

Dec 29 // Patrick Hancock
Minecraft: Wii U EditionDeveloper: 4J Studios, Microsoft StudiosPublisher: Mojang ABReleased: December 17, 2015MSRP: $29.99 Given its status as a cultural phenomenon, I probably don't need to explain the basics of Minecraft in 2015. In case you've been experiencing the same thing as Brendan Fraser in Blast from the Past, I'll give a quick rundown. Players spawn into a randomly generated world created entirely out of individual blocks. It is up to them to harvest materials like wood, coal, and stone to create tools and survive the many dangers present throughout the game world. Personally, I guess I'm more of a Minecraft purist. I've been playing on and off since the alpha stages, and began to grow a bit disinterested with many of the later additions like brewing and enchanting. That being said, I absolutely love the purity of vanilla Minecraft. I've never added in dozens of PC mods to completely change the game or even alter the original tileset. To me, it's at its most elegant when it is untouched. The Wii U Edition does have some extra tilesets thrown in for players to switch between, and some extras to purchase on the eShop. New player skins are also offered for purchase, like The Simpsons, in case players don't want to be "Tennis Steve" or "Black Steve" -- oh wait, I mean "Athlete Steve." Naturally, the thought of playing Minecraft with the Wii U's GamePad is rather exciting. It could be used for inventory management, a second screen for cooperative play, easy crafting -- the possibilities are endless! Well, unless you're 4J Studios. Then the possibilities are one. The only benefit of having the GamePad is the ability for single-player Off-TV play. And even when players are using it for Off-TV play, it does not function as a touch screen for inventory management or anything else. When playing locally with a friend, players are forced into split-screen mode. Playing split-screen with the GamePad in hand feels like a complete waste of an opportunity.  The game runs fine, though snow tends to tank the framerate in cooperative play. Also, when playing locally, if one player opens up their inventory, there's a pause for a fraction of a second that is absolutely infuriating. It sounds like it should be barely noticeable, but just the opposite is true. I ended up calling out whenever I was making an important jump or otherwise being careful, so my partner wouldn't pause the game and screw me up. Speaking of pausing, trying to move items around with a joystick is awful. I'm sure this is what Xbox players have been dealing with for years, but man is it bad. The joystick emulates a mouse cursor, but everything snaps to the inventory grid, making it a painfully slow and annoying process to move things about. This is made worse by the fact that I'm literally holding a now-useless touchscreen in my hands. Playing online only works among friends. At first I thought the game was buggy, since the "Join" tab was completely unpopulated. However, a quick jaunt over to the Miiverse showed people posting screenshots of the main menu asking if anyone would like to friend up and play, making the situation very clear: you can only play online with people on your friends list. Well, okay then. Minecraft is still a beautiful game. The first time I heard C418's ambient soundtrack kick in, I was beaming. The first time night fell, I nervously holed up in the ground. Despite my adoration of the game, I ended up being frustrated at just about every aspect of the Wii U Edition. This is the epitome of a wasted-opportunity, bare-bones port. It's great that the game is coming to yet another audience, but this is hardly worth the investment for someone who already has the opportunity to play Minecraft elsewhere.  [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Minecraft: Wii U review photo
What's a GamePad?
Minecraft is quite the success story, isn't it? It went from one man's fun project to a household name in a seemingly small amount of time. Everywhere I go, I see Minecraft-related items: t-shirts, plushies, costumes. It...

Minecraft photo
Minecraft

Minecraft is doing well on Wii U


Topping the charts in Japan
Dec 28
// Jordan Devore
We could have predicted Minecraft: Wii U Edition would be a hit. It may be a late arrival compared to other console ports, lack GamePad inventory management, and cost $29.99, but it's Minecraft. Even the knockoffs have done w...
Minecraft: Story Mode photo
Minecraft: Story Mode

Minecraft: Story Mode Episode 4 trailer gathers the Order of the Stone


For the 'Wither Storm Finale'
Dec 17
// Darren Nakamura
Minecraft: Story Mode: A Block and a Hard Place is gearing up to release next week, so today we get the requisite launch trailer for it. This episode is promised to be the "Wither Storm Finale," with the last episode in the s...
Minecraft: Story Mode photo
Minecraft: Story Mode

Minecraft: Story Mode Episode 4 will be home for Christmas


Releasing December 22
Dec 11
// Darren Nakamura
It's almost bizarre to think that the first episode of Minecraft: Story Mode was out less than two months ago, and here we are gearing up for the fourth in the series. Episode Four, A Block and a Hard Place releases on PC on ...
Minecraft photo
Minecraft

Minecraft Wii U won't have GamePad inventory support, but it'll have a few other things


Wii U Pro Controller
Dec 10
// Chris Carter
This week, we learned that Minecraft was coming to Wii U, and that it wouldn't feature GamePad inventory support -- basically, the only enticing mechanic that could have been in this port. On the bright side, we now know that...
Minecraft Wii U photo
Minecraft Wii U

Boo: Minecraft Wii U will not support GamePad item management


Say what?
Dec 09
// Chris Carter
Huh? Well this is a kick in the teeth. Speaking to a fan on Twitter, Mojang's director of creative communications Owen Hill recently confirmed that the upcoming Wii U Edition of Minecraft will not support item manag...
Minecraft photo
Minecraft

Minecraft Pocket Edition and Windows 10 Edition finally have redstone


Make a computer in your phone
Nov 23
// Joe Parlock
Redstone is one of the most important things in Minecraft. It lets people build incredibly impressive things such as self-performing songs and fully-functioning computers. Seriously, the kind of stuff some people can do with ...
Telltale photo
Telltale

Minecraft: Story Mode Episode 2 stealth launches today


Wow, that was fast
Oct 27
// Laura Kate Dale
[Update: While we were initially told by a Telltale staff member that the EU release of episode two was being held until Friday, it now appears the digital EU release date is in fact today.] In an unexpected surprise mov...

Review: Minecraft: Story Mode: The Order of the Stone

Oct 13 // Darren Nakamura
Minecraft: Story Mode: The Order of the Stone (iOS, Mac, PC [reviewed], PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: Telltale GamesPublisher: Telltale GamesReleased: October 13, 2015 (Mac, PC)MSRP: $4.99, $24.99 (Season Pass)Rig: AMD Phenom II X2 555 @ 3.2 GHz, with 4GB of RAM, ATI Radeon HD 5700, Windows 7 64-bit To its credit, Minecraft: Story Mode does a lot well. The use of Minecraft's engine and iconic visual style is a nice workaround to keep the Telltale Tool from showing its age. It's hard to complain about low-polygon models for a world comprised mostly of cubes. Despite having fewer moving parts to work with on the character models, the characters are as expressive as they need to be. By narrowing or widening eyes and tweaking eyebrows, the block people (and pig) can show a range of emotions in a cartoony sort of way. The voice work aids in bringing the low-fidelity characters to life as well. The cast is impressive, including the likes of Patton Oswalt, Billy West, and Paul Reubens, to name a few. Though the characters look similar in the beginning, each has a defined personality that comes through thanks to the actors. Much like a session with Minecraft proper, by the end of the episode my brain stopped seeing everything and everyone as a collection of hard-edged polyhedra and just accepted them as regular places and people. [embed]315133:60717:0[/embed] However, the all-star voice cast does highlight The Order of the Stone's biggest shortcoming. With such big names in comedy doing the dialogue, it's disappointing how little comedy there is in the script. There are a few gags that find their mark, but most are worth only a smile or a chuckle; none really stood out. On the other end of the spectrum, the drama doesn't really deliver either. The elements are there: life-or-death situations, uncertainty, mistrust. Still, none of the prototypical "big choices" felt like they carried much weight. Of the five choices shown at the end, the first is just a judgment call with an unknown and arbitrary outcome, two involve whether you want to be an asshole to a guy who doesn't deserve it, one won't have clear implications until a later episode, and the last is a decision on which of protagonist Jesse's two friends has a better plan for what's to come. The choices highlight an emphasis on the future. Put plainly, The Order of the Stone is heavy on exposition, setting up the backstory, characters, and events for the rest of the season. While necessary, it misses some opportunities to be memorable in its attempt to lay the foundation. Story Mode will probably be more of a hit among Minecraft fans than general Telltale fans. The Order of the Stone features a few Minecraft-specific gameplay bits and references. A couple times during the episode, players are presented with a problem, given some materials, and tasked with crafting a solution. Recipes are given for those who don't know what to make or how to make it, but other craftable objects are present as well. While trying to make a stone sword, I accidentally crafted a lever. After a playful rib about me not knowing what I was doing, the materials were returned so I could forge the weapon. Later on, the group has to hit a pressure plate beyond a hallway filled with arrow traps. Recipes and materials are given for a couple possible tools to use. It would be great if there were other hidden solutions to discover for those who know the source material inside and out. In addition to the crafting puzzles, there is one classic adventure game puzzle found toward the end of the episode. It isn't especially original or taxing, but along with the crafting it does represent a step in a more gameplay-oriented direction from the recent story-only Telltale series. So far, Minecraft: Story Mode is like a Saturday morning cartoon. Sure, there is conflict, but it doesn't feel dire. Sure, there are funny bits, but the comedy isn't sharp or intelligent. Sure, there is a story, but it doesn't feel like it matters yet. There is some hope for this series to be great in the future, but The Order of the Stone is just okay. The Minecraft-specific gameplay is a nice way to shake up the usual formula. The blank slate of the universe allows the tale to go wherever it wants. The voice cast is full of actors who can do great work. But the writing needs to be more engaging if Story Mode wants to be taken seriously among Telltale canon. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Minecraft review photo
Exposition mode
Telltale has seen ups and downs with its licensed titles. With Jurassic Park the studio was still figuring out what works and what doesn't. More recently, The Walking Dead and Tales from the Borderlands have shown the strengt...

Minecraft photo
Minecraft

Minecraft Story Mode might open the door for Minecraft on Wii U


It uses the original engine
Oct 09
// Chris Carter
Minecraft: Story Mode is coming to basically every platform ever, as most Telltale games do, but this one is different -- according to an interview from Family Gamer TV it uses the actual Minecraft engine instead o...
Minecraft x Oculus photo
Minecraft x Oculus

Minecraft is coming to Oculus Rift after all


Even if Notch thinks Facebook is creepy
Sep 24
// Kyle MacGregor
Today at Oculus Connect 2 in Los Angeles, company founder and Rift inventor Palmer Luckey announced Minecraft's Windows 10 Edition will support the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.  The move represents an about face ...

Telltale's Minecraft: Story Mode is an interesting change of pace for the series

Sep 10 // Alessandro Fillari
[embed]310121:60304:0[/embed] Taking place in the world, or worlds, of Minecraft, we take on the role of Jessie, a local resident living in the wilderness along with his friends and pet pig. With the upcoming event known as Endercon approaching, sort of an in-game take on the popular Minecon, Jessie and his friends prepare for the festivities along with the rest of their community. Unfortunately, an ancient evil known as the Ender Dragon is unearthed from the nether, and wreaks havoc across the land. With Jessie and his friends being the only ones to escape, it's up to them to restore the legendary Order of the Stone, a group of powerful adventurers capable of stopping the dragon, and save the rest of the world. While it may seem unusual to try and create a specific story and narrative with predefined characters within Minecraft, which is inherently about the relative and varied user experiences, Telltale's take on Story Mode is surprisingly charming. Sure, many of the jokes focus on Minecraft-related humor and trivia, which may confuse or fall flat for those who aren't too into the adventure game, but it does a pretty admirable job of finding itself within a game world that's so varied and almost infinitely diverse. With a pretty solid voice-cast featuring Patton Oswalt, Corey Feldman, Paul Reubens, Dave Fennoy, Martha Plimpton, Ashley Johnson, and Brian Posehn, this is likely Telltale's most star-studded cast yet. During the short segment I played, we find Jessie searching through the forest for his pet pig. Gameplay will be instantly be familiar to those who've played other Telltale titles, such as The Walking Dead or Fables. You'll explore the environment looking for clues, interact with other characters, and occasionally participate in action sequences that call for well-timed responses. When Jessie was ambushed by zombies, he had to defend himself with a hastily put together wooden sword, which broke during the encounter. Eventually, his friend Petra (voiced by Ashley Johnson) saves the day and they make their way back to town. Of course, this is only the start of their troubles. Essentially, this is a very family friendly take on Telltale's past titles. Easy enough to get into, but deep enough to wonder what choices will be the best in the long run. However, one of the more interesting aspects of Story Mode is that it allows players to customize the central character Jessie. From their aesthetics to even their gender (voiced by Patton Oswalt and Catherine Taber, respectively), players will be able to build their own story and show off their character however they see fit. Given the numbers of choices and turns the story presents, it's refreshing to be able to have more of a choice in how your character looks. I'm curious to see how this title will shape up. With the first episode coming this year, Minecraft: Story Mode has some big shoes to fill. While there are many fans who may turn their nose up at such a departure from what they know from Minecraft, the developers are seeking to make a narrative that not only rewards long-time fans with a long and eventful journey through series lore, but also serves as a great opener for those who haven't taken the plunge into the quirky and incredibly popular adventure title. And it's a promising start from what I played. 
Minecraft: Story Mode photo
The Creepers will remember that
Since its announcement last year, many fans of both Mojang's Minecraft and Telltale Games were caught off guard by this union of adventure developers. With one focusing on open-ended and procedurally generated jaunts thr...

Minecraft photo
Minecraft

Minecraft: Story Mode release date leaked?


'This item will be released on October 27, 2015'
Sep 07
// Vikki Blake
According to Amazon.com, Minecraft: Story Mode will release on October 27, 2015. Playing as Jesse, you'll "embark on a perilous adventure across the Overworld, through the Nether, to the End, and beyond. You and your friends ...
Minecraft photo
Minecraft

Minecraft 1.9 is coming to cut your head off in The Combat Update, first snapshot released


Hope they take a good look at Terraria
Jul 30
// Joe Parlock
When not diving into their Scrooge McDuck-style pools of money, the folks over at Mojang have announced they’re working on Minecraft 1.9, dubbed The Combat Update. Three guesses as to what it’s going to be about. ...
Minecraft photo
Minecraft

Rob McElhenney of It's Always Sunny to direct Minecraft movie


Wait, what?!
Jul 21
// Jordan Devore
Warner Bros. and Minecraft developer Mojang have selected Rob McElhenney (Ronald "Mac" McDonald from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) as the director of their upcoming Minecraft film. "Hey Mojang let's do something strange and wonderful," McElhenney said on Twitter. As a long-time fan of Sunny, this is pretty great. I'm now genuinely curious about the project.
Minecon photo
Minecon

Minecon 2015 was the biggest single-game dedicated convention ever


10,000 people attended
Jul 07
// Joe Parlock
Did you go to Minecon in London this weekend? Did you take literally everyone you know with you? Well congratulations, in doing so, you and everyone else have broken a world record! According to Guinness World Records, Mineco...
Telltale's Minecraft photo
Telltale's Minecraft

First look at Telltale's Minecraft: Story Mode


Basically how you'd expect
Jul 04
// Kyle MacGregor
This is a reminder that Minecraft: Story Mode is a real thing that's happening. The episodic adventure game from Telltale Games follows a generic-looking protagonist (portrayed by Patton Oswalt of A Very Harold & Kumar 3...
Scrolls sunset photo
Scrolls sunset

It's the beginning of the end for Scrolls


Mojang's card game has a year left
Jun 29
// Jordan Devore
No, not The Elder Scrolls, silly. The other one! Just "Scrolls." Microsoft-owned Minecraft studio Mojang has confirmed the inevitable -- that work is winding down on its card title now that the "last major content patch," Ech...
Mojang photo
Mojang

'Mo-yang'?


That's how you pronounce it?
Jun 15
// Jordan Devore
Bombshells dropped at the Minecraft HoloLens demo during Microsoft's E3 2015 presser.
Minecraft photo
Minecraft

All Mojang staff were offered $300K not to leave company


Please stay with us at Microsoft
Jun 04
// Laura Kate Dale
Thanks to an excerpt from a new Minecraft book published on Wired, we're finally starting to get a bit of an inside look at what happened at Mojang when Microsoft was in the process of purchasing the company.  Perhaps th...
Minecraft photo
Minecraft

Minecraft player trolled by Mojang over username


It's good Mojang can laugh at this
May 19
// Laura Kate Dale
A few years ago, reddit user JessemoForice had some trouble logging into his Minecraft account. Rather than blaming himself for forgetting his own details or contacting tech support he got a little bit annoyed with the creato...
Minecraft photo
Minecraft

Minecraft sells 20 million copies on Xbox


Yep, good move Microsoft
May 08
// Laura Kate Dale
So, looks like securing Minecraft on Xbox platforms was a really smart move for Microsoft, as the game has now sold over twenty million copies across the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The game released three years ago on the Xbox 36...
Minecraft photo
Minecraft

Mojang took two years to address Minecraft security flaw, says programmer


But it's okay - they fixed other "arguably worse" ones too!
Apr 20
// Vikki Blake
Minecraft developer Mojang has addressed a serious security flaw following a blog post that publicly chastised the company for not responding to proof that a security flaw could cripple the game's servers. In July 2013, ...

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