Minecraft is a game that has earned itself a top spot among some of the best games of all time. It will be forever immortalised through YouTube lets plays and the vibrant online community that has assembled in it’s wake. Over the last few years, several versions of the game were made available other than the PC version – these include ports for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, iPhone and Android (with a Windows Phone version to follow!) and now PS Vita owners can rejoice, after a scary few months filled with uncertainty after Microsoft acquired Mojang – the developer of Minecraft – the game has finally arrived on the handheld. So how is it? read on to find out!
First and foremost, the PS Vita version is exactly the same as the version found on PS3 – it even offers cross-buy which means that if you already bought the PS3 version then you will already own the Vita version! it works the other way too, people buying on Vita for the first time will snag themselves a free PS3 copy. As well as cross-buy, the Vita and PS3 saves are interchangeable, you can swap your saves between consoles at will – handy for people who want to take their PS3 world on the go. Sadly the PS4 version is completely separate from the PS3/ Vita versions and offers no cross-save or cross-buy capabilities. This is of course, all with good reason, the PS4 version boasts much bigger worlds than the PS3/ Vita so it sort of makes sense.
What I immediately noticed when I started the game up on Vita for the first time was just how true to the PC game the developers at 4J studios have been when bringing this game over. A lot of time, effort, care and attention has clearly been put into making this version of Minecraft feel just as awesome and immersive as the other versions. When starting a world for the first time, you are given the usual choices such as inputting a seed to generate a world, enabling the bonus chests or even creating a flat world. Other menu options are pretty standard fare, although it was very cool to look through the leaderboards and see how far I’ve travelled or how much coal I’ve mined compared to my friends.
Graphically the game, well, looks like Minecraft, the game world is randomly generated and made up of lots of blocks of varying types. for the most part the game looks amazing on the Vita, while Minecraft will never be known for it’s graphical prowess, there is a simple beauty in the way the game looks. In terms of draw distance, the Vita suffers in comparison to it’s console counterparts, however I never really noticed. The only things that did pull me out of the experience now and then was when I moved to a new area and the game loaded in the blocks, there was some slight slow down. Another instance was when there was a slight delay between me pressing the place block button and the block actually appearing on screen – these issues were nothing that ruined my time with the game though.
The most important aspect which I think many may overlook is that this is a full version of Minecraft on the go, complete with actual gamepad controls and I can’t overstate how awesome that is. I’ve tried to pick up the pocket edition from time to time and while it is a serviceable version of Minecraft, a lack of features and awkward touch controls always drove me away – so it’s nice to have a version of Minecraft I can play while on the train to work. Mining, exploring, building, farming, fishing – its all here and it’s all just as awesome and just as addictive on Vita as in any other version.
In conclusion is Minecraft: PS Vita Edition worth your money? absolutely yes! the Vita version of the game is one of the best versions I’ve played, the nature of the handheld means I can jump in and play for as long or as little as I want, and the parity with the PS3 version means that it’s absolutely packed with features. Couple that with a proper set of physical controls and Minecraft Vita really does become one of the best versions of the game.
Minecraft on Vita is awesome! and if you own the handheld, then you definitely need to own Minecraft: PS Vita Edition