Beta Test #26: Minecraft

Beta Test

Good morning gamers. You may have been following me for a while now, so you know that I normally start here with a witty intro that may or may not be fantasticalised by my overzealous brain. You may also think I’m pulling a bit here, but the truth guys is that I have to get something off my chest, and I hope you have the time to sit and read.

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To whomever may be reading this. I don’t know if you’re there, if you’ve been reading since the beginning in 2018, or if you just tuned in, but no matter where our journey began, I want to say thank you. Over the years I’ve been battling major depression and anxiety, ignited through the loss of a loved one, and propelled by fear and uncertainty. In fact, for a long time, the only certain thing I could count on was taking the time out of my month to write for you. 

The imaginary you. 

In this time of my creation ‘Beta Test’, I’ve lost a lot of close friends, I’ve become stuck in a job that is nothing but soul destroying, I’ve lost my acting mojo, and I’ve lost faith in the people I work with on most platforms of my creation. That is a cold fact that I’m not proud of, and it is not lost on me that I have to constantly fight to stay afloat. It’s tricky.  But I have never lost hope in you. If there are 40 people this reaches, or 4, (or one), I really honestly want to express my gratitude for the strength you’ve given me. The fact of the matter is I need you, and you have been there, reading along, and you have saved me. 

Joining FRED the ALIEN started as an acting gig for a character on UNI-bums, a character I wish I was sometimes. Strong, and smart, and fierce. When I decided to create a blog it was because I picked up a controller for the first time in my adult life to play Cuphead, (a game that would ultimately best me over in glorious fashion, until I rage quit) and as time has gone on, this blog has truly become my baby. I thank FRED for giving me the platform to stage my creation, and hope it brings joy to the people that give it the time of day. I have grown, and this has grown with me, and much like Jenny, I have learnt to experience new and sometimes daunting adventures with assured certainty that win or lose, I can always be Beta.

If you’ve read this far, don’t worry, there’s a review at the end of this rant, but really – from the bottom of my heart, thank you for all the support you’ve given me. It’s been a life saver.

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So this is Bethany Griffiths, of Melbourne Victoria, and this is Beta Test, a game review platform where I choose one game a month to go ham on until either I get better or get wrecked. All in the hopes that I can provide you with a completely (un)biased review. 

MINECRAFT! The game of the decade! The pit of wasted time that’s been guzzling up my hours since the early 10’s, the ‘I can never quite quit you’ game that always gets you coming back for more. Binge worthy, creative, and open plan, It’s been drawing people in like a horse to quicksand (slight Never Ending Story reference there. Anyone? Artax? ARTAX!). 

Developed by Mojang, Markus Persson, 4J Studios, Other Ocean Interactive, and Xbox Game Studios, Minecraft is a unique first person world builder that concentrates around a solitary character and their interactions with the pixelated world around them. Honestly, I would call this a farming simulator, but it’s beyond that. It’s VR without the VR, Valley without the Stardew, the Bob Ross of simulators. 

Game play is simple. You start in a world that is either set to general game play, or creative mode (where you can focus on building structures without the resource gathering component). If you find yourself in a game play scenario, you have till nightfall to create a shelter before the monsters come out to hunt you. These monsters include Zombies, Spiders, Skeletons, Creepers (think Mario’s Bob Omb’s but longer…and greener), and Endermen which…Look, I think they’re inter-dimensional shadow beings created from the energy that the player leaves behind, but I’ve been told they’re another species entirely. Once a shelter is built, resources can be obtained by either fashioning tools, and crafting tables, or by punching the shit out of a whole lot of pixel blocks. Choice is yours.

The end game, because there is an end game, is to eventually build a portal to ‘The End’. An alternate reality, where time stands non-linear. Not to be confused with ‘The Nether’, another dimension that has its own scary nature to it (seriously, somebody took ‘the floor is made of lava’ way out of context). The End is filled with Endermen and a boss you have to beat with whatever you brought along with you (so I hoped you packed a sword…and my bow…and my a-anyway you get the picture)

Even with the concept of completion in sight though, you don’t ever HAVE to reach The End. What I love about Minecraft is the hours upon hours you can spend going through the infinitely spawning world around you. Diving into sea caverns, exploring caves, geoscaping, finding tunnels to convert into homes, the choices are really endless. In fact, I have a game that HAS to be roughly 6 years old by now. Have I outdone myself? Probably. Will I stop? Dear god no. This game has gotten me through holes bigger than Shia LeBeouf wishes he could dig, and that’s saying something for the man who ‘isn’t famous anymore’. 

Bear-ing in mind, get it, *Your leg AAH, it’s caught in a bear trap* lol so funny that song sticks like gum to a footpath, anyway…Bearing in mind the fact that this is a classic learning game that absolutely anyone can play, and the spirit of adventure that it brings; I give Minecraft:

4/5 ENDERMEN for style
0/5 ENDERMEN for plotline
4/5 ENDERMEN for easiness
5/5 ENDERMEN for Blocky Blocky goodness!

OK Seriously though, I said Shia Lebeouf earlier and now it’s just my brain going *SHIA SURPRISE*. Oh well C’est La Vie. What now? Well I’m going to listen to Rob Cantor sing one specific song for 3 hours while I binge Minecraft again, but if you’ve got a game you want me to die in, or have a good tip for a previously existing game let me know! Till then, I’ve been Bethany Griffiths, and this has been Beta Test, A game review platform where I either got better or got wrecked. All in the hopes that I can provide you with a completely (un)biased review.

Thank you infinitely for your company, and your support, 

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