Looking Back to 2012 and the Blocky Building from Minecraft – Xbox 360 Edition

Looking Back to 2012 and the Blocky Building from Minecraft – Xbox 360 Edition

Minecraft it seems to be one of those “Marmite” games, where you either get what it’s trying to do and love the game for it, or the lack of a discernible path turns you off and you don’t.

I’m very much in the former camp, and the game I’ll be looking back at in this article, Minecraft’s first release on the Xbox 360, is largely responsible for that. So come with me to 2012, when the world was young, I was younger, and the good times were just beginning.

For the avoidance of doubt, this is a throwback to when Minecraft first appeared on the old Microsoft Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) and not to Minecraft’s first appearance in the wild. So with that caveat in place, let’s go!

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In a way, it’s my daughter’s fault that I started playing Minecraft in the first place. In 2012, she was 12 years old and she loved playing on her Kindle Fire Kids edition, and her favorite thing to play was Minecraft. Now having tried to show interest and be an involved parent I got her to show me what she was doing and she obediently complied as of course she first invited me to roll my eyes like a teenager which I think which is actually a law or statute or something like that.

He was flitting around, flying, building stuff, and it turned out he was playing in creative mode, since he could pretty much do whatever he wanted to do. Honestly, the combination of the small screen and his apparent taste for aerobatics made me feel a little queasy for the first time, and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. How she managed to touch that while being driven in the back seat of a car, while her brother was doing her best to distract her, I’ll never know!

Anyway, fast forward a couple of months and Minecraft appeared on XBLA, offering not only the opportunity to play on a big screen, with a real controller, but also with a whopping 200G Gamerscore. I signed up right away. And immediately, playing in survival mode, I came across a green guy wandering around. I walked over, he said “SSSSSS” and he promptly blew himself, me and a large part of the landscape to pieces. He’s learned his lesson, and now he runs from just about anything that moves, including but not limited to zombies, skeletons, wolves, and sheep. And those cows that looked at me a little strange…

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Still, I soon got into the swing of things; drill trees for wood, build simple tools, then build a house and go mining, build better tools, and so on.

If you know Minecraft, you know it’s a game of simple pleasures and figuring out what to do is part of the charm. I wanted to put windows in my house, so I had to figure out how to do it. Glass is just heated sand, right? So what happens if I put sand blocks in an oven? Well, take me down, it worked. But now I need more coal, so we go underground, digging in places that seem likely, until I find something. But what is this? Iron ore? What can I get out of it?

The game loop is brilliantly judged, and you can be as busy or idle as you want in Minecraft – this is the beauty of the game. Do you want to live in a shack, surviving on raw pork chops? No problem. Do you want to build a castle, with huge towers that have burning Netherrack on top? Of course, I may have done this as a navigational aid as I was constantly getting lost, having misplaced my map in unexpected lava.) The thing with Netherrack though is that it’s only found in the Nether, so you need to build a portal…

Watching on YouTube some of the absolutely crazy creations that people have come up with in Minecraft is always humbling. I thought I was being clever by diverting water from a lake down a series of slides to make a waterfall near my house, but I’m embarrassed by the creativity of the greater Minecraft community. But again, this is the beauty of the game: there is no right or wrong way to play it: there is only what you want to do, and getting a team of friends to help you realize your vision is a great experience.

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We had some weird old times playing in various worlds, from planting TNT in someone’s house and not telling them (waking up the next day to an extremely angry message after a vine managed to detonate near him and almost completely destroyed the build creation hard ), until seeing one of my friends delighted to have tamed his first horse. Of course, what else could be done but set fire to it with flint and steel? To be fair, I had no idea horses were actually flammable, and the scream from the headphones blew out my eardrums, but since I was laughing so hard, I barely even noticed.

This, to me, is what Minecraft is all about: not random explosions or wanton cruelty to animals, but laughing with your mates and occasionally building something beautiful.


These are my memories from the launch of Minecraft on XBLA with Xbox 360 Edition. But what about you guys? Did you know that horses were flammable? Did you play the game at launch, or did you get involved in later editions on recent Xbox generations? You can find them in the xbox store with the power of Game Pass, which means you won’t have to pay for it.

Or do you hate Minecraft and wouldn’t play with a gun to your head? Let us know in the comments.

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