Last night I had an amazing plan. We got two TVs, two Xbox 360s, and eight controllers together and started playing Minecraft Xbox together with the goal of playing 4 on 4 capture the flag. But even though everything was set up perfectly on our part, Minecraft didn’t hold up its end of the deal as a working game.
First off, we had problems getting all of us into one map. Our set-up was four people on each TV, and each of the consoles connected through the internet. When we tried to join each other’s games it said the host was playing offline, even though the online game button was checked. After that obstacle was overcome (which was a complicated series of menu screens on both consoles) it wouldn’t allow us to play together. An error message continued to pop up over and over again that said “Game is full.”
Our game only worked if the console that was full of guests invited the other console. I don’t understand why this would matter, but for some reason it does. We finally got into a newly spawned world. But then things got even worse. Rendering outside of the first 50 blocks took up to five minutes. Everybody just sat at the edge of a pit that fell forever until more of the map was rendered. Then you could walk 10 more blocks before waiting again.
30 minutes in and tensions were getting high. Everybody was getting mad at the rendering and the overall lag. Every time you mined a block it would disappear for a couple of seconds and reappear. More than once someone jumped onto a block they thought was mined only to get caught in the ground when the block reappeared.
Then, after an hour of playing, which really was 10 minutes of playing and 50 minutes of waiting around, the game just completely disconnected. Everyone’s equipment was gone, because Minecraft only saves first player’s inventory. At this point all eight of us were ready to quit, and starting over wasn’t even worth it.
I realize that Minecraft can’t be expected to play to perfection. Especially on multiplayer when your individual Xbox is hosting the server. But come on, the game is marketed as up to eight players. They don’t even let you play split screen unless it’s in HD, which they also neglected to tell us in the marketing. The fact of the matter is Minecraft on the Xbox is going to continue to be updated, but until they fix these big problems the game just isn’t going to be as fun as the PC version.