I’ve been a Minecraft fan since its early Alpha days back in 2010. Yes, I was one of the kids who watched a YouTube video of an early Minecraft, bought it, and played it from there. To see how it’s grown has been remarkable, and in essence I’ve even grown with the game as it’s progressed to become a worldwide phenomenon. I haven’t really had the time to sit down and play it for a while (blame all of the recent game releases, FIFA and life in general), but back when Minecraft Vita was announced in Gamescom 2013, I’ve been really excited about it. I’m a huge fan of the Vita and really, Minecraft is the perfect game for the system. Now that it’s here, I’ve put it through its paces and while it does have a few problems, the experience I’ve had with the game has been quite positive.
Minecraft PlayStation Vita Edition is similar to the PlayStation 3 version in almost every way. Don’t go in expecting it to be anything like the Xbox One or PS4 versions because as you’d probably expect, the Vita just can’t run something like that. Needless to say, the Vita version runs solidly and while the draw distances are pretty rough and loading can take its merry time in creative mode, it’s still an excellent way to enjoy the game, especially on the go.
In terms of graphics and overall presentation, Minecraft looks just as you’d expect it would. The Vita’s excellent OLED screen does the game justice and exploring caves and digging down into the depths is an awesome experience on the system. Likewise, exploring the rather large, randomly generated maps is a treat and a testament to the power of the Vita. I wasn’t really expecting the Vita version of Minecraft to be in sync with the PS3 version, but basically everything that you’ve seen in either the Xbox 360 or PS3 version of Minecraft is present in the PlayStation Vita version, and that’s pretty damn awesome. The latest update on the PS3 version of the game has been thrown onto the Vita version and it’s been a blast to experience the game yet again, but in a different type of environment. Another huge plus is the fact that you can transfer your PS3 save over to your PS Vita version of Minecraft too, which is a huge winner in my books.
One of the biggest drawcards to Minecraft Vita is that it’s really the definitive way to experience Minecraft on-the-go. I’ve tried Minecraft Pocket Edition multiple times and frankly, I’m not a huge fan of touch-screen based games and having to hold my finger down for minutes on end to mine blocks and craft houses was a pain. All of that goes away on the Vita version as the controller experience of Minecraft is utilized. Everything from crafting items to mining is a breeze on the Vita’s controls and even the touch-screen is utilized in a non-gimmicky, non-invasive way (you can select items in your inventory and that’s about it).
As I mentioned above, not all is dandy in the performance front of Minecraft Vita. There are some significant frame-rate drops and the draw distances are pretty awful. You really can’t see much in front of you, but for what it lacks in performance it makes up for in content. It’s obviously not the best way to experience the game, especially if you’re a newcomer to it, but it is however, on-the-go Minecraft after all.
Minecraft PlayStation Vita Edition is an excellent game for the system, and I’ll no doubt be sinking a lot of hours into it on trains, buses, planes and car trips alike. It’s what it’s designed for really, but if you’re after the complete Minecraft experience I can’t really recommend it. The PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC versions of the game are all excellent and prove to be the definitive editions of Minecraft, along with the now out-of-date PS3 and Xbox 360 versions. If you are looking for just a casual Minecraft experience on-the-go however, Minecraft PlayStation Vita Edition is the way to go.
For what it is, Minecraft PlayStation Vita Edition is a great game that’ll be a treat for Vita owners who enjoy the wildly popular title. It’s also cross-buy, so if you bought the game on PS3, you’ll be able to download it for free on Vita. Performance woes aside as well, this is the way to go for portable Minecraft action.