Terraria a.k.a. Minecraft Lite Review (PS3)

Terraria Logo

Do you happen to be one of the few people that hasn’t played Minecraft yet, but can’t seem to come up with the extra $12 to get it? Well then Terraria is the answer you’re lookin’ for!

Honestly, kudos to the team who made this for making something like this possible; a sprite side-scrolling version of Minecraft. However, it feels vastly unnecessary considering the fact that it’s just the same game minus some key elements that made it fun, like making a rail system so you can ride around in a cart rather than have to walk everywhere. Considering that you have to literally walk everywhere and most of the time you’re digging far underground, you’ll wish there was an underground rail system.

That’s not to say it’s a bad game, far from it. While the game itself has no story, it relies mostly on a person’s imagination and willingness to explore and I think that’s a noble aspect of a game, getting a person to actually think.

Terraria screenshot-3

It starts you off with a custom character creator, allowing you to change your look from a pretty good sized assortment of choices as far as hair and colors and allowing you pretty much any name you want, then dumping you in a randomly generated world. This is where it starts to get a little tricky. For a person just getting into the game, you’ll notice that the controls take a lot of time getting used to, not because it’s a difficult learning curve, but because of the amount of controls you’ll need to memorize.

While the legend for it is readily available at the pause screen, it’s fair warning to say that if you’re playing online, don’t stay on the pause screen for too long because it doesn’t actually pause the game, it just brings up the pause menu. The controls are a bit of an issue at times. While it’s very easy to run, jump, attack and use your tools such as the axe to cut down trees and the pickaxe to mine through dirt and stone, when it comes to actually placing objects, it’s a bit of an issue.

For example, say you’re trying to pick a specific block, but you can’t get the stick to move in just the right position. So you press R3 to switch placing modes and there you go, precise placement. Then you forget that you did that and you’re stuck for 5 minutes wondering why you can’t mine through a dirt wall.

Speaking of the mining, you best be prepared to spend hours upon HOURS of time wandering underground looking for some of the most basic materials like iron. For the mass amount that you need to create some of the better items, it’s going to take a long, long time.

Terraria screenshot-1

Now for veterans of Minecraft this is nothing new, but one fundamental flaw that Terrarira could’ve avoided was that you can’t craft tools with stone as you could with Minecraft. Why is this a problem? Because stone accounts for 70% of the stuff you dig through to get underground. Now in the short run, it doesn’t seem like it’s that big of a deal, with the bottom tier tool being copper and the next one being iron. Considering how long it will be before you can even get that much iron, it makes you wonder if it’s even worth it, not to mention you need that iron to make other important items like the iron chain, the anvil and so forth.

There also seems to be a weird difficulty curve when it comes to how far you dig. A good example is when I started a 3rd world, dug in a downward zig zag pattern for about a good 5 minutes, and all of a sudden was bombarded by giant worms. I also had invisible enemies killing me in a few hits with poison darts that somehow fly at you at 400 mph and just go through the environment like it has “no-clip” on. Other times, I encountered no enemies at all except at night when zombies would try to break down my door.

On the other hand there is a guide that hangs out where you spawn that helps you with recipes and tips. Unfortunately, the programmers forgot to give him 2 things: God mode and Intelligence higher than half a walnut. The reason I bring this up is that every time I created a world and it turned night, this little imbecile would hide in my house from monsters and leave the door open. Seriously, WHY!? So eventually I got fed up with it and just holed myself in with 2 walls so he couldn’t get it. Yes it’s cruel, but really, that should never have been a problem to begin with.

Terraria screenshot-2

The sound is a bit of a tossup. It’s great quality, but the type of music that they chose really effects how you’re going to play . It’s quirky and nice, but at the same time if you just want some calm serene music while digging underground, you’re out of luck.

The replayability of this game really depends on the player, because some people don’t mind spending hours and hours and days mining one section of a map, while others would get sick of it in the first 10 minutes. The online multiplayer is also somewhat of a hit and miss, because in all the times I’ve played online, not once have I seen anyone else.

So if you’re interested in a side-scrolling sprite version of Minecraft, pick this one up, otherwise just save up the extra $12. However like most good games, this one actually has a free demo version to try, so why not give it a spin?

Grade: B+

Pros

  • Nice and Colorful
  • Sprites are easily distinguishable from others
  • Relatively cheap
  • Characters inventories come with you from world to world

Cons

  • No rail system so you’re stuck walking everywhere
  • Invisible enemies
  • Enemies spawn within safe zone if you increase your “Border”
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