In case you haven’t heard of this Minecraft thing, 2 Player Productions has the full story on what is now one of gaming’s most iconic franchises. Minecraft: The Story of Mojang is a nearly two-hour documentary covering the origin and evolution of Minecraft from perspective of the creators themselves.
Dragonborns and Minecraft players, rejoice! The official trailer has been released for the Skyrim Mash-Up Pack, showcasing the Dovahkiin’s hijinks as he ventures through blocky recreations of famous Skyrim locales. The DLC will included the pre-build world seen in the trailer as well as a Skyrim-themed texture pack, 40 new skins, new UI and 20 songs from the Skyrim soundtrack. You’ll be able to get your hands on the pack in no time; today 4J studios tweeted the Skyrim Mash-Up will start rolling out tomorrow morning for $3.99/£2.69/€3.79.
Anyone who’s played Skyrim probably remembers the Minecraft easter egg on top of the Throat of the World. Minecraft will soon be returning the favor, releasing a new Mash-Up Pack centered around Bethesda’s fifth Elder Scrolls game. Considering both games feature mining, sword fighting, undead enemies, giant spiders, and (of course) dragons, this combination is a perfect match.
The pack includes a Skyrim-themed texture pack, a remodeled user interface, 40 character skins, and over 20 selections from the game’s original soundtrack. Players will be able to explore the homeland of the Nords in a pre-built world containing recreations of Whiterun, Riverwood, and Bleak Falls Barrows. The pack currently doesn’t have a release date, but will be priced at $3.99/£2.69/€3.79.
Good news for fans of Minecraft, a special Halloween Texture Pack is now available to download for free here. The download is available until the end of this week (November 3) and includes what looks like Creepers re-imagined as ghosts and special pumpkin blocks that look perfect for any Halloween-themed map. Also included in the texture pack are spooky trees, zombie chickens and a Slenderman Enderman that will make any Minecraft adventure that bit more terrifying. This texture pack comes shortly after the Natural and Plastic texture packs were both released earlier in the month for $1 each, but the lack of a price tag for this latest pack will be sure to attract Minecraft players this time around.
Xbox Live Arcade began its life on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 simply enough. When eager gamers bought up Xbox 360s on launch day (November 22, 2005), they found a free copy of Hexic HD pre-loaded on their hard drives. Of course, it was another launch title that secured the platform’s success. Bizarre’s Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved both gave birth to the twin-stick shooter craze and demanded gamers take Xbox Live Arcade, which started in disc form back on the original Xbox, seriously as a digital games platform. Bizarre’s side project paved the way for the enormous variety of retro revivals, HD remakes, original indie projects, major studio releases, free-to-play games and more that have come to call XBLA home in the years since.
Today, we’re approximately one month away from the launch of the Xbox One, which will signal the end of XBLA as we have come to know it these past eight years. While Microsoft’s Xbox line will continue to be home to myriad low-cost downloadable video games, the XBLA moniker will not make the transition to Xbox One. It’s going down with the figurative (and literal) Xbox 360 boat. So what better time than now to count down the best XBLA games to ever grace the Xbox 360?
It wasn’t easy, but our staff has sorted through all of the best XBLA releases over the years and picked the ones that we feel are the true standout stars of the platform. Check back with us throughout the week as we run down five of Xbox Live Arcade’s top games every night. And don’t forget to head to the comments to let us know how much you love (or hate) our picks.
(Editor’s Note: Voting was conducted in early September. No games released post-Summer of Arcade 2013 were considered eligible.)
Nathan Bowring, Reporter — Minecraft’s impact on XBLA has been huge; it’s been beating sales records ever since its release, and it continues to top the Xbox Live activity charts. There’s just something magical about that simple, blocky world that’s hard to resist. Every new, randomly generated world is the start of a new adventure. In Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition, you’ll map out the landscape, explore deep caverns to collect precious diamonds, fight terrifying nocturnal monsters and build to your heart’s desire. The resources you collect may turn into your new house, or maybe you’ll turn them into weapons to fight the Ender Dragon. The only thing that limits the game is your imagination, with every new title update adding so many more possibilities.
Hot off the heals of the Plastic Texture Pack, Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition is already getting another new texture pack. The Natural Texture Pack substitutes the original, cartoony look of Minecraft with a more realistic look for the environment and animals. There’s currently no release date or price, but if the previous texture pack is any indication we should expect a $1/£0.65/€0.95 price tag. Several screenshots have surfaced showing off the new textures. Check them out after the jump.
Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition‘s unending stream of updates and downloadable content keeps on flowing, as Title Update 13 and the first original texture pack are now available for consumption. We previously documented the newest title update to make landfall on Minecraft‘s blocky shores, which doesn’t add any new features, but fixes a slew of issues.
The Plastic Texture Pack, 4J Studios’ debut offering of the many original texture packs to come, swaps out the default pixelated aesthetic for vibrant, smooth surfaces. A free trial version can be downloaded to test drive the new look before you buy, but the pack itself can be had for a modest $1/$£0.65/€0.95.
Finally, a sequel to popular Battle and Beasts Skin Pack will make its way to the in-game store this Wednesday, October 9. Aptly dubbed the Battle and Beasts Skin Pack 2, the downloadable collection hosts a ton of new wardrobes from historical warriors and the pelts of many fine animals with which you can transform your teal-shirted protagonist. Microsoft Studios confirmed the pack will run $1.99/€1.89/£1.29, and provided a sampling of screenshots to influence your purchasing power – check out the gallery after the jump.
The first of many original texture packs coming to Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition has been revealed. Dubbed the Plastic Texture Pack, developer 4J Studios and publisher Microsoft Studios have announced the texture collection in a series of screenshots (below) that feature the colorfully smooth surfaces of the upcoming downloadable content.
As of now, there’s no pricing or release information to share. We’ve already learned the packs won’t be free, but they should be relatively inexpensive. In any case, the wait shouldn’t be long according to 4J Studios, which confirmed there will be a trial version for those who want to test drive the texture swap before buying.
The developer also touched on what fans can expect in the future, revealing the next pack in line will be the “Natural Texture Pack,” and teased that “something medieval is coming” down the line. No additional details were revealed for either of the offerings.
Scotland-based developer and Xbox-based steward of the Minecraft universe, 4J Studios, has announced the next chapter of the digital powerhouse was officially submitted to Microsoft for certification. Title Update 13, like the dozen before it, tinkers under the hood to apply changes and fixes in the hopes of a better user experience. Though no new gameplay features made the cut this time around, you’ll find minecart speeds doubled, in-store prices displayed in local currency and an audible reaction to striking an ocelot among the many changes going into effect. The full list of fixes can be found after the jump.
In related news, the studio has been hard at work fabricating original texture packs for Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition while fielding a deluge of questions since the feature’s inclusion in Title Update 12. Microsoft Studios queried the game’s besieged producer for insight on what fans could expect in the coming months with regard to texture pack content. While the packs won’t be free, they won’t be expensive, either. And though the recently released Mass Effect texture pack successfully tested the waters, the first non-mash-up pack should be revealed soon.
But what about texture packs already live and quite popular on the PC version of the title? Apparently, 4J’s working on that, too. There’s much more to it than simply flipping a switch to migrate textures. For example, getting permission from the appropriate creators, before the necessary developmental polish to bring them over successfully. Discussion is on-going with the teams behind 4J’s favorite PC textures, and while they can’t promise anything more than wishful thinking, they’re working on it.
The most recent Minecraft update added support for texture packs, but so far only the default look has been available. After the update released, 4J Studios tweeted that new textures will come in new Mash-Up Packs that will make Minecraft look like another game. Each pack will contain textures, skins, music, a user interface, and a unique themed world. The first game getting the mash-up treatment will be Mass Effect 3.
The Mass Effect Mash-Up Pack will contain 36 new character skins, 22 songs from the game’s soundtrack, the Mars Facility world save, the Mass Effect texture pack, and themed menus. The pack will be available tomorrow, September 4, for $3.99.