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Review: Terraria for PS3

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terraria

Title: Terraria
Price: $14.99
System(s): PS3 (Also available for PC and Xbox 360)
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Publisher (Developer): 505 Games (Re-Logic)
ESRB Rating: “Teen” for Violence, Blood, Suggestive Themes and Use of Alcohol

I am a Terraria addict. I have been playing the game since 2012, when it was on sale during the Steam Summer sale. My proudest accomplishment is a post-apocolyptic map with Fallout style bunkers, one intact and two ruined, a BioShock Utopia dome under the ocean and a BioShock Infinite -inspired Columbia in the sky. Naturally, this wasn’t completed legitimately – I used inventory managers to acquire the right tools. Yet, now that I am playing Terraria in what many would call the “right way” on the PS3, I find I’m having the best time yet.

terraria

The 2D world is all yours.

People can do whatever they want in Terraria. It’s a 2D Minecraft-style game with Metroid-vania elements. If someone collect enough materials, they can build practically everything and craft extraordinary equipment. If, instead, they explore the world, they can find new monsters, landscapes, caverns and dungeons to explore. There are no limits and death is not the end, it’s just a temporary monetary setback.

If pressed, I would say Terraria is about survival. As long as a player’s avatar is alive, you’re doing something right. From there, it’s about doing whatever seems interesting. Some people may focus on building a majestic building that can withstand even a night lit by the Blood Moon, when zombies can burst into homes. Others may attempt to dig to the center of the earth. There are even people who will dedicate themselves to seeking out bosses in their manners, in the hopes of setting old men free from curses and calling dibs on treasure. Every possible situation is the right situation and a player isn’t locked into any one style of play. The Terraria experience is a freeing one.

terraria

Reforming a cheater.

I never played Terraria legitimately, until I began playing it on the PS3. I was a legendary architect (in my mind) in the PC version. I had all the best equipment and gorgeous mansions made of the finest material. My character even had wings! But I gave that all up for a simpler life in Terraria on the PS3 and, oddly enough, I love the game even more now that I did.

Players start out simply in Terraria, with only a basic pickaxe, sword and axe to their names. It’s daylight, and the only creatures around to harass are the innocent bunny and out-of-reach bird. That won’t last. Stronger, deadlier creatures like zombies and demon eyes come at night. Which means building a shelter should be the first priority. That means chopping down trees for wood, getting a floor, walls and roof built so you have at least a 7×8 block room and building a work table so walls, doors and chairs can be built. For an NPC to move in, a torch (made of slime’s gel wood) needs to be attached to a wall and a chair placed.

I’d say both battling and building feel more comfortable in Terraria on the PS3 than on the PC. The four D-pad directions can be assigned to the four tools or items someone uses most, and pressing the right direction immediately equips that item. In addition, pressing the R2 and L2 buttons cycles through the 10 hotlinked items that constantly appear at the top of the screen. Pressing X uses or places whatever item the avatar is holding, and the right analog stick is used for positioning. Pressing the right analog stick toggles whether the placing tool is static or free, and I’ve found it’s actually easier to build my empires when I use the PS3 controller.

Once a base has been established, for all crafting and storage needs, players can do whatever they please. Each Terraria world is unique, no matter what its size. Send your avatar to do anything. I recommend mining first, to acquire iron, silver, gold and demonite for better equipment and advanced crafting stations, but that’s just me. I like to establish a ginormous, well equipped castle before exploring the world. Other people may want to investigate every cavern, chest or dungeon before settling down. There’s no wrong way to play.

The only downside is, there is some noticeable lag. Occasionally, when moving from one area to the other, say from the standard forest region where I began to the desert, the game would temporarily slow down. The same thing would often occur while I was spelunking. I would have thought the PS3 powerful enoug to handle Terraria, but there are momentary hiccups. They only last a second, but do happen.

I’d say the console version of Terraria‘s multiplayer modes more than make up for this minor problem. I was never able to enjoy a multiplayer Terraria game with the PC version. I couldn’t get it set up right. With the PS3, it’s as easy as either grabbing between one and three friends and shoving PS3 controllers in their hands, or connecting to the PlayStation Network. There’s no fuss, it just works. I really appreciated that, especially when I decided to go into a dungeon that had been generated in one of my worlds to face a boss.

terraria

Terraria on the PS3 gives me a new appreciation for the game.

I thought I understood and loved Terraria when I played it on my laptop. I haven’t gone crazy playing, but I had invested over 22 in building lavish creations. Now, after playing Terraria on my PS3, I realize I was only scratching the surface. I was a newbie and only loved it for one aspect of its gameplay. I didn’t realize the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction that would come from earning every item, digging for every ore and fighting huge opponents with friends. I get it now and, as much as I love my PC version of Terraria, I like the PS3 version more. There is more to do and see and it’s much easier to enjoy the experience with friends. I think it’s a testament to how wonderful Re-Logic’s game is that each incarnation makes me love and want to play more.

Site [Terraria]

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