Title: Minecraft: Story Mode – Season Two Episode Two: “Giant Consequences”
Available On: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Android, iOS
Developer: Telltale Games, Mojang
Publisher: Telltale Games
Genre: Adventure, Interactive Story
Official Site: https://telltale.com/series/minecraft-story-mode-season-2/
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Where To Buy: Steam, Xbox Live, PSN Network
The second episode of Minecraft: Story Mode’s sophomore season wastes little time getting to the action, as “Giant Consequences” picks up right where “Hero in Residence” left off. While some characters and plot lines felt a bit cliche, Jesse and the gang deliver another quirky adventure in the series.
As I said, episode two starts right where we left off, as the admin drops by to have a nice chat with Jesse. Alongside that chat he also starts destroying Beacon Town, challenging the champion to fight him. While I really enjoyed the Admin’s introduction, I was wondering where things would go with this confrontation, as the start of the episode felt more like the endgame. I was even more surprized when the Prismarine Giant went down within the first couple of minutes.
Since his introduction, the Admin gave off a presence of power, seemingly undefeatable. It was actually one of the main traits I felt hesitant about regarding the antagonist. Ironically when the villain was reintroduced as the evil incarnate of Olaf from Frozen, all my worries dissipated. Despite his ability to clap his hands and change things and change things, or change his appearance to that of a snowman, all of his actions were entertaining. While his story in Minecraft: Story Mode will likely end using the power of friendship or deus ex machina, he’s going to be a lot of fun throughout the ride.
Praise where praise is due as well, as Patton Oswald has really made the Jesse character his own (Sorry I’m sure Catherine Taber does just as well as Female Jesse). At the start of season 1, I had a hard time with the idea has him playing the lead character, simply because he is considerably recognizable. Yet, despite the option to choose specific dialogue choices, Oswald’s rendition of the character is genuinely funny, good natured, and likable.
Unlike Jesse though, there were aspects in “Giant Consequences” that were unlikable. While this can certainly be seen as a kids game, the manufactured tension that occurs between Jesse and some of the characters is frustratingly cliche. Though new characters like Luna the Llama and Jack continue to shine, Petra and Radar can serve as severe annoyances. Petra’s constant complaining and attempts to leave Jesse out of things continue to come off as immature. There was a bit more explanation in regards to it in this episode, but her character still seems so much more unlikable than in season 1.
Radar is far worse though. I understand that he is supposed to represent innocence and is a mirror to how the characters were starting out in season 1, but one of the worst things about the start of Minecraft: Story Mode was cookie cutter, annoying personalities. I also understand that Radar is purposely annoying and a loser, all so he can overcome it in the end, but it is too much. The hardest part of all of this is that I love Yuri Lowenthal. It might be why Radar is so hard for me to bear, honestly. My outside experience with the actor sees as the foul mouthed science geek on Camp Camp, Neil. So seeing him like this…just feels wrong.
Aside from that, the story continues to be fun. The Admins snow fortress is sprawling and pretty, as its inside is reminiscent of season 1’s neither mine cart area, with icy, open ended areas instead of lava. The big bads constant pop ups always seem welcomely timed as well, serving as a manner of exposition and interesting conversation simultaneously. Outside of a fun archery mini-game though, combat and gameplay are still pretty uninteresting. After it’s introducing in the first episode, I had hoped the freeform building would take on more of a role in this installment. Instead, the action is the usual Telltale, quick timed events. While there is one part were free form building occurs, it is still limited to only a few items in a small square, all built using considerably bad camera angles.
All in all though, Minecraft: Story Mode Episode Two manages to carry on an adequately good story. It may have had a few hiccups to start, but I look forward to playing the third installment in the season later this fall. Especially after that ending!
VERDICT: Despite being aimed at kids Minecraft: Story Mode continues to deliver an interesting story, with fun characters and stories. While it is weighed down by a lack of creativity and cliche conflict, it’s another sufficient installment in the Telltale series that I never imagined could have got me through one episode, let alone 10 thus far!
- The Admin still feels fresh
- Winter Wonderland
- Still creative
- Manufactured tension
- Limited building features
- WHERE IS IVOR!!!