Minecraft: Story Mode - The Complete Adventure (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Adam Riley 09.09.2017

Review for Minecraft: Story Mode - The Complete Adventure on Nintendo Switch

There may well be people out there that have totally bypassed the Minecraft phenomenon - hard to believe, but true, as in the case of this particular reviewer. Jumping, then, into Minecraft: Story Mode - The Complete Adventure now that Telltale's point-and-click take on Mojang's immensely popular games has landed on Nintendo Switch (after mixed impressions on other formats) was actually quite refreshing. What exactly was the charm of the Minecraft universe, after all, and how well had Telltale wedged a batch of characters and random stories into it? Only one way to find out… Fiiiight! Oh wait, that's not right. Play on!

Telltale Games used to be seen as the saviour of the point-and-click genre, creating some fantastic releases featuring popular licenses such as Wallace & Gromit, Strong Bad, and even Monkey Island. Then, ever since introducing quick-time events and more action elements into the normally slow-paced adventure scene - starting primarily in The Walking Dead line of releases - the quality has been somewhat up and down, since true action fans do not like the slower story elements as much, and old school point-and-click fans are rather appalled at the major deviation to the age-old formula they love so much. Is Minecraft: Story Mode - The Complete Adventure, which brings together the first five episodes from the first season's release, as well as the three extra Adventure Pass tales that came out post-finale, any different than the recent Telltale escapades?

Screenshot for Minecraft: Story Mode - The Complete Adventure on Nintendo Switch

The short answer is: no. Therefore, if you cannot stand rapid button presses to fill energy gauges or having to move the analogue stick (or swipe the correct way quickly on the touch screen) to 'survive' certain situations, then already Minecraft: Story Mode is at a major disadvantage, unlikely to win over any new suitors. However, The Complete Adventure has, as just mentioned, the pleasing inclusion of actual touch screen controls for those wanting to play in a bit more of a traditional PC-with-mouse manner in handheld mode, bringing in some actual pointing and clicking (or more like 'sliding' and 'tapping'). This makes for a much more enjoyable journey, and tied in with the comical writing throughout, the concise nature of each episode, and growing likeability of the cast of rag-tag adventurers, this ends up being surprisingly gripping.

Players get to guide a character called Jesse on numerous missions related to a legendary group of heroes called The Order of the Stone, with a group of unusual friends in tow, some dropping in and out of the story depending on the episode played, but always keeping one or two familiar faces around for continuity purposes. Sadly, everything gets a bit off-point not far in since the original story thread of terror being unleashed at the annual EnderCon ends seemingly far too early, before the actual final episode of Season One, in fact. Then the writers desperately try brush over the jump in style, aiming to make a smooth transition into regular one-off episodes as quickly as possible, hoping nobody noticed anything. This is likely why the Adventure Pass originally existed outside of the Season Pass in its original episodic release format. Those three extra individual stories, all with a tenuous connection to the original core theme of 'friends that like to build,' make the move from continuous story-theme to standalone adventures slightly less jarring, albeit things do still feel a bit confusing and disjointed at times.

Screenshot for Minecraft: Story Mode - The Complete Adventure on Nintendo Switch

Think of a TV series that has a running theme that then abruptly ends and each episode after that has a self-contained story. It just would not make any sense, right? It shows that perhaps development of this first season was somewhat poorly planned or the initial topic written was deemed not strong enough to stretch out beyond a handful of episodes. Thankfully, though, The Complete Adventure has enough overall pizzazz, with its likeable core characters, great voice acting from its star-studded line-up, and plenty of amusement found in its script to ensure these quirks found in its makeup can be overlooked.

Sadly, though, despite undoubtedly being entertaining, and indeed holding attention long enough to finish all eight episodes, it does lose its actual 'game' status far too often. Story Mode has a bad habit of becoming a case of sitting back and watching events unfold. There are some against-the-clock conversational choices to choose and keep the discussions moving along, heading down different avenues dependent on selection made. However, these do not take any real effort to work through. As for puzzles, they are barely existent, and those that are included are just a case of pressing switches in a certain order, re-arranging objects, or using the 'crafting' element, which relies on those in charge checking a recipe book and placing items on a crafting table in the exact same pattern to create something that will be automatically used when appropriate (no inventory, no thought needed for what item to use where, no actual brainpower needed whatsoever…). It really does lack the substance expected from a great point-and-click style affair.

Screenshot for Minecraft: Story Mode - The Complete Adventure on Nintendo Switch

Then there is the now all-too-familiar element of being tricked into believing any decisions made throughout really have a big impact on future episodes (spoiler: they do not). Choose to save one person over another? Well, flicking through the selectable chapters on the main menu shows both characters happily on the title screen of future episodes, so clearly not a big deal. Annoy someone and watch them leave? Again, look at the other episodes title screens and there they are, so again no issue. Name choices may be remembered, or a scowl given rather than a "thanks, pal" at certain junctures, but nothing worth being concerned about, or worth firing up a second play-through for.

One final thing that should be noted: there was a game-breaking bug found during the review process, with the save file corrupting after the end of the fourth episode, not allowing for new episodes to be started, and currently Telltale's support team has not confirmed it will look into the matter further, despite the issue being raised a few times now. Cubed3 was able to work around the problem by re-downloading the game and then transferring the save file to a new slot, which luckily worked a treat, but it is not an ideal situation, so hopefully readers will not come across such a problem It may have been an isolated case, but the warning is necessary, just in case others come across it.

Screenshot for Minecraft: Story Mode - The Complete Adventure on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

If it was not for the amusing script, well realised Minecraft setting, likeable characters, and moderately engaging storyline(s), then this would have been an unmitigated disaster as Telltale continues to take the point-and-click genre in a direction that no point-and-click fan wants, removing all the enjoyable elements from the classics and awkwardly wedging in action elements instead. Minecraft: Story Mode - The Complete Adventure, thankfully, has enough engaging story content to keep gamers satisfied, some fantastic production values on the voice acting front, and heaps of content packed in thanks to all eight episodes being included. Hopes are high for Season Two to improve upon the shortcomings here.

Developer

Telltale

Publisher

Telltale

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
K-Pop Korner - The Best of Korean Music
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
Gabriel PVJ Jones, Sandy Wilson

There are 2 members online at the moment.