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Minecraft: Story Mode Season Two - Episode 1: Hero in Residence (Xbox One) Review

By Josh Di Falco 13.01.2018

Review for Minecraft: Story Mode Season Two - Episode 1: Hero in Residence on Xbox One

On the back of a successful campaign with Season One, Minecraft: Story Mode Season Two kicks off with Jesse trying to find a balance between his new responsibilities in charge of Beacontown, while keeping in touch with his old hero friends. However, his newfound responsibilities and an answer to a call from his friend Petra finds the two journey down into the mines, where a new adventure awaits. This is Telltale Games' first episode in the second season of Minecraft: Story Mode, entitled Hero in Residence, and while it kickstarts a new adventure, it does so rather quietly.

The tricky thing with Telltale Games' formula for creating these point-and-click graphic adventures is that the sword more or less falls on the story. If the story is found lacking a bit of a spark, or is made up of "filler" without advancing any character arc or story development, then that reflects poorly on the quality of the episode. While Hero in Residence doesn't exactly begin with a fizzer, it also fails to set the new season on fire. Although Jesse is being pulled between his old friends and his new role as the leader of Beacontown, this is all suddenly forgotten about as he meets up with Petra for a mystery adventure hunting a "beast" in the mines.

While Jesse is not the worst character in this episode - that title is reserved for Jack - he/she also does not come across as likeable either. Clearly running the town takes a lot out of the character and makes them a bit one-sided, although it is a dynamic that is likely to be shattered by the next episode and it will hopefully allow Jesse to open up a little bit more. A new character, Jesse's intern called Radar, takes the cake for best character thus far, as he's so shy, but equally star struck at the prospect of being close to the legendary heroes, which is a cute dynamic that Radar will hopefully grow from.

Screenshot for Minecraft: Story Mode Season Two - Episode 1: Hero in Residence on Xbox One

The Minecraft-type elements creep their way into this episode, as the Crafting tables are present at the required moments in order to craft items to progress the story. In a more simplified manner to the crafting process from Mojang's hit game, these crafting tables come with their own recipe books that only specify the instructions for creating a certain item needed for the story. Where there is a crafting table, there are generally ingredients to find. Movement around the stages suits the style of Minecraft a lot better, yet Jesse is still a chore to move around, and his speed-running is still quite slow. However, there are quite a few open-world stages to wander through and plenty of environmental elements to interact with, but they are hardly diversions from the linear story.

Unfortunately, the scenes do not seem to blend well together as seamlessly as hoped, and there are a few rough cuts and immediate sound pauses that disrupt the flow, having a negative effect on the story. During a conversation with Jack, there is a line of dialogue that seems to have missed the audio file, for example, although the subtitle appears on the screen to display what he would have otherwise said. It's this type of annoyance, and seemingly lack of care into the minute details, that dampens the excitement of getting more Telltale series.

Screenshot for Minecraft: Story Mode Season Two - Episode 1: Hero in Residence on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Episode 1: Hero in Residence is a slow start to the new season of Minecraft: Story Mode, as Jesse tries to ready Beacontown for the Founding Day celebrations. Fortunately, this early section of the game is quite fun to interact with, and the various characters create various types of "mini-games" to accomplish. Unfortunately, once Jesse and Petra jump into the mines to start their adventure, the story takes a bit of a downward turn, becoming a little bit cumbersome to complete due to the dullness of Jack's character. Audio cues sometimes miss their mark and the scenes have rough cuts between them that disrupt the experience. While these may seem like minor issues, for a game that doesn't revolve a lot around "game mechanics" and focuses more on story-driven episodic adventures, the story and the sound need to be the best they possibly can be to make it a worthwhile experience.

Developer

Telltale

Publisher

Telltale

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

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 None   Australian release date Out now   

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