Minecraft: Story Mode - Season Two: The Telltale Series (Xbox One) Review

By Josh Di Falco 20.02.2018

Review for Minecraft: Story Mode - Season Two: The Telltale Series on Xbox One

Telltale has proven repeatedly that it is the front-runner for episodic videogames. While not every series it touches turns to gold, like the The Walking Dead, it still comes up with new and interesting twists to tie into new iterations of existing content. Minecraft: Story Mode - Season Two: The Telltale Series continues this trend, and it is Minecraft to the core. From the look and aesthetic of the game, to the simple but effective crafting tables, and a story that can only really work in this world, fans of both Minecraft and Telltale will find another solid outing with this season.

Jesse is settling in to the role of leader of Beacontown, and is on the eve of the grand Founding Day. What better way, then, to get accustomed to the controls and feel of the game than by helping set up all the celebratory tools, while also meeting the extended cast. It is a fun and exciting way to begin the story as everyone lives in a carefree state. Watching the happiness on everyone's faces and seeing their way of life is a great set-up for the eventual darkness that will befall Beacontown, thus plunging Jesse into yet another quest of having to rectify the issues and save the town.

The cause of this is an evil and calculating mastermind called the Admin. He gets off to an awkward start, as he seems to be doing his evil deeds just for the fun of it. As the story progresses, though, and his true motivations become known, his character becomes a little bit more relatable and grounded. The epic set pieces and countless battles between Jesse and the Admin, however, paints a pretty dark picture over the otherwise colourful world of Minecraft. Due to the younger target audience for this game, though, the story has a limit of darkness level that it can go, while still being a light-hearted and joyful experience.

Screenshot for Minecraft: Story Mode - Season Two: The Telltale Series on Xbox One

The awkward start to this whole affair begins when a fellow friend, Petra, calls Jesse over to the mines for help in assisting her with catching a very important llama. Then a cavern run follows, which sees some great choreographed fight sequences with Jesse and the spiders. Once Jesse and Petra catch up to the llama, Jesse spies a glowing glove atop a pedestal, and decides it is in the best interest to put it on. This, in turns, wakes up the Admin and the true game then begins.

Of course, any new adventure requires a new cast of characters to join in the battles and emotional tests of friendships. The best of those new characters is the easily loveable Rader. Rader is the new intern who works for Jesse, and he is a shy and timid character who has the best character arc of the season. From his humble and wide-eyed beginnings as he gets so excited at being in the presence of the legendary heroes who starred in Story Mode - Season One, Rader soon learns to overcome his timid nature, and stand on his own two feet as a fellow hero. The best part about his growth is that none of it feels forced, and the natural progression of it all is believable.

Screenshot for Minecraft: Story Mode - Season Two: The Telltale Series on Xbox One

The big and burly hero adventurer, Jack, fails to live up to his reputation. Petra looks up to the man as an idol and all his previous adventuring stories paint him as this courageous hero. It all means nothing when Jack stumbles at pivotal moments in the story due to his inability to lower his fears and do what is required in the face of evil. In contrast, his voiceless partner, Nurm, who seems to just put up with Jack's overabundance of "'80s action-star" feel. Nurm, though, is a more effective character who has his moments to prove his worth to the gang.

To a lesser extent, rival town leader, Stella, does a terrific job at being that annoying hindrance throughout the journey. Starting off as an innocent rival in her make-believe feud with Jesse, she slowly rises in importance during the story as the greater evil emerges and begins destroying the world as they know it. While there are times where Stella is infuriating, it is part of her design and shows the effectiveness of her character in these moments.

Mechanically, Minecraft: Story Mode - Season Two: The Telltale Series plays in the same way as any other Telltale release. The controls are fine and, to its credit, the open-world portions are not quite as clunky to walk around as other iterations. The crafting table brings the adventure back to Minecraft's roots, although keeping it at a simplistic minimum. Rather than overload with heaps of creations and ingredients, at pivotal moments of the story, only the required items with the relevant ingredients are present to use on the crafting table.

Screenshot for Minecraft: Story Mode - Season Two: The Telltale Series on Xbox One

In addition, some of the puzzles are quite basic and easy to figure out. Again, it is due to the younger audience, as well as the fact that these Telltale episodes would lose all pace if a puzzle were too difficult to figure out. Certain parts also require Jesse to build structures, statues, and all other sorts of block-buildings to advance. While these areas are commendable for allowing free reign as to how certain things look, ultimately they do not matter and skipping through these sections by placing a singular block will advance the story anyway.

Unfortunately, graphical bugs that have long plagued Telltale's products have found their way into here, too. Scenes will just abruptly cut out, while sound-bytes may miss their cue to play, although the subtitles beg to differ. There does not seem to be a level of care in scene transitions, and they just randomly cut from scene to scene. While this style of transition is fine, it needed a little bit more attention to make the cuts cleaner.

Screenshot for Minecraft: Story Mode - Season Two: The Telltale Series on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Minecraft: Story Mode - Season Two: The Telltale Series is another good inclusion to the Telltale library of adventure games, and is well worth checking out. It does tell an intriguing story with an almost child-like level of danger, as the Admin threatens the world with his petulant, whiny behaviour. A llama accompanies Jesse and the gang as their friendships become tested, in minor ways, in order to bring about an end to the evil Admin. Crafting tables bring about small puzzles that require finding the ingredients, but they are not too hard to figure out, while the story ebbs and flows with minor hiccups, and does well to highlight the importance of friendship.

Developer

Telltale

Publisher

Telltale

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

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   

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