Yesterday was my THREE HUNDREDTH blog post and it was on Minecraft Story Mode Episode 1: The Order of the Stone. WARNING: A LOT OF THE STORY WON'T MAKE SENSE UNLESS YOU READ MY REVIEW OF EPISODE 1.
This post is a review of Episode 2: Assembly Required (which, by the way, is one of the many Minecraft puns in the series).
And just like Episode 1 there will inevitably be spoilers on the story so if you want to know my thoughts on the episode and go in blind/fresh just scroll to the bottom of the post.
Jesse is a MLG Pro. 360 NO SCOPES!!!
The first thing you will notice is that pretty much the entire first half of the episode is different based on the final choice you make at the end of episode 1 (choosing whether to seek out Magnus the Griefer, or Ellegaard the Inventor).
For example, choose Ellegaard and Jesse will come with Olivia to a island paradise called Redstonia (pictured directly above) where the residents spend their time making Redstone Contraptions. If Ellegaard likes your machine most, she will make you her apprentice. Redstonia is the calmer of the two locations, but most of the comedy is here as well (Cow-a-pult, anyone?).
If comedy and Redstone aren't your cup of tea, then choosing Magnus will send Jesse and Axel to Boom-Town (stylized as "B00mT0wn"). Which looks like pretty much every survival factions server ever! Boom-Town is filled with Griefers that, according to the narrator, have poor impulse control and deadly hobbies.
While there are funny moments in Boom-Town (a random Griefer says after Jesse makes a speech: "I have no idea what that means but I like it! And want to put it on a T shirt!"), the primary focus is on the action. Plus the only way convince Magnus to come is by challenging him for the crown (the King of Boom Town can't leave Boom Town unless a new King takes over).
Also both places have a catchy theme music as well, which is a plus. Even though personally I like Boom-Town's music better, as it is obviously inspired by the Old West.
Finish Him! Brutality!!!!
After you finish recruiting either Magnus or Ellegaard (based on the choice), you meet back up with either Gabriel the Warrior (who still has the most epic voice in gaming ever), or Petra (I forgot to mention her in the first episode. Basically she's a mercenary who was hired by Ivor, the villain of the game, to collect the items needed to make the Wither Storm) at the Temple of the Order of the Stone. Try saying that five times fast.
Once the gang (not mobster gang, team gang) reunites, it is revealed that either Axel or Olivia went ahead and recruited whoever you did not choose to seek out at the end of episode 1. At least they were nice enough to have them do a recap of what happened on their side of the story, though at the end of the day it makes you feel like you missed out on a lot of stuff. But that's part of the replay value. That and the fact this game lets you choose what Jesse says and does during cutscenes.
Anyway, now the two different stories link up/merge. Using the Amulet, Jesse and friends find the location of the most powerful member of the entire Order of the Stone: Soren, the Builder of Worlds. The reasons he is so powerful is 1: He has access to Creative Mode. 2: He somehow integrated Endermen into his home security system. And finally, he has a Super TNT Block 100x more explosive than a regular block of TNT. Also the name of the bomb is the best profanity pun ever (It's literally called the F-bomb. The "F" stands for Formidable).
The episode ends with a beautifully well-done boss fight against Ivor (pictured below).
You remember how Episode 1 was only 2 hours long? Episode 2, sadly, is shorter (I beat it in 1 hour 15 minutes. And I was taking my time, and talking to as many NPC's as possible).
So the question remains. Is Episode 2 better than Episode 1? Yes.
It was much more action packed (especially if you visit Boom Town!), the music was infinitely better (to the point of being catchy), and the ability to become a MLG Pro (360 NO SCOPES!!!) thanks to the quick tutorial on how to use a bow at the beginning is also nice. In terms of the Graphics, it's still Minecraft-y and amount of work that went into Boom Town and Redstonia is impressive. They LOOK like what they are supposed to be (a town ravaged by Griefers on a daily basis, and a island paradise covered in wacky inventions respectively). The ending was more of a cliffhanger, which is either a good thing if you like overarching stories in games,
Of course the fact that it is almost half as long is a massive problem, but the first episode was short to begin with. But with that said I would give Episode 2 an 8/10 (A step up from Episode 1, which got a 7/10. The reason this episode gets a higher score is because of having a better soundtrack and more action/comedy and whatnot).