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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Minecraft Story Mode Episode 4: A Block and a Hard Place Review! (obvious spoilers for previous episodes)

The second to last episode of Minecraft Story Mode came out a few months back and I wanted to review it so badly but life happened. Now I can finally share my opinion on arguably the best Minecraft Story Mode episode to date.

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Before we begin I just want to say that this WILL inevitably include spoilers, not for this episode but for previous ones. If you want to go in fresh/blind/untainted then get the Season Pass disc and play through all the episodes.

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The game opens with a epic horseback chase scene.

This episode starts out strong with an epic chase scene where Jesse and friends are reunited with either Petra or Gabriel (based on your choices back in Episode 1). Whoever it is they will have amnesia (cliche I know. Just DEAL WITH IT!!! :D).

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The Cake is a L- *dragged off by stage hook*

This episode is notably the longest episode to date. I finished it in three-four hours. Episodic games sure are short, aren't they?

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Behold the monument to chaos itself: Chara- Oops
I mean- The Far Lands!

This episode reveals why the villain of the series, Ivor, hates the original members of the Order of the Stone so much. While some may argue that Ivor's plan was too extreme I found the reveal to be interesting. I gave a hint to what the reveal actually is without downright saying it. You get a free imaginary cookie if you find it! :P

Also, it's about time! Jesse (and later on his friends) finally get some decent weapons and armor (the last Major Decision is choosing one of five Diamond Tier weapons to fight the madness that is the Wither Storm). Speaking of which towards the climax you get to choose one of EIGHT different armor sets. While clicking the look at button you get a brief description of the armor, although they are for aesthetics. Alternatively, you can keep either Magnus or Ellegaard's battle armor if you so choose.

I like how this episode steps up the A game when it comes to the puzzles. Although they are really straight forward, they feel Minecraft-y. For example you have to have to put five items into what is known as a Hopper-Lock (throw a specific quantity of a specific item into a Hopper, triggering some Redstone, and thus unlocking the door).

Oh and there was the moment... At the end... Saddest moment in Minecraft History!!! Granted, I saw it coming. It's freaking TellTale Games! They always kill off everybody's favorite character! I won't spoil who it is, but it should be obvious. Still, it made a lot of people look like this.

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In Terms of Game-Play, this episode brought back the auto-running minigame from Episode 1. They also brought back the handshake. In case you have no idea what I am talking about, ALL the way back in Episode 1 Jesse and friends can choose one of four handshakes that coincidentally are themed around the Order of the Stone members, who are based off the four player behaviors of Minecraft. Only now the handshake is cool and they figured out how to make it work.

Something I found unique is that almost every Major Decision has more than two outcomes. The first Major Decision is in regards to Lucas (if you read my review of the previous Episode you know that I hate the fact he acts so out of character in Episode 3). Thankfully the writers got their act together and Lucas is no longer an ill-tempered jerk (his original personality had him being slightly cowardly but well meaning and friendly). In this Major Decision, you can choose to let Lucas find his old friends, convince him to stay in the Gang (it's been so long since I said this, but, NOT MOBSTER GANG, TEAM GANG!!!! Oh it felt so good to say that after 3 whole months! :]) or be a jerk to him. This last decision alters the last scene in the episode that makes people think he will be the next major villain.

Anyway, the final boss of the Episode is of course the Wither Storm.

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This isn't even my FINAL FORM!

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Okay, NOW I am in my final form.

Something interesting is that SPOILER ALERT!!!! The Wither Storm is dead for real at the end. And There is one episode left. I have a feeling TellTale is going to pull a Dragon Ball Z and introduce some new nigh unstoppable monster to defeat in Episode Five, giving way to the (theoretical) Season 2 of Minecraft Story Mode. Maybe the Ender-Dragon? *winks and nudges in a painfully obvious manner*

This Episode is my favorite episode by far. The only thing I didn't like? The Maze Puzzle.*groans* Single most boring and repetitive moment in the game. So I will tell you ALL the solution to save you the agony that I went through. GO LEFT. Keep going to the left as far as you possibly can. The game makes you think you go forwards and to the right. The game LIES!!!!

Normally the short length of these episodes bug me but this one is quite long and filled with a LOT  of stuff. It also does what Episode 2 failed: To create a sense of a epic journey. The opening credits roll while Jesse and friends are heading off the the appropriately named Far Lands. Random Fun Fact! The Far Lands is a term the Minecraft Community uses to refer to the state where naturally generated biomes become glitched and distorted. This is caused by travelling in the exact same direction for incredibly long periods of time Only Ivor has the guts to build his base of operations in the Far Lands.

The music is really good in this episode. I still think the song that plays in the Episode 3 opening is the best song in the series, with this opening song being second. But does the whole series have the best soundtrack ever? No. That goes to UNDERTALE. Now if you excuse me, I am going to jam out to UNDERTALE's beautiful soundtrack.

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I'm back from jamming out to UNDERTALE'S beautiful soundtrack! Anyway, I give Minecraft Story Mode and a 9/10. I am excited for the FINAL Episode of Minecraft Story Mode. But we don't even have a CLUE to what it will be about.

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