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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Minecraft Story Mode Episode 5: Order Up Review!!!

It's been several months, but I finally got my hands on Episode 5 of Minecraft Story Mode.

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Why has it taken so long for me to get this particular episode? Funny story actually, basically my copy of Minecraft Story Mode broke on me. And by that I mean there was a glitch where it wouldn't let me actually play the game because every time you click "Play Game" you get sent to the character select screen and every time you picked a character it would fade to black and make you repeat the whole process. Over, and over, and over... But don't worry that glitch is fixed now!

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First thing to note: Jesse and Friends are decked
out now with cool armor.

So here's a spoiler-filled refresher for you in case you hadn't read my previous reviews. In Episode 1, Jesse and his/her (you can choose the gender at the beginning) friends (Axel, Petra, Olivia, and Lukas) are introduced as small-town builders with a massive losing streak (except Lukas, because being good at building is like his thing) in the Endercon building contests, but a run-in with a mysterious character named Ivor and his Frankenstein style monster spirals into the adventure of a lifetime. In Episode 2, Jesse and friends recruit two (or three, depending on in-game choices you can make) of the members of a legendary group of adventurers called the Order of the Stone. In Episode 3, Jesse recruits the final member of the Order of the Stone and destroys the monster Ivor created with the Formidi-Bomb, and also rescues someone who was presumed dead all the back in Episode 1, but the monster comes back to life, stronger than ever. And Finally, in Episode 4, Jesse kills the monster from the inside out, but his pet pig Reuben died a tragic death that made everybody cry.

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So where does the Story go from here? Well, after a Minecraft Factions style dungeon raid, Jesse found an enchanted Flint & Steel, which s/he, Petra, Lukas, and a redeemed Ivor use to reach a new world consisting of floating islands (Aether Confirmed guys) to get an artifact called the Eversource which basically gives whoever has it Creative Mode (it gives you an endless supply of whatever you want). The catch?

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Aiden (right, middle) also wants the Eversource for himself. And this episode is the best episode by far for one major reason. Aiden pulled a *Chekhov's Gun. Aiden was introduced in Episode 1 as a minor antagonist at best, and crybaby edge-lord bully at worst. Now he's back and they made him the PRIMARY villain of this episode! And as a bonus, he's now a homicidal maniac willing to kill you to get what he wants! Which means everyone who wanted to push this jerk off a cliff can do so (I am not kidding. The game really does give you the option to push Aiden off a cliff at the end).

First and foremost, the settings of Episode 5 are absolutely beautiful.

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But here is the weirdest thing about this episode. The subtitles. I know what you are thinking "Spencer! Why are you wining about subtitles!?" Well hear me out. For some reason the subtitles don't match what the characters are saying. The most obvious example is when Jesse and Friends return to the dungeon they raided and when asked if they missed anything there, Petra says "Well we were busy fighting a ton of mobs, so don't be surprised that we didn't check every nook and cranny." But the subtitles instead say "Well we had to fight monsters, to fight more monsters, to escape from, you guessed it, more monsters.". I'm not sure if this is a translation error or if the subtitles are showing the original script. Sometimes it's amusing and other times it makes you wonder what those character would have sounded like if they said the dialogue shown in the subtitles.

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The Eversource is owned by the lady on the near
right: The Founder.

Anyway, something that I love about this episode is the fact that while it DID end on a cliffhanger, the overall story was pretty much self-contained. Okay so the "Wither Storm Arc" started in Episode 1, and ended in Episode 4. The "Eversource Arc" started and ended in the same episode. I like that.

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MSM: Lukas vs Aiden. The Beginning of the MSM
Cinematic Universe.

Oh, and this episode redeemed both Lukas and Ivor. If you read my Episode 3 review, you know that I was annoyed by how out-of-character Lukas was. This episode not only brought his old self back, but he (along with the rest of the gang) are notably braver and more adventurous than before. I mean, Lukas almost beat his old gang boss armed only with his bare hands and by himself. Granted, if you choose to help the Founder instead of Lukas, then he gets Sparta-Kicked right off the floating island. But when I played Episode 5 myself, I was like "Why would I WANT to save the Founder!? She arrested me, tried to kill me twice, and pretty much gave the bad guys everything they wanted. So you know what? I don't care you want me to save the Founder, I'm helping YOU out man!" *makes Jesse punch Aiden in the face really hard*

But how did this episode redeem Ivor? I got three words for you.


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Okay, so the villain of episode 1-3 is now a good guy. And now that he and Jesse are the same team, Ivor shows off his surprisingly childish tendencies he normally hides. Such as jumping around, jittery and excited that he's on a real adventure, adding lava waterfalls to everything he builds for no reason at all, and trying to teach the citizens of the new locale Sky City how to speak English even though he literally talked to a bilingual resident 30 seconds before hand, proving that some, if not all of the residents know how to speak said language. Oh, and spouting some of the greatest lines in the history of Point-and-Click Adventure games. The next paragraph is literally a montage of my favorite Ivor moments.

Ivor in a Jungle: "These trees are enormous! I love it so much!"/ Prison Guard: "Hey what's this?" *pulls out a block of sand* Ivor in jail: "I refuse to explain the concept of sand to my captors!" Prison Guard: "Well, whatever it is, it's mine". Ivor in jail: "It's saddening to watch a unimportant man on the world's tiniest power trip..." / Ivor: "Hey Jesse... Thanks for getting arrested with me. No one's done that for me before..." Jesse: "It's no problem." Ivor: "Now get away from me! All this 'opening up' is making me sick to my stomach!"

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The only downside of this episode is the fact that the music is meh. I'm not saying it's bad, but with the LONE exception of the opening theme, Episode 5 doesn't have any new music and recycles music from the previous four episodes. And even then, the Episode 5 theme does NOT top my favorite song in the entire series: The opening of Episode 3. Oh, and Ivor's boss theme from Episode 2.

Overall, this is my favorite episode on every front except the music. And the wonky subtitles, but whatever. I give this a 8/10.

*Chekhov's Gun. A useful form of storytelling that helps tie up a story. Basically, something (or someone) seemingly unimportant to the overall story appears at the beginning, and reappears later on in the story and is revealed to actually play a major role. In Aiden's case, he was a crybaby edge-lord who was in Episode 1 to be nothing more than a mild nuisance. In Episode 5 he is now the primary villain. What comes around goes around, I guess. In case you are wondering why it's called that, it's because there was this guy from 1911 named Anton Chekhov and he said (quote) "If you say in the first chapter there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter that rifle absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there." (end-quote). The more you Know! *twinkle*

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