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Xbox One
Telltale Games
Telltale Games
GENRE: Adventure
October 27, 2015
 Written by Stephen Varner  on October 29, 2015

Reviews: Episode 2 is short and sweet, but also teases you with what you missed.


The second part of Telltale's Minecraft adventure is a good example of how to make the choices you made in the previous episode carry some weight. You're immediately set along the path that you chose at the end of episode one and what you do, where you go and who you're with can be completely different in the first couple chapters depending on what you decided before. While this presents a few problems of it's own in terms of how deeply you'll get to know many of your main characters it also gives me great incentive to go back and try something different to see how things play out.

You start off on your way to find the second member of The Order of the Stone with whatever companion you chose to bring with you at the end of Episode 1. Depending on which hero you decided to pursue, you'll end up spending roughly the first half of the episode in a different place and with different people than if you had chose differently. The biggest downside is that your actual interaction with your companion of choice is somewhat limited compared to how heavily everybody was featured in the first. Where episode 1 took ample time to introduce the personalities of each of Jesse's friends in turn, this one instead chooses to largely ignore most of them. The focus is shifted to the next two members of The Order of the Stone and most heavily of course on whichever you chose to have Jesse go after. The path to recruiting them has you briefly meet a few people that if nothing else have some entertaining things to say to you. I found myself chuckling over the dialogue here more often than I had all through the first, which is saying something given how quickly it was over.

Episode 2 feels short. It was over much sooner than I expected it to be considering the time I actually spent with most of Jesse's friends was so brief. Presumably this is the result of having an entirely different first half of an episode that's dependent on previous choices. While the dialogue was stronger and more entertaining overall I couldn't help but feel like I didn't really interact that much with most of the characters previously established. Once everybody is regrouped and set along the next step of their quest there is a couple exchanges between characters that legitimately had me interested to go back and replay differently to see exactly what it was that I had missed. The second half of the episode seems a little more on rails but does a nice job of establishing what your chosen hero's standing is within the Order of the Stone and adding a layer of danger with a couple of returning characters.

While episode 2 of Minecraft Story Mode feels considerably shorter than the first it's also more focused and entertaining in terms of dialogue. The forks in the narrative set by episode 1 are immediately apparent and do a good job of teasing what you missed before everything is coalesced into a more central path to the end of the episode. It continues to have great performances from the starring cast of voice actors and I don't recall seeing a single hitch in the visuals in terms of framerate. Some of the established characters are perhaps underused but the introduction of new characters and better dialogue make for a more enjoyable experience overall.

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