Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 – Episode 5 “Above and Beyond” Review

After a solid run, the latest episode of Minecraft: Story Mode Season Two has arrived to try and cap off what has been a great series so far. Telltale Games has managed to consistently deliver enjoyable episodes in season two of its story-based adventure adaptation of Minecraft, but it’s not over until it’s over. Will episode five, “Above and Beyond,” bring a conclusion to a top-notch procedural, or could it burn out like cheap fireworks? Hope it goes away with a bang!

Jesse overcame the hazard-filled ruins beneath the bedrock on the previous outing, with the help of those around him, in order to get the charge back to Beacontown before the Administrator did any lasting damage to him. The Administrator, or Romeo to his former Administrator friends, has destroyed the true friendships he once had and now seeks to gain admiration by force, impersonating Beacontown’s heroic leader – Jesse – and ruling from a Iron hand. Romeo’s immeasurable power won’t be easy to stop, but that’s never stopped our protagonist from trying before.

Jesse’s secret weapon, a kind of equalizer, is a terminal password; however, getting to the required location will require a clever plan. You want an endgame to kick off, but the first half of “Above and Beyond” focuses on creating that blueprint and gathering resources, slowing everything down a bit. There are also a few of those free roaming sections, which I usually find quite monotonous; aside from a specific part that saw the need to acquire ingredients for a crafting task. It was a good use of the medium.

Despite the wandering and slow start, it still manages to provide fun interactions between characters old and new, especially with the return of Ivor, Axel, and Olivia bringing back fond memories of the first season. The gang is back, alongside the new recruits, and it raises hopes that maybe, just maybe, the admin is about to disappear. And you need this conviction to take on the gigantic task ahead of you.

When it really starts, episode five becomes a great experience in many ways. The first is a puzzle to be solved and although the player knows the answer, it must be displayed in a certain way involving removing blocks in a wall. It took me a little while to figure it out, but it’s a smart approach to the current situation and probably the best of the season. Problem solving won’t be the only task you’ll face, as action will put you to the test as well.

The final encounter with the Administrator is epic, involving multiple stages, revisiting environments from past episodes and different incarnations Romeo has taken on along the way. Much of it is in the form of QTEs, but there’s a battle that puts you in control of Jesse and being able to dodge and swing a sword. Parrying is the order of the day to deflect flaming projectiles back at the enemy to succeed – and let me tell you, timing isn’t easy, but it’s still a rewarding challenge. No one wants to get through the toughest boss of them all, do they?

Even before the climax, the power wielded by Romeo was cemented in the player’s mind, often showcasing his sheer vindictiveness and making him appear invincible to ensure any potential victory was even greater. There is also time for a few teachable moments where young audiences can learn life lessons; I’m sure some older players could get something out of it as well.

Beacontown has had a makeover in Jesse’s absence, rendering him unrecognizable since he was last seen. The administrator opted for a Mount Doom-style decor, with lots of blood red and other dark colors giving it “life” during his despicable regime. It’s pretty cool to look at, as is the other new area known as “the terminal”, which hosts the big showdown.

While Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 Episode Five is a bit slow-paced, filled with killer moments, it really comes into its own once it kicks into gear. The sheer amount of well-voiced characters supporting Jesse in this huge task and bouncing off each other, the puzzle design, and the top-notch battle with the admin, ensure that a mediocre finale turns into a great one.

This season of Minecraft: Story Mode has been a hit, both for providing a quality experience and for giving us just enough excitement to leave us wanting more. Give us a third season…please?!

After a solid run, the latest episode of Minecraft: Story Mode Season Two has arrived to try and cap off what has been a great series so far. Telltale Games has managed to consistently deliver enjoyable episodes in season two of its story-based adventure adaptation of Minecraft, but it’s not over until it’s over. Will episode five, “Above and Beyond,” bring a conclusion to a top-notch procedural, or could it burn out like cheap fireworks? Hope it goes away with a bang! Jesse overcame the hazard-filled ruins beneath bedrock on the previous outing, with…

Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 – Episode 5 “Above and Beyond” Review

Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 – Episode 5 “Above and Beyond” Review

2018-01-09

James Birks





Advantages:

  • A colossal final battle with a big bad
  • Return characters
  • Beacontown becomes a menacing fortress
  • Arts and crafts

The inconvenients:

  • slow burner
  • Free roaming sections

Information:

  • Many thanks to – Telltale Games
  • Formats – Xbox One (test), PS4, PC, iOS, Android
  • Release date – December 2017
  • Price – £5.19


TXH-score

4/5

Advantages:

  • A colossal final battle with a big bad
  • Return characters
  • Beacontown becomes a menacing fortress
  • Arts and crafts

The inconvenients:

  • slow burner
  • Free roaming sections

Information:

  • Many thanks to – Telltale Games
  • Formats – Xbox One (test), PS4, PC, iOS, Android
  • Release date – December 2017
  • Price – £5.19

User rating:
2.78
( 2 votes)