The Wii U was known for often getting pushed aside or ignored when it came to third party support, and so it goes that although Minecraft: Story Mode came to the console, it only delivered a little over half the episodes in the full season. Nintendo fans of the series were no doubt miffed that they weren’t given the chance to see through the story’s completion, but Telltale Games has fortunately opted to rectify this by bringing Minecraft: Story Mode – The Complete Adventure to the Switch.
As expected, Minecraft: Story Mode – The Complete Adventure delivers exactly what it says on the tin; all eight episodes are included here and can be played in any order. Episodes 6-8 are all new to Nintendo platforms — we’ll go over those in a bit — and if you’re looking for reviews of the first five episodes, you can find them here and here. Suffice to say, everything here is presented in a pleasing and easy to navigate fashion, and fans of the series will find plenty to love.
Carrying on in the tradition of Episode 5 — which offered a standalone story — Episode 6 sees Jesse and the gang taking refuge in a creepy mansion from a strangely large group of zombies outside. It turns out that other adventurers — various YouTube stars that make cameos — are much in the same boat, and all have been invited by a mysterious figure known as “The White Pumpkin”. It doesn’t take long for the White Pumpkin to start killing off the characters one by one, and it’s up to Jesse and his friends to find out which of the adventurers is the White Pumpkin and put a stop to their villainous plan.
Given that the episode almost entirely takes place inside the confines of the mansion, it’s relatively low on action sequences and is quite heavy on the dialogue and murder mystery elements. Some might see this as a drawback and others might appreciate the change of pace; we found it to be a breath of fresh air. And while it may be that there’s an air of unimportance to it all — Jesse and the gang really aren’t any closer to getting home after this episode — it still tells an engaging tale that keep you guessing.
Epsiode 7 is yet another standalone episode, and it sees the gang going to another world which has a decidedly more sci-fi feel to it. All the inhabitants of this new world — except for the mysterious new Harper — have been hiveminded by a supercomputer called PAMA, and it’s up to the group to figure out a way to put a stop to it.
This episode largely feels like more of the same, but Harper’s introduction adds an interesting wrinkle to the group dynamic and we see the characters get more development in this episode in a way that wasn’t present in episode 6. It’s a nice payoff, as we’ve seen them grow together and slowly change from a dorky bunch of losers to this dimension hopping group of adventurers. Even so, there’s also a notion that the standalone model adapted by this latter half of the season isn’t nearly as strong as the first half. Sure, there’s still an ongoing conflict with the group searching for a way back to their world, but the one and done approach to these episodes makes it feel as though events from episode to episode aren’t all that important.
Episode 8 wraps up the series with an entry that feels more like the first four episodes, but it nonetheless feels a little anticlimactic. The story follows the gang stopping at one final world before theirs; this one is dominated by Hadrian, a tyrant with connections to Harper who forces the inhabitants of his world to partake in Hunger Games-esque battles for freedom. Naturally, this leads to an action heavy approach and sees a bunch of new characters introduced in the way of other combatants.
This largely works well and keeps the pace moving at a brisk pace, but it does also see the core group get rather sidelined in the process. This is a bit disappointing considering that this is the final episode from the season; a greater focus on the core characters would’ve been appreciated, but even so, at least this episode manages to grab your attention in a way that the previous few couldn’t quite manage.
In short, Minecraft: Story Mode – The Complete Adventure is a worthwhile ride, though it is a bit inconsistent in terms of the quality of the episodes. If you’re a fan of Minecraft, or just want to try out something that feels halfway between a game and a Netflix show, this is a great game to jump on. Though you likely won’t be replaying it very much, there’s hours of content on offer here the first time through and it certainly justifies the price of admission.