Review: Minecraft: Story Mode – Episode 6: A Portal to Mystery

Editor’s Note: Before reading this review, we highly recommend checking out our review for Episode One: The Order of the Stone,  Episode 2: Assembly Required,Episode 3: The Last Place You LookEpisode 4: A Block and a Hard Place, and Episode 5: Order Up! as there are spoilers ahead.

Jesse and his friends have finally accomplished their goal of saving the entire Minecraft universe from impending doom, became the new Order of the Stone and reunited the former Order to help them in their endeavors.  Of course, what would Minecraft: Story Mode be if it ended just like that?  Telltale Games released a continuation to the iconic series, adding an extra three episodes to continue the story of the New Order of the Stone.  This episode follows the team through a portal that Jesse activated from an enchanted piece of flint and steel that led to a world filled with even more portals.  The Order finds themselves trying to fight their way back home through entering different portals until finally landing in a world that is completely overrun by zombies but, before all hope is lost, they receive an ominous invitation to a nearby mansion.  There, The Order finds that other people have been invited as well and their host, a man who dubs himself the White Pumpkin, has more malicious plans in store for them.

So, in very Jesse fashion, he takes on the role of detective to find out what exactly is going on and how they are all going to escape.  The real addition to this episode doesn’t come from the story itself, but from the new characters and voice actors that will be joining the fray and aiding Jesse in his quest.  Famous Minecraft YouTube personalitites will be making their appearance such as Stampy Cat, Stacy Plays, DanTDM, CaptainSparklez, and LDShadowLady.  The voice acting is superb and their characters are the spitting image of the ones that they play as on their channels.  However, while the implementation of these characters allowed player of the base game to have something to relate to in this new game, this episode felt a little bit as though Telltale Games was trying harder to get a wider audience than they were trying to improve their game.

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The new characters don’t seem to have a sense of purpose other than being there for Minecraft fans to recognize and be excited about.  Some of the character’s lines usually allude to the idea that you would already know who they are prior to having played Story Mode.  CaptainSparklez is the first one you meet and, considering that I don’t really keep up with Let’s Play videos or Minecraft YouTubers in general, I had Jesse ask him who he was.  His response was to that was, “You haven’t heard of me? I’ve got 9 million fans!”  It was after that interaction that I decided to look up who these characters were and why they were relevant to Minecraft.  I’m glad that I did do that because as the game progressed for the half hour that it lasted, the characters proved to be nothing more than just that, extra characters.

The characters’s fates are in your hands considering that some choices affect what happens to them, but  that doesn’t really seem to matter at the close of the episode since it doesn’t seem very likely that they’ll be in the next couple of episodes.  The episode still follows the gameplay and dialogue aspect of the previous episodes, which is a little strange considering the detective mystery vibe that they were going for.  The puzzles are a little lacking and the interrogation and interview scenes don’t really fit the overarching vibe.  The final twist was pretty unexpected but that doesn’t really rectify this episode as being among the weakest in the series as a whole.  Hopefully, if the following two episodes don’t focus so heavily on the new characters, Minecraft: Story Mode can continue to flourish as being a great add-on to the Minecraft series.

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Closing Comments:

While this is a relatively weak episode in the Minecraft: Story Mode world, it isn’t the worst episode and with the addition of the new characters, it will be enjoyable for fans and players alike.  As an overall episode, the story is great but there are a few missed opportunities that Telltale could have taken advantage of to make it much better than what the final product is.  Hopefully, Telltale Games can bounce back from this episode by not adding as many cameo characters, but seeing as they were added this time, there is not telling what they’ll do.

Summary
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Minecraft: Story Mode - Episode 6: A Portal to Mystery
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