If there was one developer that I had missed having the chance to cover on Wii U, it was Telltale Games. With much chatter around their episodic collaborations for The Walking Dead, Tales from the Borderlands, Game of Thrones, or Batman: The Telltale Series, their absence was felt, at least until Minecraft: Wii U Edition eventually surfaced and prompted the developer to port Minecraft: Story Mode – The Complete Adventure to the ailing console in its death throes.
It’s great then, that, after declaring their nonchalant love for the portable home console, Telltale Games will let us catch up on Nintendo Switch, with Minecraft: Story Mode – The Complete Adventure and Batman: The Telltale Series now available and more adventures promised to be on the way.
Now well into its second season, Minecraft: Story Mode – The Complete Adventure will let players experience the eight episodes that the developer had created for the first. That breaks down into the five episodes from the original season pass, and then the three bonus episodes that continued the story with the Adventure Pass add-on.
Promising a perilous adventure across the Overworld, through the Nether, to the End, and beyond, the game opens with Jesse – who the player can choose to be male or female – preparing to enter EnderCon with their friends and pet pig Reuben. Even after losing every year to their rivals, the Ocelots, the gang hope to win the building competition to get the chance to meet Gabriel the Warrior. But, when the Wither Storm is unleashed and starts to destroy the world, it is down to Jessie and pals to set out on a quest to find The Order of the Stone to save it from oblivion.
With a warning that every decision that you make counts, you are pushed to make your response in conversations and reaction to quick time events before a timer runs out. This not only helps to maintain the pacing in each episode but to keep you readily engaged throughout, with the game’s lengthier, dawdling moments coming when the player is free to explore their surroundings to gather resources, turn to a crafting table to create items, or ponder the solution to puzzles.
As someone that admittedly has a casual interest in Minecraft, there were parts that completely flew over my head whether that be references to Repeaters, Command Blocks, or Endermen. It won’t come as a surprise, then, that those who live and breathe Mojang’s creative sandbox will get far more out of the experience than those that don’t. But, even then, Minecraft: Story Mode – The Complete Adventure still presents an entertaining ride for those that don’t know their cobblestone from their redstone.
That’s because, as many have now come to expect from Telltale’s output, the voice acting, script and storytelling is fantastic, That’s helped by the fact that the developer has been able to call on an all-star cast that includes Patton Oswalt (male Jesse), Catherine Taber (female Jesse), Ashley Johnson (Petra), Martha Plimpton (Olivia), Brian Posehn (Axel), Scott Porter (Lukas), Dave Fennoy (Gabriel the Warrior), Paul Reubens (Ivor), too many more to name. It’s worth making a shoutout to Dee Bradley Baker, too, who recorded Reuben’s playful oinks – a character that you will quickly warm to, and interact with whenever possible.
The game similarly does a brilliant job in capturing Minecraft’s blocky and somewhat minimalistic look, and the port is technically sound – even though the frame rate can buckle on occasion, mainly when experiencing the game’s busier scenes. Whereas the episodes themselves are inconsistent in what they deliver, even though the general quality reaches the developer’s best in places.
Helping to wrap a story around Minecraft’s otherwise unexplained world is the greatest success that Minecraft: Story Mode – The Complete Adventure scores. Built with tremendous character and attention to detail it readily entertains with comedy and setpieces, but the recipe that Telltale Games chose on their crafting table could use a few more surprising ingredients to make it a more standout adventure.