Minecraft: Story Mode Season Two - Episode 3: Jailhouse Block - Xbox One Review

Minecraft: Story Mode Season Two - Episode 3: Jailhouse Block is the latest and so far greatest episode in the second season of this Telltale Games series. It is interesting to see how Season Two is paralleling the first for me - if not in story line, at least in how it progresses and improves with every new chapter.

In Season One, Story Mode just kind of got off on the wrong foot with me. However, as the season progressed, it seemed as though the writers were becoming more comfortable with their characters and the incredibly malleable world of Minecraft. My early impressions of Season Two were very similar. I could appreciate some improved mechanics in both combat and building when compared to the first season, but the characters were not clicking for me early on.

However,  Minecraft: Story Mode Season Two - Episode 3: Jailhouse Block is the first time where all of the elements have begun to come together for me personally. I still believe that Story Mode is arguably the weakest Telltale property to date, but I have to give the writers and voice actors credit for finding and working through some emotional tales without succumbing to the ever-present depression found in gritty games like The Walk Dead.

From a narrative standpoint, new characters like the quirky Warden entertain without getting in the way, and previously introduced ones like The Admin getting a little more time to develop, while some long-running companions (Petra or Jack depending on earlier decisions made) all get some time to develop. It is impressive given that the run time of about ninety minutes is the shortest yet this season, but having given the title a couple of playthroughs using alternate choices, you can see why. Some of the decisions have little impact (at least not yet) despite their apparent gravity in the moment, and there is one decision near the middle that hung heavy with me well after I made it. That is the sign of good writing, when it becomes an emotional choice, so kudos there.

Given the title 'Jailhouse Block', you can gather that this title is focused on a big escape. That leads to some of the best action sequences we have seen out of this series, and the improvements over last season are really obvious during these sequences.

However, when the dust settles on the end of this chapter and I'm left to reflect on the choices, I realized that the story as a whole is still dangling out there, teasing some future threads for Jesse and the companions to tug at, but I didn't feel like the narrative really advanced all that much. In typical fashion, we leave off with a cliff hanger that promises some potentially strong gameplay to wrap up the series. I appreciated the additional time spent with the characters, getting a better feel for them, but I do wish the episode was a little longer so that the story could perhaps have made just a little more progress. Instead it will be left up to the final couple of episodes to wrap up a lot of loose ends. Usually the Telltale Games finish strong - let's hope that is the case here yet again.

Game Information

Xbox One
Telltale Games
Telltale Games
Single Player
Other Platform(s):
PlayStation 4

Provided by Publisher

Article by Nick


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