Minecraft Storymode EP4: A Block and a Hard Place is out and it continues the journey of our merry band of adventurers! It is released by Telltale games in association with Mojang through Steam. This is the Episode 4 review, for the reviews of earlier episodes go here: EP1, EP 2, EP 3.
This is fourth episode of the five part series. This part ends the Wither Storm crisis and we watch as Jesse and her friends struggle to defeat the Wither by awakening to the force of courage and strength within them. ( BB8 is love)
The Story (Spoiler Alert)
In the last episode, Jesse through sheer acrobatic genius, manages to craft an F-Bomb midair as she was being sucked into the Wither. The bomb exploded and the Wither falls to the ground. Out walks Gabriel in a daze from the debris and everyone stands in shock as other survivors crawl out of the wreckage after him. The celebration is short lived when Gabriel forgets who Jesse is and doesn’t remember his own name. To make matters worse, Jesse discovers the command block is still intact. The F-Bomb didn’t do its one and only job of blowing s*** up.
Realizing that the Wither is still alive and probably more pissed off than ever, Jesse begins to run and drags Gabriel with her. The Wither twitches and flies into the sky and in all its ominous fury, decides to grow two more heads. Bigger, badder and bitc- nastier than ever.
Leaving Ellegard’s body behind everyone gets on a horse and leaves. Finding refuge in a small cave, Jesse finds Gabriel confused and scared as he tries to remember his past. The surviving order members begin to pester him with memories from their adventures past. Jesse, with her incredible tact, mentions that they should remind him of Ellegard. She leaves them to that delightful conversation and goes outside. Far in the distant, the Wither Storm is catching up with them and nearby she could hear the sounds of an argument. Ivor has appeared out of no where and is arguing with Soren on how best to handle the situation. They come up with a ridiculous plan to use the Endermen to distract the Wither and go to Ivor’s base to get a secret weapon that will FOR SURE defeat the Wither. Jesse also learns that the Wither is attracted to the Amulet of the Order.
The rest of the team comes out and realizes that they must split up. Half the team with the Amulet to lead the Wither back to Soren’s house and use the Endermen to distract the Wither while the other half goes to Ivor’s base to get the secret weapon. Axel volunteers to take the Amulet and Jesse’s half leaves for Ivor’s base.
On the way there, Jesse’s team makes a pit stop for food. She finds a witches house with a cake just casually sitting on the window. You have a choice as the player to get the cake or not. Seriously, why is that even a choice. I will take my cake and eat it too. Ivor is put on sentry duty in case the witch returns and obviously, the witch returns and Ivor is no where to be found. Jesse grabs the cake and books it while the witch is on her tail. (s/n Hansel and Gretel)
They arrive at The End of the World where Ivor’s base is located and go into the dark cave without him. They find themselves in a maze with a white cottage in the far distance. It took me some time to realize that the lights show the path of the maze. Actually my niece figured it out. At the end of the maze our adventures find a slingshot type machine that will fling them over abyss.
They make it to the cottage and inside they discover all the treasures that the Order of the Stone has collected over the years. Once you figure out the puzzle and open the door you enter in a replica of the platform where the Order once defeated the Ender Dragon. Soren begins to recount the final fight and embellished it with details of brilliance, courage and dedication. Further in the room, our heroes discover that this was all fake. The Order was only able to accomplish what it did with the power of the command block. It would simply blink their enemies out of existence. Ivor arrives and shows Jesse his magical secret weapon- An enchanted sword capable of breaking the block.
Outside the Wither Storm is fast approaching as Axel and his team arrives. With him is a horde of Enderman ready to move blocks. Jesse tries to piss off the Enderman by moving them into the Wither’s beam of light. Enraged, the Enderman began dismantling the Wither one block at a time. A hole into the monster soon forms and Jesse decides to build a rocket to fly into the Wither in order to break the block.
What she doesn’t know is the Reuben the Pig decided to join her to protect her. Together, they find the command block protected by tendrils of the Wither. Any attempt to get close to the block is rewarded with a whipping. Jesse attempts to cut down the tendrils and hits the block once. Reuben saves Jesse by pushing her out of the way but instead HE FALLS DOWN TO THE EARTH. Jesse in shock hits the block for the final time, it shatters and the shock wave sends her down through the hole.
She lands safely and quickly gets up to find Reuben. She finds him on the ground lying in pain and whimpering. She begs him to stay but he takes his last breath AND TURNS IN A MOTHERF****ING PORK CHOP. I can’t.
At this point my niece asks me what happened to Reuben and I choked up. What the hell do I tell an 8 year old child that her beloved pig character is now dinner?
Fast forward through all the feels, Jesse and her friends are named the New Order of the Stone and Gabriel publicly announces that the old Order was a fraud. The camera pans to Reuban’s memorial stone and every cheers as the New Order begins their adventure as the World’s new heroes.
Review (Spoiler Alert)
Story: I thought I was sad when Ellegard died but DAMN. This episode was intense and fleshed out more of the backgrounds behind our characters motivations and passions. Telltale tried very hard this episode to make things emotional. I felt it but I don’t know if killing off a beloved character is the best choice of action. If my niece’s reaction was any sort of sign, it just made kids feel sad. It was the holidays for gods sake! The climax was well done and the action sequences were immersive enough to make the player feel involved.
Controls: Awful as ever. It was a little better on a controller but it could have been done much better. Things still feel like they were hastily done and was not smooth. The maze stage really made the flaws evident. Difficult to navigate and moving down will sometimes make you turn left instead.
Graphics and Music: Voice acting was wonderfully done, the graphics was good considering they used the Minecraft blocks to create a story and finally the music fit well with the atmosphere. I have no complaints nor praises for this section.
Overall: The main focus was in the story this episode. I was not as bothered by the controls as before, maybe I am getting used to it now but it really only irritated me during the maze. The simple controls and mechanics were immersive and seeing my niece play showed me that it’s definitely kid-friendly.
- Difficulty: Easy
- Gameplay Score: 4/5 (Story was excellent, albeit sad. Point off for controls)
- Graphics Score: 3/5 (Minecraft world graphics)
- Music: 3/5 (Plain old music, nothing incredible to speak of)
(S/N): I am sorry for the delayed posting of this episode’s review. I was off for vacation and the holidays ^^ Merry belated Christmas and a Happy new year to everyone!