Mr. Sandman

Xbox

Minecraft: Story Mode • Completed Chapter 2 of Episode 6 • 15G • 7.73% of gamers unlocked this

A bit of an opportunity session this morning, and while I still had Minecraft: Story Mode on the recently-played / pinned list on the Xbox, I figured it was a good a chance as any to grab an achievement and liberate myself from trying to squeeze in a gaming session tonight. Because, to be honest, I could really go for a few more hours sleep.

Unlike yesterday, I actually sat and watched a bit of this episode. Not through any great desire to engage with the story, but more out of a sense of ‘nothing better to do’. The morning wasn’t entirely wasted, I still managed to get my son dressed while tapping whatever input I felt like at the time to keep the story going, and the lack of a huge combat scene helped … though Chapter 2 largely concentrated on the death of a character (that’s not a spoiler … we meet him for about 30 seconds), and the subsequent detective work that Jesse et. al. put in to learn ‘why’ he might have been killed.

I can kind of see what the intent behind Story Mode was. Almost like an episodic, monster-of-the-week style structure, that might have allowed it to continue in perpetuity. As Phil Spencer has alluded to in the past, the Xbox Game Pass is conducive to releasing episodic content like this, though I think it will take a different title to get me on-board after (and I know I’ve already whinged about this yesterday) the Story Mode season pass debacle.

With that in mind, there are plenty of fresh IPs waiting to be tapped, or even some older titles that could do with a reboot. If anyone has the sharp business mind needed to make it happen, it’s Phil Spencer.

In Phil We Trust.

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To Boldly Go…

Xbox

Minecraft: Story Mode • Completed Chapter 6 of Episode 5 • 50G • 11.64% of gamers unlocked this

The Destiny 2 Beta has started (which I’ll provide some thoughts on in a couple of days once the beta has concluded) and after playing it for a little bit this morning, I was convinced that this was how I planned to spend my night, so I fired up Minecraft: Story Mode to tidy off one of the chapters and earn the final achievement in episode five.

It still smarts that we got shafted with the ‘second’ season pass for Story Mode, but the games are harmless and acceptable to have on the TV while the kids eat breakfast, so I suppose they have their place. The story today felt much more self-contained, which I’m fairly certain is the intention of the ‘Part 2’ episodes, with a slight common thread linking them. In this instance, the ending of the episode provides the catalyst for what will be the start of episode six, but (and I say this without playing it), it is also setup to be a standalone episode on its own.

Because it is, essentially, a new IP for Telltale, I have zero investment in the characters. Good guys, bad guys, I can’t even really keep track of who is who because of the morally ambiguous nature of everyone’s decisions, switching allegiances, redemption, all that touchy-feely stuff that you expect in something prefixed with the term ‘Minecraft.’ Still, the real world is a pretty miserable place at the moment – we could all do with a burst of positivity.

Or perhaps a nova blast of positivity?

(That’s a Destiny reference for those playing at home)

Out of the Blue

Xbox

Minecraft: Story Mode • Complete Chapter 5 of Episode 5 • 40G • 11.84% of gamers unlocked this

Eleven percent. That’s how many people who started Minecraft: Story Mode failed to make it to Episode 5 – and do you want to know why? Because many of them, like me, got suckered into buying what was essentially the ‘season pass’ when it first launched, only to be bait-and-switched halfway through the season to try and be sold a second bundle to ‘complete the season’. You see, the main story of Minecraft essentially wraps up in 3-4 episodes, and then spirals out to a serial-like show. Sure, I love episodic content, but Mojang or Telltale or both really stuffed up the messaging with Story Mode at launch, and judging by these stats, it looks like it’s barely recovered.

Nonetheless, there is nothing a good sale can’t get in the way of, so I picked up the ‘complete the series’ pass for a few bucks during Xbox’s recent sale. The game is fundamentally the same, and I was able to pick it back up again (it wouldn’t have really mattered if I could or not – the storyline is so on-rails in overly typical Telltale). I’ve been working my way through it but truth be told I’m slightly hooked on Diablo III at the moment, so the instant the kids are in bed, I’ll be back to Sanctuary to drag my Demon Hunter up to Level 70.