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Minecraft: Story Mode: Season Two: Episode 5 - Above and Beyond
Score: 89%
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1; 2 - 12 (Crowd Play)
Genre: Adventure

Previously on Minecraft: Story Mode:

Minecraft: Story Mode: Season Two: Episode 5 - Above and Beyond is the final showdown between Jesse and Romeo, The Admin. Here Jesse will have to come up with a new plan in order to stop his/her most powerful foe yet, and also decide if Romeo is beyond saving, or if there is still enough good in him to try and reform him.

In the episodes leading up to this face-off, Jesse has been toyed with by the all-powerful character over and over again. Jesse and friends first encountered The Admin in an underwater temple, and then were forced to play in a cruel game of death on a mountain. When The Admin was done playing with his new toys, he locked Jesse up in a prison and left him/her there to die. Before Jesse could escape and learn about The Admin's history, The Admin decided he could usurp Jesse's identity and return to Beacontown posing as the hero in residence in order to gain a new group of friends and followers.

Back to Beacontown:

Minecraft: Story Mode: Season Two: Episode 5 - Above and Beyond starts off with Jesse and friends finally returning to Jesse's home and discovering that it has been drastically changed since Romeo has taken over. With Romeo thinking the real Jesse is dead, he decides to put on a major show for his new followers, and he has even invited Jesse's old friends, Olivia and Axel, to join in the festivities.

After convincing the other members of Jesse's old group that the person they were talking to is an impostor, Olivia, Axel, Petra, Jack and whomever you have that survived your previous misadventures against Romeo will have to develop a plan that will not only stop Romeo, but hopefully restore Jesse's reputation. It's pretty obvious from looking at the Beacontown villagers that Jesse is more feared than liked since Romeo took over.

The good news is, Jesse has a secret weapon. In the last episode, Jesse was able to learn of a pass code that can somehow remove Romeo's admin powers. Exactly how it works, or how to use it ... well, that's not all that clear right now. All Jesse knows is that Romeo is protecting the place the pass code needs to be used, and looking at the floating, fortified fortress at the center of Beacontown, Jesse is pretty sure where that place is. It's just a matter of getting there without alerting Romeo.

Final Face-Off:

Because nothing ever goes as planned, you can expect that Minecraft: Story Mode: Season Two: Episode 5 - Above and Beyond won't end with Jesse easily getting to Romeo's secret location and ending his reign without a fight. Eventually Romeo gets a whiff of Jesse's presence and confronts the hero head on.

Since this is a Telltale game, you get some choices presented to you. Can Romeo be saved? Is he just a monster who can't be redeemed? Is there still good in him or has he gone too far down the path of the dark side? During Jesse's confrontation with Romeo, you will get treated to reminders of what The Admin has put Jesse through, and before it's over, you will have to decide exactly how you feel about him, and based on some other choices that were made, your final decision could lead to a few other consequences as well. While your choices leading up to this episode do have a bearing on how Jesse's final fight with Romeo will play out, not as many of the decisions you chose will be as critical as they might have appeared at the time.

Choices and Consequences:

Minecraft: Story Mode: Season Two: Episode 5 - Above and Beyond, like most Telltale Games, is filled with choices that appear to shape a lot of how everything will play out, and in the end not be nearly as impactful. While Guardians of the Galaxy ended up having the most diverse range of endings that I've ever seen come out of this game developer, Minecraft: Story Mode: Season Two ends up with a fairly narrow set of endings that feel like they could be easily tied together if and when Season Three comes out. Even some of the biggest and hardest decisions Jesse is forced to make in this season's five episodes end up mattering very little by the time everything concludes, and while those consequences shaped many of the interactions between characters within the season, by the time it's all over, Season Three will rely very little on what you chose to do in these episodes.

By no means am I saying this isn't a fun season and one that Minecraft fans wouldn't enjoy playing, just be aware that most of the events from this season won't likely have any lasting effects in future ones, just like Season One and it's DLC didn't do a lot to affect this season's story.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Related Links:

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Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated