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Minecraft: Story Mode - Episode 8 : A Journey's End?
Score: 89%
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure

Previously on Minecraft: Story Mode:

When we last left Jessie and The Order of the Stone, the group had once again escaped imminent death, but this time, they walked away with a new ally, an Old Builder named Harper.

With PAMA's Red Stone Heart as the spoils from the battle, Harper explains that Jessie and friends now have the key to their way home, but given Harper's past, and the fact that she wasn't that forthcoming with the truth during recent interactions, Jessie's friends question whether or not the Old Builder can be trusted.

Minecraft: Story Mode - Episode 8 : A Journey's End? starts with the Red Stone Heart opening a secret passage in the Portal Hallway. Apparently at the top of the vast staircase is another artifact, the Portal Atlas, and getting a hold of it is the goal of this episode.

Out of the Frying Pan:

Of course, nothing is ever straightforward. Minecraft: Story Mode - Episode 8 : A Journey's End? throws the gang into the middle of an apparently deadly competition. Surrounded by foes armed with swords and TNT, Jessie's gang strives to survive the immediate threats surrounding them, and, unfortunately, she will be forced to choose to save one of her friends. What Jessie doesn't realize though, is that death in this world isn't permanent. When the group's interference causes the fight to be halted, she learns that this fight is merely a game made to entertain the three Old Builders that rule this world, and when a player dies, they respawn in a cage so that they can't interfere with the rest of the competition.

The Games, which have a similar feel to those found in The Hunger Games, are a set of competitions where teams try to not only survive, but hopefully knock other teams out of the running. For the teams that are completely eliminated, its unknown years of hard labor in the mines in the hopes of another chance to compete. As for the very, very few that win, that team gets its freedom and the ability to return to their own world.

It seems that the only way to make it back home is to continue to compete and win The Games at any cost. Unfortunately, Jessie's team is already down a couple of players.

Into the Fire:

While Jessie and friends seem to have no problem surviving the initial game (well, not after getting their bearings anyway), it's partially because they literally fell into the middle of it and had no ideas of the rules.

After the nature of The Games is made clear and Jessie makes a deal with one of The Old Builders, they will find the next two events more challenging. For one, they are determined to follow the rules so that the deal they made can't be made void by their actions, for another the first competition, Extreme Spleef, is by far the easiest and the lack of a full team will make the next two events that much tougher.

If Jessie and The Order of the Stone have any hopes of surviving, they are going to have to get to know the other teams and, hopefully, get into their good graces. That doesn't guarantee success though, and The Order will have to be extra tricky to keep The Old Builders from finding a loophole in the deal they've made.

Continuing Adventures?:

While the current story involving Jessie's adventures through the Portal Hallway does seem to come to an end, it's not clear if there is going to be more adventures featuring The Order of the Stone. There are some open ends that could grow into more adventures, but considering the Witherstorm and Old Builder storylines took four episodes each, this particular story seems to have reached its conclusion. Overall, the additional three episodes really helped to add a lot of extra story to the original five-episode Minecraft: Story Mode release. Of course, the fact that the last episode that comes with the original purchase served as a hook into these extra episodes will mean that anyone who got pulled into Order Up! will want to see how this story plays out.

Even if Minecraft: Story Mode ends with Minecraft: Story Mode - Episode 8 : A Journey's End?, it is a nice cap to the overall experience and fans of the source material should have fun following Jessie on these extra adventures.

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

Related Links:

Microsoft Xbox One Batman: The Telltale Series: Episode 2 - Children of Arkham Microsoft Xbox One Destiny: Rise of Iron

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated