MCSM S2 EP4: My Thoughts
This episode was HEAVY and deep. Truly proves that while this game is marketed towards kids, there's plenty of dark and dramatic moments for the older crowd to enjoy. I really like where the game went in this episode, giving off a post-apocalyptic wasteland vibe. Lots of cool stuff, so let's get into it:
- The "previously on" segment was... interesting. At first it made me think that Xara was going to betray us or something because of the whole "you can never trust an Admin" line with a bunch of clips of Xara doing questionable things.
- The opening credits were good, but not that great. S2E3 still reigns supreme.
- Xara finding her home was where the episode really showed it true colours. She broke down. (And her small talk about "this is where Romeo killed Fred"... oof.) This series really shouldn't be taken at face value, that's for sure. Companions dying, PTSD-prone heroes, Noble but hard sacrifices, murder in cold blood and witnessing a friend's death. Can this game get any more emotional before crossing the child-friendly line?
- The tribe of kids was an interesting addition. The moment they showed up I thought: "Wait, is this Mad Max right now? What kind of scavengers are you?" Unfortunately, they were not used enough to my liking. I met with them once while hanging off a cliff, and then nothing after? I expected to truly meet all the tribes down there (Scavengers, Fred Worshippers, and the Comedy Duo... but I only got two out of three.. aww.)
- Jack "dying" was surprising. I really thought he was dead for a moment. Until they showed his body was nowhere to be found. Still, it made me uneasy and sad for a moment.
- So far, this was a very calm, dramatic, emotional episode.
- Fred's town was cool. It was a good change of pace to finally see civilised folk.
- BLOCCO THE DOG IS THE BEST DOG.
- Quiz contest was interesting. Easy if you knew all the answers beforehand, but cool. Also, good how you can fail it.
- Soren reference in Fred's house! Interesting how they haven't given up that plotline yet. Hopefully this means they plan to continue it later on! I want closure on his character!
- So, the ninja battle, cool. But that reveal was unexpected. IVOR??! I didn't think Ivor could be so nimble, but I guess his story of him meeting the Shadow Master and training, yada, yada, yada, was plausible enough. I didn't think Telltale would do it! I didn't think they'd bring him back! But they did! Oh yeah! Unfortunately that encounter was too short-lived. I'm sure he'll be back for Episode 5, and I'll be waiting. I miss his Bad-guy-turned-good charm.
A very good, diverse cast of characters in this episode. VAL AND SOUP, BEST COMEDY DUO OUT THERE, FOLKS! And that gate scene was great. Top-notch writing for that scene right there. "Ohh, nothing's scarier than the sound of a big army, right?" I dont know if it was referencing something but...
Seriously, I got some big Monty Python vibes from that gate scene.
Armor Selection! Yes! I love cosmetic personalisation in games, so I can make things look how I want them to. And this was cool to see. Yeah, they all looked pretty similar but I was fine with that. I had Lluna on my side so I dug up some secret gold armour. So, this means that you've got either Prison clothes, Associate clothes, Fred Pajamas, or 9 sets of armour available to wear for the Finale. Cool!
- That challenge dome was cool. Unfortunately, my game was glitched and I was unable to switch targets for that whole segment. It was pretty hard with that handicap.
- Cabin segment was great too. It was a solemn moment, and seemed like everyone was depressed. Petra final opened up, though. And that's great! I finally understood how she felt about everyone's distant friendship and could finally talk some sense into her about "Yeah , you were a jerk, and you seriously need to realise we have responsibilities outside of our friendship!"
- "Hashtag"... what has this world come to
- "Primary terminal" No! No meta-server controls, please! This world should stay in it's self-contained state!
- The ending was pretty stressful. I thought Telltale was going to kill off Radar. Luckily we have a say in it.
- That Jack song during the credits was... surprising. It was a cool song, but maybe not so fitting for the current point in the plot. It's much too silly for this tense moment.
This episode was really good. Maybe the best yet. Characters opening up and showing lots of emotion, a deep emotional resonance for a "children's game", a colourful cast of characters, some great writing of humour and excellent branching, and a really good way to ramp up the tension for the finale. Probably the best penultimate episode to pull it off. This was a whole adventure in and of itself! Personally, I didn't really enjoy the adventure pass. The episodes were interesting, but their disconnected state made it feel inconsequential. This season so far is like a linked adventure pass. Episodes with a new locale or theme each time, but still connected together.
Really well made in all departments, and with just a few missed opportunities and bugs. So, as usual, if I were any good at rating things, I'd probably give this a 9.2/10.