I find your lack of faith disturbing.
Please note that since each episode of Minecraft: Story Mode — Season Two features the same graphics engine and control setup, those elements will not be repeated in our reviews for the final four episodes. To read our thoughts on that, refer to our review of Hero in Residence.
Armed with the keyword needed to eliminate Romeo‘s powers, Jesse and crew return to Beacontown to rescue the city and shut down the Admin once and for all. It starts fairly slow, as you’ll need to avoid being spotted — Romeo is impersonating you after all — and make your way up to the massive structure in the sky that likely houses the terminal where the code can be entered.
Eventually it picks up the pace, but there are meetings and confrontations that don’t feel like they carry any weight, including the option to try to hash things out verbally with Romeo. Really? After everything that’s happened there’s zero chance anyone would think that reasoning with the guy was the way to go, especially after you went through all the trouble to get the upper hand.
To the surprise of no one, the nonviolent approach is a non-starter and after the Admin decides to simply leave you to take care of other business you’re able to infiltrate his command centre unmolested and take possession of the item needed to defeat him. He returns at the last moment to try to stop you, but it’s officially battle time at that point.
Unfortunately, the final showdown between Jesse and Romeo is uninspired, featuring a mix of quick-time events and an awkward section in which you’re asked to deflect projectiles with one of the most poorly timed inputs we’ve ever seen.
Where Above and Beyond makes its biggest missteps, however, is in the battle’s aftermath, when Romeo goes from omnipotent super being to downtrodden whiner. His “I deserve to lose” act absolutely robbed us of the satisfaction of vanquishing our tormentor — he’d made Jesse’s life miserable for the entirety of Season Two and now we can’t even relish his downfall?
Jesse is apparently surrounded by the most forgiving group this side of Big Hero 6 as well, and hearing them chastise us as being overly harsh when we suggested Romeo deserved worse for basically trying to destroy the world was ridiculous. After being beaten down and mocked by this guy we’re supposed to feel bad for wanting him gone?
Episode 5 blows it with Stella as well. She smugly walks away en route to Champion City and the game doesn’t give you an option to gloat in your victory or even chop her down by reminding her she’s no rival of yours. You’re forced to swallow a lot of crap from Romeo and Stella, and Above and Beyond does a poor job of paying that off.
Minecraft: Season Two isn’t as good as Season One, nor the subsequent Adventure Pass, though it’s worth playing for those that enjoyed the original eight episodes. As for this episode, Above and Beyond comes up short as a satisfying finale.