November 7th, 2017.
That’s the day Minecraft: Story Mode – Season Two, Episode Four is to be released.
It’s only been a little over a month since Episode Three, Jailhouse Block, came out. Here’s to hoping they took some time to iron out any last-minute writing issues – particularly with the villain Admin, who suffers from a serious case of villain decay.
By nature of the source material, Minecraft: Story Mode is going to be more family-friendly than The Walking Dead (source material of the same name,) or The Wolf Among Us (source material is Fables of Vertigo Comics, DC’s ‘mature’ line.) I get that. But writers need to understand that just because a game must be kid-appropriate, they don’t need to talk down to kids.
And I’m not saying take away the humor. Some of the best villains I’ve come across are absolutely hilarious. Yzma, from The Emperor’s New Groove, is wonderfully funny but still feels threatening toward the protagonist.
When I was growing up, I had my fair share of media that did both. These days, those titles aren’t even memorable compared to their betters – it’s Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog versus Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM).
And Sonic SatAM’s Robotnik still made me laugh – he was just a lot more credible while doing it.
Another example – while I remember watching well-known nostalgia fodder Captain Planet and thinking it would be so cool to be a Planeteer, I don’t remember a single episode plot to that supposedly boy-targeted show, or a single villain.
But you know what I do remember? The first Care Bears movie, where a kid is literally demon-possessed by a book and tries to magically turn everyone in the world into an uncaring sociopath.
Regardless, I wouldn’t remember Admin at all.
My point is this – if movies from the mid-80s with magical talking fluffy bears meant to appeal to preschoolers are capable of decent villains, then for sure a modern game rated 12+ with mild language is capable of writing one better than Admin.
The sad part of this whole thing is that Episode Three was my favorite of all the Minecraft episodes so far. That’s a shame, because the writers at Telltale are typically excellent and have crafted some truly memorable experiences for me.
I’m still going to buy and I’m crossing my fingers for Episode Four – we’re only halfway through the plot, after all. And, oh yes, I believe they can make something decent from all this. I really do. They’ve turned games around before, and they’re doing it now. Perhaps we just need to wait and see what’s in store for this child-like villain.