Finished American McGee's Alice; was a bit of a challenge, enough so that I quit sometime back and refused to play it until now. But now that's finished I can go onto getting the last achievements for Madness ...
Finished American McGee's Alice; was a bit of a challenge, enough so that I quit sometime back and refused to play it until now. But now that's finished I can go onto getting the last achievements for Madness Returns.
Also, I feel completely stupid for the fact that I only found the save function and how it could used when I was at The Land of Brimstone and Fire... oh, and *expletive deleted* The Land of Brimstone and Fire <_<
While I search on eBay for things to spend my money on all willy-nilly, I also feel like it'd be time to churn out some reviews I've had on the backshelf; the really far backshelf where I keep ...
While I search on eBay for things to spend my money on all willy-nilly, I also feel like it'd be time to churn out some reviews I've had on the backshelf; the really far backshelf where I keep the things that might stab me if I even as much think about them *pulls out knife from my back* and that was Alice: Madness Returns, so here we go.
Alice: Madness Returns is the sequel to the once PC exclusive game Alice (or American McGee's Alice if you prefer) which essentially in it's own right served as an adaptation and sequel to the lovely books which have been butchered by Disney on two occasions now; once with unnecessary musical numbers, and a second time with their own adaptation/sequel featuring Johnny Depp with another strange headpiece or hairstyle... again. Anyway enough about Johnny Depp and hats, and more about the game.
As said Alice: Madness Returns is the sequel to the unauthorized sequel of some very nice books, in which you play as the lovely bright eyed cheery doll-like girl known as Alice Liddell... hold up I've done it again haven't I...
Third time's the goddamn charm!
Alice: Madness Returns is the sequel to Alice, which was released by EA in the year 2000. Madness Returns follows up on the events after Alice had defeated the Queen of Hearts, and Wonderland was meant to go back to normal-for-Wonderland again. But things didn't go according to the semi-deranged plan, and Alice is still crazy as ever. As Alice slowly goes of the deep-end again it would seem that Wonderland has also begun to lose the plot once more... if it's even possible for Wonderland to lose it even more. Anyway, as Alice has some form of connection to Wonderland, and on often occasion has her emotional or internal state reflect as physical manifestations in Wonderland (big spoilers for the end of Alice by the way) the madwoman has to return so she can sort things out, so as to save it and herself. From this point on you will set out on a quest to find what is the cause of it all, and hopefully put an end to it all.
At the heart of all things it can be rather hard to classify what Madness Returns is in terms of gameplay; as to whether it's a Platformer or Hack and Slash, as it tries to juggle both really (I checked Wikipedia, it's apparently a Platformer). With credit given that it is a very well done, if not basic Platformer at times, and certainly one of the most entertaining experiences I've had with the genre in a while, apart from my recent completion of Rayman 3 HD. It does well, and I can say that it was very nice considering the fact I never encountered the problem of camera angles that seem to curse a number of them; but again, it is somewhat basic. As to the combat, this game does exceptionally well in some areas; the combat is top notch, and flows together really well, but the enemies weren't very challenging in the end, bar a few of the much larger enemies, and the combat itself was very basic; I'd just string together some flashy non-stop Vorpaltastic murder and call it a day with a spot of ballistic death from my Teapot. Even the final boss battle felt as though there was little to no challenge in the end, despite how delightful it was actually fighting it... until I went for that painful achievement. I'm guessing the true hardship comes from playing this in Nightmare difficulty, which I endeavored to do once I had completed it once, but this was with New Game +, so it's only mildly harder. My biggest problem, and I cannot get past this; a game like this deserves to have more boss fights, despite how easy it can be. Overall there is a single proper boss battle, right at the end; I suspect there may have been more, but these were replaced by cutscenes instead, so at the end of each chapter you're feeling slightly let down as to the fact that everything you've done, is pointless. The toughest battles like a boss, are meant to be a test of your skills and tools that you've acquired, and the lack of these fights, and the one battle you do have... it just isn't satisfying, heck, it actually pushed me away from it at times. I do however give it major kudos to how strangely beautiful it is fighting however, and the same goes to the platforming; the visual design is twisted, and it's downright amazing because of it.
This brings me to one of the highlights of the game; the visuals and environmental design. Ranging from breathtaking scenery which feels peacefully idyllic, to the dark and gritty which suits the underlying tone of how dark this game really is, to things in between, you can really get caught up in the strange, twisted, and honestly wonderful places you'll find and see. I'm not kidding, I spent a good 40 minutes in about each chapter just looking at things because they were that nice... in a dark sinister way... but that's the kind of stuff I like, it's why DmC: Devil May Cry or Dishonored has so much appeal to me. Aside from a few graphical glitches, where the textures don't fully render and you've got blurry images of things, it really is some nice scenery. It can be said of most things in the game also; as mentioned earlier the combat, the level design, character and weapon design, hell even the various dresses you can give to Alice are very nice to look at (no, not like that). Overall it really does present something so dark and somewhat beautiful at the same time, it's maddening.
Now, the story; as mentioned earlier it takes place after the events of the original game, and now Alice must contend with the threats of Wonderland as to save herself from insanity and Wonderland too. Solving the mystery as to why everything has gone to hell, and why she is worsening is essentially the main plot, and when it focuses on these aspects it does very well. It's filled with plot twists here and there, and honestly the reveal of why this all happened ties everything together quite nicely, and was the biggest shock of the game to me. That said, it's something you need to play the entire way through to understand, because unless you do, it can be very confusing at times, because it does go off into what appear to be non-related issues, but do fit into the greater picture later. If you haven't played the first, it's not that big a problem either, because the amount of back-story is well expanded upon, and if I recall there is somewhere, where you can just read a summary of the first game.
Anyway, because I am tired, and I can't honestly put out a proper, or apparently professional review I'll sum it up now; this game has a lot of things it could have done better, they're good, but they could have been better. More boss battles would have made a great difference; and a story while great, it levels on the same obscurity alongside the second half of Series 6/7 of Doctor Who. It's highlight is still the level/environment design, and the adaptation of it all, that, and it is greatly better than the console ports of Alice, much greater.
7/10 - You should try this at least once.