Alice Madness Returns Review(360, PS3, PC)

Posted: May 6, 2013 in Reviews
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(The first review I ever wrote)

Alice Madness Returns is a blend of creepiness and humor, putting you as the role of Alice Liddell, a girl trying to fix Wonderland, as well as figure out how the fire really started in her family home, which killed her family. The story for Alice Madness Returns is great, though the rest of the game has it’s flaws, some can be over-looked like texture and graphical issues, to the more noticeable and frustating like falling through scenery and platforms, or having steam vents disappear for no reason, but after a checkpoint restart all is fine. Alice Madness Returns is mainly an adventure/platformer, but there is a decent amount of combat, though with it’s own flaws. For instance with aiming, the auto-aim tends to aim for the lower priority enemy further away, rather than the enemy directly in front of Alice, creating needlessly frustrating moments, and even though you can switch enemies it will snap to the wrong enemy unexpectedly.

Then there are the camera issues in combat and in general, the camera is generally in a good spot, but there are times where the camera will turn when fighting a group of enemies, or just flip for no reason making a simple jump harder than usual. The combat is decent, though repetitive at times, and enemies tend to do a lot of the same attacks, making them predictable, but the combat does not get too frustrating if you can look past it’s flaws.

There are 4 main weapons, Vorpal Blade, Pepper Grinder Machine Gun, Hobby Horse(ground smash) and Teapot Cannon(which shoots hot liquid at the enemy), and all can be upgraded using teeth found throughout the game, all guns feel solid and get the job done, and the DLC weapon upgrades add to the destruction and power. Three more ablilties Alice has in her arsenal are, shrink, dodge and hysteria. Shrinking lights up hints of what’s ahead and lights up invisible paths, dodge makes Alice turn into butterflies to get out of the way, and works really well, while Hysteria can be activated when at low health, to do massive damage to all around you.

Alice Madness Returns story is really good, with solid voice acting that adds to the overall game. You’ll meet up with recognizable characters from Alice in Wonderland, like Caterpillar, The Mad Hatter, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, and of course, The Cheshire Cat, who helps you at times through out the game, well sort of. The graphics in the game are good, even with the graphical and texture glitches, and it rounds the game out.

There is a lot of game play to be had, with 252 collectables in total including, Memories, Pig Snouts, which you have to shoot to open up areas, platforms and other goodies), Bottles, and Radula rooms, which are challenges to clear a group of enemies or a question, that if answered correctly unlocks red paint, 4 red paint bottles unlocks a rose bud of health. All of these giving the game lots of replay value, though the inability to back track at times can get annoying when looking for collectables. Throughout the game you’ll also unlock dresses, each with it’s own ability, the DLC dresses are even better, with abilities ranging from having shrink sense always active, to being able to use Hysteria whenever needed. The addition of New Game+ lets you keep everything you’ve unlocked throughout the game, making you feel like a true badass in multiple playthroughs.

The flaws in Alice Madness Returns are more noticeable if playing for multiple hours in one sitting, you’ll notice more texture and graphical issues, more falling through scenery, having scenery or platforms disappearing, having your dresses not do what they are supposed to do, running in one spot before moving, having enemies get stuck in the scenery so you can’t kill them to have the door ahead unlock, prompting a checkpoint restart. Even the ability to grab ledges rather than just plummeting so often, would have been nice.

All-in-all, the game play is generally solid, even with it’s flaws, and most of the game goes smooth. It is a linear game and is repetitive at times, but fun none-the-less. But unfortunately it is missing components that would have taken it to the next level. Alice Madness Returns is a good game, the story is done well, combat is decent, the weapons are cool and destructive, and it is a lengthy game. If you’re a fan of Alice in Wonderland, and/or a fan of good adventure/platform games with a combat side to it, you may end up liking this. The addition of America McGee’s Alice adds to the value, but the controls, especially jumping and combat can be bad and frustrating. In the end Alice Madness Returns is worth playing, it’s a really good game that could have been more without so many issues, but still it’s still a decent game.

Overall Score: 7.8/10

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