Review: Alice: Madness Returns (PS3)


This game has been out for quite a while now, but I felt I had to finish it. I’ve been trying to play catch up on a few games, and I told myself I wouldn’t buy a new game until I finished Alice. Well, here we are!

Alice is a platformer and took me around 20 hours to finish. It was played on Hard difficulty.

What did I like? What stood out as something done well? Alice’s hair, Atmosphere and Story, Weapons, Secrets

The number one thing that I found awesome was Alice’s hair. And no, not her hair style. The way her hair flowed and moves was great and is likely some of the best hair effects I’ve seen.

The atmosphere and storyline in Alice are excellent for the most part. Think of it as Wonderland being infected with a tiny bit of Silent Hill’s atmosphere. The story can be a bit hard to follow sometimes around the middle sections of the game, but it all comes together in the end and works out well. The setting for the game also creates a great, depressing and creepy atmosphere for the story to be presented in. Things may appear normal in the beginning, but it gets pretty demented later on. All of the characters gave me an uneasy feeling, and I’m going to assume that is what they were going for when making the game.

The arsenal of weapons in the game isn’t huge, but it’s at least unique. You get 4 different weapons. The vorpal blade is your starting weapon, followed by the pepper grinder (acts as a machine gun), the hobby horse (slower, but packs a punch), and the tea kettle (almost like a mortar). There are also explosive bunnies you can wind up and they also pose as a distraction for enemies, taking their attention away from you. These weapons are not overly unique in how they work (pretty standard set-up), but as far as items used as weapons, they are unique and the hobby horse made horse sounds as you beat stuff to death. What else do I need to say?

There are a lot of secrets hidden throughout the game. You can find momories, bottles, radula rooms, and pig snouts. The pause menu tells you how many of each there are in the current chapter. These can unlock extras for you to view later, and the radula rooms give you a quarter of a rose each, and when you get a full rose, you get more health. Pig snouts will often lead to a basket of goods (teeth collectibles for upgrading weapons) or even bottles or memories. Sometimes you have to shrink to be able to see the secret areas as well, so it adds a bit of a need to explore. I like exploring.

What did I dislike? What stood out as poorly done? Difficulty spikes, the game dragged on, glitches/bugs/collision detection, poor overall mechanics during side-scrolling portions, useless rolling head sections.

As you progress through the game, you’ll find it fairly easy to get around for the most part, and then the game will drop a huge hammer on your head in some spots. There were one or two spots in the second half of the game that had me wanting to throw my controller. Some spots didn’t seem fair at all. I eventually got by them, of course, but it really knocked down the enjoyment of the game.

The beginning of the game was exciting, the end of the game was actually pretty sweet, but the middle of the game seemed to drag on forever. By the time I got near the end, I wanted it to just end. I wanted the game over with. I was sick of it all. I don’t feel like I should have that feeling when I am playing a game. Isn’t it supposed to be fun?

Games have glitches and issues most of the time, and I didn’t have too many huge problems with those, but the collision detection in Alice needs to be improved. This is especially true in the side-scrolling sections of the game. I found myself dying and falling into the abyss when I thought I was clearly going to make a jump. Spikes would kill me without touching me. It was…madness. Not fun.

Then there’s the rolling head sections of the game. They are not fun, and they are annoying. The camera goes from fixed at the side, to you having to control the view sometimes at random and it wasn’t happy times. They weren’t that difficult, but they could have done something else with this. Like not have it at all.

Overall

Alice: Madness Returns was an okay game. Sometimes I loved it, sometimes I hated it. If you can find it at a discounted price and you like the idea of a really demented Wonderland, then consider it, but it’s definitely not worth the $60 I paid for it.

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