Alice:Madness Returns to Rinse off the stank that Duke Nukem left behind.

OK, Ever since the first game I heard rumours American McGee was going to make a movie in the vain of the first Alice game.  Then I heard Tim Burton was going to make an Alice movie.  At first I was mad because I thought “What about American McGee’s version?” Then I thought… “What if this IS American McGee’s version with Tim Burton at the helm?” … But it wasn’t.  NOOOOOOOOOOOO! And Tim just… Look, Nevermind Tim Burton not satisfying my expectations.  ALICE IS BACK BABY!

I guess because I’m an early adopter of the game, the original Alice game came along with it. CRAZY BONUS!

I don’t know where to begin with this game. The plot is a little annoying and a little confusing.  Essentially Alice is getting lost in her head between levels in the real world.  There is no rabbit hole.  You start on your shrink’s couch, get up, go outside, follow a rabbit, interact with a woman, pass out, Wonderland and that’s how it goes.  Wake up, talk to somebody, maybe go somewhere, pass out, Wonderland. 

The enemies are very similar. Well… that’s not true. . There are two enemy types.  There are the Ruins (I think, if memory serves me correctly.) which appear in every stage and the enemies which only appear in the specific stage.  So you will see the Ruins all the time and it looks repetitive but they are symbolic of the madness eating away at you. . . or something.

This game is more repetitive than a bag of chips but the weird thing is… it’s just fun.  Oddly enough, traversing is the game’s main mechanic.  Every area seems to have a space reasoning puzzle that needs solving before you can continue. It usually revolves around flipping a switch or shooting a switch or using shrink. And you will do this through every single level.  Flip a switch, shoot a switch or use shrink to solve any puzzle the game throws at you.  So if you can’t find any switches to flip or shoot… shrink yourself and you’ll probably figure it out. 

The game was definitely designed for console this time around.  That basically means it controls more like a console 3rd person shooter than a PC first person shooter. (If you want to feel the difference just play Alice and Alice2) The various standard weaponry is at Alice’s disposal. A Knife, mini gun, grenade launcher, club and shield are all represented with a Wonderland counterpart.  The minigun is a pepper grinder and the club is a wooden horse.

The game switches it up every so often by including little mini games to distract you from the repetition of traversing through the world. Mini games are usually 2D sidescrolling variations but they are no less fun. In some cases these mini-games save Alice from being a generic game.  They add much needed flair.

I know it sounds like I’ve been bagging on the game but I’m just being objective.  There is a lot of repetition and the plot is silly. But the game is good because the environments for the most part are done very well.  Wonderland is just as beautiful as it is dark and gloomy.  In some cases I felt they could have gone darker but there is enough screwy imagery to go around.  Alice is also much more bad ass. Switching weapons on the fly makes her feel and control more like a seasoned veteran of annihilating Wonderland’s foes. The combat system also gives the fighting a God of War or Bayonetta vibe.  But let’s not get carried away.  Even still the combat is well done and works really really well. I’m going to say that Alice is the bare minimum of really good controls. Anything less and you’re just average.

Alice’s hair… You’ll notice in Wonderland that her hair has a life of it’s own.  It seems to have it’s own gravity and speed sometimes but that’s ok.  It adds to the ultimate bad-assedness that is Alice: Madness returns.

A fun ride from beginning to end.

GREEN: 7.5

Highs

   Fun

   Platforming fun

   Combat fun

   Mini games

Lows

   Repetitive in every way.

   A bit of a forced plot.

   Some areas feel a tad too long

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