Excerpt: I'm not sure I should like Alice: Madness Returns as much as I do. Spicy Horse's Xbox 360, PS3 and PC follow-up to 2000's original twisted tale at times feels a few months of QA Testing away from release, graphically struggling to compete with anything that's hit stores in the last two years, and rather bloated in terms of length, but it's still somehow incredibly likeable.
Excerpt: American McGee's Alice impressed a whole generation of gamers back in 2000, offering a gritty take on the popular fantasy tale written by Lewis Carroll. Now, 11 years later, a sequel has finally emerged, with McGee and his new studio, Spicy Horse, offering gamers Alice: Madness Returns.
Conclusion: Alice: Madness Returns is the sequel to 2000's American McGee's Alice, a third person action game released for Windows that added an extra dash of strange to the surreal world created by Lewis Carroll in his classic books. Alice: Madness Returns is available for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows. This review is based on a 50% playthrough of the Xbox 360 version.
Excerpt: There have always been many sides to the Alice in Wonderland fairy tale. There's the loving, happy Disney version, the slightly skewed book version by Lewis Carol; and then there's American McGee's Alice . Wonderfully twisted and dark, McGee's Alice is an unusual take on the tale that takes the setting and characters and turns them inside out. For the sequel, that imagination is back, but unfortunately, it's a pretty uneven and lackluster experience throughout.
Excerpt: And let me tell you, it comes as a bit of a shock to those of us who grew up with the (original cartoon) Disney version! See, I never played the original game but was intrigued by the sequel. I had no idea what I was getting into! Just the opening cinematic left me slack-jawed, one eyebrow raised, muttering "Ohhhhhhhkay then...."
Way back in 2000 there was a game called American McGee's Alice released for PC.
Conclusion: Every so often, Madness Returns' level layouts displays a glimmer of creativity, such as when playing cards flip and slide into view, extending your path. However, reaching your destination is a usually predictable affair. You spend a lot of time jumping onto floating surfaces and into gusts of air so that you can flip a switch that creates another set of surfaces and gusts.
Pros: Beautifully dark and creepy version of Wonderland, Smooth, graceful controls, Unusual weapons make for fun combat, A good length, with lots of hidden objects and areas to locate., Beautifully dark and creepy version of Wonderland, Smooth, graceful controls, Unusual weapons make for fun combat, A good length, with lots of hidden objects and areas to locate.
Cons: Gameplay doesn't evolve, leading to tedium, Puzzles and other attempts to vary the pace are rarely fun, Audiovisual glitches can distract., Gameplay doesn't evolve, leading to tedium, Puzzles and other attempts to vary the pace are rarely fun, Audiovisual glitches can distract, The other versions include the original Alice; this one doesn't.
Pros: Spectacular graphics and presentation help create a twisted Wonderland; varied gameplay keeps things fresh throughout; stylish and fun combat and platforming; good length and tons of items to find; comes with a free copy of the original Alice.
Cons: Some camera problems; Alice can't grab onto ledges; storytelling doesn't live up to the presentation.