Alice: Madness Returns (with many more genres)

It would be no surprise to know that the creators of American McGee’s Alice would’ve wanted a sequel to take place to make sure that they create more nightmarish visions and keep players from ever experiencing sleep. In 2000, Rogue Entertainment decided that the Disney’s rendition of Alice in Wonderland was too soft to be taken seriously as a movie adaptation of the book Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland. At the time, this game was your basic third-person fighting game set in a bizarre world in the main character’s subconscious. Nothing more and nothing less. But what happened nearly a decade later to create even more horrifying scenes of blood fountains, demented dolls, and a trip to the insane asylum? I have no clue. But what did come out of it was a very long played and extensive game worthy to be called a sequel.

Does this bloody blade match my blood-splattered dress?

In American McGee’s Alice, we play as Alice, a young girl who witnessed her family’s death in a fire she believes she might have caused. Bet they didn’t tell you about that in the Disney rip-off. Anyway, the game is as basic as it can get. Alice must fight her way through the creatures of Wonderland who have turned against her with her trusty vorpal blade. Of course with the fighting, there is also a little platforming to be used in some of the stages. In Madness Returns, someone must’ve wanted to go all out for game mechanics in this 2011 sequel. Alice returns to an orphanage and continues to seek help with her crumbling mind to the point of having to return back to Wonderland. Along with her Vorpal blade, she’s also given a few more weapons such as a machine gun pepper shaker, a grenade throwing teapot, and large horse head used to smash things to pieces. The game is still defined as a third person fighter, but has so many more aspects to the game. First of all, the game finds itself using many different art styles for different parts of the game. One minute it will be standard 3D, but then go into a 2D side scroller scene. There are so many parts to this that if I were to consider every change scene as a mini-game, it would probably take off 2 hours of game play. This game is the Grand Daddy of game mechanics and chooses to squeeze in every game we’re ever played from the 2D platforming from the original Super Mario games to the shooting Space Invaders stage. Along with that, there’s also sliding puzzle mini games, a timed killing session, and collecting teeth to upgrade your weapons. I’m getting tired just talking about it. But with all these elements that people have liked in previous games, is there such a thing as too many elements?


I can honestly admit that I love plat-formers, but hate sliding block puzzles. Does it have to mean that you won’t like this game?  I know people who probably hate hide and seek like games, but it’s in this one too. With the first game, you had a few puzzles and some platofrming, but nothing too exaggerated. with the sequel, everything is exaggerated. The monsters you fight, the wondering about the dim streets of London, and also a very creepy ass scene in the Dollhouse stage where you talk to children. Trust me. It’s not as innocent as you think. And for someone who is afraid of dolls, just watching the playthrough made my stomach turn. One of the mechanics for this game is probably how fast the creators can creep you out and make you not sleep that night. I can say honestly that I think it’s a really good game, but that’s because I know how to perform the basic tasks from older games that I’ve played (except for sliding block puzzles. I suck at them). But with that, it makes the game harder for basic noob players to pick up when they hear it has more than what they’re used to. If you like games, it’s good to learn new games and game mechanics that are constantly changing. Fail to do so and you might as well pick up knitting. One beginning. One ending.

1 comment
  1. sgosain said:

    It is very interesting to see the disney, cartoon character of Alice being turned into a killing machine with a bloody knife when we’re used to seeing bunnies singing “I’m late”, when referring to Alice. I found that the game is interesting mainly because we have developed thoughts on what Alice is supposed to look, do, and think, therefore any action that happens in the game, mainly the gruesome killing scenes that happen every 5 seconds, almost cause the player to chuckle because he thinks “this isn’t the Alice of when I was 5 years old”. I found many of the attributes of the game to be similar to Spyro, especially when the player is in the beginning of the game. you have to solve the puzzles and combine violence with the puzzle making ability. I happen to agree that the game is not as innocent as it looks, as it combines a character who we automatically characterize is innocent and make her shed blood not stop. I however, did not like the puzzle solving at every corner and did prefer sticking to the violence.

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