Alice: Madness Returns Review - Cheat Happens CHEATfactor
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Alice: Madness Returns
PC, XBox 360, Playstation 3



Reviewed on: PC
Developer:
Spicy Horse
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Rated: "M" for Mature



CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

   
view user comments (2)
   
User Rating:        6
   
Presentation: 6

Dripping with style, Alice: The Madness Returns has a great art direction, even if it's never quite even. Still though, it's a one of the most unique looking games we've seen in a long time.

Gameplay: 5

Unfortunately, the combat and puzzle solving mechanics in Alice don't come close to matching the visual style. Things get repetitive very quickly, and questionable level design mixed with a few glitches makes for a frustrating experience.

Lasting Appeal:
5

One of the coolest parts of the Alice sequel is finding the massive amount of hidden items spread throughout Wonderland, but it gets frustrating when your search becomes even more difficult as a result of the game's plethora of bugs.

Overall: 6
Alice: Madness Returns is a stylish and unique look through one of the world's most well-known and famous fairy tales, it's just not that interesting in terms of gameplay.
CHEATfactor: 6
 
 
   
     

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.

Taking place exactly one year after the events of the first game, Alice has been released from the Rutledge Insane Asylum and now lives in London under the constant care of a psychiatrist. Though she's repressed her haunting visions for some time, they're starting to come back, and what's worse - they're more severe. In an effort to prove she's not crazy and find the true reason why her parents were killed, Alice returns to Wonderland, but find it far more warped than she ever remembered.

It's this warped nature that truly makes Alice so unique as it leads to the game's remarkable art style. It doesn't take long after popping in Madness Returns that you find out that Wonderland is truly the game's main character. It's as if the developers took the original work by Lewis Carol's original story and filtered them through a dark, gritty and imaginative filter. As you progress through Wonderland, you'll journey deeper down the rabbit hole, and as a result, deeper into Alice's psyche.  Each level is that much more different, and that much more inspired, leading a very detailed and beautiful world.

"...some unfinished textures and muddy coloring."

 
   

Unfortunately, not all of the game's production values have been given the same love. A deep look at some of the game's finer details shows some unfinished textures and muddy coloring. What's worst is when these visual deficiencies pop up right after one of the game's most beautiful moments - like they do in the Mad Hatter themed level. The audio in Alice is similarly lacking, as the music is repetitive and the voice acting performances come off as wooden and phoned in.

Throughout much of Madness Returns, you'll find yourself running, jumping, squeezing and oddly enough shrinking through the quests given to you by secondary characters. It's your standard adventure game bag of tricks, but it's also a limited one. The action in Alice gets so repetitive that each of the sequences from each of the levels can be interchanged with the one before it.  The combat is similarly thin and requires simple button mashing, while the puzzles are a refreshing change of pace, they too are predictable and lackluster.

"...it's Alice's level design that truly stops any momentum the game picks up."

 
   

Through all of this though, it's Alice's level design that truly stops any momentum the game picks up.  The game features a ton of cool collectibles scattered throughout Wonderland, and the game encourages you to explore, but the level design mixed with a plethora of bugs makes it difficult to do so. Here's an example; you see one of the really cool collectibles in the corner off in the distance, you go over to it, but you can't. No matter what you do, you just can't seem to get to it. It's extremely frustrating when you're so close to getting 100% completion in the game and an invisible wall pops up in a random place to stop you.

Alice: Madness Returns is one of those games that's better in parts than it is as a whole. The world inside is imaginative and creative, but looking deeper reveals a much less polished game. The combat is simple, and the level design is hindered by bugs that don't let you explore how the game wants you to. Fans of the original should definitely check out this ambitious sequel, but those who have yet to jump down the rabbit hole may want to hold off. 

 

CHEATfactor

CHEATS USED: Death Pulse, Health, Speed, Float, more

The trainer from Cheathappens.com for Alice: Madness Returns gives you access to unlimited death pulse. How can you go wrong with that?

There's also unlimited health, speed and float along with the ability to add super speed. The trainer literally has everything you'll need to get through Alice as you want. Now I believe you have a very important date with the white rabbit...

 

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 LATEST COMMENTS / USER RATINGS leave a comment / rate this game 
 
 ScruffyNerfherder
 
Current rank: 1 Star. Next Rank at 100 Posts.
GAME REVIEWER
User # 955405
posted: 6/28/2011 5:33:41 AM -  Report Post                edit post

Hey Kache, thanks for your input. I can assure you I do use the trainers, and we're changing the way we write out our Cheat Factors to avoid this. Hopefully you'll like the new ones.

 
 kache
 
Current rank: 1.5 Stars. Next Rank at 500 Posts.
ELITE
User # 750671
posted: 6/27/2011 4:50:04 AM -  Report Post              I rate this game   edit post

Good review, but as always the cheatfactor is halfassed and useless. Makes wonder if the reviewer actually used the trainer while playing the game...

 
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