Alice Madness Returns Review

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Steve Butts:

With apologies to Lewis Carroll.

You're mad, bonkers, completely off your head. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are.

How can you have gears turning in lava? wouldn't they just heat up and change shape/melt and completely fuck up the mechanism they're a part of?

Depends on what they're made of. Lava--surface lava, anyway--gets up to about 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit. If you make your gears out of, say, tungsten carbide, you should be fine, as it has a melting point of around 5,200 degrees.

(And yes, I looked all that up. I'm geeky, but not that geeky.)

I hope the art director's okay with all their coworkers being kinda lame.

Really nicely done review.

Personally, I loved the game. Sure, the gameplay is pretty standard, but the game's aesthetic is simply awe-inspiring.

isn't the heart of darkness first a health potion and later a macguffin in the legacy of kain series?
OT: i agree about the visuals, but i was never able to play through a game with mediocre or bad gameplay for the sake visuals, sometimes story but never visuals

I'm amazed I haven't read a single comment referencing Yahtzee's wolfenstein review... huh...

I love this game, and especialy Cheshire's Remarks and Comments.
And Kudos to the intersting style of the review.

Too long my ass. I mean really that is not a problem unless you have the attention span of a 5 year old. in that case is most people in the world.

After watching Lewis from the Yogscast play a little bit of this game, I was so totally going to buy it, that is untill I found out there doesn't actually exist a place to download the first game, not on Steam nor Origin or anywhwere else (that I could find). I'm aware of that you could get both game's as a bundle on Origin, but that was only till the 17th of June. My only option at the moment is to buy a retail version of it for like 50-80$ (!) wich is a lot for a 10yo game, and there's no garuantee I can make it work on my pc wich is running Windows Vista either. I sent them a mail where I express my thought about this, and I can only hope we will see it available for download sometime in the future.

Now I have the urge to play the first Alice, looks like the environments look a lot like the first's Alice, but a bit... better.

As for the combat, it seems it has improved a lot since the first Alice, but now it seems a lot more inspired from Devil May Cry.

I may still get this game, when the price gets lower.

Aaaaaaw games like this really throw me off. Im an aesthetics man but aesthetics mean more then looking nice (although thats a big part of it). The game seems to have the visuals, sound, narrative, themes, etc down but completely over looks the mechanics. Not that the mechanics are done badly but just, if that makes sense.

I love this game. Cheshire Cat's model and voice acting, the awesome enviroments, the atmosphere, the dark theme and black humor. Gameplay's fairly console-dumb standard, but this needs to be played.

Great review (i like how you wrote it) and I agree for most points :D
and yes, I will finish it, to see what lies ahead :)

That text review was BRILLIANT. An excellent example of what sets the enthusiasts of the Escapist apart from the professionals who demonstrate good technique and skill in their writing, but are ultimately only doing their jobs.

I would prefer a review like this, where the writer obviously has a lot of interest both in the game itself and the source material, over a forced but well-done review of the latest generic shooter any day.

No matter what anybody says about this game, i still really want it!
Perhaps becuase it reminds me of all those old games i use to play, like the first Spyro.
Especially that fairy level.
Still, it looks really good and my opininons not going to change until i've played it.
Good review though, seems to pick out fair points, unlike some which are totally stupid.

Quick question, Do you get the First Alice game with EVERY New 360 copy or just some from a special offer?

Between Yahtzee's limerick review of wolfenstein, Shamus' villanelle of the path and this ballad about Alice this really is the site to come to for video game poetry isn't it ^^

The written review is freaking amazing! Brilliant I tell you!

I kinda expected as much, but you know what? It doesn't really bother me so much and I will be picking this up when I get the chance. I wanna see what the cheshire cat is up to!

Nice review, enjoyed the game itself, too ;)

Has anyone else been finding that some of the characters that show up in the creature's list just didn't show up in the game at all?

I've been enjoying every moment of Alice: Madness Returns. It plays like a cross between one of the original Spyro games and Ocarina of time. Sure, the gameplay is a wee dated, but I fucking LOVE 3D platformers, and Alice is the best looking game I've played in a very long time. I can't help but feel that people harping on graphical hiccups and limited combat (I'm looking at you, Game Informer! You morons!) are missing the point entirely.

I honestly haven't had this much unadulterated fun with a game since Brutal Legend. Maybe I'm just a sucker for dark, adult games with cartoony visuals that are packed with details...

Edit: I also recommend picking up a new copy. The download of the original game is priceless.

Too long my ass. I mean really that is not a problem unless you have the attention span of a 5 year old. in that case is most people in the world.

Too long as in each section is needlessly dragged out, not simply too long. Those are two very different critics.

Harry Mason:

Edit: I also recommend picking up a new copy. The download of the original game is priceless.

I actually wouldn't let that sway me if I were on the fence. The platforming is pretty bad, even by old standards. Madness Returns, however, is very smooth in that regard. I'm hoping for a return of the 3D Platformer (and someone please release Donkey Kong 64 as a downloadable title!).


Too long my ass. I mean really that is not a problem unless you have the attention span of a 5 year old. in that case is most people in the world.

Too long as in each section is needlessly dragged out, not simply too long. Those are two very different critics.

No, I played and beat the game. It was far from dragged out and there was plenty to do.

In the words of John Funk, a work of beauty. Definitely good, video review was also great.

Borrowing off a friend soon.

I alwayes loved Alive in wonderland, right now im just so busy with my job and just tierd of the same game for a wile im holding off on finishing.

This game review might as well have been for DN:F

Great and strangely calming review.

Completely agree with many of the points stated. Visuals were truly amazing as they are truly atmospheric and fit the theme perfectly. Platforming was fun but you really do feel after 2-3 hour stretches per locale that it seems to drag on for a little too long doing generally the same thing just with differently colored platforms. Combat was fun though as each weapon is necessary and has a role to play with different enemies and even in some puzzle elements. But fair warning though that if you love boss battles (Like me), you will be sorely disappointed.

Fantastic review- in the same rhyming measures as The Walrus and the Carpenter (The Walrus and the Carpenter were walking hand in hand/They wept like anything to see such quantities of sand/"If only it could all be swept away" they said "it would be grand!") Very, VERY talented on the review writer's part.

A pity the game itself isn't as brilliant as the review. Don't think I'll bother, despite your recommendation- other reviews haven't been so generous.

Really enjoyed this game personally, been looking for a great platformer and this is it. Hope it sells well because it's rare a current gen game satisfies my tastes as this one had.

I honestly don't understand why reviewers and such criticize its gameplay, it's a solid platformer throughout and tons of fun.

Perhaps it's because reviewers have to play this game in a short a time as possible when really, this is the kinda game that you do in several sittings over the course of an extended period of time for maximum enjoyment, otherwise you burn out on the platforming.

I have attention deficit disorder, so I have always put an emphasis on story & visuals over gameplay. It's like how some people think sports are the most boring thing in the world, but will continue to watch because some of the players are cute. That sadly describes most of my gaming experiences.

My discrepancy with this game is not the game itself but EA's "Origin." I bought the complete collection through Origin & am one of the many people who have tried everything & still cannot get this game to play. I can see why Origin is still in Beta.

Arcane Azmadi:
Fantastic review- in the same rhyming measures as The Walrus and the Carpenter

Nicely done! That was precisely the poem I was ripping off, which was itself a ripoff of Thomas Hood's Dream of Eugene Aram.

*Initiaites slow clap*

*joins in on the slow clap, if just to make the cliche
Well done, one of the few reviews I read all the way through as opposed to just watching the video
It looks amazing, and I'd probably watch a lets play. But I'm not going to put my money on this. (disclaimer:I legally buy all of my games)
Plus, I've seen so many "dark" retelling of stories I've gotten kind of tired of them. At least this one is more of a sequel, but still.

While the collision detection can sometimes be infuriating it's so rare i can actually remember the two times it happened. (during the last hand clap on Hatters world and One irritating jump while rescuing souls in the carpenters) Outside of that the controls are really responsive for me and honestly i haven't played a good platformer in a long time.

Honestly, if you don;t like Alice or jumping puzzles i can't see why you would want to play the game. However for the few of us who have wanted a sequel ever since we beat the red queen to death in the first game Alice:Madness returns does not disappoint, it's just a thousand times better.

Is this game dark-meh or Dark-Yay? Games like The Path are dark-yay because in addition to its atmosphere, it has meaningful, underlying themes as well. Are there deep significant themes in Alice or is it superficial and/or dark-to-be-cool

So... where the fuck is the review?

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