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#927596 - 12/02/13 12:45 PM Alice Madness Returns-a flawed masterpiece
bigmamma1 Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 842
Loc: florida
Many reviews have been written about this 2011 sequel to American Macgees Alice. Some have loved it and others have hated it because of its sometimes abruptly changing camera angles, difficult battles and platform jumping.I am finding it very difficult to progress for the same reasons, but the most frustrating thing that almost ruins the pleasure of playing is the auto save feature. If you cant get to the next auto save point before you have to quit for dinner or get sick of trying the same old jump, you have to repeat an already played sequence until you get past the difficult point. Not fun. smashpc Also the seek and find elements are getting a little repetitive.Teeth for weapon upgrades, roses for health, bottles for ? over and over.

That being said, I'm still plugging along because this game is a masterpiece of artwork-like finding your way through a surrealist painting. The worlds are breathtakingly bizzare,humorously scary, and full of weird characters. Alice"s dialogue is amusing and her "advisor" the Cheshire cat who pops up to give her sage advice adds a nice touch of dark humor.

Yes, there is fighting, at times very difficult because of crazy camera angles, but the enemies you come up against are not human, animal, or any other recognizable life form;They are creatures made of teapots, doll parts, slime, kettles, knives and forks, or machine parts. your weapons are unusual too; your trusty vorpal blade for close combat, a hobby horse bludgeon for smashing, and a machine gun-like pepper grinder for long range targets. There's also a teapot cannon which I haven't got to yet.(If I ever finish this game I'll let you know how it works.)Weapons can be upgraded by collecting teeth from varied containers or defeating enemies.

Alice can also shrink to reveal hidden areas to explore and find things, or invisible platforms to jump to other platforms-many other platforms. rolleyes
This makes for a looooong game- Each chapter seems as long as a whole game.I had to resort to God mode to at least get past the enemies quicker but even with this, some of them are very hard to beat.

Even with all the hair pulling frustrations I'm finding it hard to give up on this because of the amazing detail and craftsmanship that went into the design and art that went into this game. Except for the gameplay elements, this is indeed a masterpiece from American Macgee, which was 10 years in the making. Too bad the craftsmanship of the artwork did not go into the gameplay design.

I bought the downloadable version on sale which includes the original Alice. I have to say I liked the original better because of the regular save system and easier controls.Perhaps because it was designed for the PC.
I'm playing this on WIN 7 8GB laptop with no problems.I'll let you know if I ever finish! Meanwhile, would like to hear about other GBer experiences with this one.


Edited by bigmamma1 (12/02/13 12:55 PM)
_________________________
People do not remember how much you know,only how you make them feel
finished Gray Matter, playing Alice Madness returns and Deponia

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#927600 - 12/02/13 01:00 PM Re: Alice Madness Returns-a flawed masterpiece [Re: bigmamma1]
Rushes Offline
The Three Pipe Moderator
True Blue Boomer

Registered: 07/10/05
Posts: 23764
Loc: UK
Thanks for your thoughts on this game, bigmamma!

I also dislike auto save points.

I played partway through the original Alice game, but gave up on it. I found the platforming terribly awkward and the controls fairly 'orrible. I tend not to do well with keyboard-based games in general, though. (I haven't played Madness Returns to compare.)

I hope you get through to finish this one!
_________________________
"Bleat, Watson -- unmitigated bleat!" ~ Sherlock Holmes

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#928033 - 12/04/13 09:35 PM Re: Alice Madness Returns-a flawed masterpiece [Re: bigmamma1]
Draclvr Online   content
BAAG Specialist

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 9861
Loc: In Missouri near St. Louis
I played Madness Returns twice! I loved the concept, the dark story, the graphics... However, like you, I grew extremely frustrated with the auto save feature. I had to replay battles over and over and after while it simply got tedious. I also resorted to Godmode more than once. There is one sequence where the game switches to 2D and you have to jump a series of huge steps and avoid gigantic blocks slamming down. The 2D made the character very hard to control in a sequence that requires precise control. It took me days to get past it and then I was presented with a very difficult jump. I was not allowed to save at that point so I didn't have to repeat the 2D sequence again. That was nearly a deal breaker for me, but I persevered and finally make it through.

The positive elements of the game outweighed the frustrating game save system for me. I had the original disks and played on both my Windows 7 and my Windows 8 computers.

I totally agree with the title of your post!
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Gardening is better than therapy. Plus you get tomatoes.

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#928773 - 12/08/13 05:22 PM Re: Alice Madness Returns-a flawed masterpiece [Re: bigmamma1]
bigmamma1 Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 842
Loc: florida
Drac...I remember that scene with the huge blocks smashing down-
I did manage to get thru that after many many tries-I hope that there isn't
any other feat more difficult than that.
I've taken a rest from Madness for a few days. Now I'm
stuck in Ch. 2 at the place where there is a timed jump to invisible
platforms in order to shoot a red clock. I have to replay a sequence over
and over but never get there in
time to shoot it. AAARRRRGH!
Hats off to you for finishing! I agree that the positive outweighs the negative,
but sometimes I wonder.
_________________________
People do not remember how much you know,only how you make them feel
finished Gray Matter, playing Alice Madness returns and Deponia

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#928874 - 12/09/13 10:19 AM Re: Alice Madness Returns-a flawed masterpiece [Re: bigmamma1]
Mad Offline
True Blue Boomer

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 23418
Loc: United Kingdom
"I played partway through the original Alice game, but gave up on it. I found the platforming terribly awkward and the controls fairly 'orrible. "

That goes for me, too !! lol
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Time : The Most Precious Commodity

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#928886 - 12/09/13 11:19 AM Re: Alice Madness Returns-a flawed masterpiece [Re: bigmamma1]
Jenny100 Offline
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 35373
Loc: southeast USA
I used god mode with the original Alice and had a lot of fun playing it.
I remember the geysers were hard to get past though.
Fortunately the game had a decent save capability.

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#929102 - 12/10/13 06:25 PM Re: Alice Madness Returns-a flawed masterpiece [Re: bigmamma1]
bigmamma1 Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 842
Loc: florida
waveI loved the first Alice-played once on "easy" mode and again in "god" mode.
Was so looking forward to the next one, but Madness Returns is much harder and much
more frustrating, even though the graphics are so advanced and amazing. Why oh why
do they ruin a beautiful game with autosave?
mad
same with Indiana Jones and the Emporers Tomb- remember that one?
_________________________
People do not remember how much you know,only how you make them feel
finished Gray Matter, playing Alice Madness returns and Deponia

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#929242 - 12/11/13 11:21 AM Re: Alice Madness Returns-a flawed masterpiece [Re: bigmamma1]
Jenny100 Offline
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 35373
Loc: southeast USA
I didn't buy Madness Returns because of StarForce on the disc version.
However the lack of a save feature and lack of decent cheats (god mode for the dexterity-impaired like moi) would also be a reason not to buy it.

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#929957 - 12/15/13 07:58 PM Re: Alice Madness Returns-a flawed masterpiece [Re: bigmamma1]
Callista Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 04/06/12
Posts: 57
Loc: Singleton, Australia
I bought Alice Returns about 9 months ago and started playing it. I got halfway through the second chapter and was forced to abandon the game as it was far too hard for me, even on the Easy Mode. Thanks to reading this thread and learning of God Mode, I tweaked my game files and now I can smash any creature that gets in my way as well as being able to upgrade my weapons ever so much faster. The graphics are exceptional and I really love playing the game. I hope to finish the game in its entirety before long.

Thanks again GameBoomers for the help on this game that I found by accident.

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#929984 - 12/15/13 10:36 PM Re: Alice Madness Returns-a flawed masterpiece [Re: bigmamma1]
looney4labs Offline
GB Reviewer Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 42275
Loc: Alabama
Woo Hoo Callista, glad you are playing again and enjoying it wave
_________________________
"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."
-Roger Caras

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#929996 - 12/15/13 11:51 PM Re: Alice Madness Returns-a flawed masterpiece [Re: bigmamma1]
Callista Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 04/06/12
Posts: 57
Loc: Singleton, Australia
Is Alice Madness Returns considered to be an Adventure Game or a Role Playing Game (RPG)? The game plays and looks more like an adventure game as you can't really form your own character as in The Elder Scrolls and other similar games. If it is indeed classed as an Adventure Game, then why is there no review on the first Alice game or Alice Madness Returns. MaG would need some time to prepare a walk-through as well for the game as it is soooooo long.

Looking forward to hearing your viewpoint on my query.

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#930068 - 12/16/13 10:09 AM Re: Alice Madness Returns-a flawed masterpiece [Re: bigmamma1]
Rushes Offline
The Three Pipe Moderator
True Blue Boomer

Registered: 07/10/05
Posts: 23764
Loc: UK
It's considered an action adventure, so it would fall under the "Darkside" forum category. GB/MaG tends not to write walkthroughs for anything with an action element. Our reviewers do occasionally dip into that genre, but not often, due either to preference or there being too many "pure" adventure games to be reviewing in the meantime. grin
_________________________
"Bleat, Watson -- unmitigated bleat!" ~ Sherlock Holmes

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#930079 - 12/16/13 10:34 AM Re: Alice Madness Returns-a flawed masterpiece [Re: bigmamma1]
Callista Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 04/06/12
Posts: 57
Loc: Singleton, Australia
Thank you very much Rushes for explaining all that to me. It was just that I saw the game mentioned in the Forum and I wrongly assumed that it was a normal adventure game. You have been a great help. Thanks again.

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#930297 - 12/17/13 11:23 AM Re: Alice Madness Returns-a flawed masterpiece [Re: bigmamma1]
Draclvr Online   content
BAAG Specialist

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 9861
Loc: In Missouri near St. Louis
I wouldn't have been able to get through Madness Returns without Godmode. That's another thing I wish they would have made a little easier to do... you have to tweak a game file. I hated the auto save, but did get past it. Why, oh, why would you develop such a difficult game and use auto save? I won't go so far as to say it ruined it for me, but like bigmamma, I wondered at times.

You do know for the invisible platforms, you can shrink so you can see them at least momentarily?
_________________________
Gardening is better than therapy. Plus you get tomatoes.

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#930415 - 12/17/13 09:39 PM Re: Alice Madness Returns-a flawed masterpiece [Re: bigmamma1]
oldbroad Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 1135
Loc: Chicago
How does God mode work (in the original Alice)? I am still trying to get myself to go back to the game and try it again.

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