Alice: Madness Returns - Lock her back up

4/24/2012 9:38:15 AM

Madness Returns is a platformer in the same vein as Mario, Ratchet or Clank. You control Alice as she runs around Wonderland, fighting creatures and other weird oddities with her Knight chess piece (which she wields a hammer) and the Vorpal blade. You don’t really have to memorize combos but enemies do need you to switch up your tactics once in a while. As it’s so simplistic, combat can get a bit boring, obviously catering to the button-mashing crowd. You’d expect a platformer to have bosses, don’t you? Well, tough luck. There aren’t any save for the end game boss. It’s a bit of a letdown to spend hours in an area, only to end it with a cutscene of you going to the next.

Alice: Madness Returns is what the original Super Mario Brothers on the NES was; a basic platformer with a stylized look. You jump, you hit stuff, you flip switches to jump to a new area with more stuff for you to hit. Rinse and repeat. While the game is decently long, the majority of that is just padding. Once you’ve played one or two hours into the game, guess what? That’s pretty much there is to it. You’ll be redoing (and redoing) the same stuff over and over again in different areas.

Description: Alice: Madness Returns - Lock her back up

Alice is broken up into different chapters, with each taking a few hours. While that’s normally a good thing, I started to get bored on the third world, when it dawned on me I was doing the same things over and over again. I kept on playing in the hopes that I’d find something different, but I never did.

Description: Alice: Madness Returns

There are hidden items you can find that unlocks Alice’s memories, but even then the items aren’t that challenging to find. The game’s pretty linear and just taking your time to slowly look around means you’ll find most of them. Finding Alice’s memories does help flesh out the flimsy story to a certain degree, but it never makes the experience any more interesting. Even visually, the game’s weird looks gets stale after awhile. Unlike Psychonauts (which was awesome), Madness Return’s weirdness seems forced and uninspired. The Xbox may be lacking in the platformer department but it sure deserves a better quality game than Alice. Don’t get me wrong, Alice is a fun (if generic) platformer, but it’s on no way in the same league as the Marios or Ratchets of the gaming world.

At a glance

Developer: Spicy Horse

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Genre: Action

Platform: Xbox 360

Players: 1


Verdict: 8.0

Playability: 6.0

Graphics: 7.0

Sound: 7.0

Addictiveness: 6.0

Value: 6.0

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