Quantcast
Community Discussion: Blog by Mike Moran | Wryviews: Alice Madness ReturnsDestructoid
Wryviews: Alice Madness Returns - Destructoid

DestructoidJapanatorTomopopFlixist





click to hide banner header
About

Episode 07: Duke Nukem 3D - PC
Episode 06: Resident Evil 2 - PS1
Episode 05: Deus Ex - PC
Episode 04: Mega Man Legends - PS1
Episode 03: Jet Grind Radio - Dreamcast
Episode 02: Mega Man 4-6 - NES
Episode 01: The Neo Geo Pocket Color - NGPC

Nostaljourney is a retro gaming podcast that features an new cast every episode. Each episode is based on discussing a particular game or series, then finding people who are nostalgic for it and people who have never played it before. If need be we go so far as to donate all the necessary gaming hardware to the newcomers. We compare the experiences of the two groups to find out how well a game has really aged as well as discuss its history.

For younger community members it may be a chance to learn what gaming was like in the past. For older community members it may be a chance to discover what games are truly classic and what games are not. In general the show exists to evaluate and discuss the nature of nostalgia and for everyone in the community to get to know each other better. Because the show involves giving out free games, it only records once every couple of months.

Recent changes to the game plan will hopefully entail the show recording every 2 weeks.


Shadows of the Damned - Multiplatform
Alice: Madness Returns - Multiplatform
Dead Rising 2 - Multiplatform
Radiant Historia - Nintendo DS
Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks - Nintendo DS
Ace Attorney Investigations - Nintendo DS

Wryviews are my personal review series where I try to do things different from the norm by asking myself how well the game achieved its goal, instead of if I liked the game or not. Wryviews are a personal challenge to stay objective and identify who would enjoy a certain game, rather than complain about who wouldn't. I feel that being a good reviewer entails being able to identify each game's audience.


Mega Man and Bass - Gameboy Advance
Maken X - Dreamcast

Gemnalysis is a series where I hunt down lesser known or neglected games and make a case for playing them despite the fact that they're older. Instead of flat out reviewing these games I look at them from the perspective of a collector and go over the game's history, and special trivia it may have.


Boss Battle - Mark of the Wolves
Boss Battle + Final Match - King of Fighters 98

Fatal Impact is a series of community tournaments revolving around SNK fighters; rather, it was. I happen to host the tournaments, but only once in a blue moon when I have the free time. I accept any and all callers, though I am not an entrant. Instead I am a trainer who organizes my entrants and helps to improve their game while introducing them to new and lesser appreciated fighting games.

The Fatal Impact tournaments will likely not continue until SNK releases games with better netcode. With recent promises from Atlus, King of Fighters XIII is likely to become the next big Fatal Impact game.


King of Fighters 94
King of Fighters 95
King of Fighters 96
King of Fighters 97

The King of Fighters Love Letter is a series dedicated to the storyline and history of SNK fighting games. Many people don't know anything about SNK in general, and with King of Fighters XIII on its way I'm going to bring everyone up to speed on the story in the series thus far.

Now that King of Fighters XIII has an actual release date this series may continue beyond the first story arc (Orochi Saga), but it's difficult to find solid information on the series' backstory.





Podsumaki Episode 09: Mortal Kombat Special
Podsumaki is a fighting game podcast that I hosted on and organized. There was a lot of random smack talk but it was a fun show. Currently it's on hold and none of the hosts are sure if it will ever come back. Our last episode was our highlight, where we spoke with three of the best Mortal Kombat players in the US and discussed the Mortal Kombat community and the upcoming game. If you were to listen to any one episode of Podsumaki, I'd recommend it be this.

The Top Three Things "Gamers" Should Care About Less
Somebody on Call of Duty: Black Ops screamed at me for not being good enough at the game, even though I wasn't on his team. Thanks to that I decided to write an article on some of the biggest problems with the gaming community, mostly their inability to care about things that actually matter.

Tainted Beauty: The Death and Rebirth of a Genre
What we have here is an article revolving around the 2D fighting game genre, the path one must go through to become good at the games, and all the obstacles in the way of this that I feel eventually led to the temporary death of the genre prior to the release of games like Street Fighter IV and BlazBlue.

Wry Guides: Goozex Training Manual
Wry Guides are a series where I try to educate the people of the community by writing about something that I in particular know a lot about. More than anything else though, it's just me unleashing a bad pun upon the world.

Top 11 Dreamcast Games You Probably Didn't Play
In this article I recap my experience as a guy who loved the Dreamcast, because he grew up with it as one of his primary forms of entertainment. The games listed aren't the popular and trendy choices so much as the lesser played B-list and C-list games that only true Dreamcast veterans touched.

Hey, I liked it: Mega Man VII
Hey, I liked it was a series where I reflected on games that I'm fond of that weren't appreciated by many people. As opposed to Wryviews which are meant to be impartial, this was a much more personal series. This series might continue some day but I could really not think of a bigger black sheep game than Mega Man VII.

Wry's Dreamcast Homebrew Guide: Pre-Brewed
There was a time when I was extremely, extremely into my Dreamcast. I didn't just play tons of regular games that I found on sale, I also researched the wealth of bootleg Dreamcast programs. These days I'm a collector and I'm not concerned with unofficial software. I'm too busy playing games I actually own. Still I created a quick guide to some of the easiest and best programs available for the Dreamcast that can be used with no hassle.

Untapped potential: Stop breaking my balls
I suck at games: But not forever
My Expertise: The Grand Jackass of Obscurity
Nothing is sacred: Sequels
Groundhog Day: Can you feel the sunshine, Sonic?
I started writing about games roughly a year and a half ago, and since then my viewpoints and my writing style have changed. Destructoid's Monthly Musings were a good way for me to get started when I didn't have many article ideas. These are all the ones I wrote that were promoted to the front page. I'm not super proud of them anymore, but if you want to see my writings evolve a little bit you can compare these to my more recent articles.
Player Profile
Follow me:
Mike Moran's sites
Badges
Following (31)  




Alice: Madness Returns is an oddity of a game; the kind where a numbered review score doesn't really help say anything about it. I knew I had to have this game as soon as it was announced and had been looking forward to it immensely. That said, it didn't blow me away. What's odd about that is I'll probably play it more than once and recommend it to a ton of people despite that. The game isn't especially deep or varied, yet there's a lot to appreciate about it.

The premise of the game is that you play as Alice from Alice in Wonderland, but the twist is that Alice has gone insane. The majority of the game takes place in Wonderland, which of course only exists in Alice's mind. Because Alice's mind is twisted however Wonderland is a sick, twisted and violent place. Defeating your enemies and returning peace to Wonderland is a sort of visual metaphor for reclaiming your character's sanity. The idea began with the original American McGee's Alice game back in 2000. The game is still considered a classic by its fanbase. I might add every copy of Alice: Madness Returns for the PS3 and 360 comes with a code to download American McGee's Alice for free. It's a ridiculously good deal.



The story of Alice: Madness Returns revolves around Alice trying desperately to remember the details behind her family's death. Alice has become somewhat more sane since the original game and is now allowed to mingle with the outside world, no longer restrained within a mental asylum. She is by no means well, though. While the original game took place entirely in Wonderland, Alice: Madness Returns allows you to spend brief periods in the real world. There's a certain mystery behind all the twisted imagery that goes on in Alice's mind, and the way the game is presented you often question if Alice is ever in the outside world or simply hallucinating the whole way through. I find the real world segments of the game very engaging, but make no mistake you won't be spending much time there. The grand majority of the game still takes place in Wonderland, with Alice trying to press residents like The Mad Hatter for information on the "Infernal Train" which is running mad through Wonderland and slowly destroying Alice's mind.

I'd like to state for the record that while getting the original game for free is a real treat, Alice: Madness Returns is a huge improvement over American McGee's Alice. While the original arguably had a better story and more variety, it was a kind of confused game. It controlled look a shooting game even though it was clearly a platformer and the level design was highly frustrating. Alice: Madness Returns knows exactly what it wants to be: A roller coaster of visual stimulation with fun controls and little to no frustrations.

Right from the beginning of the game you're given a floating triple jump, a teleport dash and a shrinking ability and set off to go have some fun. The controls are extremely responsive and moving Alice around is infinitely more enjoyable than it was before. The platforming is simple and doesn't really toss many new tricks at you as you go along, but it's well done. You'll be spending a lot of time in this game jumping from platform to platform, finding switches and solving very simple puzzles. The game will give you hints if you get stuck and if you die you'll simply respawn nearby. You'll be spending nearly as much time in combat and it's along the same lines: Fun, responsive but relatively simple and non-frustrating. The game even gives you the ability to become invincible for a brief period if you're low on health. This game doesn't mind cutting you some breaks. If you dislike that, just pump up the difficulty I suppose. The game's main attraction is the story and visuals, and the gameplay itself is still fun and easy to just kind of get lost in. I had no problem with this particular case of hand-holding.

If you really want an idea of how streamlined the game is consider that the game doesn't require any inventory management at all. Every weapon and ability has an assigned button, except that later in the game you'll need to use the D-Pad to switch between your two types of guns. This is one of those games where every single ability you get will be used frequently, but the point is that nothing about the game is especially complex.



This is the main thing that will keep some people from enjoying Alice: Madness Returns. While the game's various areas are incredibly memorable and all the abilities fun to use, it definitely gets repetitive. The game does toss some cool segments at you once in a while to spice things up, but for the most part you'll be jumping, fighting, uncovering a bit of the story and then maybe playing a mini-game. I beat the game in two sittings despite all this. I just never felt the need to stop. Alice is the kind of game you can just keep playing and playing until you're done, and if you happen to be a fan of collect-a-thons you won't be done for a very long time. The game is littered with hidden items and collectibles, as well as a New Game+ mode so you can keep all your items and weapons upgrades.

Alice: Madness Returns is a game that's ridiculously easy to recommend. The concept is creative, you get two games for the price of one and it's well polished. The game excels in providing you incredible dream-like imagery and delivers solid platforming and action gameplay on top. There's no other game out there that provides an experience quite like Alice: Madness Returns. Just consider your tolerance for simplicity. If you fancy yourself a hardcore gamer you might find the game unsatisfying and too long. Don't be afraid to recommend this game to others even if it's not for you, though. I will guarantee you that the game's brilliant concept and ease of play will make it Game of the Year material to a pretty large audience.

I could go into more detail on some of the cool things the game does like the Godzilla-esque segment or the part where you're jumping around on cards in the sky, but I feel like it's unnecessary and I'd best save the game's surprises. There isn't a whole ton that really needs to be said. The fact of the matter is that Alice: Madness Returns doesn't do anything to screw up its own concept, and when the concept is this easy for people to get enthusiastic over that's not a bad thing.



Is this blog awesome? Vote it up!




Those who have come:



Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.


Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more