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View Full Version : My thoughts on the game: Rating C-


Pandanapper
07-10-2011, 12:16 AM
Played the game on Hard and it took 37 hours to finish. I got the good majority of everything: snouts, bottles, memories, and painted roses. Here are my thoughts on the game.

My game stats: Hard Mode, 37 hours played, 84/94 memories recovered, 52/59 Snouts, 69/83 Bottles collected, 12/16 Radula rooms completed, 94% completed, All weapons + max upgrade, All keys found.

WARNING: Some spoilers! Do not continue if you do not wish to see them.

Graphics: A-
Story: C
Game play: D-
--Overall: C-

I played the original when it first came out and it was dang good. Loved the variety of weapons, boss fights were challenging, storyline was great. There was a lot for this sequel to live up to, but it fell short.

Graphics

Yes, were terrific. It was a great choice of an engine to use and added to the immersion. Only problem I had was the Pepper Grinder smoke, it lagged graphics a little but I didn't care. The only reason itís not an A+ is because of the cut scenes. Could they have not animated with the Unreal Engine? Paper cut story telling while you have the Unreal Engine in your grasp? Really?

Story

The story was interesting. I wondered how they were going to take off from the last one since everyone in Wonderland died in the first. The sudden immersion was a good start, yet I felt it needed a little bit more back story in the beginning. A lack of explanations of how the characters either survived or were brought back put some holes in the story. However:

Cheshire lost his head in the first, so how did he get it back? How and why did Alice's psychosis conjure him up again?

The Hatters reemergence is understandable, but what happened with Door Mouse and March Hare? In the first game you do see a scene with them where Hatter is transforming them, but what happened after? All of a sudden they're running the place, so why? Also I kept expecting some clockwork type minions to be in that chapter to explain just who Door Mouse and March Hare were shouting at.

Walrus and Carpenter were a nice addition to the game, though their explanation of Alice's madness didn't quite work with the end result of the chapter.

The Oriental Grove chapter was beautiful to play through but lacked significance in the story. You learned nothing about Aliceís psychosis from the people you helped throughout the entire thing. Then when you get to Caterpillar itís a short and dirty conversation before you leave that didnít go in-depth at all.

The reemergence of the Red Queen, in a way, contradicts the original game. The whole reason Alice was released from the asylum was due to her obliterating the Red Queen. More of an explanation as to how the Red Queen reemerged would help. What brought her back? What kept her alive?

The Dollhouse chapter was interesting addition to the game. I can see where it tied in with what the psychiatrist was telling Alice in the beginning.

The Final chapter did a decent job of tying the story together, but fell short in ending the game. You donít get to see what happened to Alice after she defeats her inner demon. Does she stay in the asylum? Does she really kill the psychiatrist? Or does he get convicted?
As for the memories you collect the good majority had zero to do with why Alice was still a troubled woman. Not enough related to the actual reason why Alice continues to have episodes.

Game play

Overall it played like the original and I thank the developers for keeping it that way. The weapon selection was great, even though the Ice Wand wasnít brought back, but I did like the new additions. The Radula rooms were fun to tackle at times but at times were repetitive (mind you I only missed 4 of them). I liked the riddles that Cheshire would throw at you since they dealt with the original game and the books. The timed survivals did get a bit boring to do and do over.

The mini games were a nice touch as they prevented the game from being repetitive. I do think that the sliding block puzzles could have been much more complex depending on the difficulty you chose. The same goes for the chess puzzles in the Queens land.

The types of enemies were lacking. Again in the Hatters domain I was expecting many more clockwork type enemies, more especially the workers in which Door Mouse and March Hare were yelling about. The Ruins did get a bit old after a while of seeing them in every single level. The reanimated Card Guards were fun to go against, though only 2 types of them seemed lame. Same with the Wasps and Dolls, there just was not enough variety per chapter.

I did enjoy the weapon upgrade system. It was fun to do more damage with the same weapon but also to see the weapon itself become more menacing as it was upgraded. I just wish the rabbit could have been upgraded though. The focus target fighting was fun for the most part, but at times the camera angle got screwed and would cause you some harm.

But there are two things that killed it for me: Lack of boss fights, and the Cut Scenes.

In all the chapters, save the last, I expected to duke it out with the end boss. I was extremely disappointed when I got there and it ended in a cut scene instead. When I got to the end of the Hatters Domain and saw the Door Mouse and March Hare in a huge robot I was rather excited. Then miraculously the Hatter gets away and saves the day, exit to a cut scene. This nonsense gets repeated at the end of each chapter, again except for the last chapter. There should have been boss fights at the end of the other chapters and this was a major disappointment.

As for the only boss you fight in the game it just seemed to be lacking. It starts off alright as you fight the hands and break the doll faces on them to defeat them. But then the dang Ruins are brought in again for you to fight. No mixture of monsters youíve fought before, just the Ruins. And only one type of Ruin at that! I was expecting to go up against just about everything in a three phase style fight. Yet the fight was only two phased and had just 2 types of monsters to deal with. This truly was a disappointment.

As for the Cut Scenes, what was the goal of using a paper cut style to tell the story? You are using one of the most expensive gaming engines to date to tell a story, and instead you use paper cuts to tell it. Why? It breaks from the game immersion completely! Was the art nice? Yes it was nice. However I felt as if I went from a psychiatrist telling me a story to a kindergarten class. You build up this menacing idea that Alice saw some twisted stuff before her family died in a fire but then dilute it down to just a bad situation with the way you chose to animate the Cut Scenes. Had you created a boss fight where Alice beat the boss to figure out her psychosis then maybe the paper cut animate would have been alright to do.

Conclusion

Overall the game did not meet the standard of play let alone live up to the standards of the first game. The lack of Boss fights, memories to support the story, and mangled Cut Scenes disappointed me. The idea for the game seemed grand yet the product wasnít thought through entirely. To get to the climax of a level in a game, tease the player with an idea of what boss they will fight, and then drop the whole thing for a cut scene makes for a horrible experience for the player. The game seemed as if it was trying to be more of an interactive movie than a game with a story. But even then it just disappointed.

AeddGynvael
07-10-2011, 12:50 AM
Strongly disagree with pretty much everything you said, but hey, at least it was somewhat well-written, and while not even close to masking the negative personal bias, at least you try to present your opinion in a civilized manner, for which I commend you.

Zorlond
07-10-2011, 12:20 PM
Paper cut story telling while you have the Unreal Engine in your grasp? Really?

The origional Alice in Wonderland is a book, complete with pictures. Why not acknowledge the story's origin by having a book-like cutscene? I liked it, it was quite different from what every other game has done.


I wondered how they were going to take off from the last one since everyone in Wonderland died in the first.

Um, the very last scene of American McGee's Alice was everybody re-appearing, as the general restoration of Wonderland was achieved. Besides, figments of imagination don't necessarily stay dead when they're killed...

Pandanapper
07-10-2011, 12:54 PM
The origional Alice in Wonderland is a book, complete with pictures. Why not acknowledge the story's origin by having a book-like cutscene? I liked it, it was quite different from what every other game has done.
I recognized that it was from the books, of which I own. I liked the art work in the game, but as I said before it broke the immersion quality of the game for me. And again made something that was supposed to be menacing seem much less.




Um, the very last scene of American McGee's Alice was everybody re-appearing, as the general restoration of Wonderland was achieved. Besides, figments of imagination don't necessarily stay dead when they're killed...
Does that mean they can't create a story as to how these characters reemerged in their twisted state? What about for the people who never played the first?

Neithan
07-11-2011, 01:50 AM
What about for the people who never played the first?

Well those people wouldn't know they died in the first game (but as Zorlond said they were brought back to life, and can something conjured by your imagination really die?). And those people could not really complain about the story because it is a sequel, and if you don't know the first game, it is kinda your fault (at least it is not the developers fault ;))

Arcanz
07-29-2011, 02:03 AM
You don’t get to see what happened to Alice after she defeats her inner demon. Does she stay in the asylum? Does she really kill the psychiatrist? Or does he get convicted?
As for the memories you collect the good majority had zero to do with why Alice was still a troubled woman. Not enough related to the actual reason why Alice continues to have episodes.



Did you play the game to the end? She pushed him into an incoming train, I'm pretty sure that qualifies as " as dead as you can get". You see that with him dead, her illusions is returned to the normal bright and happy ones as the psychiatrist is both dead in reality and in her mind. And the memories fit really well too, again.. did you play the game? Several memories about her sister telling Alice she didn't want to do what the psychiatrist asked her to. Showing how the rest of London perceived Alice after the mental breakdown.

As for the cutscenes, they fit more than anything into the game. Well, just my opinion at least, I really liked them and how the insanity was amplified through it. I think no 3D cut-scene could have made it equally good. While we're at 3D cut-scenes, there where those too, but you probably didn't notice, because they didn't make an equally strong visual impact like the 2D does. I do wonder what dificulty you played at though, as I got several types of ruins in the last boss fight.

Edit: And for the characters that gets resurrected, they get resurrected in the first game. They are figments of her imagination, of course she will remember them as she's been in wonderland loads of times and interacted with them. Every time she does remember them, they are bound to be brought back and be remade by her mind. The mad Hatter dies in the first chapter, yet he still sits on the train, perfect example.

Caiobrz
07-29-2011, 02:20 AM
Just to tell I agree with Arcanz, the memories where actually quite well placed. It was very clear she was trying to remember her past because something didn't quite fit. Based on her memories you quickly learn, still on the first chapter, that it was not an accident. By chapter 3 I started to get suspicious of the lawyer but it slowly shifts to her psychiatrist before she spells it out.

The memories also help a lot about how and why he did it.

And it's clear all the time he is the inner monster because he was trying to brainwash her into forgetting all of that, since she was the only one who "could remember" stuff that could incriminate him.

FYI it's all in her head, her imagination, there is no definite dead or alive, not casuality of any kind, weird of you to expect that (on to why HALLUCINATIONS that died came back). It also makes perfect sense that the Red Queen is there: you cannot kill a part of you, only suppress it.

mathesar
07-31-2011, 12:08 AM
To each their own I played through the game twice and thought it was great.

MADDOGGE
07-31-2011, 07:37 AM
Love the game. Is it identical to the first,no. Could it have been better? Yes, Give me a quick save and better game customization. Compared to most sequels though this game is awesome and stuck very close to the original unlike say current long time between games pos like DNF or AvP2010 that gutted themselves of all that made the original games fun.

Amander
07-31-2011, 02:25 PM
I also disagree. Visuals aren't everything, the papercut cutscenes absolutely fit in, there's no need to make it look like Avatar only cause there's a kickass engine.
As for the lack of boss fights, it was quite allright. It's not like the endings of the chapters don't feel epic enough with the story bits.

Iselore
08-13-2011, 05:53 PM
Yea, for me, boss fights are pretty stale and cliche by now already so I didn't really mind. I wouldn't want to waste time on frustrating boss fights.