Alice: Madness Returns is a 3D platformer developed by American McGee's Shanghai studio: Spicy Horse. Published by EA, Alice: Madness Returns was released on June 14, 2011 for PC, PS3 and 360, over 10 years after its prequel: American McGee's Alice launched in 2000.
The Alice games are based on the original Alice in Wonderland books, in fact, they continue from after the books. However, after a severe psychological trauma Alice Liddell has a complete mental breakdown. Her insanity changes Wonderland to match that. Overall the world of Alice: Madness Returns is very bleak and macabre and frankly, fucked up.
Despite all that though, Alice: Madness Returns is not a horror game by any means. Unfortunately, EA marketed it as such. Right around the time EA marketed Dead Space 2 as an action-adventure game, too. Go figure.
Joining me as always is the magnificent Sinatrapod.
Why this game?
Alice: Madness Returns is a pretty good game but it has some flaws. But at its core it IS a 3D platformer. And not just that, it has a ton of collectibles. Sound familiar? Yeah, anything that reminds me of Spyro is gonna do well in my book. It hits all my notes; amazing colorful visuals, great controls and mobility, lots of collectibles, doesn't take itself too seriously and most importantly: CHARM.
Unfortunately they pad the game out too much as time goes on. This means long stretches of same-y stuff. Which is really kinda dumb because without all the padding the game still would've been a good length. I suppose it was to make up for all the things that got scrapped during development.
What about the prequel?
Honestly the prequel has not aged well at all. I tried playing it but the controls are, uh, strange. It's OK, though. Since it's been 11 years the game does a well enough job to recap so you can just jump right in. However, the game is full of references and I'm not an expert on the first game OR on Alice lore, so feel free to point things out.
- I changed things up a bit in regards to Dual Audio to better suit the game. Instead of having the second audio track hidden in a downloaded file, I'm gonna upload both versions to YouTube. Uncut versions will have us talking over cutscenes. Regular versions will not.
- There's a TON of misc content in terms of bios, an artbook and various other things. It'll become hundreds of images so I recommend using the update posts themselves to more easily digest it all.
- The game's only DLC is some weapons and costumes. I will let the thread decide on which costume to wear at certain points in the game.