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Lord_Magmar
Feb 24, 2015


For what it's worth I enjoy watching other people play Alice: Madness Returns, and so far am enjoying watching this game be played. I think though that this game seems more polished, whilst Madness Returns comes across as having more impressive set-pieces.

The giant section from Madness Returns is really great for instance.

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Lord_Magmar
Feb 24, 2015


I must admit that the combat in Madness Returns looks more fun or possibly just better flowing than this game, but having not played either that might just be that I like God of War combat and Madness Returns looks like it's pretty close to that. It's also a really pretty game when it wants to be, and suitably gross when necessary, but that might be because of technical limitations.

The collectables also probably wouldn't bother me because I love games with lots of things to find and collect.

Lord_Magmar
Feb 24, 2015


Tiggum posted:

I was really looking forward to Madness Returns and I was so disappointed with it when it came out. The biggest thing for me was that the weapons - by far my favourite thing about the original - were just poo poo. And I found the umbrella really awkward to use with the default controls, but changing the controls made it not work, and the response given by the developers at the time was basically "it's fine, just don't change the key for the umbrella".

I much prefer the combat in the original, partly because of the weapons but also because Madness Returns has those sort of enemies where you need to do a specific counter-move to them rather than letting you just do it your own way.

The umbrella thing I'll agree is pretty stupid, if you're going to have a block function it should be a unique button not a combination of buttons. But the weapons in Madness Returns all have a clear use and function really well for that use, and when used correctly are all really strong at that use. The Knife is fast melee, the Horse strong melee, the Pepper-pot fast range and the Tea-cannon strong ranged. The game generally tries to get you to use these in combination to deal with combat. This is also why the enemies have specific ways to fight them, so that the game itself is more mechanically interesting. Compare to what we currently have in this game, where the cards are being described as somewhat useless even though they're designed to be the primary method of ranged combat, the Knife and Croquet mallet are both really strong because they can do range and melee and the demon is just sort of there, if very fun.

Admittedly game-play preferences are all very personal opinions so whilst I may like the style of combat Alice:Madness Returns is trying for that doesn't mean everyone has to. It's also not a particularly well done version of that gameplay style either, admittedly. God of War 3 is probably my favourite version of that particularly combat system and it also has problems.

I also want to defend the dresses in Madness Returns a little, as having looked them up none of them bar the Cheshire Cat themed dress, the Straitjacket and the Queen dress could be considered particularly skin-tight. Of these two of them are visually disturbing anyway and the other is the Cheshire Cat, who is intentionally made quite sleek and skinny in the series. Plus the dresses in general being slightly sexy and a little fetishistic is very fitting considering what the villain of the game is planning to do, and Wonderland and her clothing are meant to reflect her current mood/thoughts. Which is also why the dresses change for each world.

Finally I looked it up and Alice is 18 in this game, 19 in the second and 20 for the cartoons. Officially at least.

Lord_Magmar fucked around with this message at Sep 14, 2016 around 09:46

Lord_Magmar
Feb 24, 2015


To be fair I'm primarily a console gamer and the control scheme for consoles is at least sane, I'd be impressed if it wasn't actually as it's a third person character action game with collectibles and those are pretty hard to get wrong on consoles. I mean look at the Arkham Knight computer port, it was actually straight up unplayable originally, so perhaps the computer port just isn't very good?

The story is another subjective thing. From what I recall it's well played out at least, and an interesting take on the themes it's discussing. I don't recall it ever treating the player like an idiot either, it just uses a particular language and writing style.

Admittedly I also might just be easily impressed by the improved graphical and animations of the sequel. I mean compare how she uses the knife in this game, a sort of wild flailing with little weight, and the vicious twirling that looks actually quite deadly in the second.

Lord_Magmar fucked around with this message at Sep 14, 2016 around 17:11

Lord_Magmar
Feb 24, 2015


I personally like that the final victory of the game is ambiguous, Madness Returns ends with Alice rejecting the reality of her situation in London and that of the children, and in doing so she gains the strength to change that reality.

It ties neatly with how the villain was trying to make his desires her reality, and instead she turns that on him by making his reality her wonderland in which she can kill him and get away with it. Which considering the movies are set afterwards seems she did.

Also the Train of Thought metaphor leading to a real life train killing the villain is a good bit of off-beat comedy in my opinion. There's a lot of that in Madness Returns actually, this game too come to think of it.

So if nothing else it seems American McGee has a consistent ability to create off-beat dark comedy, even if Alice and Madness Returns take it in different directions.

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