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American McGee's Alice

version: europe (croatia) - year: 2000 - developer: rogue entertainment - publisher: electronic arts - format: pc cdrom, ps3 dlc - condition: mint - rarity: common

American McGee's Alice was originally released only on PC and Mac. A console port for PS3 and Xbox 360 was released in 2011 as a download-only.

 

The cinematics look a lot granier on PS3 than on PC.

 

The wicked rabbit looks really evil...

 

Collision detection is sometimes a bit dodgy.

 

Alice gets the ability to swim after helping this...thing

 

Most platforming mistakes lead to instant death

 

Inertia in the ice level makes dealing with platforms a lot harder than needed

 

This specific cut-scene has been badly adapted to fit the 16:9 ratio for the console ports. The head of the caterpillar is often cut making it very weird to talk to him. This shot is from the original PC 4:3 ratio.

 

Alice in her demonized form

 

The mirrors level is inspired

 

 Jabberwock is not the final boss but he is the hardest obstacle in the entire game. Luckily for me, at one point he got stuck inside the floor so I managed to give him a couple of extra hits while also saving my game every 2 seconds. Some of his attacks are almost impossible to avoid and some are 1-hit kill.

Review - This twisted interpretation of Alice in Wonderland is a 3rd person action / adventure similar to Heavy Metal FAKK2 and Rune.

11 Years ago, I got this game on PC, but I soon realized that playing with mouse and keyboard wasn't the way to go with Alice. Super precise platforming action requires a Joypad, thing which at the time I still didn't have for my PC. Eventually, the game got forgotten in the sands of time until a couple of days ago when I realized that same game had been made available as a DLC included for free with the sequel Alice Madness Returns for PS3 and XBox 360.

Being able to play the original Alice on the big screen with 16/9 support, a proper joypad, and with Trophies support sounded like the kind of arcane astral conjunction that had to happen in order for me to try and get into this game again...

After playing it to the end, I can say that Alice has aged a bit roughly although it is still enjoyable if you want to dig back into the twisted vision of American McGee's interpretation of the classic Lewis Carroll novel or if you want to hear the exceptional soundtrack from Chris Vrenna which I have to say, suits the game really well and adds to the tense atmosphere exponentially!

Gameplay mainly consists of hardcore platforming, mild puzzles solving and lots of fights.

Alice can use close-range and long range weapons although the latter are limited by a blue meter which rapidly runs out every time you use ranged attacks. You can replenish it by collecting orbs or hearts that defeated enemies leave behind once dead. This ensures some strategizing as to how and when to hit enemies and bosses and when to retreat.

Sometimes you'll find yourself having to go berserk, down and dirty into the action knifing all that moves and hoping for the best while other times, you'll just clear your path from a safe distance.

There are a couple of timed-power-ups which either greatly increase Alice's strength or render her invisible for a stealthier approach.

When I said Alice aged a bit roughly, I meant the difficulty level relies too heavily on cheap unavoidable instant death obstacles which have to be dealt with by saving your game every few enemies or obstacles you pass. This is obviously the type of gameplay that derives from PC gaming where you can save your game anytime.

The problem I had was that obstacles are designed so they interrupt the gameplay flow in the most irritating of ways. Some lag in the jumps and a few dubious collision detection are the final touches which will make sure you'll get angry many, many times at this game as some of the mechanics seem to be a bit broken.

Despite its obvious flaws, American McGee's Alice is still entertaining and is worth a playthrough although be aware the game is very long and may get somewhat repetitive.

The port from PC to console has been handled very well, with textures which look nice (considering the age of the game) and with crisp HD graphics.

Alice's animation looks a bit robotic as she runs and strafes a bit like a tree log with arms and legs but it's not too bad.

The difficulty curve is steep at the beginning, but then gradually flattens out as you acquire better weapons and you learn the game. There are a few very high difficulty spikes though which may turn some players off. I played the game on normal mode and once you choose the difficulty level, there is no way to change it unless you restart the game from scratch.

Bottom line: In the end, American McGee's Alice is a very welcome DLC which is worth playing if you can cope with antique game design and want to dig into the story before playing the sequel. 7/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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