Top critical review
10 of 17 people found this helpful
on July 11, 2011
I so, so wanted to like this game. To be fair, at times I did, but those flashes of enjoyment were few and far between.
Before getting into the pros/cons of this game, let me talk about the game itself. 'Alice' has six long levels for you to peruse, as well as many collectibles to find along the way. The time spent on this game depends on whether you're looking just to beat it or complete it -- completion will likely keep you busy for a reasonable amount of time. The difficulty is also split into four categories ranging from Easy to Nightmare, making it accessible to gamers of all experience levels.
The gameplay is a mixture of platforming and hack & slash, with some puzzle elements thrown in. There are several different weapons which you find throughout the game to aid you in combat, and each has its own benefit depending on which enemy you're fighting.
Now, onto the positives and negatives of this title.
Let me start off with the positive in stating that the art style of this game is beautiful. When Tim Burton made his 'Alice' film last year, I wish it had looked a little more like this. Aesthetically speaking, it is both dark and muted, as well as bright and colourful, depending on the level and/or area you happen to currently reside in.
The music is also very suitable to the game and its mood, creating a nice ambience. The voice acting is mostly good, with only a few characters being slightly off (the accents are where some of the trouble occurs).
That's about where my compliments end.
The quality of the graphics is somewhat inconsistent. While the graphics in Wonderland are generally favourable, as mentioned previously, while Alice is in the real world the graphics appear to be from a sixth generation console game rather than a seventh. Alice's hair moves erratically during certain cutscenes, and it seems like more care was given to detail with some characters and not others.
Some of the background textures are ghastly. They look like sloppy, cut & paste textures from the days of the PSX and N64. There is some pop-in from time to time, though my biggest concern is the fact that Alice gets snagged on the many unpolished surfaces of the environment.
Invisible walls aplenty. They happen anywhere and everywhere, and some of them are so poorly placed as to actually knock you off of a cliff and kill you. Similarly, there are also areas in the environments which appear to be accessible, but upon leaping over to them, you'll find you're not meant to go there and you will swiftly fall to your demise. Game developers, take note: please do not create different areas of the map if you are not meant to go there.
The aforementioned collectibles, specifically bottles, behave rather oddly. If you collect one, it's likely to simply reappear again even though you've already snatched it up. This can make things rather confusing if you're trying to keep track of which bottles you have or have not collected in the level you're currently playing.
The loading screens are frequent, and sometimes long. There is also a significant amount of lag upon collecting new 'memories' within a level (it does not seem to happen as often if you've already collected that memory).
The enemy targeting within the battle system leaves something to be desired. It auto-locks onto the nearest enemy, no matter what, and toggling between enemies is often much harder than it should be when there are multiple enemies around.
The amount of glitches this game has is also very disappointing. While a few are amusing -- such as Alice being suspended in mid-air, but still being able to control her -- most of them are frustrating to the point that I was shouting expletives at the screen. Examples are:
- Being stuck in objects and not being able to get out. Enemies can still hurt you while you're stuck in said object. If you die, chances are you'll be brought back to life inside the same freaking object.
- Having your weapons not work on any enemy, but the enemies can still hurt you. If you die, your weapons still won't work. Restarting the ENTIRE level (not from the autosave point) is usually the only way out of this.
- Level specific: in level three, there is an area in which there are statues that breathe fire. There is a switch that turns off the fire; however, during one play-through of the level, even though the fire was turned off, it was still there. An invisible wall of death, basically. It was in a place that barred me from progressing further in the level.
Usually, I play games like this to be sucked into its fantastical and macabre universe. However, the end result was me being more annoyed than satisfied.
Hopefully, the next time these people make a game, they work carefully to fix bugs like I've mentioned to create a more absorbing and enjoyable experience.