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Forums > Submission Feedback > threetimes's American McGee's Alice review

This thread is in response to a review for American McGee's Alice on the Miscellaneous. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: Lewis
Posted: January 28, 2009 (07:32 AM)
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I absolutely love this game. I don't know if I own it any more. I really hope I do because, as you said, picking it up ain't easy these days.

(Though marking it down for this is one of the most preposterous things I've heard in a long time. Gwah?!)

But yeah. What a brilliantly crafted game. At heart, it is just an action-platformer. But the quality lies in its wondrous art design, fabulous script and fiendish puzzles (the latter unfortunately compromised by a few arbitrary lever-pulling exercies). It's also deliciously spooky, and at times gloriously odd. What about that bit that sees you open a door only for you to appear at the beginning of the same corridor? And then you go back through it and you're somewhere else entirely? Lovely stuff. Well ahead of its time.

I might have to go track this down again. I wonder if it's just brilliant in my memory, or whether I'd still love it.

(What do you mean by "the voices are good, which they should be as they're English," by the way?)


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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: January 28, 2009 (09:18 AM)
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This game has existed (and placed high) on my "games to play" list for an age. I should get back on the search for it.

Good review, though I agree with Lewis: it was a peculiar reason to knock a point off the score.


For us. For them. For you.


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Author: threetimes
Posted: January 28, 2009 (12:18 PM)
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I was so pissed off with the fact that it had taken me months to track down a copy. I mean, even if a game is great, if no-one can find a copy to play the thing... Point taken though.


Don't panic!


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: January 29, 2009 (11:46 PM)
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We have this game for the PC. Our dad got it because it seemed strange. Well, it is strange. I haven't played much of it, since I think we were really young when he got it and he was like "Not for you". He did let us watch, though. >_>

Anyway, I've been hearing about the new American McGee title about the Grimm brothers. That one looked neat, too. And it's probably more accurate than the fantasized fairy tales we hear, since I believe the true Tales were quite gruesome.

Which brings up another point I was wondering... Is the real Alice story kind of dark, too? If it's a children's book, I'd imagine it can't be as dark as Rouge made it, but I also know it's not the cartoony fairyworld that Disney made it. I should read that some time.

Also, I find it odd that the genre listing on the PC is "First-Person-Shooter".... =/


What espiga does in his free time
[Eating EmP's brain] probably isn't a good idea. I mean... He's British, which means his brain's wired for PAL and your eyes are NTSC. - Will


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Author: Lewis
Posted: January 30, 2009 (01:53 AM)
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Well Lewis Carrol was a big fan of the smack, wasn't he?

(Well, Opium. But still.)

The book's quite political, actually. Less gruesome than McGee's version, more complex than Disney's version. It's also heavily metaphorical, rather than being a straightforward fantasy tale. But at the same time, it was written for his friend's daughter Alice, who wanted to imagine herself on a wild adventure. So it ain't particularly unsuitable for the whippersnappers.


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Author: bloomer
Posted: January 30, 2009 (03:28 AM)
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Wolf, why do you find it odd that it's listed as a first person shooter, when mechanically, that is clearly what it is :)

And it is a fine first person shooter, but I don't think that's why we remember it. As others have been saying, it has a unique design and aesthetic, that give it a sense that lft it beyond being just a member of a genre. Sometimes it's stymied by genre. That is, a lot of the wackness is in the cutscenes and ideas for levels. But few FPSes are even concerned with this kind of subject matter in the first place. It has some terrifically sad music too, by Chris Vrenna. You can get the soundtrack on itunes.


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Author: JANUS2
Posted: January 30, 2009 (03:46 AM)
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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is dark only in the sense that everyone in wonderland is absolutely mad.


"fuck yeah oblivion" - Jihad


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Author: Lewis
Posted: January 30, 2009 (05:28 AM)
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Mechanically, at a push, it could be a third-person shooter. Its camera kind of prevents the description of FPS, though, doesn't it?

I'd still say it's more of a platformer with an emphasis on combat, though. Some of the "weapons" are inspired.

Vrenna's a musical genius.


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: January 30, 2009 (10:20 AM)
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Yeah. Alice seemed more of an action-adventure / platformer type to me. And it's classified that way on Gamefaqs (though that may not be the most credible source, but still).


What espiga does in his free time
[Eating EmP's brain] probably isn't a good idea. I mean... He's British, which means his brain's wired for PAL and your eyes are NTSC. - Will


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Author: bloomer
Posted: January 30, 2009 (07:06 PM)
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Actually you are both totally correct and I was having a brain collapse. But then what I said after - I realise that's why in my memory it still feels FPSy, because it's so weapony and killy.


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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: January 30, 2009 (07:24 PM)
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There: edited and pimped out with funky new info, yo. Now the info panal is complete -- and fly.


For us. For them. For you.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: January 30, 2009 (07:53 PM)
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My thoughts on a few things:

The game is pretty awesome, graphically, but gameplay-wise I found it left a lot to be desired. But then, I tend to have problems with computer games, as stated elsewhere. I know some of my problems were around crashes and what not. I'd really have to play it again to get down to the nitty gritty of WTF I'm talking about.

That said, I distinctly remember the bosses being annoying battles of attrition in which the player just aims at them a lot and wishes they had a visible health meter. I also remember the level design getting very old and the platforming elements not... working so well.

On more concrete ground, I can definitely say it's THIRD PERSON SHOOTER not FIRST PERSON SHOOTER. It's from a third person perspective, for one thing.

I can also say that Lewis is pretty much spot-on as regards the original book. I disagree with this review that the Disney version was lighter. The truth is, the Disney version is much more OVERT than the book, which is fairly innocent. You never get the sense of homesickness, isolation, loss, or fear in Alice's book personification that you get in the Disney version. The book is mostly about Alice in a farcical romp, replete with word games and silly characters.

If I recall, Through the Looking Glass is much darker.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: threetimes
Posted: January 31, 2009 (08:27 AM)
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Lewis: (What do you mean by "the voices are good, which they should be as they're English," by the way?)

Not what I wrote: "In fact, all the voices in the game are excellent and as English as they should be." They should be English and they are.

And I thought of the game as a platformer. If it had been a FPS I wouldn't have played it, but third person action fantasy will do very nicely.


Don't panic!


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Author: threetimes
Posted: February 20, 2009 (09:13 PM)
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Update, in case anyone doesn't know, apparently Alice is getting a revival. By EA.

http://uk.gamespot.com/news/6204914.html


Don't panic!


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