Review by GCMaster

"Good but not great"

When this game first came out a while ago I was really excited about it. The reviews were all really great, and I had only heard good things. SO when I finally got around to actually playing the dang thing I couldn't help but be a little bit disappointed. Not only were the graphics not what I expected them to be (and I know graphics don't make the game, but they were mentioned as being top-notch) and the gameplay itself was less than spectacular.

Graphics
The graphics are definitely good, but not quite as good as I expected them to be. The major point is how WEIRD everything is. Since this is Alice's twisted wonderland, everything is funky and zanny like the original Wonderland, but with a much darker twist. All the original characters return, such as the Cheshire Cat is sickly skinny with an earring, a Mad Hatter who really looks mad and generally warped creatures. The only problem is even at 1600x1200 with 4x antialaising, everything still looks a bit squared. It still looks good, but it certainly doesn't look very smooth.
Overall - 7:10

Sound
The sound in this game is excellent. The voice acting is decent and Alice really does have the voice of a girl on the edge. All the other characters sound good as well, as none of it comes across as silly. Unfortunately, I had some problems with the voices breaking up every now and then in some of the longer dialogs. The sound-effects are also great, with crazed children laughing maniacally, Boojums screaming at you and general ambiance noise really adds to the atmosphere.
Overall - 9:10

Gameplay
Here is where the game sometimes shines and then in other areas falls short. While there are certainly unique elements and THANK GOD there is no find key-open door puzzles, which is always a major plus. Time spent on ice and in the water is minimal (those levels are ALWAYS annoying). The weapons are unique, and with a twist, every time you find a weapon that you already poses, it becomes stronger. Of particular mention are the demon-dice (you only start with 1 and upgrade to 3), which summons a demon to do you dirty work a pretty much useless deck of throwing cards and, my favorite, the deadtime watch, which freezes time for about 20 seconds. The jumping puzzles do exist but are not nearly enough to hamper gameplay, and the quickload button actually loads the game quickly. Unfortunately, near the end of the game, the clever puzzles disappear in favor of plenty of enemies, which doesn't make things to difficult because even on the hardest difficulty setting, the AI is basically ''See player, kill player.'' Oh well.
Overall - 7:10

Replayability
Unfortunately there is no multiplayer, and the game is very linear, offering no secret levels, although there is incentive to find the few secret areas as they power up your weapons. Playing through this game once is probably enough.
Overall - 5:10

I didn't want this review to come across as harsh, as I really did enjoy playing Alice. It definitely was a fun game to play, a few shortcomings stopped it from lasting long on my hard drive.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 06/10/02, Updated 06/10/02


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