Aloha my wonderful merfolk!
I first discovered American McGee’s Alice when I was about 15 years old. I found the soundtrack to the first game on YouTube and thought it was absolutely amazing. I spent ages watching fan videos and listening to the soundtrack over and over. Then, Alice: Madness Returns was released. I first played this game on a friends Xbox 360 when I was about 18 or 19 and I loved every second of it. When my boyfriend bought me a PS3 as a congratulations on graduating gift, I knew I had to buy the game for myself and play through it once again.
This game is spectacular. The game play is amazing. The graphics are fantastic. The design is superb. I love everything about this game and I’m going to show you why. This blog post is going to be a rather long one, so ask the Mad Hatter or the March Hare for a lovely cup of tea to keep you going. I shall also try and stay as spoiler free as possible throughout the blog post. I hate story spoilers.
Here is the trailer for the game:
The scenery in this game is phenomenal. A lot of thought went into each section of Wonderland and in making it unique and completely different from every other section. Each section of Wonderland represents something in Alice’s mind that isn’t quite right. That I think, is a fantastic little detail.
All of the information I have read about the domains, comes from the Alice Wikia. You can find that here.
The game is interjected by sections in Victorian London. You start the game here and end it here too. London is where Alice is leading her normal, every day life. Trying to leave Wonderland behind and figure out the reason behind her parents death.
Vale of Tears
The Vale of Tears is the first place you visit when you end up back in Wonderland. It’s bright and cheerful looking and also the first place you come across the Cheshire Cat, once again. This area is where you learn the basic controls of the game.
Mad Hatters Domain
The Hatters Domain is the area where the Hatter, the March hare and the Doormouse lived. The Hare and the Hatter took over and turned it into a tea factory. They had also dismembered the Hatter to try and stop him from taking back control.
Tundraful is the land above the Deluded Depths. It is here that Alice stumbles across the Mock Turtle and the HMS Gryphon. Look at the beautiful colours in this scene!
The Deluded Depths is where we come across the Walrus and the Carpenter, singing fish, a script writing Octopus and the Oyster Starlets. I love the glass fish in this domain; such a wonderful idea and design. The whole under the sea vibe is fantastic.
Vale of Doom.
The Valley of Doom is the burned and charred remains of the Vale of Tears we visited earlier on in the game.
Oriental Grove is the Caterpillars domain which you get to by hopping onto platforms suspended by Hookah smoke and making your way across the Vale of Doom. I love Oriental Grove as it is inspired by Chinese and Japanese art. Oriental Grove is also known as the Mysterious East.
Cardbridge is located above Wonderland and see’s cards float around creating walk ways and bridges for Alice to Cross. This level is bright and airy compared to all the other dark and dingey levels we have played so far.
Queensland is the domain of the Queen of Hearts. Here we battle against cards and chess pieces and the big brute that is the Executioner. The White King has been chopped into bits and he protects the castle from intruders.
Although this is technically Victorian London, this sequence is a whole separate part to the game. Here we meet Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee and Alice gets a whole new look. You get to wander through the Asylum that Alice has spent most of her youth.
This domain is by far the creepiest domain of the entire game. Dollhouse is the Dollmakers domain. Here you fight insane children, bitch baby’s and more ruin like creatures. I am not the biggest fan of porcelain dolls, they give me the creeps, so this level was creepy and scary on a more personal level than the others.
London and Wonderland merging together. It’s more Vale of Tears than Wonderland in it’s entirety. We’re back to brightly coloured and happy looking scenery.
The Infernal Train; the thing that is causing so many problems and chugging it’s way through Wonderland destroying everything. The train is very Gothic Cathedral in it’s design.
Each domain has it’s own dress design that Alice wears. The designs for these are beautiful. I honestly wish I had the sewing skills to remake every single one of these dresses. As well as the domain dresses, there are the DLC unlockable dresses. For a list of all the dresses, their domains and how to unlock them, visit the Alice Wikia here.
The final thing about this game that I love, is the soundtrack. It is incredible and I have it all on my itunes!
a mermaid be waiting for you, in mysterious fathoms below