Maybe it won't take me a year to complete it after all unlike my sentiment in 4 Nov 2011 when I first started playing it. I've just entered the fourth last stage of the game, which is Behind the Looking Glass so it's not too bad.
I actually got a handle on the combat (all thanks to the amazing Croquet Mallet, Ice Wand and Jacks but mostly the Ice Wand). The Croquet Mallet was really useful in the earlier parts of the game and then there was the Ice Wand towards the end of Vale of Tears. The Ice Wand really made it easier to finish off the stoopid Boojums, made it a breeze going against the Red Chess Pieces, and totally nailed a very lame boss fight against the Red King. The Phantasmagoria didn't pose much of a problem either with the Ice Wand at hand. I don't know why the Phantasmagoria just seem like a monster with t!ts For that, I have affectionately called it Hantu Tetek (Boob Ghost), which you can Google for more information on it. Lastly, the Jacks are the very bane of the Automatons. They also kill Boojums easily but Ice Wand is just so much cooler. Excuse the pun.
I didn't really use the other weapons as much and probably won't besides the Vorpal Blade. I used to tackle the boojums with the Playing Cards because those gave me range but with the Ice Wand, the Playing Cards just seem redundant... unless I'm attacking the Card Guards from far. Least used weapons include the Demon Dice and the Jackbomb. I only used the Jackbomb once during the boss fight against the Duchess. I don't quite fancy the Demon Dice because it takes time for the demon's portal to open, for the demon to make its way out of the portal, and it is pretty weak so usually it dies before finishing off enemies.
I'm not too sure if I'll use the Jabberwock's Eye Staff beyond the boss fight against the Jabberwock. I'll see how it goes.
So that's the update on my weapon use in the game.
Another update on combat is a memorable fight against the Voracious Centipede.
Oh. My. God.
Took me a billion tries before I realised that I had to maintain a close yet safe distance from it in order to get it to try and stomp me and during which, I would have to flick my blade at its underside to get a hit. In fact, I was so close to giving up that I almost got mufujifi over at my house to kill that damn invertebrate. More like INVERTeBRAT.
But I'm glad I sorted that bit out on my own. See, I'm not so lousy.
As mentioned, the Red King boss fight wasn't much of a fight.
But the boss fight against Twiddledum and Twiddledee did pose a bit of a challenge. Took me two tries so it wasn't as awful as the Voracious Centipede. The first time I didn't quite dodge their attacks well. So I took the liberty of moving around a whole lot more. Weapon used throughout: Jacks. Tactic: Hit and run. That's about what I did. Aim for the right-sized one, hit it with the Jacks, run like hell, and repeat. So in the end, that wasn't much of an issue.
However, during the fight, the game would suddenly freeze momentarily and that completely caught me off guard the first time, which probably explains why I couldn't kill them on my first try. In fact, it happened sporadically throughout my first try. It did occur again during my second try but I was prepared and when the screen froze, I just kept my analog stick pushed towards the direction I'm moving at so when it unfroze, I'm safely moving away from the enemies. I'm not sure if it's my disc or if this is a bug for the PS3 version. Would be nice if someone can check this bit out for me because I am lazy like that.
So that's about it for the combat part. I think the next fight will be against the Mad Hatter. Slightly anxious but I'll get there when I get there.
I mentioned something about sharing the frustrations I have with this game. Besides the ones I have already stated in my first post about this game and the combat issues, there's this issue of inconvenient saving and loading of the game. The thing about this game is that it is so hard for me that quick-saving and quick-loading would've been really useful and unfortunately such feature is only available on the PC. With the PS3, you will have to manually save and load. There isn't much of an issue with it except that it does have a tendency to break your momentum when you're playing but at the same time if you don't save, you're going to regret not doing so because it means having to redo it all over again, which is absolutely as tedious as the reading this whole sentence in one breath.
So yes, I'm actually obsessively saving my progress as I'm playing it. I'm lousy like that but for some reason, I really think there is no shame in obsessively saving for this game. I don't know if it's just me so I'm wondering if you guys do that too when you're playing. I've watched mufu play the final stages on the XBox and I don't recall seeing her save her progress that much. Hmmm. :?
So besides using the same weapons over and over again (I mean why fix what isn't broken), I literally glitched my way through three Boojums in the Fortress of Doors when the rage potion was first introduced on the beams in a school gymnasium. I tried to get to the rage potion as quickly as I could without falling off the beams and murdering myself but the miracle never happened. Instead, I just tried to kill them off on the ground but that didn't work either...
until I discovered two sweet glitch spots in the gym.
You know the stair-like benches in the gym that helps you get onto the beams? I simply moved into the small corner at its side (either side is possible). In that corner, the Boojum can still come to you in plain view but its shrieks cannot hurt you. So you have a clear shot at it and your hit counts while it has a clear shot at you but its hits don't.
Heh heh heh.
Finally, I just want to talk about what I like about it. It's the atmosphere, the mood, the gothic elements so to speak, and the sinister undertones to it that make me think this is better off as a masterpiece of an interpretation of Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland than a masterpiece of a game. I think the sequel, Alice: Madness Returns, redeems it to a large extent. If it wasn't for the sequel, I would feel that the game was simply put together to produce a dark version of Alice in Wonderland because of certain elements that just don't fit with the original story. I'm not going into depth about it because if I do so, it is going to ruin the next round of my progressive play series. Just remind me that this is something I need to address once I get to beating this game and playing the sequel.
In fact, I've started reading Alice in Wonderland and it helps me to understand Alice's character development in the game on a whole new level. I also think I'm very much like Alice herself in the novel:
- I am dreamy
- I like to think I'm clever or that I am thinking like a clever person
- I can offend people without meaning to (and I have)
- I like to imagine myself as two persons and even more because I have played Monopoly alone with three other soft toys. No, I am not crazy by doing that. I simply know how to entertain myself, which explains why I don't get bored easily.
- I like to do things without much thought. To me, I'm being proactive but to others, I'm being silly.
And to wrap things up, mufu's current blog series actually inspired me to create this little series on my own on top of me wanting to break away from your usual "play to the end before review" posts. I've attached my previous thoughts in this post below for convenience. Again, I emphasise that I am no gamer. I just play for fun. Deal with it. If you are a serious gamer and you think a game should be properly played through before talking about it, that's fine. It's your line and it's your call. But I am not a games writer and like Alice, I do have my opinions on my game experiences and I like to think aloud about them. Simply put, I am a romantic and I am all about capturing the moments and recording them. I attach memories to things, songs, smells, places, games, blogs, and many more. I love the feeling of nostalgia and I love reliving them. I can have an affinity with just about anything.
Anyway, yeah, let's see how I fare for the rest of the stages. I'm not going to promise anything for the next post so I won't feel so restricted. I mean, it's good in a way that I actually get to writing what I intended but it's bad when you don't have the mood to do it and you end up not writing a post for many days on end. Mufu did ask me about how I find The Testament of Sherlock Holmes, which I am currently playing as well. So I might just blog about that. Not sure if I'll do it as a progressive play or if I'll just talk about it at the end of my playthrough.
It's all about the mood for this romantic.
(Quick Archive) Progressive Play: American McGee's Alice Part 1.1
The next post will be about my current play of American McGee's Alice (yes, I've finally picked up from where I've left). In fact, I'm proud to say that I've completed the Vale of Tears quite quickly within a couple of hours. Maybe it was just a short stage or maybe it was due to the fact that I've watched Helloween4545's Let's Play of it many times over so that helped a lot. (Is that considered cheating?)
So yeah. Next post will be about AM Alice -- basically things I discover from playing it like my frustrations about it, what I like about it, how I cheated my way through, etc.
(Quick Archive) Progressive Play: American McGee's Alice Part 1.0
I had a horrible time playing it.
Firstly, it's highly probable that I am not used to the controls and platforming in this game is somewhat harder than in Uncharted.
Speaking of controls, the game showed select as the X button instead of O. However, select is actually the PS3 standard O instead of X. I actually lost my game progress because I mistakenly loaded instead of saved. No serious damage though, considering the fact that I was still in the beginning of the game.
Secondly, I should have just played on easy mode instead of medium but I'm too much of a nunchuck to play on easy. Yet, I am a world class noob. I had a lot of difficulty aiming and gauging. Also, I am so used to auto-angled cameras that I struggled with shifting the camera manually. You know, I kinda feel that this game is more engineered for a PC than a PS3. It's like they just copied and pasted the system and just modified the controls to adapt to the PS3's. Correct me if I'm wrong though. Gently, please. This could be blasphemy.
Thirdly, like ehmehgehd, stoopid boojums! I hate em I hate em I hate em. Now I know why other players have a beef with them.
This is damn embarrassing.... I'm still at Fortress of Doors: Beyond the Wall. And man, you have no idea how relieved I felt after I completed the Village of the Doomed. LOL
Are you guys looking forward to me completing the game? I have a feeling this is going to take me a year!