I'd rather have something corny but genuine instead of something polished and insincere, and that's what Alan Wake is to me. It's got the base of a compelling story that ultimately kept me going even through the dark parts.
Most frustrating parts first: I like the combat in theory, but hate it in practice. The flashlight is very cool and I loved the part in the DLC where you'd shine lights on words and it would appear was just mwah. However, I don't know if I'm just bad at video games (probably), but even the parts of combat I enjoyed fucking SUCKED because I'd trigger it too early and get swarmed by enemies anyway. I had to play the last DLC special on Easy which made me enjoy the game more. And this mfer can't RUN hit the gym and put on some tennis shoes Alan I'm BEGGING you!!
I sure hope Remedy improved writing women. Alice Wake is nothing more than a boobed McGuffin, which is disappointing. They did leave her a ramp to develop her own voice in Alan Wake 2, so that leaves me somewhat hopeful at least.
The things I do like are it's narrative and setting. Alan Wake is about a man trapped by his own success and continues to make it worse through various means of self-sabotage. I think many creatives would empathize with his plight, especially because Alan is not the most likeable character. The battle with creativity applies to everyone regardless of virtue.
The game wears its inspiration on its sleeves, Twin Peaks and Twilight Zone being the most obvious and recognizable. Alan Wake also shares similar themes to these works, but may not execute them as successfully. I still believe Alan Wake is able to stand as its own independent work of art while still being proud of its creative predecessors.
This review, like Alan Wake, is not the most eloquent depiction of the experience one would have with this game. However, the ideas Alan Wake is trying to share are worth listening to. It's corny but charming, and I look forward to seeing more of that energy hopefully carried over into the sequel.