Posts Tagged ‘Alice: Madness Returns’

Little China Doll: How Spicy Horse Imagined Alice: Madness Returns

This is the latest in a series of articles about the art technology of games, in collaboration with the particularly handsome Dead End Thrills.

Alice: Madness Returns is a very special action game, a piece of Lewis Carroll fan fiction conceived by an American (named American, naturally) and illustrated largely by the Chinese, a people not known for their absurdism. Unfortunately it’s also a classic victim of checklist game criticism and marketing, not to mention it’s the worst possible thing to reviewers working under deadline: long. Make no mistake, the business of game reviewing is a lot like the business of eating large amounts of Jacob’s Cream Crackers in hot and rowdy East End basements. To put it another way, all games get tiring when you play them past your bedtime.

The sequel to American McGee’s Alice isn’t great (8/10), solid (7/10), flawed (6/10) or average (5/10) – it’s none of that nonsense. It’s a living art book, an Alice novel with the ratio of words to pictures spun around. Inspired by such wild and offbeat things as Burning Man, Dave McKean, Zdzislaw Beksinski, The NeverEnding Story, The Dark Crystal and the Brothers Quay, more than anything it’s a tribute to the mechanical and the handmade. Dolls, miniatures and puppets crowd the dreams and nightmares of its Wonderland, while its ‘real world’ Victorian London would be right at home in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. Read the rest of this entry »

Madness Re-Returns: McGee Ponders EA-Free Alice 3

Alice’s late! Alice’s late! For a very important… oh you know never mind. Creator of flawed beauties Alice and Alice: Madness Returns American McGee has announced on Facebook he hopes to have the opportunity to Kickstart Alice 3.
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Next For American McGee? Hopefully More Alice

American McGee’s positioned himself as quite a polarizing figure within the gaming industry, but – success or horrific crash-and-burn failure – you can’t knock his imagination. And while the recently released Akaneiro: Demon Hunters‘ blend of Japanese folklore and Little Red Riding Hood at least looks quite attractive, it’s another fairytale fusion that put him on the map. American McGee’s Alice raised quite the stir when it was released back in 2000, and Alice: Madness Returns‘ world was brilliantly realized, if not always fun to be in. But they sort of came out 11 years apart, so really, what are the odds we’ll get another anytime soon? Well, actually pretty good, if McGee get his McWay. The main thing stopping him? EA, of course. He explained the situation during a recent interview with RPS.

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Alice Doesn’t Live Here: BigHead Bash

Why is he shooting a ghostly copy of his own face?

There’s probably some irony in the latest title from a man whose name appeared in big huge letters on the front of so many game boxes involving the word ‘BigHead’, but I’ll be damned if I can tell what it is.

BigHead BASH is the latest move from American McGee and his Spicy Horse studio, and it’s a forthcoming social network game. I don’t know whether this means Alice: Madness Returns wasn’t the hoped-for success or just that McGee fancies a go at the Facebook goldrush before it dries up, but I do know that it’s a side-scrolling 3D shooter with tons of shooty-jumpy activity.
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Wot I Think – Alice: Madness Returns

The semi-sequel to American McGee’s Alice arrived last week. A timely return to a gothic wonderland, or is too late, too late for a very important date with our hard drives? Come on, down the rabbit hole with you and let’s find out…

Alice 2 is, I think, pretty much what an only casual observer of videogames believes almost all videogames are like. Mad monsters, lurid colours, cartoonish characters, slightly unconvincing voicework, a steady diet of jumping and thumping… Alice could be The Videogame incarnate, evoking so many of the tried and tested values and mechanics that have come, gone and repeatedly come back again over the last couple of decades, and in theory polishing them into a fantastical sheen you could see your own distorted face in. If someone showed me this game out of context, I’d have a very hard time guessing when it was released. 2011? Maybe. 2007? Quite possibly. 2001? Turn those visuals down low and yeah, this could have been a launch title for the original Xbox or Dreamcast or something. This is not necessarily a criticism.
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Crysis 2 Pulled From Steam?


“Where were you when the war began, Daddy?”
“Well, little Ignatius H. Meer III, I was at my PC, staring vacantly at Twitter. Probably eating some crisps as I did. I’ll never forget that dark, terrible day. The day that EA decided they could fight Steam.”
“Daddy? Why are you crying, Daddy?”

Crysis 2 has disappeared from Steam, and is now described as being “Origin only.” Origin is, you may recall, EA’s newly-relaunched download store. Uh-oh.
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