Thursday, August 18, 2011

Alice: Madness Returns



I meant to post about Gallery Nineteen Eighty-Eight's "Alice: Madness Returns" exhibit long ago, and although the exhibit itself (June 8th to 12th) has come and gone, there were a few standout pieces that really caught my eye.

I will say this: EA and Spicy Horse know how to market the hell out of a videogame. Pairing up with a handful of talented artists and the renowned Gallery Nineteen Eighty-Eight for a show themed around "Alice: Madness Returns" brings the game to the attention of all sorts of people, gamers and otherwise, who might have been tempted to dismiss it as a cheap sequel. It's a brilliant move.

Also brilliant is the fact that the official "Alice" store is selling prints of all of the pieces shown at the G1988 exhibit, alongside prints of some absolutely stunning concept art from the game.

As for the game itself? I've played through the first few levels, and while it's not the greatest videogaming experience of all time, it's pretty solid. Gameplay, style and tone are the same as the original, so if you enjoyed that, there's no reason why you wouldn't enjoy this. At the same time, thus far at least it doesn't have anything all that new to offer, as far as third-person action-adventure games go.

Which is beside the point, really, since "Alice: Madness Returns" is aimed at people who appreciate style over substance. That sounds harsh, but it's meant as a compliment: the game is shiny, slick and clever, and if it doesn't have much in the way of profundity, who cares? It's a freaking videogame. It's job is to look nice, sound nice, and play nice. All of which "Alice: Madness Returns" manages with aplomb.


"Alice's Phantasmagoria" by Ken Wong


"Adventures First...Explanations Take Such a Dreadful Time" by Kevin Tong


"Alice: Madness Returns" by Phantom City Creative


"The Little Magician" by Brian Colin

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