Alice: Madness Returns Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Alice: Madness Returns RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Got Dali? Check Out These Surreal Video Game Gems https://www.gameskinny.com/bwyd5/got-dali-check-out-these-surreal-video-game-gems https://www.gameskinny.com/bwyd5/got-dali-check-out-these-surreal-video-game-gems Wed, 27 Dec 2017 10:00:01 -0500 Sarah Elliman

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These were just some of the top Surrealist video games out there. There are plenty of other options to explore, with a lot of indie developers coming out with more and more content like this. 

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What did you think of the games listed? Are any of these games ones that you really want to play? Let us know in the comments below!

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0°N 0°W
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Available Q1 2018

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You venture out on a cross-country road trip that ultimately leaves you stranded in a town in the middle of nowhere. Before you know it, you’re traversing time and space in some incredibly well-designed but odd places.

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0°N 0°W is incredibly minimalistic, but it contains bright neon colors that form the scenes you see in front of you. Sometimes they form objects and cityscapes, and others are just a collection of lines that still give you a sense of direction. This is a game that shows the player that you don’t need incredibly well-rendered, realistic set pieces to create a scene that is recognizable to the player. The use of color and the simplicity of the game create really stunning scenes that match the game's intent.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/s/z/rsz-contrast-mechanic-1160x630-b4d9f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/s/z/rsz-contrast-mechanic-1160x630-b4d9f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176732","description":"
Contrast
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Price: $3.39
Buy it on: Steam

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Contrast is one of those games that got mixed reviews when it first came out, but for me, I found everything about it to be incredibly stunning. The game is relatively short, so if you’re looking for a quick fix, it is a brilliant game. It follows a little girl who has an imaginary friend that appears to represent an older version of herself. As you travel through the game with them both, you learn things about the girl’s life with regards to her parents and her situation.

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Contrast challenges you to think about perception, and it uses light to achieve this. You predominantly play as the older self and traverse the area using shadows. By angling light and your camera, you can change what platforms you can get up to. Furthermore, most of the story is delivered by shadows, placing further emphasis on light. It takes an aspect of life you may never have thought about that much and transforms it into an integral part of the game.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/s/z/rsz-limbolarge-349ca.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/s/z/rsz-limbolarge-349ca.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176731","description":"
Limbo
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Price: $1.99
Buy it on: Steam

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Limbo is an incredibly classic game, and many fans rant and rave about how incredible it is. Its successor Inside is incredibly similar and is also worth checking out. Limbo follows a boy who is making his way through a 2D forest in which there are many creatures and things that want to kill him.

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It requires some thought to make your way through the game, and as you progress, it becomes harder and harder to realize what will harm you. The ending is phenomenal: It’s not in your face, but it makes your heart drop. I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t played the game, but Limbo shouldn’t just be on a top surrealism list, but also on a top video games in general list.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/s/z/rsz-maxresdefault-99f3a.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/s/z/rsz-maxresdefault-99f3a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176730","description":"
Plug & Play
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Price: $1.49
Buy it on: Steam

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Our previous selections have been very story-based games that instill surrealism in their imagery through the mental instability of their protagonists. Plug & Play isn’t that kind of game at all. It is surreal to the max, with no real purpose or distinct end goal.

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The basic idea is to fit the plugs together through different scenarios. As you progress through the game, these scenarios become odder, and part of what you’re doing is hidden until you have put the plugs together. Plug 7 Play takes what we know about a very basic item and alters it in so many different lights. It’s an incredibly strange game that has this enchanting way of compelling you to play it more and more.

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Alice: Madness Returns
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Price: $23.97
Buy it on: Amazon

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The game centers around a girl named Alice Liddell, who has to deal with the loss of her family in a tragic fire. After the loss of her family, she is thrust into the wretched conditions that beset many people in industrial Britain. Her world becomes a whirlwind of horror as she struggles to deal with her family’s death. Alice continually swaps backwards and forwards between England and Wonderland, a place that easily represents her world, but in an incredibly strange fashion.

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Anything related to Alice in Wonderland is undoubtedly going to have surreal elements throughout the story. The original tale written by Lewis Carroll is full of ordinary and otherwise uninteresting items that have become extraordinary and peculiar because of their odd, surreal twist. Madness Returns takes these pieces from the original tale and merges them with its own depiction of Alice Liddell. Combining this depiction with a Gothic/steampunk vibe creates a completely unmissable experience. 

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Fran Bow
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Price: $5.24
Buy it on: Steam

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Fran Bow is an incredibly creepy and horrifying game in which you are stuck waiting for the next horrific scene to play out. The story is about a girl who tragically lost her parents and was left with her only friend, Mr. Midnight, who so happens to be a cat. Fran is continuing to battle with mental health issues, and this is present throughout the game.

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Fran Bow exudes a sense of trauma through the imagery and set pieces present throughout the game. Large insect people, a tree with faces and hair, and deformed children are some of the pieces you will see in the game. The menacing twists and violations of everyday items continue to remind you of Fran’s childhood trauma. All these pieces within the game represent items we would see in our world, but here they are twisted into this frightening, surreal set piece that has ultimately been influenced by Fran’s mindset.

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Whenever you think of Surrealism, the natural reaction for anyone is to think of Dali. He was a master in his field and undoubtedly a well-known Surrealist artist. However, there are many pieces of art and literature outside of the master that fall into this category. Video games also have Surrealist tendencies. 

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Surrealism isn't just for art or literature. The combination of everyday objects in weird places or in different sizes creates a surreal piece of art. Video games and their capabilities are certainly able to hit this checklist as well. 

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We have compiled a list of the best games that feature a Surrealist art style, where to buy them, and for how much. You can experience the weird juxtaposition of objects against one another on your all-time favorite platform. 

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5 Games That Should Be in EA Access but Aren't https://www.gameskinny.com/kqz5h/5-games-that-should-be-in-ea-access-but-arent https://www.gameskinny.com/kqz5h/5-games-that-should-be-in-ea-access-but-arent Thu, 04 Jan 2018 10:00:02 -0500 ReadyPlayerPaige

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Army of Two series
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Army Of Two is one of EA's best game series. The games revolves around two men fighting through war, political turmoil, cartels, and a whole lot more. From the chaotic cinematic sequences to slow-mo action with blazing firepower, the game brings the player close to the action, as it feels like you are in a movie. If you decide not to pay attention to the gameplay, the stories from the games really are interesting. Honestly, why didn't they include the Army of Two series in the first place?

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---

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Which games do you believe should be on this list? Post your comments below, and thanks for reading.

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Skate & Skate 2
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You can't just include one Skate game. Even though Skate 3 is on EA Access, why didn't EA include Skate and Skate 2? The opposite of Tony Hawk games, they focus on the teenage, urban, indie skateboarding style. Basically, in the original Skate, it's pretty simple: you start at the bottom as an indie, and you work your way up to becoming the best by competing in contests and completing missions. In Skate 2, you get out of prison five years after the events in Skate to find that the city suffered from an earthquake, but the gameplay and challenges are still the same. If you're gonna include one game from the whole series, why not include all of them?

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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/l/u/blus-30056-game-94c65.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/l/u/blus-30056-game-94c65.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176282","description":"
Mercenaries 2: World in Flames
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A sequel to Playground of Destruction, Mercenaries 2: World in Flames takes place in Venezuela, where the player is on a quest of revenge. The player embarks on a journey where he picks up contracts and earns money for weapons and accessories to take down a Solano. Along the way, the player can join or befriend the groups that he encounters. Even though you can lose the respect of certain groups, it's all about the contracts, completing the missions, and the payouts. While this sequel doesn't have the strong critical acclaim of the original, like the first game, it's still fun to play if you just want to blow up tanks, gunships, and oil rigs.

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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/i/alice-madness-returns-d1ea5.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/i/alice-madness-returns-d1ea5.png","type":"slide","id":"176281","description":"
Alice: Madness Returns
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The sequel to American McGee's Alice, Alice: Madness Returns sees the titular heroine in a traumatic state after setting her parents' home on fire and being sent to a psych ward. After getting the treatment she needs, she is released and placed in an orphanage. Still having hallucinations of Wonderland, she returns to Wonderland to find out that it's falling apart, and she must find out the truth. The game was an ultimate thrill ride for the player, packed with new features and weapons for Alice. The psychological horror game received mostly positive reviews, and this is an EA game that deserves to be included.

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Brutal Legend
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EA definitely has to include one of the best games that was ever made. Brutal Legend was a gem and one of the EA games that deserves a sequel. Not only was the story good, but it included some of the best heavy metal artists, such as Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy from Motorhead, Lita Ford, and last but not least, Jack Black as Eddie Riggs. It's the story of a roadie who was killed by a stage accident and wakes up in a heavy metal world where he joins a group to fight back against evil demons. This action/adventure game with strategy elements was definitely well received by gamers -- so much so that it even received the "Best Strategy/Simulation Game Award" by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Science.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/e/n/generic-eaa-webpage-header-image-1024x512jpgadaptcrop16x9431-c6c6e.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/e/n/generic-eaa-webpage-header-image-1024x512jpgadaptcrop16x9431-c6c6e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176278","description":"

In 2014, EA launched their gaming service exclusively for Xbox One, allowing Xbox gamers to download EA games at a discounted price. Even though EA has some great titles on there, they should have included these as well. Here are the five games that should be available in EA Access but aren't.

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American McGee Announces Upcoming Proposal for Alice 3 Game https://www.gameskinny.com/rr7hu/american-mcgee-announces-upcoming-proposal-for-alice-3-game https://www.gameskinny.com/rr7hu/american-mcgee-announces-upcoming-proposal-for-alice-3-game Mon, 04 Sep 2017 11:05:57 -0400 Amy Turnbull

Indie developer American McGee quite literally made a name for himself back in 2000, with the release of the now cult classic PC game American McGee’s Alice. The game gave players an opportunity to immerse themselves in a Wonderland far from the one envisioned by Lewis Carroll. As an older, much-disturbed Alice, your goal was to fight your way through the ravaged land and its strange occupants in the hopes of restoring it to its former glory.

The game was well-received and highly praised by critics upon its release, and a much-anticipated multi-platform sequel, Alice: Madness Returns, followed in 2011. Unfortunately, the sequel didn’t fare so well, and so any hopes for the planned third game in the series were dashed. Various ownership issues between American McGee and publishers EA have meant a long stalemate in the 6 years since the last game’s release, with no hopes of McGee publishing independently.

However, McGee has had recent success via Kickstarter for his dark fairytale-based card game Out of the Woods, so the timing may finally be right for a new Alice game to go ahead, and that indeed seems to be the line of thinking the developer is taking. McGee announced on his blog this past weekend that a proposal is now in the works for a third Alice game at long last, currently being titled Alice: Asylum.

The pitch being put together will include concept artwork, a design outline, and financial and business models. These will be sent to EA in the hopes of getting the go-ahead from them for production to begin.

In these early days of planning, McGee has asked for fans to prove to EA that the game is indeed wanted and will be well-received, by showing support for the project across Facebook and Twitter. The developer has also invited fans to tune into weekly livestreams on his YouTube channel, where there will be an opportunity to provide feedback and suggestions to the game’s pre-production team.

For further updates on this project as they emerge, sign up to the Alice 3 mailing list here.

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8 Well-Known Games that Began Life in Print https://www.gameskinny.com/ish7j/8-well-known-games-that-began-life-in-print https://www.gameskinny.com/ish7j/8-well-known-games-that-began-life-in-print Tue, 20 Jun 2017 16:02:46 -0400 ESpalding

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I hope you have enjoyed a look at some of the video game gems that started life as a book, a comic strip, or a good old roleplaying game. Of course there are many others that didn't make this list, as developers have been finding inspiration in books for many years. There are also some big names that are coming out in the next couple of years, so make sure you keep an eye out for them!

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Is there are a particular game that you like which we didn't include? Comment below so we can get talking! And make sure you check back with GameSkinny for more news about upcoming adaptations.

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Alice and Alice: The Madness Returns

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Novel by Lewis Carroll
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Okay, okay, so this game (and its predecessor) are very loosely based on the works of Lewis Carroll. Unless you've been hiding under a stone for most of your life, you've heard of Alice in Wonderland. Whether you've read the book or seen one of the films, you know that the basic premise of the series focuses on a curious little girl who follows a white rabbit down a rabbit hole -- only to be faced with a whole menagerie of strange creatures in a world called Wonderland.

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I'm not going to dwell on the well-known adventures of Alice, but instead skip forward a few years to where renown game designer American McGee starts off his first Alice game. The events in the game take place after the known stories of Alice, and go on to explore what happened to her next. Events in her life force her to go seek help at a local asylum, but she is forced back into a Wonderland that's been corrupted somehow -- and only Alice can undo the damage and save her friends.

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Alice: The Madness Returns also sees Alice go back to Wonderland. But on this occasion, she finds out that someone is trying to take over Wonderland and she must do everything in her power to stop it!

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These psychological horror games aren't actually that far removed from the original plot, given some of the scenarios Alice is put in -- but American McGee adds his own macabre twist on things to create a couple of games that are truly weird and disturbing.

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Alice was originally released on PC only, but was later released on PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2011 when Alice: The Madness Returns dropped for those consoles and PC as well. The latter is still available to download on Steam.

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The Alice in Wonderland books and its sequels are still going strong today and can be purchased from pretty much all book retailers.

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Cyberpunk 2077

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Tabletop Game by R. Talsorian Games
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This would be the second CD Projekt RED game on this list, and this one hasn't even arrived yet! So why have I included it? Well, for starters I've played the original tabletop RPG and it is one of my favorites. Secondly, there are thousands of people who are really looking forward to the arrival of Cyberpunk 2077.

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The game is based on the R. Talsorian Games tabletop roleplay experience called Cyberpunk 2020. Imagine a game where you can kit your character out with cybernetic implants, cyborg technology, or just jack into the web via a port at the top of your neck and instantly search for the information you need. You can do all that and more in Cyberpunk 2020. It is you against the establishment -- or visa versa if you'd prefer,\\ -- and everything is done in a stylish and flamboyant way typical of the 1980s!

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Not much is known about what Cyberpunk 2077 will be like, as it is still in development and isn't expected to arrive until 2019 at the earliest. What we do know is that it is going to take place in Night City, and you will be able to customize your character with cybernetics like the original game. This RPG will include both single and multiplayer modes as well. When CD Projekt RED releases more information about the game, make sure you check back to GameSkinny to read about the latest developments.

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The roleplaying game is sadly out of print these days, but you can always grab yourself a second-hand copy on Amazon.

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Dante's Inferno

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An Epic by Dante Alighieri
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This is the only game featured on this list that's based on a historical piece of 14th-century literature called The Divine Comedy. This epic is superb, even by today's standards. And the 2010 game by Visceral Games is based on a part this epic poem. 

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The original poem tells the story of Dante has he journeys through the levels of Hell, guided by the Roman poet Virgil. In Inferno, Dante tells of the nine levels of Hell and how he deals with seeing everything before him while reflecting on things that have happened during his life. From the sexual desires produced by Lust to the brutality of the Violent, Dante faces the ugliest and most disturbing parts of humanity as he travels through the circles of Hell in which they dwell once they have passed.

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In the game, Dante is on a similar journey as he undertakes a mission to the center of Hell to rescue his beloved Beatrice from the clutches of Satan himself. Once again Dante meets Virgil, who guides him through each level of Hell. The game follows the course of the poem relatively closely -- apart from the expected artistic license used (such as Dante being a Knight Templar). Dante's Inferno finishes at the foot of Mount Purgatory, but was canceled before a sequel could be released.

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The game was released on PS3,Xbox 360, and PSP. It can be found in most second-hand stores or online. If you want to check out Inferno and read through the poem from Purgatory to Paradise, then you can buy the entire Divine Comedy on Amazon for $15.

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The Witcher

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Short Stories and Novels by Andrzej Sapkowski
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Even some of the biggest games around these days had to start somewhere. Geralt of Rivia from The Witcher franchise began life in the pages of the short stories and novels of Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski.

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First printed in 1986, The Witcher originally appeared in the Polish sci-fi and fantasy magazine Fantastyka. The first short story was the author's entry into a writing competition the magazine was running -- and it came in third place. Since then, more short stories featuring the adventures of Geralt were published and eventually collected into one volume in 1993.

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Polish developers CD Projekt RED released the first game in the series on PC in 2007 -- the beginning of which followed the first book, The Last Wish. But that is where the similarities in storyline end. Of course, the main premise of the books is still in the games, but each of the games develops its own story to expand upon Sapkowski's original vision.

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The books are still available on Amazon, and it would be a good idea to start with The Last Wish -- as the short stories in this volume will introduce you to the written word of Geralt. There is a whole host of The Witcher games on Steam as well, including plenty of expansions and DLCs.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/n/a/snarfquest-bdfcb.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/n/a/snarfquest-bdfcb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"162241","description":"

SnarfQuest Tales

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Comic by Larry Elmore
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This series began as a black-and-white comic strip in the 80s roleplaying magazine Dragon. It's the work of renowned fantasy artist Larry Elmore. The series featured in this magazine from 1985 until 1989, then spawned its own tabletop card game and full-color follow-ups from the artist himself. In 2016 it was picked up by indie studio, Cellbloc Studios, to be turned into an RPG game.

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SnarfQuest follows the journey of a young Zeetvah as he goes on a mission to become the richest and most famous of all the Zeetvah's in Zeetville. The game is quite a unique blend of fantasy and sci-fi with aspects of modern life. Other than Snarf, other characters include a robot from outer space, a scantily clad warrior woman, and a balding evil wizard.

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The video game is available as an Episode or in Early Access on Steam. It has been a long time since the comic was in print, but there are second-hand copies available on Amazon and there are some very nice collector's edition volumes you can buy directly from Larry Elmore's website.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/a/l/callofcth-c87e6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/a/l/callofcth-c87e6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"162232","description":"

Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth

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A Mythos by H.P.Lovecraft
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An article about video games that began their lives in print wouldn't be complete without a mention of H.P. Lovecraft and his works on the Cthulhu mythos. There have been many games inspired by it, but I could only choose one.

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Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, a survival horror FPS, was inspired by a 1931 novella by Lovecraft called The Shadow Over Innsmouth. It follows the story of a gentleman who arrives in the town of Innsmouth to find that there have been a series of unexplained and secret events which have transformed the area into a spooky and barely inhabited ghost town.

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Just like the main protagonist in the story, the player must piece together what has happened before going completely insane. In both the story and the game, you are confronted by Old Gods -- whose followers are as grotesque on the outside as they are inside and hell-bent on silencing you any way they can.

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Development of the game began in 1999 with British indie developer Headfirst Productions, and it was eventually published by Bethesda. The game was released in 2005 for Xbox and 2006 on PC. Even though it is known for having many in-game bugs and some really difficult puzzles, it's still held in rather high regard by fans, and continues to be downloaded and played via Steam.

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Lovecraft, being continually popular, is still in print to this day -- and you can find copies of The Shadow Over Innsmouth on Amazon from as little as $5.90. If you are interested in reading more about Cthulhu and the rest of Lovecraft's works, then there are some fantastic compilations available as well.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/v/a/m/vampire-bloodlines-b102c.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/v/a/m/vampire-bloodlines-b102c.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"162187","description":"

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines

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Tabletop Game by White Wolf Publishing
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This is the first tabletop roleplay game to be featured on this list, and it's a good'un! Originally released in 1991, the Vampire the Masquerade roleplaying game was the first of quite a number of games to be set in the World of Darkness, a universe created by White Wolf Games. 

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Players assume the role of Vampires who are trying to survive in a modern setting. Vampiric society has split into two distinctive sects -- the Camarilla (who are for integration and "masquerading" as normal humans) and the Sabbat (who just want to let it all out and prey on humans). Whether you are playing as the "goodies" or "baddies", there are always things more powerful and bloodthirsty than you to defeat.

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Developed by Troika Games and published by Activision,Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines was released in 2004. A lot of the roleplay aspects of the game follow the ideas set out in the original tabletop adventure, and a lot of the story depends on which clan players assign their characters to. While this game has a definite storyline, you can still exercise your need for roleplaying by choosing a clan and making decisions to determine how this story is completed.

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Even though it is out of print, the Vampire: The Masquerade is still available second-hand for various prices via Amazon or Ebay. For a game that was released a pretty long time ago, it is still going strong on Steam at $15 -- and has a dedicated modding community to boot.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/t/metro-2033-5d227.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/t/metro-2033-5d227.jpg","type":"slide","id":"162186","description":"

Metro 2033

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Novel by Dmitry Glukhovsky
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Metro 2033 began as a novel written by a young Russian author named Dmitry Glukhovsky. It was first published in Russia in 2005, and it wasn't until five years later that it was translated and published in the United States. The Metro series consists of three books -- Metro 2033, Metro 2034, and Metro 2035.

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The book follows a young man called Artyom who, along with other survivors, is dealing with the fallout of a massive nuclear war which has wreaked havoc across most of the World. Even though many in the city of Moscow, Russia, made it into safety in the underground train stations of the city, they are still being hunted and killed by mysterious creatures called the Dark Ones. It is a story of survival in horrifying circumstances!

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The video game version of Metro 2033 was picked up by a Ukrainian development studio called 4A Games in 2006 and, in collaboration with Glukhovsky, they produced a first-person shooter horror game that followed the events from the novel. It was released in 2010 for PC and Xbox 360, but never made it to PS3.

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Subsequent titles in the Metro game series include Metro: Last Light and the upcoming sequel Metro: ExodusThere is currently no release date information regarding the new game, but it is speculated that it will arrive sometime in 2018.

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You can pick up Metro 2033 and other titles in the series from Amazon for under $17. Metro 2003 Redux is currently available to buy on Steam for $15.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/v/a/m/vampire-masquerade-bloodlines-d4a6b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/v/a/m/vampire-masquerade-bloodlines-d4a6b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"162185","description":"

Before there were video games, there were novels, short stories, and adventure books where you had to choose what you were going to do and turn to a certain page to discover the outcome. There were also tabletop roleplaying games where someone would create a whole story based on the contents of rulebooks, and you'd create your characters and let a series of dice rolls decide their fates throughout the adventure.

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Of course, all of these formats are still incredibly popular today -- and some game developers have seen them as inspiration to create a whole new game on the screen. So in this slideshow, we're going to round up some of the best (and most well-known) games that actually began their lives on paper. 

"}]]]>
Gamer Gift Guide: Great Gifts for Cosplayers https://www.gameskinny.com/9pisf/gamer-gift-guide-great-gifts-for-cosplayers https://www.gameskinny.com/9pisf/gamer-gift-guide-great-gifts-for-cosplayers Wed, 23 Nov 2016 06:00:01 -0500 SarahKel

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/g/g/g/ggg-8cde0.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/g/g/g/ggg-8cde0.png","type":"slide","id":"141975","description":"

So there we have it, 10 of the finest cosplay items available on the market - from outfits, to weapons and shields, we've covered it all. Yes, some are a little pricey, but it's Christmas and loved ones deserve the most special of gamer cosplay at this time of year!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/m/hammer-697a7.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/m/hammer-697a7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"141974","description":"

World of Warcraft Ogrim Doomhammer's Cosplay Weapon

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Price: $22.99

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Rating: 8/10

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Buy It: EZ Cosplay

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A great item for those who wish to cosplay as Ogrim Doomhammer from the Warcraft universe.  A great item for those who game as Warrior class too. The item itself is highly detailed and is a great accessory for the Doomhammer costume.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/r/portal-7c9fd.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/r/portal-7c9fd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"141973","description":"

Portal Gun

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Price: $250.00

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Rating: 9/10

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Buy It: eBay

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Every gamer needs and wants a Portal gun in their life, it’s a real dream gift. This is a really fantastic item as they are often difficult to obtain and there is definitely a kudos to owning one. The gun comes with a stand too, so perfect to use and to display.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/o/v/e/overwatch-ac4c2.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/o/v/e/overwatch-ac4c2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"141972","description":"

Overwatch Reaper Cosplay Double Guns and Mask

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Price: $155.99

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Rating: 8/10

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Buy It: Ali Express

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A great item for cosplaying as Reaper. The two guns and mask are available as a set and also individually, but it would be an amazing set to buy as a gift for a dedicated Overwatch player.  Definitely a great item for someone who wants to duel wield pistols too!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/h/y/l/hylian-bfd49.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/h/y/l/hylian-bfd49.jpg","type":"slide","id":"141971","description":"

The Legend of Zelda Hylian Shield Deluxe Replica

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Price: $59.99

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Rating: 9/10

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Buy It: True Swords

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A deluxe replica Hylian sword, absolutely great gift for those who love Zelda and want to cosplay as Link. This is a great versatile item, as it can be used for cosplay -- the arm bands make it easy to be worn comfortably -- or can be mounted on the wall, with a sword, as a display piece.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/o/stormtrooper-00654.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/o/stormtrooper-00654.jpg","type":"slide","id":"141949","description":"

Star Wars Battlefront: Stormtrooper helmet

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Price: $371.96

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Rating: 10/10

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Buy It: Shepperton Design Studios

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This is the ultimate, high quality Stormtrooper helmet, for a cosplay outfit as authentic as possible. This is a really great item, perfect for those who love this game, but also a great entry level into the highest quality of stormtrooper cosplay. At an additional price, buyers can purchase stands to make it look more special for display.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/v/e/r/vergil-39edf.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/v/e/r/vergil-39edf.jpg","type":"slide","id":"141927","description":"

Devil May Cry 3 Vergil Costume

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Price: $147.89

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Rating: 9/10

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Buy It: Cosplay Sky

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This great choice of outfit is perfect for those who love Devil May Cry 3 and want the opportunity to stroll around in the infamous long coat. The outfit includes the coat, neckerchief, pants, gloves and vest. There is only general sizing for this outfit, but private message the seller with more specific measurements and requirements.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/y/o/s/yoshi-894ec.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/y/o/s/yoshi-894ec.jpg","type":"slide","id":"141919","description":"

Super Mario: Deluxe Yoshi Costume

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Price: $54.99

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Rating: 8/10

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Buy It: Buy Costumes

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This super cute Yoshi costume is amazing for the fun cosplayer in your life! It is an officially licensed Super Mario costume too. Of course its entirely up to the wearer if they want to provide piggy backs for Mario! The outfit includes the jumpsuit and head piece.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/i/alice-madness-474cc.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/i/alice-madness-474cc.jpg","type":"slide","id":"141908","description":"

Alice Madness Returns Alice Steamdress

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Price: $136.45

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Rating: 10/10

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Buy It: Cosplay Shopper

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This fantastic dress is perfect for those who love the Alice Madness games and of course, Steampunk. The outfit includes not just the dress and apron, but gloves and stockings too for the full Alice experience. Again, this outfit can be fully customised for an additional $15.00.

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/s/cos-002-18290.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/s/cos-002-18290.jpg","type":"slide","id":"141905","description":"

Bioshock Infinite Elizabeth Costume

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Price: $99.53

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Rating: 8/10

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Buy It: Cosplay Shopper

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This costume is a perfect gift for those who love Bioshock Infinite. The costume is coat, top and skirt and is available in a full variety of various sizes and for an additional $15.00 the outfit can be tailor made specifically for the recipient.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/g/g/g/ggg-aa3a0.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/g/g/g/ggg-aa3a0.png","type":"slide","id":"141903","description":"

Cosplaying is a great experience. Wearing a costume from a game that you love at conventions, and the pride of wearing the same outfit as a beloved character. Some people enjoy crafting their own costume, but when there is so much able to purchase online, it can be a great idea to purchase the costume in advance.

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There is so much choice, costumes or accessories, such as armour and weapons too. But it is about quality items and their accuracy that is most important, as this creates the highest level of character immersion for the wearer.

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But what are the best items out there? Luckily, we've searched the web for the best cosplay items out there. Check them out, not just for your cosplay loving friend, but maybe it inspires you to wear cosplay too.

"}]]]>
13 Best NSFW iconic game character fan art https://www.gameskinny.com/qiwrb/13-best-nsfw-iconic-game-character-fan-art https://www.gameskinny.com/qiwrb/13-best-nsfw-iconic-game-character-fan-art Wed, 13 Jul 2016 06:30:02 -0400 Ty Arthur

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/l/i/n/link2-7fa30.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/l/i/n/link2-7fa30.jpg","type":"slide","id":"126382","description":"

It's clear there's an endless number of ways to interpret video game characters, from ultra-detailed to big-eyed anime to crossing over with other series entirely (remember that time we turned all the iconic characters into dog versions?), and there's no reason they can't be done up in a more racy format.

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All the changes to style of course bring up questions of gender bending (and the never ending flame war between opposing factions on whether or not Link can be a female character), but we'll leave that debate for another article.

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For now, let us know what you thought of these 13 highly entertaining and super NSFW recreations, and be sure to offer up some suggestions on images we missed that should have made the list!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/w/o/l/wolfamongus-2e1cf.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/w/o/l/wolfamongus-2e1cf.png","type":"slide","id":"126381","description":"

The Wolf Among Us

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Furry and gamer sub-culture frequently collide, so it shouldn't be too much of a shock to learn there's a rabid fan base all about Bigby Wolf from Telltale's rendition of the Fables comic series.

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This one's easily the most tame of all you can find with a simple Google search, transporting Bigby into a sharp anime style while not losing that rugged quality that drives the wolf-lovers wild.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/i/saintsrowkenzie-a1b5a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/i/saintsrowkenzie-a1b5a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"126380","description":"

Saint's Row

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The ever-amazing Saint's Row series is always trying to find new ways to up the ante and be even more ridiculous than anything seen in the past. From becoming President by falling into the White House in Saints Row 4 to the totally unexpected, Disney-style musical number in Gat Out Of Hell, you never know what to expect from this bonkers game series.

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One thing you can reliably expect to see though are nude characters. Some of them are mercifully blurred out (Oleg running wildly through the streets of Steelport with his member hanging free comes to mind...) while others are not.

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Predictably, there's been a good deal of fan art for these gangster characters, especially those of the female persuasion, like the ultra-smart and beautiful Kinzie Kensington. This particular pinup appears to just be a reshaded version of another image with the Saint's logo tattooed on, but hot damn if it doesn't put Kinzie in a more erotic light.

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/f/n/a/fnaf-7bd4b.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/f/n/a/fnaf-7bd4b.png","type":"slide","id":"126379","description":"

Five Nights At Freddys

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Fair warning here: you can't ever un-see what you will see if you decide to take a look at the complete and uncropped version of the image above.

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Remember good old Rule 34? It has no exceptions. None. Not a single one. Even killer animatronic stuffed animals from a kid's pizza parlor have been turned into sex objects by depraved gamers. Way to go us!

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You can delve even deeper into this bizarre sub-culture of a sub-culture, finding such gems as yaio / animatronic furry crossover fan fiction. I never thought I'd type that sentence, but here we are.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/b/o/r/border-4a794.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/b/o/r/border-4a794.jpg","type":"slide","id":"126378","description":"

Borderlands Pinups

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With the already-sexy Moxxi and characters like the Siren on display, it was a no-brainer that there would be fan art by the boat load for Borderlands characters.

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Skipping all the fully nude stuff (and the perhaps line-crossing art with the underage Tiny Tina...) one recurring theme has appeared in artist recreations: pinups!

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These two images above are actually from two completely different artists tackling the same subject matter. Moxxi on the right was created by Quirkilicous, while Maya on the left was put together by Milish.

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I guess my only question here is why is Claptrap getting all the action in the pinups? Does he have a vibrate function or something?

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/i/aliceinwonderland-5b936.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/i/aliceinwonderland-5b936.jpg","type":"slide","id":"126377","description":"

Alice In Wonderland

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This beautiful cover comes from a Zenescope comic series that morphs classic children tales into much more adult versions. I'm partial to this particular image that lets you know there will be a much different twist than you'd typically expect from Alice and the Mad Hatter.

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'Course, anyone who has ever played Alice: Madness Returns has already received a pretty damn NSFW interpretation of that story, just in an extremely disturbing and rapey way.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/p/r/i/princesspeach-d5b61.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/p/r/i/princesspeach-d5b61.jpg","type":"slide","id":"126376","description":"

Princess Peach

\n

Well hello there Ms. Peach... I don't see any reason why she couldn't do a Playboy centerfold if she wanted to.

\n

Despite all his smashing castles and murdering hordes of innocent goombas to re-kidnap her, Mario's got no claim on what the pretty princess does with her body.

\n

Unsurprisingly, there's loads of Peach hentai across the net that make this image look decidedly tame, and they all use a pretty stunning array of art styles. While we probably won't ever cover it here, somebody should really do a dissertation on the varying art styles just of nude Super Mario characters and the serious ingenuity on display by the artists.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/m/u/smurf-7c4cd.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/m/u/smurf-7c4cd.png","type":"slide","id":"126374","description":"

Smurfs As Game Of Thrones

\n

We already covered how NSFW doesn't have to mean nude (OK, there are some smurfs getting it on in the video, so sorry for ruining your eyes forever on that front) and sometimes it just means a radically different interpretation of something normally very innocent.

\n

What would happen if the Smurfs schemed, plotted, and rebelled like the lords of Westeros? We'd have a reddish blue wedding, just as much in-breeding, and some horrifiying hilarity, as show in this clip by Animation Domination Hi Def.

\n

Before anybody screams that we've strayed too far from gaming – just remember there are in fact both Game Of Thrones and Smurfs video games. Lots of 'em in fact.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/g/a/m/gameofthrones-e1645.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/g/a/m/gameofthrones-e1645.jpg","type":"slide","id":"126373","description":"

Game Of Thrones Tattoos

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Sure, Ramsay Snow/Bolton likes to flay people alive, cut off genitals, and feed babies to rabid dogs, but admit it: you still kinda want to get into his pants, don't you? Add some tats in the max and both the ink and screamo crowds are going to go nuts.

\n

That's exactly what Hilary Heffron did with an entire series taking Game Of Thrones characters and inking them up with hilarious and very on-point tats.

\n

The bad buy persona on display here sort of makes me wish we could get a Game Of Thrones / Sons Of Anarchy crossover, maybe by Telltale Games? Granted their recent rendition of GoT wasn't perfect, but the first few episodes were plenty of fun to play.

\n

 

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The Witcher

\n

Another one by the immensely talented Astor Alexander, in this series he converts people from various game universes into a seriously noir mode.

\n

I dig how he takes them all a sexy or gruesome direction, giving you an entirely different version of these well-known characters (you don't often think of Mario and Luigi as hard boiled detectives willing to get blood on their hands).

\n

Granted, the Witcher series already had plenty of boobs, but I like that this rendition clearly hints at both sex and danger without actually showing much of either.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/p/r/i/princesszeldaganondorf-55718.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/p/r/i/princesszeldaganondorf-55718.jpg","type":"slide","id":"126371","description":"

Legend Of Zelda

\n

Artist Astor Alexander has two truly amazing different series, one recreating classic works of art with game characters and another (see the next slide) reimagining games as dime store detective novels and comic book covers.

\n

My jaw sort of dropped when I first saw this line of images he created, as its clear a whole lot of work went into these. This one in particular is both somehow sexy and more than a little disturbing. I'll never think of princess Zelda or Ganondorf the same way again.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/g/megaman-54a0f.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/g/megaman-54a0f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"126370","description":"

Mega Man

\n

Woah, that is some serious beefcake Mega Man action there. I mean, I always sort of assumed he had to be pretty built under that suit with all the running and wall jumping he's always doing, but good lord.

\n

I'm sure with a little searching you can find the uncensored version of the image, and yes, there's a whole lot of porn using both the series' title character and various robotic enemies. For the Yaoi fans, boy love abounds in the Mega Man universe.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/l/falloutmylittleponycrossover-178f9.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/l/falloutmylittleponycrossover-178f9.png","type":"slide","id":"126369","description":"

Fallout / My Little Pony Crossover

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“Now wait a minute,” I hear you screaming in your head while seeing the image above, “I thought this was all going to be about boobs and butts and stuff!”

\n

Hold that thought for a moment and let me counter with a differing opinion: “NSFW” doesn't always mean “boobies.” Sometimes its just cute characters doing very adult things. Like a Fallout rendition of a My Little Pony character cursing like a sailor before being blown to bits by a mine, for instance.

\n

This particular image comes from a full crossover online comic series by Kkat spanning 45 chapters. You can read the whole thing right here.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/l/fallout4-c036e.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/l/fallout4-c036e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"126368","description":"

Fallout 4

\n

There are a ridiculous number of nude mods to make characters in both Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 shed their clothing and show off some nipple, but frankly the blocky polygonal art style isn't all that sexy.

\n

Thankfully, there's a stable of artists more than happy to put a risque twist on the various Fallout game mechanics, like this rather different interpretation of VATS. Where are you going to take aim at first I wonder?

\n

The Fallout series itself is no stranger to sex, with the second game even having a Kamasutra perk that provided different dialog options if you engaged in intercourse, as well as being notable for the first instance of a video game ever having a same-sex marriage wedding scene.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/v/coverwithimage-8abd7.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/v/coverwithimage-8abd7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"126367","description":"

By now we should all know about Rule 34: if something exists, somebody has found a way to turn it into porn. Just take a look at the shockingly well done Biocock Intimate or the horde of nude mods for every single video game ever made.

\n

Amidst the sea of Final Fantasy dojin and Mega Man bosses with tentacles turned into love machines, there are plenty of more “tasteful” pieces that either offer up a bit of fan service or even go in violently unexpected directions for normally peaceful game icons.

\n

Sites like Deviant Art are filled to the brim with insanely talented artists putting their own spin on classic characters, but there's also more than a few unknown and independent artists or even video creators who have some amazing work you simply have to see.

\n

Before we dive into some of the most interesting NSFW reimaginings of game characters, I just want to make a quick note here: I made a serious effort to find all the artists, but sadly many of them aren't listed and there were no readily available references to the original source. If you know who made them, be sure to let us know so we can give proper credit!

"}]]]>
Ladies in Gaming: American McGee's Alice https://www.gameskinny.com/6kiqk/ladies-in-gaming-american-mcgees-alice https://www.gameskinny.com/6kiqk/ladies-in-gaming-american-mcgees-alice Fri, 04 Sep 2015 02:30:01 -0400 Jackson Ingram

[Content Warning: discusses mental illness and rape; contains spoilers for American McGee's Alice and Alice: Madness Returns]

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is more than an (150 year) old book. It's a phenomenon. Initially conceived as an entertaining story for the real-world Alice Liddel and her sisters, Wonderland and its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass, serve as landmark examples of the literary nonsense genre. To this day, author Lewis Carroll's command of wordplay and symbolism is continuously debated, decrypted, and deconstructed by leading scholars, critics, and, perhaps most importantly, children.

Wonderland has been capturing curiosity since the story was first orally delivered to Alice, Edith, and Lorine Liddel on a rowboat in 1862. Given its popularity with audiences of all ages, Alice has naturally become one of the most adapted works of fiction in worldwide media today. 

Some reimaginings have been better than others (good cinematography is no excuse for a lukewarm script, Disney), but few have taken Alice down as darkly as American McGee.

Alice: Madness Returns

McGee's Wonderland, a fantastically grim renovation of Carroll's work, quickly became a cult classic near the end of the year 2000. It boasts an unapologetically gory aesthetic, fully realized with graphics well beyond those of competing games at the time. Over a decade later, McGee returned to the franchise with a sequel, Madness Returns, and is currently working on short film tie-ins, subtitled Otherlands, through Kickstarter.

The figurehead of McGee's sprawling vision is Alice herself, a blood-stained punk edit of the original Wonderlander that you've probably seen carrying around a giant kitchen knife on DeviantArt. For better or worse, Alice has become an icon within many gaming circles. There's a moral here, as I'm sure the Duchess would agree, but we're going to have to be clever enough to find it.

Down the Rabbit Hole

The central plot of McGee's twisted tale revolves around Alice's ongoing struggle with mental illness, having suffered a psychotic break 10 years prior to the first game after surviving a house fire that claimed the lives of her parents and sister. Coping with severe post-traumatic stress and survivor's guilt, Alice's madness takes on the form of Wonderland, a now-rotting dream world that she had visited twice before in the Carroll canon.

Alice: Madness Returns promotional shot.

Mental illness has always been popularly associated with Alice as a figure, but hasn't always been treated with the respect and consideration such a hefty subject demands. Serious afflictions, such as clinical depression or bipolar disorder, are portrayed as tragic, but aesthetically beautiful conditions easily cured by the love of a generic classically handsome optimist. Barf.

Mental illness is not beautiful and McGee does not treat it as such. For Alice, Wonderland becomes an escape. The fantastic landscapes and areas found in both games are ultimately being corrupted by her own faltering grip on reality. The trauma she's endured is not a quirk of her past. It's horrific.

Had her mental illness been romanticized, Alice's experiences would have been watered down to serve a toxic narrative, perpetuating stereotypes that invalidate the needs of actual people living with actual disorders.

And it's not like Alice needs saving anyway.

Of Madness and Muchness

A major theme of both games is control. After her psychotic break, Alice is at the mercy of 19th century Victorian medical community. The poor quality of her care is made particularly evident in the sequel, in which numerous characters attempt to take advantage of her unstable condition. The most prominent among them is Dr. Bumby, a manipulative psychiatrist who uses hypnosis to control and commodify his patients.

Alice: Madness Returns promotional shot.

Much of Alice's narrative revolves around her regaining agency over her own body and mind. She doesn't require or even ask for a savior, instead advocating for her own independence and treatment.

She doesn't stop there. At the crux of Madness Returns is a recurring idea: if Alice saves herself, she'll save Wonderland. Midway through the game, the Caterpillar corrects her. If Alice saves Wonderland, she'll find a way to save herself.

Social movements, like feminism, are built through interpersonal connections. Women should support other women. Men should support women. Women should support men. Everyone supports everyone else, regardless of gender identity. Alice is always willing to help those around her, establishing a network from which to draw mutual strength.

This is most importantly displayed in the relationship between Alice and Nan Sharpe, former nanny turned sex worker. After Alice stands up to one of Nan's violent patrons, the two women encourage one another to help themselves, breaking free from the patriarchal systems binding them.

While Alice always advocates initiative and chastises complacency ("Everyone around here has an excuse for doing nothing"), she also addresses her own priviledges that make such a mindset possible. Coming from a wealthy, well-educated family and recently enjoying a rare period of lucidity, Alice is in a position to help the other orphans, whose young naiveté is preyed upon by Dr. Bumby.

The guilt she feels for not acting can easily be applied to the real world. For example: while white cis women do still experience sexism, they hold more priviledge than non-white and/or transgender women, who also encounter different forms of discrimination.

Alice was selfish not to acknowledge her own priviledge in this very specific, fictional scenario. While she still had problems of her own to deal with, she could have been a better ally to those more socially disadvantaged.

"Are you a pawn or a queen?"

When people try to think of strong, active female characters, they often bring up Sucker Punch, a 2011 action-adventure movie that performed poorly at the box office and among critics. It stars a handful of racially diverse women fighting back against an oppressive system that tries to commodify their bodies and control their minds. Sounds like a feminist flick, right?

Wrong. Sucker Punch is an excellent example of how "strong" female characters are often just dressed in lingerie and tossed into battle. Because as long as these women are shooting people, objectifying them isn't sexist. At least, that's what you're supposed to think.

Alice thankfully doesn't suffer Sucker Punch's fate. Make no mistake, she's still an "Action Girl." She runs around stabbing people, for God's sake, but she's never over-sexualized or designed to cater to the male gaze. Even when she grows and shrinks, a clever mechanic lifted straight from the book, her clothes grow and shrink with her. The developers actively avoided a plausible situation in which she might appear undressed. Amazing.

Alice: Madness Returns

Another important point to bring up is that Alice is never a man's subordinate. Her male guide, the Cheshire Cat, isn't a mentor. He doesn't teach her to fight and doesn't dictate her actions. He just supports her. As though they are equals. Radical.

The sequel actually calls out sexism openly in the finale. Alice has fought through the mental manipulation she suffered at the hands of Dr. Bumby and confronts her former psychiatrist for his crimes. She's pissed. And emotional. And in control. Her passion is empowering, not degrading.

Her passion is empowering, not degrading.

And Bumby laughs it off. He tells her that no one in England would take her word, the ravings a mad girl, against that of a distinguished gentleman. And she knows that he's right and that the Victorian judicial system will probably fail her and that she'll never get justice for her family.

So she gets revenge. She fearlessly takes back her sister's key and pushed Bumby in front of an oncoming train.

Okay, I'm not saying we need vigilantes going around killing people, but Madness Returns did something a lot of video games aren't brave enough to do: explicitly acknowledge that sexism is actually a thing.

Back to Yesterday

Despite adapting arguably the most feminist Alice to date, American McGee is not a perfect man and these are not perfect games. Everyone makes mistakes, but it's important to acknowledge and learn from them before moving on. Madness Returns stumbles three times in particular.

Everyone makes mistakes, but it's important to acknowledge and learn from them before moving on.

Strike one: Midway through Alice's (otherwise amazing) monologue against Bumby, she vows that she'll see him imprisoned and "some half-wit bruiser will make [him] his sweetheart."

After spending the whole game fighting against a powerful man who coerces children into a sex-trafficking ring, Alice holds the threat of prison rape over his head. Obviously, this is not okay.

Rape culture is already so pervasive in our society. Alice should know better than perpetuate it.

Strike two: There's a level called "Oriental Grove" that takes imagery from both Chinese and Japanese cultures, blending them to create a visually pleasing level populated by "Samarai" insects.

I get it. It looks cool and American McGee has lived in China for like, ever, but he is not of these cultures and they are not his to appropriate into this fantasy world.

Still, I'm hesitant to call this one out. The Interchangeable Asian Cultures trope is typically racist, but the "Oriental Grove" is definitely meant to celebrate Chinese culture. I mean, Ken Wong is the art director, so he obviously had a say in it. They really messed up by throwing in Japanese elements.

And the kimono-inspired dress was in pretty poor taste too.

Overall, the level had no logical place in the narrative, even using nonsensical reasoning. Alice isn't of Chinese, or even Asian descent. It's made very clear that this Wonderland exists inside her head. What's the "Oriental Grove" doing there?

Strike Three: The exposed shoulder on the straitjacket dress was just ridiculous.

Alice: Madness Returns - Straitjacket

So is Alice out? Hardly. Every piece of media houses problematic elements. By identifying them, we encourage creators to strive for more nuanced writing and diverse representation.

Behind the Looking-Glass

With Otherlands still on the horizon, we can look forward to more of McGee's Alice, hopefully continuing to champion positive female representation in video games and Wonderland reimaginings everywhere. This time, we'll only be watching Alice rock the blue dress/red knife look, but who knows what the future holds? We could be bringing our controllers back into Wonderland sooner than we think.

Have something to add? Leave a comment below. Just remember the Hatter's advice: if you don't think, then you shouldn't talk.

Ladies in Gaming will be back Friday, September 18th. Until then, watch out for white rabbits.

]]>
Top Ten Memorable Female Characters https://www.gameskinny.com/9zzfl/top-ten-memorable-female-characters https://www.gameskinny.com/9zzfl/top-ten-memorable-female-characters Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:53:50 -0500 Benjamski

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Maya 

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Borderlands 2
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It should be enough to say that Maya is awesome just because she is one of six super-powerful women (called "Sirens") in the Borderlands world, but there's more to it. Not only was Maya a truly badass companion to have alongside me in my several playthroughs of Borderlands 2, but she has an awesome origin story.

\n

Discovered by a shady secret order and raised by monks, she practiced her powers in secret. When she realized that the monk's planned to enslave her and use her as weapon of fear and intimidation to control the people of that world, she kills them and peaces out to Pandora to learn more about Sirens and the world in general. It's a story that is only touched on briefly by listening to an audio recording, but hearing her story of overpowering her captors and escaping to explore the world and her identity makes me love her character even more. 

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Alyx Vance

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Half-Life 2
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Alyx Vance is easily one of the best AI companions ever. So many games pair you up with a companion or force you to escort a character too stupid to deserve protection. But Alyx was not only one of the most competent AI companions to this day, she is also a strong and smart character that demands respect with her very presence. She is a leader in a massive resistance against alien forces, and is more often telling Gordan Freeman what to do instead of asking what's next.

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She's smart enough to build herself a pet robot and tough enough to hold her own throughout the entire game without letting any obstacle stand in her way for long. Lists like these are always made up of subjective details but Alyx Vance should be on all of them, no matter what.

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Red

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Transistor
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This is another silent female protagonist. Unlike the others, Red at least has the excuse that her voice was stolen by the game's antagonist. But like the other women of few words on this list, she doesn't let that hold her back from being a force to be reckoned with.

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Being a singer with no voice must be a terrible feeling, and we can hear that melancholy in the melodious humming that Red graces the player with throughout the game as she hums along with the background music. While her sentient sword does all the talking, Red does have more and more of a personality as you progress through the game and better understand her background and her journey to become a revolutionary influence on the world. 

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Faith Connors

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Mirror's Edge
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In Mirror's Edge, Faith took badass-parkour to a whole new level as she runs, jumps, punches, kicks, and slides her way through the world without ever slowing down. The story is never as important as the action, but it still had enough background to paint Faith as a fiercely independent character who has lived on her own from a young age and is not subtle in her rebellion against the totalitarian regime of baddies that creep into the city she calls home.

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Whether she's bounding rooftop-to-rooftop, taking out enemies in flash of melee attacks, or taking risks to stand up for what she believes in, she never slows down or hesitates in making the next move. 

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Ellie

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The Last of Us
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If you own a PS3 or PS4 and you haven't played The Last of Us, go pick it up now! It has one of the most powerful stories I've played through in years, and Ellie is a strong character that only gets stronger before the end of the game. She's only 14 and is thrown into a dangerous journey across a zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic world where some of the people she encounters are more horrible than the actual monsters. 

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There are moments where Ellie is saved by her companion and protector Joel. But for every one of those instances, there are twice as many cutscenes or actual gameplay where she fights tooth-and-nail to survive in bleak scenarios. 

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Abigail "Fetch" Walker

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Infamous: Second Son, First Light
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While Infamous: Second Son had that issue of diverging the story arc into a good side and evil side (which didn't really fit Fetch's established character), she's still a strong character in the flagship game.

\n

But Fetch really shines in her own standalone game, First Light, where we learn more about her past, her relationship with her brother, and what makes her such a great character. She has those moments of weakness and feeling helpless, but always picks herself back up and fights.

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There are some moments in First Light where Fetch is relentlessly hit on, receiving gross and creepy one-liners that, while annoying and a little out of place, are unfortunately a reflection of the real world. Fetch is certainly never okay with them, and I suppose it does make eventually killing the aforementioned creep that much sweeter. 

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Chell

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Portal, Portal 2
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Taking a page from the "strong and silent type" book of previous Valve protagonist, Gordon Freeman, Chell has zero dialogue in either game, yet still comes off as strong and unstoppable. GLaDOS, the Portal antagonist, puts Chell through countless humorous and blatantly torturous puzzles filled with near-death experiences, but Chell never so much as slows down for a single moment. 

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Even without saying a word, or even really being seen, Chell is an example of a female character that looks completely average and is thrown into challenging situations that she never ceases to overcome time after time.

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Nariko

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Heavenly Sword
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While your immediate impression may be that Nariko is beautiful and sparsely-clothed, she is inarguably strong-willed and unmatched in combat. Wielding a sword that is both badass and looks heavy enough for two people, she makes combat both deadly and graceful.

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Even before obtaining this unique weapon, Nariko is a fierce warrior who defends the last of her people with whatever she has, no matter what. Despite being shunned by her clan when she was born, she defends them from the very beginning. She proves that she is destined to defeat evil and save her world from destruction, in spite of the fact that the prophecy foretold a male savior. 

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If you haven't played or seen Heavenly Sword, it only takes a quick glance at the combat to see just how impressive of a warrior Nariko is. 

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The Boss

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Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
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Hideo Kojima's games are weird as hell, and I'm just one of the people that loves him. While a lot of his female characters are tough, they're also needlessly sexualized. But The Boss is an exceptional character. Throughout the game, she is both a nurturing mentor to the protagonist and a formidable foe as well.

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The boss fulfills both the motherly female archetype and the badass (a la Lara Croft) female archetype simultaneously. She mentors Snake and cares deeply about him, but she also won't hesitate to break his arm and throw him off a bridge to teach him to survive. Let's all be thankful the mother figures in our life aren't quite that hard on us. 

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While few things are ever totally clear in Kojima story lines, the one thing we learn about the Metal Gear Solid series in Snake Eater is that without the loving and brutal mentorship from The Boss, Big Boss would never have become the legendary hero he's known to be.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/ada82bcd7b14bbd5bafba14a510427eb.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_ada82bcd7b14bbd5bafba14a510427eb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55303","description":"

Alice Liddel

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American Mcgee's Alice: Madness Returns
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This is a game that probably slipped under a lot of people's radar, but I was fortunate enough to give it a go on PS3 (and was so glad I did). Not only are the environments designed beautifully, but the overarching metaphor of Alice fighting her mental battles to overcome trauma and tragedy in a fantastically macabre world was powerful, yet understated. Alice is dark and twisted, with a tragic past that lands her in a mental hospital. Throughout the story, she fights her way through these issues in a grotesque take on Wonderland, with antagonists that parallel the abusers and villains in her reality.

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There was an aesthetic to both her and the environments in the game that I absolutely fell in love with. In her reality, she is worn and broken. But in her fantasy world, she empowers herself to overcome her problems and take back her life. She certainly starts as a victim and has definite moments of weakness throughout the game, but always keeps pushing forward no matter how ugly things get. By the end of her experience, she overcomes all of the evil in her life to open up the hope for a brighter future.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/d48ab3ed2428bdf56ddc68c34b43af5e.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_d48ab3ed2428bdf56ddc68c34b43af5e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55302","description":"

The more critically we look for positive female characters in games today, the harder they are to find. So many of even the most memorable female characters fall victim (often literally) to be being damsels in distress, being sexualized/objectified, or fulfilling other types of cliche gaming tropes.

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There are however, some great examples of utterly unforgettable characters in gaming - certainly more than the ten I'll list here. I tried to stick with characters in games that I've played myself, rather than heard about, and tried not to default to the more obvious choices (like the indisputably badass, yet overused example of Lara Croft).

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This list isn't perfect or definitive, nor does it make any academic statements. It is simply a list made by someone who thinks women are people and that these leading ladies were recognized as great characters first, and women second.

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Alice: Madness Returns - A Halloween Review https://www.gameskinny.com/4ylw8/alice-madness-returns-a-halloween-review https://www.gameskinny.com/4ylw8/alice-madness-returns-a-halloween-review Thu, 31 Oct 2013 18:19:57 -0400 Courtney Gamache

So tonight, on the great Hallow's Eve, I decided to play a bit of Alice: Madness Returns, and I forgot how creepy this game truly is! It's not so terrible that you wouldn't want to play it with your children, but it does get a bit creepy at times. It made for a great Halloween game.

Gameplay

Alice: Madness Returns is much better than its prequel, American McGee's Alice. I remember playing the first game on the PC when it came out, and the controls were difficult for me to maneuver. When playing Alice: Madness Returns, I was playing with a Logitech Controller and found it much better than the ASWD or arrow keys.

Aside from the controls, the game has much better graphics and less glitches than the earlier one which I found very refreshing. Not only has the game been improved, but I believe it flows much better than the earlier game, which left me wondering in the beginning.

Storyline

I might have been a bit too young for the first one, but I don't remember such a vivid story that Madness Returns delivers to the gamer.

*Spoiler Alert*

The beginning of the game discusses how the house where Alice and her family lived burned down in a fire, and left her very traumatized. This sets Alice in the Rutledge Asylum, where she seeps back into the world of Wonderland to face her psychological burden.

I believe this storyline gives much more to the gamer than just playing the game. You start to feel for the main character, which not only bonds the gamer to the character, but also the game.

Finally, Alice's Outfits

A great feature found in this game and not the earlier one would be Alice's different outfits. She has many different clothing designs that allows the player to sort of customize Alice, in a game that doesn't offer many customizations.

As a final result, I would say this game is perfect for someone who doesn't read to much into games, and understands that a game is a game. I would gladly play this game with my nephew when he's a tad older. 

If you feel up for getting Alice: Madness Returns, it's currently available on Steam for 75% off for only $4.99 (normally $19.99) until November 1st (tomorrow!). I hope everyone has a Happy Halloween, and enjoys a scary game of their own. If you're up for Alice, I bet you'll enjoy it for many hours to come.

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Steam Halloween Sale https://www.gameskinny.com/do2n6/steam-halloween-sale https://www.gameskinny.com/do2n6/steam-halloween-sale Tue, 29 Oct 2013 14:27:15 -0400 Courtney Gamache

Steam is famously known for their holiday sales, and this Halloween is no different. In honor of the scary holiday season, Steam is putting many frightfully thrilling games on sale from 10%-85%. Best time to grab your Halloween game now, and enjoy it on Hallow's Eve. The sale will only run until November 1st.

Featured Games on Sale

Among the games on sale are some very popular titles that will make any Halloween party or hangout more thrilling. Enjoy the sales, cause you might not come across ones these good until December.

  • Alice: Madness Returns - 75% off - $4.99 (normally $19.99)
  • Resident Evil 6 / Biohazard 6 - 66% off - $13.59 (normally $39.99)
  • Resident Evil 6 Complete Pack - 66% off - $16.99 (normally $49.99)
  • Amnesia: The Dark Descent - 75% off - $4.99 (normally $19.99)
  • Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs - 30% off - $13.99 (normally $19.99)
  • Darksiders - 80% off - $3.99 (normally $19.99)
  • The Walking Dead - 75% off - $6.24 (normally $24.99)
  • The Sims 3: Supernatural - 60% off - $7.99 (normally $19.99)
  • Borderlands: Game of the Year - 75% off - $7.49 (normally $29.99)
  • Borderlands Game of the Year Four Pack - 75% off - $22.49 (normally $89.97)

There are more games available on sale, but the above are the featured ones and most popular among the huge list that can be found here. I hope everyone takes advantage of this wonderful Halloween Sale, and has a spooky Halloween filled with candy and fright.

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Original Voice Actors Confirmed for Alice: Otherlands & Last Call for Kickstarter Swag https://www.gameskinny.com/hdnha/original-voice-actors-confirmed-for-alice-otherlands-last-call-for-kickstarter-swag https://www.gameskinny.com/hdnha/original-voice-actors-confirmed-for-alice-otherlands-last-call-for-kickstarter-swag Fri, 06 Sep 2013 19:42:12 -0400 Stephanie Tang

"Quickly, Alice, we're very late indeed!"

In a nail-biting finish that had fans upping their pledges again and again, the Kickstarter for Alice: Otherlands hit its $200,000 goal with all the screeching might of Alice: Madness Returns' Infernal Train just in time on July 15 - and then blew past it within the last 15 hours to reach $222,377. 

But that was only the beginning. 

Fans were greatly disappointed that the project was unable to reach the $250,000 stretch goal which is when Susie Brann (the voice of Alice) and Roger Jackson (the voice of the Cheshire Cat) from Madness Returns would sign onto the project. Thankfully, American was utterly unruffled and completely jubilant at the success of the Kickstarter, assuring fans that he was still in talks with outside investors that might help tip the scales. 

Well, it looks like he didn't even have to, at least as far as the voice actors were concerned.

Immediately upon closing of the Kickstarter, American opened up a PayPal store so that those who missed out on the original Kickstarter could still add to the pot - and pick up some pretty neat-looking stuff.

(DVD cover + proposed artbook interior)

As in the original Kickstarter add-ons, fans could pick up some pricey canvas prints and limited edition lithographs from the Otherworlds project as well as from Madness Returns. With stunning artwork from a variety of artists available and extra copies of artbooks and DVDs/BluRays at hand, it was no wonder that fans continued to pour more of their money into the project.

Without American's mystery backers, the Otherlands project hit $250,000 by August 21. Susie and Roger are in!

All doors closing!

Even with new backers still coming in through the PayPal window, Kickstarter updates have warned that this will not continue for very much longer. To ensure that the Alice art will make it to the buyers by the holidays of 2013, the PayPal store will remain open until September 20, 2013 (three weeks today). 

If you're interested in buying any of the pretty artwork still up for show on the Kickstarter page, remember to head over to the PayPal store and pick them up soon!

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Despite a Nail-Biting Funding Finale, Alice: Otherlands Is a Go! https://www.gameskinny.com/tcwn4/despite-a-nail-biting-funding-finale-alice-otherlands-is-a-go https://www.gameskinny.com/tcwn4/despite-a-nail-biting-funding-finale-alice-otherlands-is-a-go Mon, 05 Aug 2013 15:52:14 -0400 Stephanie Tang

"Only a few find the way..." 

Third-person action video game American McGee's Alice by Rogue Entertainment became an instantly beloved cult classic ever since its release in October 2000. With her sharp wit and even sharper Vorpal Blade, Alice sliced and diced her way through a twisted and bloody Wonderland with a motley collection of deadly children's toys in her arsenel.

An unauthorized sequel of Lewis Carroll's Alice novels, American McGee's Alice tells the story of a tragic accident that destroys her family and lands an older Alice in an asylum. When the attendants bring her a frayed white rabbit doll, she is pulled back into her fantasy world Wonderland only to find that is has become rather... changed. 

Alice finds herself forced to face her demons, meet and lose old friends, and fight to return her Wonderland to the paradise fantasy world it once was. 

In the 2011 sequel Alice: Madness Returns by Spicy Horse, Alice is living in a foster home under the care of a psychiatrist who uses hypnosis to make his patients forget their memories. Although in passably stable condition, Alice finds herself hallucinating back into her fantasy world Wonderland--the idyllic world she left it that is quickly becoming corrupted by the Infernal Train that rampages through, leaving behind the Ruin.

In Madness Returns she is fighting to take back what memories she has lost, and to find the truth that lies hidden beneath the pain.

After the second game, as American puts it, Alice is

"filled with a power that transcends the physical and psychological - she's now master of both domains."

But the story isn't over!

"[Alice is] aware of an insidious evil lurking in every corner of Victorian London, of a threat greater than the asylum or the man who killed her family."

Enter Alice: Otherlands, the continuation of Alice's story but in a completely new format. Intended as a collection of 3D animated short films, Alice leverages her superhero-like power to invade the minds of others, each a potential vehicle for Alice's new adventures - Jules Verne, Jack the Ripper, Queen Victoria, and many more. 

The project was submitted to Kickstarter by Spicy Horse, with American, the creator of the Alice series, squarely at the helm. Working with top-notch animation studios near the Spicy Horse headquarters in Shanghai (many of which worked on the animated segments in Madness Returns), each film will contain its own narrative arc that fits into the larger Alice narrative. 

With a $200,000 goal, the Kickstarter campaign was fairly modest, promising a collection of digital shorts sans DRM. If it exceeded the $200,000 goal and hit achieved $50,000 more, the original voice actors for Alice and the Cheshire Cat would sign onto the project. The campaign was shorter than many others of its type, running 20 days rather than the typical 30. 

Two days before the project was slated to end, things were going at a nail-biting pace. Progress towards the goal was slow, and the numbers were low in the $170k range.

Things were beginning to look desperate.

American had, after all, said that if this failed, he would mostly likely distance himself from the Alice property for awhile. 

However, fans were still optimistic. American posted an update commenting that things would be tight, but that he was sure it would end in success.

And boy, did the fans respond!

Within hours of the Kickstarter project closing, backer support blew through more than $50k to hit the target goal and continue on beyond. I myself upped my pledge twice within the last 18 hours of the deadline.

When the campaign finally closed yesterday on August 4, $222,377 had been funded by 3,389 backers. From here on, the post-campaign funding option is available through PayPal.

In the meantime, following the post-campaign afterglow, the Spicy Horse team is hard at work, already sending out the backer surveys and getting started on making sure their Kickstarter supporters get their hard-earned rewards. 

Furthermore, American hints that despite the inability for the Kickstarter to hit the Voice Actor stretch goal, Susie and Roger may still sign onto the project thanks to some extra funding options that he is still looking into.

Good luck, American!

Here's hoping that this is one more step to taking Alice to the big screen!

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Exclusive Interview with American McGee and His Alice: Otherlands Project https://www.gameskinny.com/asp13/exclusive-interview-with-american-mcgee-and-his-alice-otherlands-project https://www.gameskinny.com/asp13/exclusive-interview-with-american-mcgee-and-his-alice-otherlands-project Thu, 25 Jul 2013 12:17:50 -0400 Katy Hollingsworth

I recently sat down to interview American McGee, creator of the Alice and Alice: Madness Returns games and the upcoming project, Alice: Otherlands.

There has been some misconception about the purpose of his most recent project; while some believed it to be a third installment in the series, it's actually a series of short films acting as an experiment to test the waters of a third game.

Currently in talks with EA about the license for another Alice title, McGee is hoping to use Alice: Otherlands (which will feature Alice entering the minds of Londoners to save them from the antagonist whose identity and purpose remain a mystery) to prove that interest in the franchise is still alive and growing.

The Kickstarter project will use its funds for purchasing the film rights to Alice. The project is ongoing and has raised a little over half of its overall goal, with ten days remaining.

Let’s get the worst-case scenario question out of the way: what are your plans if you can’t purchase the film rights for Alice? Will talks with EA about licensing continue, or would that be the end of the Alice franchise?

American: "It would be a pretty bad sign about the health of the property. It's important to keep in mind that my talks with EA are not necessarily related to them funding and publishing the next Alice. I'm hoping to raise independent funding and go with alternative publishing. Due to the sensitive nature of our talks I can't go into further details. But I will say this funding would not come via Kickstarter, since we're talking about a budget greater than even the most successful game campaign. That being the case, the success of the Otherlands campaign would signal to potential investors that there's a strong market desire for more Alice content.

"As for the future of the Alice franchise in the event the campaign fails... it's hard to predict. For my part, I would want to walk away from the property for a while. I don't think there's much point in ignoring signals from the market - if people aren't interested then there's nothing I can (or want to do) to force the issue."

As for a feature film, what are your ideal plans for this? Will it be live-action, or animated? Will it include shorts from Otherlands, or will it stand alone?

American: "I'm exploring ways to get a feature film made here in China. The film industry here is producing some really spectacular content - and there's a lot of interest in turning local production capability on a Western story for a global audience. To this end, I'm speaking with directors, producers, studios and investors. There's a lot of strong interest in the idea. I think we may find ourselves in the right place at the right time on this project.

"Not sure yet whether it will be animated or live action. Both ideas are being explored. One question that comes up repeatedly is, "why isn't there more Western cartoon content dealing with violent themes?" Japanese anime handles this stuff all the time - and there's a significant audience for that content in the US. Why not do the same with Alice?

"The Otherlands animations aren't built to go into the larger feature film project. They will stand alone - and I hope we'll be in a position to continually create new ones long into the future."

Will Susie Brann continue voice-acting for Alice in Otherlands? What about for the feature film?

American: "I'm working to secure her involvement (and that of Roger Jackson) as we speak. Expect an official announcement on this in the coming days."

Spicy Horse has been around forever—how has your studio grown from projects like Alice?

American: "We've been here nearly 8 years now. I think we're still technically the largest indie Western development studio in China. While working on Madness Returns we peaked at around 80 internal employees. These days we're a more manageable 50 in Shanghai with another 5 in the US. We've gone through multiple "pivots." Our first project was an ambitious episodic PC game. Then we made a AAA console title. Today we're doing online/mobile multiplayer games. Throughout these shifts we've learned a lot, made a ton of mistakes and grown in many interesting ways."

If the campaign is successful, any ideas on how long we can expect the DVD/Blu-Ray/Digital video content to be?

American: "Depends on how much funding we raise. Around the 250k~300k mark (what we're trending towards now) I think we can deliver upwards of 30 minutes of animated content. That would be divided into individual shorts - so we could end up with 5 or more animations. We will also keep the PayPal store open - and I'm working on sources of outside funding - so that we can continue making more animations above and beyond what's supported by the campaign."

You mentioned on your AMA that we can expect the see the return of select characters from Wonderland, and that some may appear as demons which haunt Alice. Can you give us an example of a demon we might see in someone’s mind as Alice wanders through it?

American: "Alice's demons are her doubts, fears and negative emotions. While exploring the mind of Edison, for example, we might see something that reminds Alice of the fire that destroyed her family. That in turn could lead to a brief appearance of the Mad Hatter or other character - taunting or teasing Alice with a negative emotion."

If you could change one thing about either of the Alice games (story, development, etc), what would it be?

American: "Well, the first game happened so long ago, I don't think much about changing it. For Madness Returns I really wish we'd had more time at the end to polish the game. I would have compressed the action, removed a lot of the "filler" content and fixed some of the more annoying bugs. Then again, this sort of wishing in hindsight isn't going to resolve any of those issues - the best I can do now is learn from those mistakes and make sure future efforts avoid repeating them."

 

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Alice: Madness Returns - A Beautiful Journey Down the Rabbit Hole https://www.gameskinny.com/1ikm5/alice-madness-returns-a-beautiful-journey-down-the-rabbit-hole https://www.gameskinny.com/1ikm5/alice-madness-returns-a-beautiful-journey-down-the-rabbit-hole Fri, 12 Jul 2013 10:04:25 -0400 Raven Hathcock

Wonderland has gone mad. Well, madder than usual. In Alice: Madness Returns, you're Alice ten years after American McGee's Alice left off, exploring the corrupted Wonderland and learning about her past.

Alice embarks on a journey to discover the true cause of her family's mysterious death, jumping from a gloomy London to a rich Wonderland. Although the some parts are a little choppy, the graphics and story really captivated me.  Lets start, shall we.

A world of pure imagination and terror.

The design and graphics of this game are absolutely beautiful. The realistic and dark streets of London that you jump to and from are hauntingly beautiful, but they don't even compare to the worlds of Wonderland. From the Hatter's Domain to Queensland, these terrifying and wonderful worlds that you are in make the game worth playing

As a girl, and I'm not afraid to say this, the outfits are one of the coolest parts of the game. In each chapter, Alice adorns a new outfit, fitting her into the world around her. They are so frickin' cool. Alice even wears a steam punk outfit in the Hatter's Domain, which is my absolute favorite, being a steam punk cosplayer.

The action sequences in the game are pretty simple. Spam one move and you should do fine. There are some enemies that have to have a different approach but if you upgrade the Hobby Horse once you get it, you shouldn't have any problems dealing with the enemies. Seriously, the Hobby Horse is my favorite.

But what is my absolute favorite part of this game? The Cheshire Cat. His dialogue between Alice was fantastic and I couldn't have asked for a more frighteningly poetic character. I've told my boyfriend that I want him as a pet. He said no.

I honestly loved the combination of everything Alice in Wonderland. I've always been a fan so to see all the components of one of my favorite books and movies was fun. I never played the original, but since I was able to buy both games and plan on playing American McGee's Alice very soon.

 
Not so wonderful.

Some things in the game are very inconsistent. It seemed like they had different people work on different areas of the game but didn't work together to make them mesh. I was also frustrated with how easy it was to die. You're supposed to do it often, jumping off of things and fighting tons of enemies at once, but seriously? Can't you just give me a break? By the end of the second chapter I had to put it down from frustration. There were also a lot of "timed" elements to the game which made it hard to not throw my laptop across the room.

I played the game on my PC, and it took me a couple minutes to get the controls the way I wanted it, and it wasn't perfect. You can't really test all of them until you get right into the action, which was frustrating. I guess I was just used to my MMORPGs.

The verdict?

Overall the story was superb, but some of the gameplay and controls were lacking.

All in all, I am rating this game a little higher than it deserves. I always hold story and graphics way higher than how the game actually performs. I loved the gore, the terrifying creatures, the beautiful scenery, and the magical story.

There have been talks of a third American McGee's Alice game in the works so I hope they deal with these kinks to offer us another game to be apart of the legacy.

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Steampunk Zombies and American McGee's Adventures in Oz https://www.gameskinny.com/bkuq3/steampunk-zombies-and-american-mcgees-adventures-in-oz https://www.gameskinny.com/bkuq3/steampunk-zombies-and-american-mcgees-adventures-in-oz Tue, 25 Jun 2013 19:35:17 -0400 Amanda Wallace

If the name American McGee sends you into girlish tremors, or if you thought the Wizard of Oz was missing some steampunk zombies, then there is a Kickstarter you need to be introduced to. 

American McGee and Spicy Horse games are perhaps best known for the dark Alice series, including Alice: Madness Returns. This new project takes the classic world of L. Frank Baum's Oz, and re-imagines it. OZombie is, as the Kickstarter puts it, a "narrative-driven action-adventure game," where all 14 Oz books and subsequent adaptations of the work will be taken into creating the story. 

The story will follow Dorothy's great-great-granddaughter (also named Dorothy) as she joins up with the Tin Woodsman and the Cowardly Lion to fight the Scarecrow and his OZombies for the future of Oz. The themes will focus on non-conformism and individual liberty and self-reliance, as the zombies in Oz are transformed to be that way by accepting Luddite desires and the ease of monotony rather than the thrill of creation -- something deemed evil in this new world order. 

The concept art is fascinating, with a definite nod towards dark themes. Dorothy herself looks like a cosplayer's wet dream. 

The project has set a goal of $950,000, and as of the writing of this article it has already received around $70,000 of that goal. McGee has teased that a box, visible in the Kickstarter video will be opened once they hit 6,000 backers, and that it will reveal secrets about Dorothy and her world. 

The game will feature a single player campaign, and once that campaign is completed, it will open a multiplayer world where players can select from a range of player characters and participate in guilds, raids and quests. 

Ozombie, if the goal is reached, will be available on Mac, Linux, PC and some tablets. If you're interested in donating to the cause, you can do so until August 5. Backers of just $15 will receive the single player campaign and access to the pre-production forums. If you want to hear more about American McGee's project, check out their site here.

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