"Alice: Madness Returns" Rewards Buying New
Eleven years ago, Electronic Arts released American McGee's Alice, a computer game based on the premise of a teenage Alice, a patient at an asylum due to her mad ravings of her adventure, going back to a deeply tainted Wonderland. I have been a fan of Alice in Wonderland in both literary and cinematic forms since I was a small child and a fan of darker re-imaginings of well-known stories since I was an angsty teenager. American McGee's Alice had tremendous potential in my mind.
This was all before I really knew much of anything about computers. I happily purchased my much-anticipated copy of Alice, which was my first (and very nearly only) PC game. I didn't really understand how to assess system requirements beyond the operating system and (perhaps predictably) my PC mostly just laughed at me when I tried to run the game. I had more success with The Sims 2 on my MacMini several years later, but for the most part I was generally soured on PC gaming and haven't paid much attention to that subset of gaming.
Today, someone at work joked about taking a sick day to play Alice: Madness Returns -- a sequel to the aforementioned decade-old title -- which is being released this week. I assumed it was a new PC title and did a search to see what it was all about. I was interested and delighted to see that it's being released for the 360 and PS3 in addition to Windows. I very rarely will play a sequel without having played its predecessor, but exceptions can always be made (particularly when the predecessor is inaccessible).
After a bit more poking around, I learned that I need not make an exception: With every new copy of the game comes a code for a one-time download of the original game which is playable on the consoles. Those who prefer to rent, buy used, or borrow from a friend -- and it must be one of those, as a game disc for Madness Returns is required to play it -- will be able buy the original game for 800 Microsoft Points on Xbox Live or $9.99 on the Playstation Network.
Treating the original game as DLC seems like a fairly sound strategy against the industry's concerns of trade-ins and used sales skimming from their own numbers. Two full games for the price of one is a great deal for people who don't mind buying new; people who didn't play the original title still get to experience the original; and people who don't buy new are nevertheless given download options at a reasonable price rather than being wholly excluded.
Alice: Madness Returns releases on June 14 in North America and June 16 in Europe.
Post Author: Jenn Plamondon
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