It’s 1 AM and I can’t sleep, so that means it’s time for a game review. I thought I’d give Fable II a run down since I’ve been playing it almost non stop for about a week, and the reason that I started playing was because I wanted to play Fable III after seeing many an advert on Adult Swim.
Anyway – I figured I may as well try II first to see how I felt about the franchise before jumping right in and playing III ($60.00). After watching some trailers and seeing that it was only $20.00, I figured it looked like it might be worth the money. I was looking for a single player game that was relatively light-hearted and just plain old fun, and so far Fable fits the bill.
The game starts you off as a penniless street child that works with her (or his) older sister trying to earn money to buy a supposedly magical music box. It’s a fun little tutorial, and is just long enough to give you the gist of how to interact with the world and it’s inhabitants. The graphics are lovely, movement is mostly seamless, the dialogue is believable (vs. realistic, but that’s another story), and the voice acting is very well done. Also, as with any top notch fantasy, the storyline is interesting and engrossing – I find myself talking to people and hanging around areas longer than I need to because I’m interested in the little snippets I get about the city, other people, or random rumours about the world.
That being said, here’s an organized list of what I really like about this game:
Real time aging – You start off as a small child for the tutorial and beginning bit of game play, then move on to a teenager and adult as time obviously passes. As you grow up you get better at certain things, which makes sense since most people probably don’t want to play on overpowered yet kick ass six year old.
A dog companion – He’s not overly useful, but he will sniff out treasure and occasionally help in fights. Maybe I’m weird, but just having him around makes me happy, and I feel less alone in the world.
Ability choice – In most RPGs, you earn experience which gives you points that you can put into improving your abilities. Some games make you choose between melee (physical) damage or magical damage to be truly strong in that field. Fable II lets you put your experience into all fields (3) which consist of melee a.k.a strength, ranged a.k.a. skill (guns and bows), and magic a.k.a. will. You can usually only upgrade a few abilities at a time, but experience is gained quickly through combat or through potions. I cannot stress enough how much I LOVE being able to use different abilities as I see fit, or when a situation calls for an unconventional strategy.
Fighting style – This relates to the above bullet point: The style of combat is extremely satisfying in two ways. (1)The way mobs react to your blows whether it be through strength, skill or will abilities makes you want to keep killing anything that moves. (2)The fact that you can use any combination of strength, skill or will in a fight (that is, you are never forced to be a pure melee or magic based character) makes me want to cry with happiness.
CHOICES – You can play the game any way you like. You can be good, evil, or somewhere in between. You can get married and have a family (or several families) or stay single. Your relationships can be gay or straight as well. I am currently somewhere in between. In games where you have the option to make unconventional choices, I tend to do that. I made a female character and married a woman. After becoming annoyed by her constant nagging me for more money and sex whenever I would come home, I decided that I wanted a divorce. Of course, because she loved me, I couldn’t get her to leave on her own…not unless I wanted to smack her around or kill her (which I didn’t. I just wanted her to go away). I finally ended up ignoring her until she divorced ME. My second marriage didn’t last very long, as I picked some random man from the street and had him follow me to the Temple of Shadows purely to be my sacrifice. I’m now on my third marriage, have a kid, and six properties. I’m trying to treat my family right this time – I visit them often, love the shit out of them, and give them a huge allowance. In return, they give me potions and furniture.
More choices – As with most games, you have your main quest line. The nice thing about Fable II is that there are a lot of side quests you can do, as well as social aspect stuff, real estate ventures, jobs, exploring, and having statues of you built and placed all over the world, etc.
Jobs –Nice little money earners that are mini games within the game. Jobs aren’t difficult and the longer you do them, the more money you get (duh).
There are many other aspects of this game that I enjoy, but this post is getting to be on the long side, so let’s talk about dislikes:
So far there hasn’t been much to dislike, and my only minor beef with the game is movement.
1. You can’t jump anywhere unless the game says that you can. You can vault off of balconies, rocks, ledges, etc. as long as there’s a safe place to land, but sometimes I just want to hop a fence to take a shortcut, or jump up onto a rock to survey the land.
2. If you’re in a town where the entire population is in love with you, they will follow you, and follow you forever. You can’t push past a person (or dog) that’s blocking your path – you have to wait for them to move or scare them off by drawing your weapon or casting a spell.
With all of that in mind, I highly recommend Fable II . It’s pure fun and very accessible to any level of gamer, and at $20.00 NEW, you’ll certainly get your money’s worth of entertainment.
If you’re still not convinced, check out the trailer below, but make sure you set the resolution to 360p.