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Fable 2 does it Moggystyle (early impressions)


As someone who didnít play much of the first Fable on the original Xbox I wasnít particularly looking forward to Fable 2. I didnít really follow the development of Fable 2 much (besides reading or listening to interviews with the gameís creator Peter Molyneux, which are always entertaining). However, after the delay of LittleBigPlanet, I had $60 burning up my pocket and no game to spend it on. I decided to give Fable 2 a try after reading some positive preliminary reviews and Iím glad I did.

So I fire up the game with few expectations, a rare experience for me. The only things I knew were that teh game was set in a fantasy world, that the lead character had a dog companion, and that part of the core game play is based on the playerís actions influencing the game world. The first thing I notice is the beautiful art style and that my character is a child. The gameís world feels like a mix of The Legend of Zelda and a Tim Burton movie. Itís charming and colorful, but at the same time a little bit creepy. At the start of the game the player chooses to be a male or female and then is off to live the life of a homeless child. I choose a boy then Iím out on the streets living the hard knock life with my older sister.

At the start of of the game a traveling salesman comes to town and among his wares is an alleged magical music box. Suddenly a random gypsy woman in a robe tells me and my sister that we must buy the music box which costs five gold. So I get my first quest, earn five gold. Gold is earned by doing odd jobs around the town. This is also the first time the player is given some choices.

The choices are clear cut early on. For example one of my quests was to collect 5 arrest warrants that the sheriff had lost. After I collect all of them and am on the way to deliver them to the sheriff, a criminal stops me and offers me gold to give them to him instead. He only offered the same amount of gold as the sheriff, but he would save me the walk, so I turn them over. Little did I know I was dooming the town to gangster rule.

After I finished getting the gold, the story develops a little more with some spoilerish events and then the plot jumps ahead ten or so years. Iím now a man and itís just me and my dog off to be a hero (or villain). There are some more tutorial types quests to get me used to the combat then Iím off to the town. When I arrive I discover that turning the warrants over to the criminal got the sheriff fired (since losing them didnít) and the criminals took over part of the town. It was like a scene out of Back to the Future 2 when Marty returns to the present only to discover an alternate reality where the world is a crime ridden cesspool. It was my first taste of my actions effecting the world around me.

Early on I also got my first taste of the combat. The combat uses one button for different types of attacks. One button performs a melee attack, another performs a long range attack with a gun or crossbow, and a third uses magic. Itís simplistic, but a lot of fun and well executed. I believe that after you gain more skills it will become more dynamic, but even early on it was enjoyable. One particular aspect I liked was the absence of a traditional ďmagic meterĒ. The player does not have magic points that are expended when they use magic. You can use all the magic you want and the only thing holding you back is the time it takes to cast a spell.

After combat my character absorbed some experience orbs ala Devil May Cry, which could then be used to upgrade one of the three combat types; Magic, Melee, and Range. I was only able to scratch the surface and unlock a blocking move and a lightning spell, but I was enticed by the lengthy list of potential upgrades.
fable 2 3

Another way that Fable 2 ditches the traditional formula is the lack of dying. After your enemies drain you of energy you are just knocked out for a second. You resurrect with a scar and some lost experience and thatís it. It reminded me of the death system in Bioshock. It reduces the challenge but keeps the player immersed in the world.

As I explore the world, my dog starts barking and running around. I follow and he leads me to treasure. It appears my dog has a nose for gold. The dog will sniff out treasure chests and spots where i can dig to find goodies. This treasure sniffing ability can also be upgraded by finding training books. I can also interact with my dog by giving him praise or scolding him. These interactions are the same as how I interact with citizens.

This is the weakest part of the game so far. The player isnít able to talk. Instead I interact with NPCís by doing non-verbal actions such as dancing or farting. These interactions are split into different categories like ďsocialĒ or ďflirtĒ. The whole system feels like a poor imitation of The Sims.

Overall, Fable 2 has been a blast to play. I've become quite evil. I've wiped out entire villages. I've murdered many police men (and only got community service!). I've offered my wife up to be a human sacrifice. I've taken assassination missions. What scares me is that I never made the conscious choice to take the evil path. It just kind of happened.

the combat has developed well and is still a blast to play. In fact its my favorite part of the game. Its simple yet i still feel like I haven't mastered it. There is some depth.

Anyway, I recommend this game so far.

If you get a chance check out my other blog. you can read this article and a bunch of others.

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About Moggone of us since 10:13 AM on 02.27.2008

29 yrs old
location: Midwest

currently playing:
Warhammer online
Peggle Nights
Dragon Quest IV
Rock Band 2
Little Big Planet
Fallout 3
Gears of War 2
Dead space

Favorite Games:
tecmo super bowl
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Civilization series
punch out
Star Wars KOTOR
Mario golf
Mario Kart (64)
Tony Hawk 3

TV Shows you should watch:
The Wire (best tv show of all-time)
Battlestar Galactica
Freaks and Geeks

Favorite Movies
Star Wars Trilogy
Pulp Fiction
Children of Men
Roger Dodger
Terminator 2
Quiz Show
In America

We live in an age were no one understand they are boring. the internet has allowed everyone to voice their opinion and present themselves to the world. While this has many benefits, it also has just as many negatives. the largest being that no one seems to understand they aren't very interesting. I understand that so i'm not going to pretend i am remarkable because I can afford $40 for broadband.

We are here because we share a common interest, video games, so I am going to focus on that. how i got here in terms of video games.

My first video game memories are playing my parent's Atari 2600 Man, I loved that thing. I don't know if it was just because it was so cutting edge or because I was just a stupid little kid, but I would play any game on that thing for hours. I read lists of the all-time worst games and many include some of the favorites from my youth. I would play E.T. non-stop. I didn't mind that it took me 20 tries to get out of a pit because that was all I had and all there was. I would fly around as superman (while wearing my superman underoos) across nonsense backgrounds and enjoy every minute.

In elementary school I finally upgraded to the NES. I wasn't an early adapter. My NES came with the power pad. But that was the beginning of the end. From that point on I was hooked. My dad would often take me to the video store to rent NES games. that was before the days of blockbuster, so we would go to the local mom and pop rental place. That was also the day before the internet, so it was much harder to get info about games to know which were worth playing. I would hunt through the isle reading the back of every box and looking at the pictures. As a kid your sense of time is skewed but it had to take me at least a half hour to choose a game. I would narrow it down to a few and feel the pressure as my dad told me to hurry up. I still didn't have the discriminating taste I would later develop so I was usually happy with my selection.

About the time of the super nintendo, I started to develop a video game palette, which was great timing because that's when games really came into their prime. Games evolved in terms of story telling, gameplay mechanics, and even multiplayer. As a youth I was also an avid reader and this is the time that games started to match the ability of a good book to whisk a curious youth into strange new worlds. FFIII can hold its own against any classic children's book.

Around this time blockbuster and hollywood video stores began to open. My father worked for the fire department which qualified him for a discount at the local hollywood video. Anytime we would rent a movie or game we would get another rental free. no limits. everytime. my god that was amazing. it doubled the amount of games I could rent! I feel like I played everything back then. this was also the time when home systems began to match some of the arcade games. Me and my friends would rent bomberman for the snes, not to play bomberman, but to get the 4 player adapter that came with it. then we would use that and play 4 player NBA jam until the sun came up.

At this time games didn't have street dates. I would call the video store to find out when they expected a new game and then call them every 2 hours from the day the they estimated the game to come in until it actually arrived. thank god caller ID wasn't prevalent then because the guy at the game store wouldn't have answered my calls the week Street fighter II came out.

By the time the N64 was released I was in high school and had a part time job at a nationwide retailer. As I mentioned above, games didn't have street dates and neither did consoles. I was working the day the first shipments of N64's came in. I called my parents begging them to front me the money (hey, i got a 10% discount). That was some advanced stuff. And the controller was so crazy for the time.

My nintendo 64 took me into college. I don't remember much about that for some reason, but i'm pretty sure If i spent the amount of time studying as I did playing mario kart, goldeneye, mario golf, and fifi soccer, I'd have about 4 graduate degrees.

After a long time in school (I did get one graduate degree) I'm now an employed and have disposable income. As a result I have an 360, ps3, Wii, ps2, and DS. I really think we are in a golden age of gaming and games have taken similar evolutionary step as they did between the NES and SNES.

I hope to become an active member of the destructoid community. I've been reading the blogs for months and hope i can live up to the standard you all have set. If you read all this I appreciate it. If not, I'll understand. It's probably not as interesting as I think it is.
Xbox LIVE:IUMogg
Mii code:**********************


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