Fable 2 Review

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Fable 2 hurts me. There are a bunch of things I hate about it, but for some reason, I just haven’t been able to put the controller down and walk away. Should you buy it? That all depends on a few things.

The graphics are mediocre. I am seriously not seeing a big improvement from the first Fable. Jagged lines and pixelated squares are everywhere, and for the most part, that doesn’t bother me. I still play Final Fantasy 6 in all of its pixelated glory.

The controls are clunky. The player character must be positioned in a certain spot to activate chests and bookshelves, and on more than one occasion while standing still, the prompt to press the A button disappeared entirely.

Another drawback is the lag. The game slows at the worst time, particularly whenever you’re surrounded by a mob and about to get knocked out and scarred up. I experienced the worst in the Spire and in the dream world in Brightwood tower.

Eating food as a way to restore health is a lovely idea. Adding corruption points to my beef jerky is not. It seems like a personal attack on meat eaters. Eating veggies and tofu gives you purity points, makes you holy, but god forbid you eat a juicy piece of meat. That, my friend, leads down the path of darkness.

The sounds of the game far outshine the graphics, and I got a kick out of listening to the random things the NPCs would talk about. The lightning sound effects sizzle when they’re supposed to and how they’re supposed to. The voice actors are entertaining, and the dog sounds the way a dog should sound.

The dog is useful to a degree, and as I am an avid dog lover, Fable 2 got major bonus points here. I love that the dog finishes off assailants when they’re on the ground, and I love using him to find treasure. I hate that he changes color according to your alignment.

Speaking of color changes, why does blond hair and blue eyes = good and pure? Please explain that to my dark haired and dark eyed self. It bothered me in the first game, but I thought it was something that would vanish with subsequent games. I was horribly, horribly wrong, and would really like an answer other than the one currently floating around my brain. And why, when playing as a woman and putting points in physique or toughness, does my character suddenly look like Arnold Schwarzenegger?

I really enjoyed being able to buy up every store, every house, every building in the game, and I loved having the option to jack up the rent and redecorate. Even better, the rent accumulates while your Xbox is shut down. I wish more games would follow this example.

Being able to marry and have children was handled well, though I thought it odd that the husbands shower you with gifts while the wives give you nothing. It also bugged me (SPOILER) that a certain quest can trick you into marriage very early in the game. I’ve married Alex twice and killed him twice and neither choice was satisfying. (END SPOILER)

My favorite part of Fable 2 concerns the player character’s actions in the game. The world changes at certain points according to what quests you finished and how you’re playing. It’s brilliant how one tiny thing could turn a town into a slum or a booming metropolis.

The story is interesting; the first time through I was eager to see what would happen to the characters. I was also pleasantly surprised now and then, which is rare these days. Games tend to follow the tried and true but predictable story lines. Though by the fifth play through I was wishing I could skip the in game cutscenes and dialogue.

(SPOILER) But the thing that really made me want to throw my Xbox out the window was the insertion of the tutorial at the end of the freaking game. It isn’t an official tutorial, but once your dog has been murdered and you’ve been shot, the game sends you into a dreamlike world where you’re a child who has to chase chickens and shoot bottles. Seriously, what the heck were they thinking? You’ve been shot, you’re friends kidnapped, and you’re faithful companion murdered and the tension is awesome. Why would you intentionally slow it down to an irritating crawl and make your player character run around like a fool? It plays like a tutorial and I seriously considered turning off the console and reading a book. It sucked the joy out of my life. (END SPOILER)

VERDICT: Bottom line, should you buy it? If you have time on your hands and like fantasy games, the answer is yes. But don’t expect a revolutionary break through in gaming technology.

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2 Responses to “Fable 2 Review”

  1. Zukane Says:

    hahaha oh my god i totally agree!
    especially with the blonde hair blue-eyed thing
    i have black hair and dark eyes too! and i’m a girl and the arnold schwarzenegger thing bothered me too XD

  2. Yeah, I agree on every point you made. With the ending I just ignored doing any of the day activities and went to bed right away…that triggered the story to move forward. 🙂 But still, yeah, I can’t put it down and love playing it, but those things to really annoy me from time to time.

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