Monday, May 18, 2009
Fable II & Knothole Island DLC
Fable Fable Fable.... I loved thee on Xbox, and I loved thee, perhaps even more dearly, on Xbox 360. Actually a lot more dearly, because I finished Fable II but never got around to finishing Fable I. Oops. Also, wow! A game review of something non-Nintendo! Enjoy.
Story 7/10: Set 500 years (give or take) after Fable 1, and I really like how they tied the two together. You are a distant relative of the main character from the first Fable. Genius! This has never been done before... ha. A classic tale of hero with super-human powers having to go up against an evil-doer of magnificent proportions. Spoiler alert: Story ending? Lame times 1 million! Knothole Island? Doesn't add much to the story line, only rectifies a small portion of the original ending's lameness (if you choose 2 out of the 3 final options.)
Graphics 8/10: I liked the graphics a lot for this game. They were consistently good, and the transitions between day and night were pretty sweet. The details are lush, if you stop running around from quest to quest long enough to check out the grasses, houses, scars, etc. I suppose the greatest graphic feat is your characters ever changing appearance. Eat one too many liver pies? Guess what? Now you are a fatty! Die once or twice? You are now horribly disfigured by scarring and no one will love you. Knothole Island remedy? Potions! Huzzah now you can be taller or shorter or fatter or skinnier or more or less scarred. This is totally 'realistic' and I love it.
Sound ?/10: I have not spent a significant amount of time playing this game in a long while, and I can't actually remember what the soundtrack is like. Does this speak well of the game, that they have created a soundtrack that blends so seamlessly with the game that it didn't annoy me and stand out? Or does it speak negatively that there isn't a song so epic and catching that I would remember it even after a few months of neglect. Hmm. One thing I do like about the sounds on this game is the fortune teller's narration. She has a nice voice. Also you can skip ahead because hello, listening to narration takes FOREVER.
Gameplay 7/10: I hated the original Xbox and it's giant sized controller with too many buttons. 360 has improved upon that and this game takes full advantage. Sadly, I could never get 100% used to the controls. I kept pulling out my weapons in the middle of town or accidentally doing spells which make the townspeople hate you! Lame!! Other than controls, the gameplay is smooth. The camera follows pretty well. I liked the addition of the yellow sparkling trail that you can follow to the next point in your quest (or turn off if you don't want the help). It was very good for someone like me who gets lost in games, but it also meant that I paid a lot less attention to my game-surroundings and pretty much just followed that line everywhere. I'm sure I missed out on the graphic beauty of the game and actually learning the maps. (Yes I could've turned it off, but then I would be lost!) Also, because of the yellow line function, the game is lacking a really good in-game map. All you get are these stupid little maps that you can't even interact with. Hello? I would like to see exactly WHERE that tattoo parlor was so I can remove this awful Lionhead face tattoo please? You can't really set the line to direct you to specific locations so that can be frustrating if you haven't been paying a lot of attention and are, subsequently, lost.
I was not as pleased as I could've been with the maps either. I heard that this was some amazing wide open game and you can just explore everywhere but I found the maps to be much smaller than I expected and a lot less open. If you play this game with any expectations that the maps would be as open as, say, World of Warcraft, you will be sorely disappointed.
Overall 8/10: I enjoyed this game. You have a lot of choices which I really like in an RPG. And it does a really good job of letting you upgrade your character to your personal specifications (like if you are all about magic you will get more exp points towards magic. This makes perfect sense!) I also thought it was nice that there isn't a lot of crawling dungeons over and over. I hate having to repeat the same areas of a game. Sometimes the extreme changes in your appearance/personality were frustrating. Like if you accidentally steal something you get really evil and it takes a while of doing good deeds to get back to your previous status. Why is it so much easier to be bad?
As for achievements: this game deals them out well, and for fun things! The achievements really get you to experience and explore factions of the game that you might otherwise ignore. Like jumping off of a 300 ft drop off and living. I can't tell you how many times I jumped off of everything in sight. Actually I think I accidentally ended up getting this achievement. Go figure. The only bummer is that there are 300 available gamerpoints for the end game options, and unless you "cheat" you can only get 1 without having to replay the entire game. And you can only have one game saved under each profile so you would lose all your progress just to go back and get those other end game scores. Is it worth it? I don't think so. Also there are a lot of achievements for which you have to be either all the way good or all the way bad, and if you go one way or the other I can only imagine it is a super pain to get the opposite ones. I went all the way good and have not 100% gotten all the achievements.
Buy/Rent: Well, I borrowed it from a friend and eventually bought it later on. It is a fun game. I always find that Fable is fun to just throw in and run around for a while, although now that I have completed it it's not quite as fun. I have so much money and all the exp I would ever need so what's the point? I guess exploration. *shrug* And Knothole Island? In my opinion it was NOT worth all the money I spent on it. Yes, it rectified the situation with my dog, but seriously? There were only like 2 hours of gameplay and I think a couple hundred gamerscore points. Lame.