Monday, June 13, 2011
Having temporary access to an Xbox 360, I decided I should take advantage of it to play some of the more appealing exclusive franchises: Halo, Gears of War, Left 4 Dead, and Fable.
I still remember the anticipation of the first Fable. I had a day off the day it came out... and that was about all it took to beat it. I was entertained enough to play through it a second time, with the appeal of playing this game as a would-be lord of darkness, since I'd played as a paragon of virtue the first time through.
And at that point there was nothing left to do. Fortunately I had a friend who was as sucked in by the hype as I was, and rather than be dissuaded by my complaints, offered to buy it from me. Fable was just one of many, many perceived burns, until I reached a point where I won't buy a game on release date. In spite of the brief bit of playtime, the game did leave me wanting more.
When the whole morality thing was fresh, it was intriguing enough that you wanted to play every game through twice. Not so much anymore, and so I have to decide if the game looks like it would be more fun playing good or evil. In the case of Fable, it appears to means choosing between horns and a halo, and I felt horns would be more fashionable.
And as I'm not sold on the choosing between good and evil bit, I'm starting to wonder if catering to that type of thing isn't getting in the way of good games. I would be really interested at this point in a game of moral choices, where evil has consequences that feel detrimental to the player, but you can't succeed without getting your hands dirty. A balancing act of sorts.
It's been quite some time since I played the first Fable, so I don't remember it well enough to make comparisons to the sequel. Initially, it was enough fun to suck me in, and leave me feeling deprived when i didn't have access to the Xbox. I liked being able to choose to work on the main quest, do side quests, and even the monotonous 'jobs' to make money.. though I feel like I should have had more choices for jobs, even if it was basically the same thing with a different look.
I also wanted more side quests.... as it is, you would occasionally have another one pop up. I go tear it up, and then there are no more until I apparently trigger them by completing more of the main quest. And as far as questing goes, I found the map system (or lack thereof) very annoying. I appreciated that if I was doing a quest the game would take me to the nearest warp spot... but if I was doing multiple quests and trying to plan the most efficient route, I really didn't know where anything was in relation to everything else.
And my last couple days of playing, I started to feel like the game was getting harder but I wasn't getting any better. Maybe I wasn't learning the moves well enough. Maybe it was because I was playing too balanced in assigning my points between spells, speed, and brute force... no easy way to fix that now. Then i got to one part where I had to fight a long tournament, and I was dying multiple times in every fight. Something had gone horribly wrong, and I didn't care anymore. I didn't even finish the tournament.
It was fun until it wasn't. 2.5 stars.
I've played the first two Halos, so next 360 game I rent will be either Halo 3 or the first Gears of War. Any suggestions?