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With the release of Fable 3 coming very shortly (and nothing at all to do with my copy of Dead Rising 2 still not here yet!), I figured I'd take a look back to a couple of years ago and reminisce on the previous instalment in the series. It's time for another instalment of...

#0000BF">GRUMPY OL' GAMER'S
TOP 5 THINGS TO GRUMBLE ABOUT IN...






Fable II was hailed as one of the greatest games of 2008. Despite a few stumbles upon release, it went on to become game of the year and is even available in chapter format on X-box live. After playing the first game, it was easy to see the improvements that needed to be done. But, where as one head was chopped off the frustration hydra, another one cropped up in its place. Fable 3, Whilst overall an improvement, there was still room for more... so onto my grumblings..

5) GET OUT OF THE WAY!

Many a time have I charmed the ladies, shown off a new trophy or thrown a party at the local tavern (In-game too!). Then when it's time to go... no one leaves. In fact the opposite. They crowd about you so much that you can't even move. If you turn the other way, there's some annoying drunkard telling you how funny you are. Pushing them does nothing, and jumping does even less. There's only one thing for it - Get violent! Cast a spell or whip out a weapon and they run to the hills screaming about how much of a heathen you are. So now you've got to put up with being reported to the law just 'cos you set fire to someone in your way... With friends like these, ay?

But wait, that's not all. See what happens when you go home... Several people have just wandered into your house... and they're proposing? You don't KNOW them, and the guy in the top-hat and creepy 'tache really has the wrong idea about your sexuality. Yet still they're blocking your stairs and the doorway's slowly crowding up with kids asking for your autograph. Is this really the price of fame? Lets hope its a little easier to avoid getting trapped in the new one. I mean, as cool as it is to say that you had to leap from your balcony window to escape the adoring masses, it's not so cool when it's mainly shifty old men and creepy fanatic children.

4) TWO'S COMPANY!

I love that they tried, but local (and in a way online) co-op fails so miserably. Peter Molyneux himself has claimed in interviews how much a mistake having multiplayer in this game was. Yes, you can have a friend join you in Fable 2, but you can't really leave each other's side more than 3 feet. It's like your a chain gang or something. Add to that, that if you're the second player - you're not even allowed to use your storymode character. You have to settle for being some forgettable henchmen (or henchwoman!) and miss out on all the weaponry and armor throughout the game. This would be okay in some sort of arcade game such as 'Gauntlet', etc. But when you're playing a story centric game which has an emphasis on evolving your character through various dull tasks such as shopping, working, becoming a landlord, etc. It's not really any fun for the second player, is it? Though it IS easily avoidable by, well, not playing with friends.

3) THE SUPERMODEL DIET.

Ahh, What a wondrous world we live in where you can wield a heavy axe all day, run to every location, swim upstream on the night and work as a blacksmith each morning... and yet if you eat only a single pie a day, you'll still end up fatter than Street Fighter IV's Rufus's fat friend who he hangs around with so that he himself can feel better about his waistline. That's right, almost everything you eat will kill your waistline... unless you're vegan. (I suspect an alterior motive here, Molyneux!) Luckily there IS an answer... CELERY! It actually makes you lose weight. So providing you don't eat anything throughout the game, you're fine. But there's nothing worse than just nobbling a nice piece of meat to then find out you've gone from a Luigi to a Mario as far as stomach is concerned. So, the rule here is... just don't eat! Apparently fresh air, sunlight and a nice personality are enough to keep you from being picked to play Jabba at cosplay this year. Either that or you find the secret code that makes your character bulimic?

2) WE COULD ALL USE A LITTLE CHANGE

Variety is the key aspect advertised in this game. Ever since the first game we've been told that we'll be getting a tale that will reveal our individual personalities. But in the end, it's simply boiled down to two or three factors - fat or thin, good or evil, weak or strong. I was incredibly disappointed when after completing the first game, then comparing it to a friend's character, we were identical in every way. Even in the second one, the differences were only in the choice of weapons and clothing - which I purposely chose items that I knew no-one else would. So whilst giving the appearance that the game should change how your character ends up, the options within the game really don't. I mean, how different do you expect characters to become when there's only one type of armour that's The Best!. A simple thing such as having different types of armour that don't really effect the stats would give players a better option on what they could look like. You could even go a step further and let us have some face options other than just 'a boy' or 'a girl'.

1) SIMPLE MORALITY.

I love the idea that in this world, morality is perhaps the easiest thing to choose. It's as simple as Black & White. Several times you're given the choice to do an obvious saintly act (Like rescue a prisoner, save someone, etc.) or a blatantly eeeevil option (Like kill the prisoner, Take a bribe, etc.). There are no 'grey' areas to speak of. I mean, yes, you could rescue the slaves - but if you're only doing it because you enjoy slaughtering bandits and want the extra money to waste on whores at the pier... well, it's not exactly a good deed is it? Where are the real moral choices that may lead to decisions we wouldn't normally make. I mean, we're playing a hero - most people will choose the right option. But what if it comes to the Killing Hitler As A Baby conundrum, or having to sacrifice people for the benefit of others. Adding to that, we have the fact that when you've done some heinously evil dead like slaughtering a whole town (Which you just HAVE to try at least once in this game.), if you then go and donate money to a church - you can become good again and none of the characters are none the wiser. I understand it would be hard to program, but surely some characters would never forgive this sort of thing. You'd think returning to the town you wrecked would be a bad idea, but... well, they welcome you with open arms again. This basically reveals the simplicity behind the moral decisions throughout the game, and lifts the veil that this IS just a game.

With the third game hitting stores soon and Sir Molyneux constantly making increasing promises of improvement, I'm hoping that at least some of these issues are tightened. I really enjoyed this game, as well as the original, and I'm looking forward to getting the third. Yet, I suspect, as with the previous instalments, Peters promises won't come through as planned and this will be another disappointment... and that's what'll really make me grumpy!

#FF0040">FABLE 2 : OVERALL 4/5

Grumpy Ol' Gamer - It's an Action-RPG. Stop denying it, Pete!
 

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