Fable - Retroview  

Not so Fableous
by Elbowz211



Rating definitions 

Many RPG fans can remember all the hype and drama that led up to the release of Fable. All your local game stores and electronics shops seemed to have endless bits of propaganda about how great the game was going to be and just how completely customizable the good/evil and morality of your character could be. However, as is the case with many hyped-up projects, the actual end product dropped the ball a little short. Now that is not to say that this game was poorly done, quite the opposite in fact. The game was very well done, but more was possible with the equipment Lionhead Studios had to work with. The game just did not quite live up to the speculation and media attention it received during production.

The Battle System in Fable is both cliché and unique at the same time. Granted, in today’s rpg’s, there really are only two categories of systems: turn based and active time based. Fable encompasses the latter, but with a complexity and agility that make it very rewarding. You can be a greatsword wielding juggernaut or a magic casting sorcerer, whatever your heart desires. And any fighter, caster, or combo seems to be able to get the job done equally well. The difficulties in the battle system lie in the finesse that is needed to really master the controls. Critical timing and a number of failures are needed to truly get the feel for this vast and fast-paced battle engine. Between your invincible roll technique to dodge attacks and your unblockable flourish attacks—which both require careful practice to master—battles can be very easy for those who put in the time to polish their skills. However, beware of using the auto-lock when fighting and you have innocents nearby, or you WILL hit them at some point. But then again if you are an evil character, slice and dice I suppose.

The visuals/graphic developments in this game are both great and awful. The scenery, lighting, and shadows portray all the work that was spent on making the game environment a masterpiece. But when you look at the character models or the detail in the characters—especially in cut scenes—it looks like the developers did on a day when they had just finished sniffing the last of the permanent markers. To get the environment so right and the people so wrong was an atrocity, since the Xbox easily has the capability to produce a far better graphic rendering. The only thing I can think of as reason for this was Lionhead trying to avoid as many frame rate issues as possible.

God's way of saying Slow Down God's way of saying Slow Down

Everything considered, Fable does not pose a very difficult challenge. It has its tough spots and its simple spots, but overall it is not above moderate, and depending on how you decide to play it, you could beat this thing in 24hrs or you could spend 100+ hours completing every quest, marrying all the women, murdering all the other townsfolk, whatever.

Moving from talk of the battle system, I wish to next go into the interface of the game, since the battle and interface are so inter-related in many aspects throughout your adventure. The interface was quite nicely done, though the scope of the things you could do did make it a bit more difficult to get used to, especially once you start to accumulate a good number of magic skills and have to switch between a bow, sword, or different spells and tiers of magic. Another complication is that on the Xbox controller, the black and white buttons are in odd spots, and their roles are crucial for combat as they allow you to switch weapons..

Do I make you horny baby? Do I make you horny baby?

Possibly the best aspect of this game was its originality. While the main story line was short and lacking, everything in the game had an original, unique feel to it. Also, even with the short story, with all the different things there are to do in this game, one could spend 50 hours in it and not have done all that much in terms of plot development.

The enjoyment factor of Fable really comes down to what the individual is looking for. If you are more of a Final Fantasy fan, this title is not the one for you, but if you like constant action and a high replay value, then have at it. It’s not much better than an average game, but it would at least be worth a rent to try it out.

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