Replacing Older and Newer Posts by Actual Names

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fable 3: A game for the in betweeners

First up a big thanks to all the surfers who made January a massive month for my blog. In the past seven months my site had just about 1000 visitors, all this was changed as the blog garnered an unprecedented 1600+ hits this month alone. I am over the moon, and really appreciate that both Google and people are taking my posts seriously. Now only if people would start commenting also, and this would be a dream come true.

Moving onto the business at hand, which today is Fable 3. I had never played Fable before, but ever since the first game out in 2004, I always wanted to try this new kind of R.P.G. (and for some reason I loved the name). Sadly however, as is the case with many of the games during that time, I neither had the proper system to run it nor the console to play it on. 7 years later and here I am finally able to put Fable 3 into my X-Box disc tray. It's been a long time coming, so how was it?

Fable 3 came out in 2010, so this review is almost 3 years late. But the fact that the game is still available for a dirt cheap price (along with many others), I guess letting the people know how good it is, make sense right!

The story of Fable 3 continues as Albion enters the Industrial Age, and follows the lives of Fable 2's hero 2 children. The older one is a ruler and is quickly turning into a dictator. The first part of the game is how you build up your forces against your brother and overthrow him as king/queen of Albion. The second is how you rule as a ruler yourself, and whether you decide to follow in your brother's footsteps or become a benevolent ruler. Straightforward with minimal twist, the story is both threadbare and enough to keep you going. Especially the part where you get to make decisions as a king is quite novel, and you hope that the game had more of that.

Story- 7/10

When I played the game for the first time, it gave me signs of a game meant for kids, or at max childish teenagers. The hero rarely speaks, and expressions such as hugging, dancing, tickling along with bullying, farting and beating people replace actual conversations (a part and parcel of R.P.Gs worldwide). Even the conversations that do happen are straightforward and quite understandable, giving you the impression that the game means to convey its message as clearly as possible with as less dialogue as possible. The violence too is quite clean and the tech/skill-tree is easy to understand and upgrade. The visual model, and even the script is written in a very kid friendly manner, and nothing rarely goes edgy in the game. You actually hold the hands of people you like or to get them somewhere (puppy love at its best). The sounds, the visuals, the complete design is harmonious and smooth, inciting a happy go luck feel to the entire game.

Graphics+Sound- 7/10

All that is fine and dandy, but for condoms, the concept of sex, marriage and infidelity, and a particularly dark tone in later levels (especially during the quest 'Into The darkness'). There is sex, but the actual act is a black screen with noises. You have werewolves and dark shadows which are a far-cry from the initial bats and witty spirits that you have to fight off initially. There is a real edgy and dark quest, suddenly in the middle of the game (after you have played through the sunshine and rainbow quests before) and then its back to that "go there, get that, fancy little prince" affair.This leaves you wondering whether the game is to be enjoyed as a childish or adult comedy.

Mojo- 4/10

There are few innovations here. The game rarely takes you to a pause menu. Instead pressing 'START' takes you to 'Sanctuary' which is a room catering to your gaming needs (like changing weapons, costumes etc.). Most of the menus are represented as galleries and there is very little actual pause. There is also no Quit button, and you actually have to quit directly out to the X-box dashboard (which put me off a bit, I actually searched on the net if there was an option I was overlooking). The map while sucks at navigation, is a nice little tool for managing your finances and fast-travel. Your dog, is another innovative addition, tagging along everywhere and helping you locate treasures and other buried objects. There is also a selective mapping to your d-pad, which can act as a quick key to either the map, the 'road to rule', and your spouse's home, depending on the situation.

In the vein of making the game streamlined the combat is mapped to the 3 face buttons, and the combat is never that hard (you can easily complete a game without ever being knocked down). Range weapon and spell casting works fine, while adjusting to Melee block and attack (mapped onto the same button) can take some time. There are an adequate number of side quests and plenty to keep you involved. Play a flute, bake a pie, catch a thief, woo a girl/guy, or manage real estate. It is an surprising mixture of the conventional and the new, and while some work, the others not really.

Gameplay- 6/10

The game has some really novel and new concepts to show. It also has a very streamlined feel to its R.P.G. element. However, it really falters in its vision. In order to appeal to everyone and have everything, it is failing to cater to one age group. Most parents would not like their child to play a game, which encourages polygamy, while most adult gamers would be put off by all the other stuff meant for kids (even the sex and condom thing is really mild).


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