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Fable – Xbox

Fable – Xbox

cover artPlatform: Xbox

 Developer: Big Blue Box (Satellite of Lion Head Studios)

 Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios

 Release Date (NA): September 14, 2004

 Genre: RPG

 Nerd Rating: 8.7 out of 10

 Reviewed by Dovahkyle

Morals, these are necessary in real life, but in a video game? Not usually, but in the fantastic land of Albion, this is the very case, every decision made from spousal treatment to the food eaten will effect the “Good/Evil” alignment. Sound like fun? It is, tons of fun can be had by all. This is definitely one of those games that has to be played through twice or more to grasp everything the game has to offer.

“The world would be a breathtakingly beautiful place filled with waterfalls, mountains, dense forests, populated with compelling and convincing characters with real personality, people who actually reacted to what you did. We wanted to give the player control of a hero who would adapt to the way they played, who would age, become scarred in battle, who could get tattoos, wear dreadlocks and a dress if the player was so inclined. We wanted each and every person who played our game to have a unique experience, to have their own stories to tell. And we called it Thingy.

                         ~Dene and Simon Carter (Founders of Big Blue Box)

“It’s gonna be the best game ever.” ~Peter Molyneux (Founder of Lion Head Studios)

boyFour years and 70 Developers under the name “Project Ego” created Fable. A game that was a first of it’s kind in many ways, including growing up from a small child and aging into an adult, getting married, growing old, getting battered and torn from battle, all the while playing through an in depth and developing storyline. The game also received over fifty awards after it’s release. Although there is a main storyline or quest, there are a number of side quests to venture into as well. Fable: The Lost Chapters was released a year later, which included many new quests, enemies, weapons and armor. I have yet to play this version, but it is on my list as the High Definition version is scheduled to be released on Xbox 360 in February 2014.

Gameplay: Although the player doesn’t start at a customization screen, like allot of games in this genre, it does allow the character to be customized through consequences of actions and barber/tattoo shops. The main character “The Hero of Oakvale” starts off as a little boy who witnesses his village being destroyed by bandits, and in turn, loses his entire family. Maze, an old hero, rescues the boy and takes him to the Hero’s Guild to train as a hero. As a young boy the player will complete some meaningless and short quests, mainly to learn controls, which include: Sword training, with a wooden sword; Sling shot training, mainly scaring off birds; and then killing some large bugs.

adultAs an adult, fully trained and equipped, the player can leave the guild and venture out into Albion to seek out his fortune and fame. The main tickler in Fable is the alignment bar, as you do good deeds: eating tofu, killing bandits, rescuing people, etc. or Evil deeds: eating crunchy chicks, killing innocents, etc. the player will earn respective points and the alignment bar will move, as this bar moves more in one direction, the physical appearance and the way people treat the character are effected. If the character is good, people will cheer when they see him and he will have a halo over his head, if evil, people will scream and run at the sight of him and he will grow horns. Without spoiling, there are more details around the alignment that effect the game, like certain weapons or armor that can only be obtained by being extreme on one side or the other.

There are different types of armors, with their own alignment factors associated with them. More than just alignment, clothes and armors have other factors about them that will effect the way villagers treat the player, like ugliness, scariness, etc. The main quest also allows the player to make decisions towards alignment, like allowing someone to live or die or treating someone nice or mean, all these choices will have an effect on the outcome of the game.

300px-Demon_DoorThere are a number of “Demon Doors“, these doors are large stone faces that will talk to the player in riddles. The riddles can include acting, killing someone in front of the door, getting fat, etc. Once the riddle is solved the door will open revealing the treasure inside, although these doors are optional, the treasures can be rare armor or weapons, or just something stupid. The collection of silver and gold keys is suggested, combatanother thing not required, but if the player wants to open any chests in the game they will require a certain amount of keys.

Combat is totally killer in this game. The experience is gained through General, Strength, Skill and Will orbs, that can be absorbed after and during battle. These orbs can be spent on new skills or improvement of skills via the Hero’s Hall. When strength items are leveled the character will become more physically buff, when skill items are leveled the character becomes taller, so leveling the character actually changes the way he looks. The Will section is the characters powers or magic abilities, these can be raised to catastrophic levels. Complete devastation of enemy combatants and surrounding scenery will be the effect.

TwinbladeStory: The storyline, without leaking spoilers, is about a boy who is raised as a hero, who after honing is skills is sent out to hunt down the Bandit King, Twin Blades, who destroyed his village and family. Heroes are great people of power that gain fame or infamy through trials and quests. People all over Albion will know of these heroes and their exploits. I found the storyline to be in depth and original, very creative and detailed. It will suck you in and you will have to determine what kind of hero you want to be, a merciful hero of the people, or a destructive hero of hate and vengeance, the choice is yours.

Controls: The game is played in third person, so everything that goes along with that, like 360° camera rotation and the ability to see enemies attacking you from behind, are involved. I loved the “Pull and hold left trigger to ‘suck’ in the experience orbs” deal, that is cool, but also a little stressful, as the orbs will disappear if they are not retrieved ASAP, so while trying to battle multiple enemies, I’m trying to run off and suck up all those freakin little orbs. Other than that this game does not require any previous experience, as the intro to the game really helps the player get down the combat portion of the controls.

F1Graphics/Sound: The detail is great, although not an open world, really just paths that the player can follow, the scenery is well detailed and almost cartoony in some aspects. The characters look like people out of a book, not really real, but creative. The body proportions are something like a Disney movie, big mid section compared to the rest of the body, still good. The sound took me a while, as I played through this game the first time, I kept telling my buddy “This sounds like a Tim Burton movie”, well low and behold I finished the game and watched the credits (Yes I actually do that) and BAM! Danny Elfman composed the music for the game, awesome. That would be why I liked it so much.

Replayability: I give it an eight because although it is required to play it twice or even three times to grasp all aspects of the game, I wouldn’t be playing it again after that. But still three times through any RPG is quite a feat, and I say that deserves a solid 8.

Overall this game is allot of fun, and everyone, whether RPG fans or not needs to try it, it’s got a little Hack and Slash feel to it sometimes, and a little Action/Adventure as well. So don’t just put it back on the shelf because it says RPG(although that’s the reason I take it off the shelf) give it a chance, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

* The Flagstomos Rating System*

 Gameplay: 9

Story: 8

Controls: 9.5

Graphics/Sound: 9

Replayability: 8

Overall: 8.7

Written by Nerd Bacon

Nerd Bacon

 
 

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6 Comments

  1. Good review, but I do just want to point out your last image is actually from Fable 2. It’s the Serenity Farm in the Homestead Area unlocked by the Oakfield Demon Door.

     
  2. I remember playing the re-release of this for PC. Definitely a solid game but I do agree, they didn’t deliver on everything promised. Nice review.

     
  3. Nice review… I had some brief exposure to this game but not the opportunity to finish it. I may have to hunt around for a used XBox…

     

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