Finished Fable 2

Fable 2 was a short game. I enjoyed it, but sometimes in spite of itself.

The menu system sucked, the spell system sucked, and the controls for moving around sucked.

It took me until I was about 80% done before I figured out how spells work. And once I did figure it out, they still didn’t really make sense. You can assign a different spell to 5 levels of force. There’s no mana – instead you hold down the B button at any time, and the longer you hold it down, the more force you have. When you let go, the spell at that force level is cast. This is good for something like a shock bolt, where the target is off a bit and you have time to wait for force to build up, but for area effect spells, where targets need to be close to you, you might as well not even bother. Most of the times I used an area effect spell I ended up taking damage, when if I’d just fought my way through I wouldn’t have taken a scratch.

There’s almost no visual character customization. There are 3 or 4 sets of clothing you can wear and that’s it. But there are things that happen to you that change how you look. Eat some food, and you get fatter. You can fight your way through a forest full of baddies, surely working up a pretty good sweat, and you don’t lose weight, but eat some pie and *poof* you’re fatter. You also gain permanent scars when you get knocked out, and your skin gains bluish veins when you use magic. So by the end of the game, my cute girl was a huge, scarred blue-veined freak, with no apparent way back. Yuck.

One unique twist is you can turn on being able to see other players in your game. They show up as flaoting orbs in your world and while you can’t interact with them in any way, you can hear them talk and they can hear you. It’s an interesting way of comparing notes with other players on a tough fight.

There is definitely some cool in Fable 2. Your dog is very well done, the story is good, combat is fun, the economy is interesting, there’s local co-op play (something I wish more games had), and it looks nice. In retrospect it probably would have been better as a rental.