Fable 2

Status: Finished Fable 2 once
Achievements: 55 of 66
Gamerscore: 1190/1350
DLC Purchased: Knothole Island, See The Future

Lionhead Studios did an amazing job with the detail in Fable 2. We are treated to lush scenery and an expansive world which is almost completely interactive. Bowerstone is the main city in Albion, and it is here where we first see the various houses, shops, vendor stalls and all the NPCs. Most of the NPCs wear similar clothing depending on the areas of Albion in which they are from, and the class they were raised in. As time passes in the game, you will see how your decisions have helped shape Albion. You will also see how certain areas expand and prosper over the course of time.

The overall control scheme for Fable 2 is fairly simple to learn. You have control over the camera by using the right analog stick, while moving your character with the left. The digital pad allows for access to certain expressions or quick access to potions/food items if your health is low. X is your Melee Attack, Y is for your Ranged Weapon, and B for your Magic Skills. Holding the A button while moving will speed you up from walking to running. By holding the Right Trigger, you can select your Magic Skills, which you will want to combine when battling large groups of enemies. The Right Bumper allows for access to your full Expression Wheel and the Left Bumper will reset your camera angle. Left Trigger is for locking onto NPCs or your Friend Orbs and interacting with them.

As with its predecessor, Fable 2 is a very expansive game, and everyone’s experience in Albion will be somewhat unique. In the main story, you are one of four unique people who have inherited Hero abilities. As a child, Lucien killed your sister Rose in order to get to you, as the Heroes are the only people with the power to stop him from his evil plans. Supplementing the main quest is a veritable bounty of amazing side quests, which will bring you unique items, Renown, and gold rewards. Of course, you can chose to blast through the main story, but by completing even a few additional side quests, you will gain more Experience Points which are needed to upgrade your abilities of Strength, Skill, and Will. Fable 2 also offers Jobs in Blacksmithing, Woodcutting and Bartending when you are running low on gold and want to earn more so that you can purchase items or homes and businesses.

I absolutely love the soundtrack to Fable 2. Each score fits its location or quest perfectly. The creepy, eery noises in the Wraithmarsh, the vibrant up-beat sounds in Bowerstone Market, all unique to the area/situation you are in. Each of the villagers, young and old, will say something as you pass by, or as they follow you adoringly into your house. And the Town Criers! Oh, some of the things they say. “The time is…….. very late.”

Fun Factor:
Character development is a little limited. While I can do nothing more than add or remove make up from my characters face, I am able to purchase a wide variety of clothing, and change those colours by finding or purchasing dyes to customize my attire. (There is an achievement for dying your outfit and hair black – The Goth – worth 5 Gamerscore points.) Learning new expressions for yourself and your loyal dog will benefit you greatly when interacting with the people of Albion. These range from fun and social expressions to flirting and rude expressions. Choose your expressions carefully, as not all of the villagers will react to them the same way. By highlighting NPCs (click the LT to focus on one), you can then select Y and find out their likes and dislikes. Some NPCs have gifts they will give you depending on how much they like/dislike or fear/honor you. If you raise Like high enough, you can purchase a ring and propose to the NPC. Fable 2 allows for multiple marriages, however, try to keep these families away from each other as there can be consequences.

Co-op Play: 
Because co-op play is available in the game, I thought I would talk about it a bit on its own. Playing co-op will allow you to gain two unique achievements, plus you have the ability to learn expressions from one another. The Host player will invite you to join them into their game, where you can join them in any of the joinable quests. As the Host, you control how much or how little XP and Gold are shared between the two players. As the guest, you choose the save file you want any shared XP/Gold to go towards, however your actual character is not displayed on the screen. Instead you select the type of character (Good/Evil Male or Female), and your melee and ranged weapons, and that’s about it. The camera angles in Co-op play are fixed, so you can’t run ahead of your partner on the screen. I also noticed that the usual holding down of A while moving doesn’t increase your speed like it does in single player. You may also notice some slow down if there are several enemies on the screen at once, but this will usually only happen if you have a bad connection between the two games.

Female Aspect:
Since Fable 2 allows for character creation of either a male or female character, you are free to choose how you create your own character. There are other main female characters as well. Theresa, the Gypsy who guides you along the way, and Sister Hannah (aka-Hammer), one of the Heroes you will find during your journey.

Replay Value:
Ultimately, there are so many different ways you can play Fable, which is perfect for anyone who is looking for a game with a long shelf life. Not only do you choose between Evil and Good, but between Male and Female, which also seems to alter some of the options available to you depending on how you decide to play the game. That’s at least four different play through options right away, and there are 3 different endings available, thus upping that to twelve.

Yukino’s Comments:
Fable 2 is definitely one of the Must-Have titles this holiday season. Fans of the original have been waiting what seems like forever to get their teeth into this game, and other than a few glitches that are happening to a few players, and some small but patch-able hiccups, it really does not disappoint. Well, other than the fact that I just can’t seem to get pregnant while playing as a female Hero, but that’s what another game as a male Hero is for. Some of the achievements are very simple to unlock, some are related to certain parts of the main story, and others are just for fun or completionist ones. Interacting with your friends over Live is also great, as you can give them gifts or even just talk to each other while you are in the same area. Just an amazing game all around.

(Reviewed for GamingAngels in early 2009 using the old format for reviews which changed in Summer 2009)


Knothole Island

Last week I returned to traveling through Albion when Lionhead Studios released the Knothole Island download content for Fable 2. Ever since it had been announced I was looking forward to the new area and quest. There would be new items, weapons, augments, and trophies to be collected. As well, three more achievements for another 100 Gamerscore points.

Your quest on Knothole Island is to bring order back to the weather system of the island. Upon arriving the island is covered in snow and ice, and your dog enjoys rolling around in it! The village chieftain asks you to find the temple keys and one by one recover the tokens which guide the weather patterns of the island. In helping restore order to the island, you will open up access to some great stores: the Box of Secrets and Muriel’s House of Magical Stones. The Box of Secrets allows you to trade certain items towards new and rare island items. The items you need for trade must be brought from outside of the island. One of the hardest items to find is the Regal Purple Dye. (Hint: Clothing Traders in Fairfax Gardens sell this dye. They only show up at night & rarely have this dye. Purchase all dyes, sleep, and return until you acquire some.) One of the best items for purchase on this island is the Augment Remover Tool. Purchase this item from the stone-cutter and upgrade your best weapons with new augment stones.

As much as I had an enjoyable time on Knothole Island, I was a bit sad that it was only the one three-part quest. It took me less than a day to acquire all of the new books, treasures and complete the actual quest. Collecting items in order to finish trading for the Box of Secret items took the longest, and even then it was only a day or so later. Just make sure that you have very good speed and accuracy as you will come across several flit switches in each of the temples. Also, making sure your dog is fully trained in treasure hunting will be of great use to you. There are several dig spots available with each temple being completed; just make sure you explore the island well after each weather change. And if you have forgotten, once you collect all the tokens, you will be able to alter the weather as you need to look for the remaining dig spots, chests and collectible Knothole Island books.

I personally feel that 800 MS points may have been a bit on the high side, especially since acquiring new weapons and armour once I had finished the game really doesn’t have much of an impact on my game. Plus, the length of the new quest was definitely too short for me. It does mean that I can assist others in co-op play who are still playing through the story and allow them the chance to obtain more experience points. However, for people who are still enjoying earlier aspects of Fable, the 800 points will be well spent. I’m hoping that more DLC will follow which will allow me the opportunity to try out these new items in a new arena.

(Reviewed for GamingAngels – Jan 21, 2009)

See The Future DLC 

This week Lionhead Studios released new content for Fable 2. I honestly have to say using the DLC in this manner to pretty much announce Fable 3 was very unique and I was glad to be able to experience it in such a way.

Without giving away too much, the infamous Murgo, trader extraordinaire, has acquired three different items for you to travel to: a cursed snowglobe, a cursed skull, and last but not least, a model of the Spire. The enchanted items contain new quests and have several new items for you to discover. Murgo has hidden his golden statues and special dyes amongst them, and collecting all of them will unlock two more achievements for you. There are also some fun costumes to collect; a Balverine, a Hobbe and a Hollow Man suit.  And once you have played through the three items from Murgo, a fourth is given to you. It is a model Colosseum, in which you battle waves of various enemies and win great rare prizes, such as new augments for your weapons, and can collect some rather cute Teddy Bears.

See The Future’s main story line does not take very long to complete. It took me less than two hours to run through the quests, collect the majority of the special items, and even make a visit to Bowerstone Market to show off my new outfits to my fans. That is allowing for the very slow saving/load time I have noticed, and also includes the couple times my system froze. I recommend saving often so as not to lose progress due to freezing.

All in all, See The Future is a nice little add on to Fable 2. I still think the 560 points is a funny price point, and maybe just a bit too much for what it is. However, disguising the “announcement” as they did is reason enough to purchase the new content. Well, and to dress up as a Balverine and scare everyone who sees you.

(Reviewed for GamingAngels – May 17, 2009)

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