Fable. Anniversary Edition

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Good afternoon and welcome once again my loyal followers. Today’s topic is the immersive realm of Albion. The fictional land where the events of Fable take place and Heroes are forged amongst bright flame, cold steel and explorative quests. An engaging game, chock full of game history and subtle references. To say Fable is amazing is an understatement, and anyone who says such needs a punch to the throat. Fable is a work of art. Fable is the steeple that holds modern sandbox games and RPG together, in my eyes there is no comparable game that measures close to Fable. LionHead did an amazing job with developing this game, and Microsoft had another rare win in a long series of failures by publishing it.

I first started playing Fable on the original Xbox when I was a teen. Trying to wrap my childlike hands around the chunky goodness that was an Xbox control felt odd as opposed to my previous and lasting relationship with the Ps platform. I originally converted to Xbox for Halo, but Halo can’t stand against MW2 on any platform, to say otherwise is less than prudent and will result in a swift kick to the groin. Yes, I defend my games deeply and creatively as you’re about to discover.

Let us begin the review.
Needless to say, whenever someone talks about fable, they immediately become the most appealing person in the room, shadowing all by casting a glorious light in this world of pitch. You start the game as a child and need to perform good deeds (or bad) to earn gold to buy a present for your sister. Immediately, you can choose whether you will be good, evil or a delicate mix of both. Personally I like it when the villagers run away in fear and take shelter fearing yet another, merciless onslaught against their defenceless kin. Shit just got real. Really real. Bitch.

**Getting distracted** **Again** As I was saying before I was rudely interrupted by my own thoughts about lunch, Fable is the Best original I’ve played in a series for a long time. Sadly, the series deteriorates further along the road but I’ll get to that another day.

Once you’ve completed your initial “deeds” you can talk to your father and he will shell over a few shiny gold pieces with which you need to buy a gift, via a talk to the trader by the front of the inn. Upon having a cheery chat with a Microsoft cockney, you can purchase the chocolates to give to your sibling. After you give her the tasty diabetes in a box, the village is attacked, your sister’s eyes are cut out ( brutal I know), and she is carried away by bandits thus leading to the start of your training at the Hero’s Guild.

The most annoying part of growing up is Whisper (she’s the annoying friend of our protagonist/antagonist). She’s ugly, talks like she has a mouth full of mud and calls you a “Farm Boy” (Kill her!!! Kill her now!!!). I never liked whisper, and I relish the stage where I can disembowel her in the arena, and beat her in a Hobbe killing contest while slowing time and stealing her kills. She’s a real bitch, bitch.

But all grudges aside, she’s a dick. It could be her chocolate lips or the broad nose. It could be her name. Whatever it is, I’ve been feeling it since I was a young gent and always sling insults at her when she talks or walks. Listen to me rant about my disdain for a fictional character, what a lunatic.

After you complete childhood the fun really begins. Now, I’ve found and exploited many glitches from the original game, and the rerelease for 360 kept most of them active and made my progress that much faster. One fine example is “Guile”. Guile increases your bartering skills against traders and increases your stealth. Level up your guile a couple of times, proceed to Oakvale and start buying expensive gems. Buy them in bulk, as much as you can afford. Once you have the gems, sell them back in bulk to the shopkeeper and repeat the process. You’ll notice you just made a huge profit of 200k per trade with 100+ diamonds. The reason you buy in bulk, is the items are cheaper but get marginally more expensive with each single item bought, thus costing more and resulting in less profit, but in contrast, the shop buys said diamonds back at the price they are individually if stocks are scarce. If you exploit this numerous times before leaving the “sale” screen, it adds to your skill experience, the same set where guile is available, so it’s almost feeding a flame. Preeeeety frickin sweeeet if you ask me, which you did. Don’t you remember?

After taking financial advantage of the shop, I suggest you buy the best weapons and armour you can find, which would be all of it. Now you know my money scheme, your funds shall be infinite, just keep an eye on your inventory to make sure you buy the sold stones back, the last thing you want is to sell 200 diamonds and forget to buy them back thus resulting in you sleeping and the shop having no gems available the next day. Don’t make rookie mistakes, keep an eye on shit.

Let’s talk quests. Quests vary from level to level, in both alignment and gold. Certain quests are deemed “evil” (usually pays a lot better) and others are “good” quests. You can escort traders to Knothole Glade or you can kill an entire village of people to help the bandit camp, the choice is entirely yours. Hell, you could kill everyone in one town, buy all the buildings and shops, and then proceed to the next town where you can act civilly and the villagers react accordingly. It truly is the pinnacle of gaming. I always slay,the inhabitants of OakVale and make it my Base of Operations. Establish a home, find a wife and murder by night.

Another glitch my friend JD found was, when you kill Jack of Blades and take his mask, you can either throw it away or keep it. If you keep it, it’s permanently equipped and instantly changes your alignment to full evil. But there’s a way around it. So let’s say you decide to keep the mask, all you need to do is press back, go to equipment, select a new Helm and equip it. DON’T EXIT TO GAMEPLAY. PRESS START AS SOON AS YOU EQUIP THE HELM AND SAVE IT. Once you have saved it, load the saved file and Jacks mask will be off and you will be able to get your alignment up again. Sweet glitch no?

A third one we discovered was when you best Jack the first time, instead of killing your sister with the Sword of Aeons, attack her with any other weapon and she will continuously drop exp relating to the field in which you’re attacking her with. After you’ve had your fill, save the game (hero/checkpoint) and reload. This allows you to keep the exp you stole from your sister and allows you to fight Jack again. You can repeat this process as often as you like, maybe bottle her blind tears to sell as a refreshing beverage to the ladies at the inn. The choice again, is all yours.

Not a great review but the mix of melee and magic is flawless. From slowing down time, casting max lightning and assassin rush, the enemy doesn’t stand a chance. They should pretty much bend over and ask for it gently, and I would happily oblige, for gently means “as hard as you fucking can”, and again, I’ll oblige. And the best part is, you don’t have to pull up another screen to cast magic unlike other games, cough (Skyrim/job) cough, simply pull the right trigger to access magic attacks and release to go back to melee. It’s a dream, it’s smooth and that feature alone snagged me as a player.

I’ll leave you beautiful wankers to it. All I can really say is I hope LionHead go back to this style if they release another in the series, they fucked up big with Fable2/3 in regards to the playability I reckon, and I know a number of die hard Fable fans who would agree with me. If you haven’t played Fable, you’re obviously wasting your life being a dickhead and should probably work on that aspect. Get Fable. Exploit the glitches I’ve enlightened you to and take over the realm of Albion. Forge your name in steel and coat it in the blood of your enemies. I have. Countless times. Thanks for reading all 🙂

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