Sometimes a game just slips under the radar. Whatever the reason for this occurring, be it bad marketing, classification problems or a strange concept, some games just fail to find their audience. Here at Player2.net.au we want to highlight these rough gems and that is where “In Case You Missed It” comes in. Some games just deserve a second chance.
In Case You Missed It – Fable Anniversary
This week some sad news echoed through the gaming press with Microsoft’s announcement that they were closing the iconic Lionhead studio. The house that Peter Molyneux created some classics games in their time. Games like the god simulator Black and White as well as the movie studio simulation The Movies. But perhaps their most famous creation was the Fable franchise so I thought it would be worth looking back at the HD re-release of the game that started it all.
For me the key to Fable being a good game is the world of Albion and thanks to the shiny graphical upgrade that came with the HD re-release the world is still a magical place to explore. I love the general vibe that Albion gives off. It sits somewhere between Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail and Blackadder. The humour of the world ensured that I constantly had a smile upon my face while playing, even 10 years after the original release. I even had a giggle at some of the achievements as they were clearly poking fun at the history of the series and were great jokes for long time fans such as myself. For example one of the achievements was called “Not on Rails” and another “From an Acorn” both clearly having a go at some of the bigger claims made by creator Molyneux about previous Fable titles. These little nods to their past made my time with the game even more enjoyable.
Perhaps the biggest improvement in this HD release for me though was the improved menus and inventory. I hated the original release’s inventory system, it was a mess and locating anything required was a chore. The new system has been superbly streamlined with simple navigation and clear menus. It perhaps is a little convoluted when compared to more modern games but when compared to what came before it is a wonderfully elegant system that removes much of the games unnecessary frustrations.
There are still some problems with the release though. The original combat system is in place which is barely on the low side of competent. The three button system in later games, while simple, was much more elegant than what was in place for the original Fable. The game is also a little rough in the animation department with rough reactions from characters and jerky movement on occasion.
But thankfully these problems are not enough to prevent a good time with the re-release. The game holds up remarkably well which says in a lot of ways that upon its original release it was ahead of its time. Sure it is lacking some polish and the combat is a bit naff but it more than makes up for it in the charm stakes. If you never played the original release then grabbing this on sale for the PC or Xbox 360 would certainly be a good move. With the both Fable 2 and 3 already supported on the Xbox One backwards compatibility list then it also probably safe to say that it is only a matter of time before this is supported too. It may have never lived up to some of the more outlandish claims made about it prior to release but there is no doubt that Fable is a landmark game in the Xbox’s back catalogue, and one that deserves to be experienced by all who enjoy a dose of old world charm with their RPG’s.