Hmm, well, I’m not really sure about this one. Usually I make a snap decision about a game and spend the rest of the time playing it trying to convince myself to be objective and form a well-rounded opinion.
For those of you who don’t know, Fable Anniversary is a remake of the original Fable, to celebrate its tenth anniversary; see what they did there? I always thought that the first Fable was my favourite out of the three, and I still think it is… I think. I’m just not sure anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, this is very much an improvement on the first game; the graphics, lighting and overall smoothness of the game is obviously improved. But that’s pretty much it. To me, they’ve basically given it a complete aesthetic make over, but then just gone “Well, it looks prettier, fuck it”.
I just feel like they could have done more with it, like, the ability to dual wield magic in the later games was awesome, so was the fact you could have a dog, and kids, and so many things. I understand it would have been a task, but if they could have adapted all of the improvements they made in the later game into the original, I think the whole experience would have come off a lot more nicely. And yes, I’m sure some purists love it the way it is, and that all the new things they put into the Fable series as the years went on were awful, but fuck them, they’re essentially wrong.
I’m not stupid; I understand what a re-make is. I just think they could have made a little more.
I get that you’ve got to stick to the bones of the first game, and avoid just making Fable 4 (which wouldn’t be awful to be fair), but if you stick to, say, the bones of your ex, and build them from the skeleton up to be a lot more attractive, they might still have that really annoying voice or still might be a total dickhead. Regardless of how much you might change how they look, sometimes you’ve got to go a little bit deeper than that.
I think I’m making it out to be a bad game, which it isn’t, it really isn’t. I think that when Fable first came out in 2004, it was great. It was new and exciting and depending on your choices, different shit happened. It was literally a milestone for mainstream gaming (I say mainstream because one of the designers Peter Molyneux had already had one or two games with similar ideas (such as Black And White) but none before Fable had the same level of exposure and success). There’s no doubt that this game inspired many games after it, but that’s kind of the point. The Fable formulae has been developed and improved, not only by Lionhead Studios, but by game developers world-wide. From the KOTOR series and the Mass Effect franchise, all the way to the more recent Dragon Age games, choices in game have such a massive role, and a lot of that is thanks to games like this.
Saying that, just because it’s one of the originals, doesn’t mean it’s the best. Sure, I think everyone’s thankful that some Homo erectus invented the wheel, but I doubt you’ll be rocking the “stone wheel” look on your car anytime soon.
Things change, things improve, and I think there’s room for re-makes for games, but just, better ones. Granted, the new version boasts a whole new save system and - wait for it - achievements! I know, applause and awe, right? Maybe I’m just not in a very nostalgic mood, but then again, I was when the game arrived, and it seems to knock me right out of it.
I hadn’t played the original for what seems like years, (and actually might be quite close to that) but within the first hour of gameplay it went from “Oh my god, I remember that from the first game, isn’t that cool!” to “Oh, I remember that, and that, and that. They haven’t really changed much have they?” Everybody knows that once you complete a game, you should give it a little bit of time before you go back to it, or you won’t get the full effect and it’ll just be repetitive for you. I don’t know about you, but I think a few years is easily enough time before going back to a game, but within no time at all I felt like I’d been playing it yesterday, (and not in the “I remember like it was yesterday” kind of way, as in the “I feel like I’ve walked this dull path from the Hero’s Guild to the lookout point 1000 times, they still haven’t upgraded the fast travel have they? Looks like I’ll just be killing these annoying as fuck bees for a while then.”) There’s just a certain amount of improvements you have to do before you can re-release a game, and I think Lionhead studios are just below the quota on this one. Every time they released a new Fable I thought “Someone’s milking the cash cow again”, but each time it was actually an improvement (generally), and each one changed my mind… until this one.
I’ll just have to play through it a few more times and hope the nostalgia comes back in waves and hordes, hopefully then I’ll be able to find it slightly more palatable.
It’s not a bad game, it’s actually quite a good game, but I just think if you want a trip down memory lane with this game franchise, then just save yourself some time (and about £25) by downloading the first one instead. If you want to look back fondly on a game’s past, you go for Pokémon Red or Blue, not Leaf Green or Fire Red.
Some things shouldn’t be messed with, but if they are, they should be messed with sufficiently to make an adequate improvement. Maybe I’m just being narky because I don’t have plans for Valentines. Fuck the world.