Welcome my little Valentines truffles. It’s that time again, a return to the Catl3yscrux blog (formerly CurtainClaws) after what seems like an unforgivably long absence (and you might be right). HOWEVER… in defence of my past AWOL-ollity (your honour), there’s been some funky personal schizz going down recently, and *addresses the jury directly, ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ stylee* any court in the free world would accept this as one of the most viable defences ever conceived! Good case-closed thank you time for the good stuff…
As February 14th rolled around, the birds and bees started getting jiggy, roses commenced trembling in fear, and email inboxes everywhere are getting a thrashing from abusive e-cards that scream “WHY DO BIRDS, SUDDENLY APPEEEAR?” when you open them, I thought to myself, “What better way to spend Valentines day, as a (relatively newishly) re-discovered singleton, than to spend February 14th with my X… box 360. Plus a series of Fantasy games.”
Having recently updated my personal sanctuary with all the necessary requirements for leisurely activities (see below)
I felt it only appropriate to share with you my humble opinions surrounding the various games I’ve been lucky enough to get my greasy little paws on recently. (You’d be amazed how well I can type considering just how damn greasy these paws are. Eurch). As someone who is not always first in line to receive new releases (due to, ahem, financial requirements *shifts nervously from foot to foot*) I shall simply review games as I play them, without any pretensions to being ‘up-to-the-minute’, only for the simple reason that I do not, as of yet have the luxury of doing so.
So, first up in my series of reviews is a little something I like to call: ‘The Sunday Afternoon Fantasy.’ (or Fable II, by Lionhead studios). An immersive and adaptable fantasy open-world that feels like a pleasantly ambling Sunday afternoon, Fable II sees the player take on the role of an anonymous hero who becomes newly awakened to their heritage & heroic blood-line through the dual triggers of ancient magic, and vengeance. Ooohoo… With the help of the mystical gypsy Theresa, and your trusty canine companion, you set off on a variety of quests which sees your moral decisions sway the future consequences of your protagonists’ story-line (even the way you dress affects how the other characters in the game perceive you). Both the moral high-ground and down & dirty road can work to your credit within the context of the game-play and overarching plot.
Fable II has been designed in beautiful detail, from the pastoral environments & architecture of the towns of Albion; the dynamic of the various characters you meet along your journey; and the adaptable aesthetics concerning your hero (such as clothing, hair colour, facial hair, weaponry, potions, it goes on). The entire game is marked by the endearingly satiricial humour of the games’ writers & developers, and personalities such as Stephen Fry, Zoe Wannamaker and Jonathan Ross lend their voices to some of the plot’s most pivotal characters, which reinforces the identity of Fable II as a stereotypically ‘English’ fantasy game, worthy of a Sunday afternoon’s indulgence in a bit of magic, sword play and a cup of tea.
The controls are easy to use and allow a myriad of game-play options including character interactions and different fighting modes and weaponry including melee (‘strength’), long distance (‘skill’) and magic (or ‘will’); this easily comprehensible style of control allows your full attention to turn to hunting hobbes, shaping the individual destiny of your hero, and to become fully immersed in the world of Albion.
Fable II gets four very well deserved stars from me. Or cups of tea. I’d prefer to give out cups of tea as marks of merit. And that is what I shall do.
BOOM. Done! Happy Valentines day to all of you loverly lovers, gaming gamers, and tea appreciators: I shall see y’all soon. Wurzlemongerers X