Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Xbox 360 - Dead Space

Dead Space

My final review for 2008!

Parental Advisory: This game contains graphic violence and mature themes. Parental guidance is suggested.

As is expected from EA, this is standard third person shooter wrapped around an 'Alien' (movie) type story. What makes this one stand out? Nothing specific, but let's explore this game anyway.


The story behind this shooter combines themes from Alien and Event Horizon to create this tale. You're a team sent to investigate what's happening on a floating scientific research station orbiting a planet. When you arrive at the station, bad things begin happening (expected). First, you almost crash into the station. Then, later, your ship explodes and you're stranded there.

As your character explores the station trying to bring the station back to life so you can leave, you find mutated Alien-esque creatures. Of course, you have to kill them.


The 3D engine used here works quite well. The imagery and textures are very well done, if not a bit graphic. The lighting used is reminiscent of what's used in the Alien movies (lots of strobes, flashing lights, flourescent lights that flicker, etc).


The music and thematic elements swell when enemies arrive in the area. It is very cinematic in sound and the eerie sound effects add to the chill-factor. But, even as good as it sounds, it's not enough to save this mediocre title.

Gameplay & Controls

The controls work well enough through much of the game up until Chapter 4 (we'll get to that shortly) where the game completely breaks down.

The suit you are tasked to use has limited protection, but allows you to walk in zero gravity and has a small amount of air for vacuum space walks (nevermind the temperature issue in this game). Anyway, you start off with no guns and obtain them either as you find them (in containers) or you can buy them at the store.

Save Points

The save points are strewn throughout the levels attached to the wall (as if that makes any sense) and opens up to reveal a holographic save area. So, there are limited places where you can save. However, the save points do seem to be in convenient enough places that it's easy to save often. So, in this particular shooter, the save points aren't the issue.


As you progress through killing aliens and opening containers, you will find various items including money, health, ammo and power nodes. Money allows you to buy things at the Stores in various places on the levels. The stores contain ammo, health, weapons, stasis replenishment and various other things. While you wander, you will also find schematics for new weapons and suits that you can buy. The idea that there is a store is ok, the way it's done sucks.

The problems with Dead Space

The problems with this game are many and varied. The primary problem with much of this game is that there is so little health on the levels that you're always one step away from dying. When you do find a store, the health is so expensive you have to practically give away all the money you've found just to get a small container of health. For example, you're lucky to have about 8000-9000 credits when you get to the store and a small container of health costs 1250. That price would be fine if there was abundant health on the levels, but there isn't.

Worse, as you progress through the levels, you end up finding more and more ammo and less and less health.... to the point at which, on level 4, that you don't find ANY health in any containers or after killing the aliens. This makes the game annoying at best.


Again, here is another sore point. Nodes are used at work 'benches' throughout the various levels to upgrade your suit, weapons or abilities. The problem, again, is that there are so few nodes found on the levels, you really get no benefit out of the upgrades. Worse, at the workbench, the system forces you to waste nodes on useless node intersections just to get to an intersection that lets you upgrade. This is pointless and a waste. You find so few that you end up wasting over half of the nodes you find on worthless things.


There are many times where the game continually throws alien after alien at you simply to use up your health and waste ammo. The encounters are not there to be a challenge because the weapons will eventually kill them. So, it's just a time, ammo and health waster. If the encounters were far less predictable and the weapons were far stronger, then I might feel less this way.


The map is just plain annoying. At first, it seems like a cool idea to have this 3D holographic type map which shows your present level. Unfortunately, you can't leave it on while you walk as it prevents button presses. But, in order to find out where to go, you have to leave it on. So, you have to pray you don't get attacked while you have it open. You also end up having to waste time getting the map into the correct position so you can even see where you are and where you need to be.

Applying health

As you pick up containers of health, they are stored in your inventory. Your inventory is limited, so you will eventually run out of space, which is arbitrarily stupid. When you open your inventory to view it, the game continues to progress. So, the game does not pause and you continue to be attacked while the inventory is open and you try to apply more health.. which is, again, arbitrarily stupid. So, if you need to apply health during a battle, you do so at your own peril.

Level 4

Up until level 4, the game was pretty much a straight shooter with aliens jumping out at you from all over (at very predictable times). Through trial and error, you can work your way through the level by having the character die and then restarting the level. In fact, many sub-levels I had to do this just to try to figure out what the game wanted me to do.

However, after you traverse across the outside of the ship and make it across to the other side (without becoming asteroid smashed), you end up at a chair with a gun. Ok, so here's my BIGGEST gripe with this game. You're working your way through the levels as a typical shooter and here the game completely breaks that stride for a stupid chair based asteroid mini-game. Then, the mini-game starts you off with 85% hull integrity. Each asteroid reduces 8-10% hull integrity with each hit. So, you are tasked to blow up the asteroids and keep the hull safe while you wait for something to happen. That's fine, but the game starts throwing more and more and more (and even bigger) asteroids at you all over the screen. Not only do the big ones break up into smaller ones, like the old Asteroid game, they accelerate towards you faster and faster. In fact, it begins throwing so many at you so rapidly (while waiting), it's basically impossible to complete. All the while I'm thinking, "What the hell does it have to do with the game?".

To top that off, the gun has an 'overheat' mode that prevents you from firing 5-10 seconds at a time far too frequently. Ok, so what the point of this level is, I have no idea. It's not challenging, it's not fun. In fact, it's a stupid remake of an old Old OLD arcade game from the 70's which, in Dead Space, has no real point.

Worse, you've got your 'friend' chiming in saying 'Just hold them off for a little longer' or 'I'm almost done' or 'Keep it up for a little longer'. It's like, "Shut the eff up!" These little taunts are enough for me to take this game disk and run it through the shredder. There's nothing fun about being taunted while you're trying to concentrate on a near impossible task.

After all that, the gun controls don't perform well, there's no auto-targeting, you always way overshoot the mark and it seems to miss even when you actually are able to aim. Oh, and did I already ask.. What's the point to this Asteroid level?


This game has way too many problems to be fixable. Was this game even play tested? Did someone actually run this by human beings to find out if it was a passable game? These are the kinds of games that are throw-away commodities. This will be forgotten in less than a year and no one will want to play it. It will sit on Gamestop's used shelves and collect dust. Some random shmoe might buy one periodically to try it, but quickly return it in the 7 day grace for a full refund.

  • Sound: 9/10 (best part of this game, keeps the suspense up)
  • Graphics: 9/10 (textures and figures are well done)
  • Bugginess: 10/10 (no bugs or major glitches found)
  • Controls: 6/10 (controls well enough until the Asteroids part)
  • Play Value: $10
  • Bang-To-Buck: 1/10 (if you must play this, rent it or buy it used)
  • Overall: 4/10 (inconsistent game play, tedious in places, predictable, not enough supplies)
Note, I would have given this game an even lower overall score, but the first 3 levels of the game were reasonably enjoyable. However, the Asteroids mini-game is so out-of-touch with the rest of this game, I no have no intention of finishing this game.

Happy New Year ... I'll see you in 2009.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Xbox 360 - Rise of the Argonauts

Rise of the Argonauts - Codemasters

This third person shooter tries to be too many different things at once and fails at most of them. But, that doesn't make the game unplayable or unenjoyable. It just makes this game tedious and frustrating at specific times. This game tries to be an RPG, but fails at this. It tries to have multiple quests and fails at that. The only place where this game succeeds is in the story and in the fact that it's a third person shooter.


The story of the Jason and the Argonauts is not new. In fact, it was born out of Greek mythology. So, there's a lot of canon for this game. The story plays like a movie with interaction between certain elements... not very good gameplay, though.

Basically, you play as Jason (King of Iolcus) and you must battle your way across the lands with various helpers (only two at a time). Your helpers include Pan the satyr, Hercules, Argos and various others. Not all of them join your party permanently, but some of them join your party in a permanent way.

Gameplay & Graphics

Here's where the fun begins, or should I say where the fun doesn't begin. Let's start with the graphics. The graphics on this game are really no better than those you would have seen on an Xbox (yes, the old one) or possibly even a Wii. So, don't expect super high res textures or fluid graphics here. The graphic design was somewhat lacking and the final graphics in this game are most definitely sub-par (lots of tearing, slowdowns and glitchy controls). Jason's 3D character handles horribly and gets caught behind every little object (see below). So, be prepared to get frustrated over the controls for Jason. However, I can overlook the graphics if the game works. And, this game does work on many levels, but just not 100%.


The fighting is hard to control and has no targeting system. So, you're just swinging in the breeze hoping it'll strike a blow. The bosses and mini-bosses can be challenging because there's really no clue what to do until you figure it out through trial and error. I'm not a fan of trial and error gaming. Just tell me what to do or make it simple enough to figure it out. The game gets somewhat easier as you progress and gain abilities (as far as fighting opponents).

Health and Magic

There is no health meter and no magic meter. So, when the enemy starts hammering on Jason, you have no idea how far he is from death until you start to see a red halo. The problem with the red halo (and this was also a problem in Turok) is that by the time you see it, you're practically dead. In some cases, the red halo doesn't even appear.. you only hear the 'near death music' and see the screen start to echo. Worse, your health does regenerate, but because there is no health bar, you have no idea how much it has regenerated. So, you end up spending time running around in circles avoiding the enemy trying to regain enough health to keep Jason from dying. Game developers.... PUT A HEALTH BAR ON THESE GAMES WILL YOU ALREADY?!!!

This whole part of this game makes fighting a tedious activity when you're working on bosses or mini-bosses.

Character navigation

The character movements and navigation is, to put it bluntly, horrible. The motions are completely stilted and Jason tends to run into wall edges or other small objects and get stuck. So, you are forever getting stuck and then walking around the object. Bad bad design.

Character design

The 3D characters are made from very low mesh objects. The texture mappings are also quite low res. The best looking character in this game, not surprisingly, is Jason. All of the subordinate characters look quite bad. Hercules looks like some hulk, but not like Hercules. Achilles ended up being an arogant self-righteous annoying character (even if after he becomes part of your party).

The Argo

The Argo is the boat you end up with that takes you sailing to the various places. Unfortunately, it's just another static object. There's no real navigation with the boat. The opportunity here would have been to allow sea warfare on the boat. But alas, it wasn't to be.


The audio to this game works ok, but there are far too many times where voices are cut off in mid-sentence when the screen cuts to a new scene. There were at least two cut-scenes where the volume was so low that turning my TV's volume up 100% just barely allowed me to hear it.

RPG aspects

While it appears they tried to make this game somewhat RPG-ish, they failed. The game has no treasure to speak of and nothing really extra to quest for. While you can level up, you can't really role play.


The game was quite rushed. There were many things that were unfinished. Again, there were two cinematics at the end of the game that were so low volume, you couldn't even hear them. I can't even believe that someone didn't playtest this thing, let alone proof it. Frankly, in the shape that it is presently in, I'm surprised any publisher would touch this release.

The linear aspects (no pun) and the shooter portions of the game makes it not an RPG. If you're really desperate for a new RPG-ish game, then by all means buy it. If you're not thrilled by mashup games that are basically unfinished, then I'd skip it or buy it used when it gets to about $20.

  • Sound: 7/10 (voiceovers are very well done, fluidity sucks)
  • Graphics: 5/10 (lacking, raw, unfinished, low res textures, bad movements)
  • Bugginess: ?/10 (not rated yet)
  • Controls: 7/10 (not outstanding, Jason hard to control at times)
  • Play Value: $20
  • Bang-To-Buck: 1/10 (won't play it through twice)
  • Overall: 6.5/10 (plenty of save points, graphics & controls seriously lack, tedious in parts)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

PS2 - Persona 4

Persona 4

Yes, you read that corractly... this is a PS2 game. I originally bought this game because it was represented to me as an RPG. Well, it is sort of. This is a Pokemon / Final Fantasy turn based fighting game with limited 3D roaming aspects and annoying 'time limits' on quests.

Note, I generally do not play turned based RPG systems because they always end up with far too many unavoidable random encounters. These games also end up far too one-sided favoring fighting over questing. Persona 4 is no exception.

Game Play

The game play starts off with this very very very long dialog-based almost cinematic sequence with lots of button pushing to get past dialog. After probably 1-3 hours of playing, you finally get past all of the intro stuff that really leads nowhere.

After you get past the exceedingly long and boring intro sections, you finally get to the point where you get some action. Unfortunately, the action consists of Pokemon style battles where all you're doing is leveling up.

The idea is that you get playing cards which give you personas. These personas help you in battle.


You've moved to the country from a big city. You're staying with a family that consists of a dad and daughter. While staying there, you end up investigating some mysterious deaths. Because of your investigation, you find that there are supernatural forces at work. These forces lead you into an alternate dimension of 'shadows'. You constsantly fight these shadows as you roam through the dimension.

You ultimately find that as the fog arrives in the 'real world' city that a shadow crosses over and kills the victim. So, you are tasked to roam into this alternate dimension and kill the shadows before they can do more damage and kill someone else.

It's an ok premise, but where this game fails is in the execution.


The fighting is ok, but it's not outstanding. It's a typical turn-based game. Sometimes you have the advantage, other times the enemy does. You have no control over the strength of the enemy that appears (or how many appear). It's all a random tossup when they occur. You can avoid the enemy (sometimes) by running around the enemy before the battle sequence starts. But, they do chase after you reasonably fast, so you sometimes cannot outrun them.


The soundtrack for this game is actually quite good. In fact, they include the soundtrack CD with the game. So, the only redeeming thing for this game really is the soundtrack. But, it doesn't make it worth the money just to get that soundtrack CD.

Game Save Locations

This is the sore spot of this game. Once you get into certain parts of the alternate dimension, you are stuck. For example, in one quest you end up going into a castle. As you enter the castle, the castle is multiple levels. I got the 6th floor and realized there are no save points, there's no way out and it would take far too long to go all the way back down just to save.

So, you're stuck in the middle of a bunch of battles with limited supplies, no way to save and no way out. You're ultimately going to just "game over" at some point without winning the final battle. The intermediate battles just serve to whittle down your supplies, health and points. Worse, this castle quest is the first you receive. And, you're only level 8-9 (weak) and they're throwing level 15-20 monsters (or higher) at you on this quest. Not really that much fun.


I am not impressed by the concept, layout or realization of this game. In the beginning, it goes far too slow. Once you get into the action, it's completely one-tracked (fights). The fighting is limited and boring. The personas are weak and, overall, the game is just not that fun. There's really very little to do other than fighting.

  • Sound: 9/10 (best part of this game)
  • Graphics: 7/10 (decent for PS2, but could be better)
  • Bugginess: ?/10 (not rated yet)
  • Controls: 7/10 (look controls reverse, no way to change them)
  • Bang-To-Buck: 1/10 (may not even play anymore)
  • Overall: 5/10 (lack of save points, one-tracked, limited questing, too much dialog, too many encounters)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Gamezelot's Top 15 Holiday Console Game Picks

So, we're fast approaching another holiday season and you're trying to decide what games to get and what games to leave on the shelves. Well, if you're an RPG, FPS or racing game fan, then I'll go through all the games that are on the top of my list.

15. BioShock

Bioshock is an older, but still well done shooter. The game has some questing and RPG aspects. The leveling up system on this shooter is unmatched by any other shooter. It's not a full out RPG, but it definitely straddles the line between being an RPG and a shooter. Definitely worth a play if you have not played it. Contains violence and possibly unsuitable themes.

14. Civilization Revolution

CivRev is a strategy game through and through. If you like games like Risk, then you'll like CivRev. This game is not quite as complete as Civilization IV, but for a console crossover, this game is quite well done.

13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

While I generally don't put movie games on my lists, this one is particularly well done. The questing system is RPG-like, the quests are fun and you get to fully roam Hogwarts. Definitely a fun play if you've never played it. It might be hard to find new at this point as it's a bit old now. This game is also quite family friendly.

12. Oblivion: Elder Scrolls IV

This game is over 2 years old at this point, but it still tops my list of best RPG games out there. If you haven't played this game yet, you owe it to yourself to play it. It takes a little bit to get into this game and you have to like the medieval type genre of games. But, this game system is one of the best concieved to date. It might be hard to find it new, but even used this game is great. Get the Game of the Year edition to get all of the add-ons. May contain unsuitable themes.

11. Halo 3

What list wouldn't be complete without Halo 3? I debated about not putting this one on the list. But, because this game is so well done, I had to put it on the list for this year even though it is now over a year old. Contains violence and possibly mature themes.

10. Drake's Fortune (PS3)

While this game isn't exactly an RPG, it does have some RPG elements. The game has an excellent graphics system and the puzzles are well thought out. The game is one of the more fun titles on the PS3.

8. Gears of War 2

Gears of War 2 is a first person shooter that offers all of the same fun that Gears of War offered. It's fun and challenging, but not overly challenging. The guns and vehicles add excitement to the game. Note, contains mature themes and violence.

9. Assassin's Creed

Assassin's Creed came out last year, but is still a fun play through. It's also on this list because apparently the next Assassin's Creed is already in the works and may be out sometime in 2009. You should play this game before buying Assassin's Creed 2. Contains mature themes and violence.

7. Grand Theft Auto IV

This is a psuedo-RPG. The storylines are reasonably engaging and all of the fun of ripping off cars is still there. Too bad the game didn't expand to add storage, modding and selling of the cars, but the game still works. This game is not recommended for anyone under 17.

6. Gran Turismo: Prologue (PS3)

This game is absolutely gorgeous. The graphics are stunning, the driving is amazing, but this is only a teaser game. The real game will arrive in 2009 (hopefully). However, this game is still very much worth getting just for the shear beauty of the cars. Amazing. However, don't expect the be able to mod your cars. That will be in the final game.

5. The Orange Box

The Orange Box is an amazing title in itself. This package holds 5 games in one: Half-Life 2, Half Life 2: Episode One and Episode Two, Portal and Team Fortress. All of these games are worth playing. The Half-Life titles are shooters and are extremely well done. Portal is a puzzle game. Team Fortress is a multiplayer level-based shooter. This is definitely a must-have if you haven't played Half-Life. May contain unsuitable themes.

4. Fable II (and Fable I)

These games are both high quality RPG-style games. Fable I is for Xbox and Fable II is for Xbox 360. I like both of these games quite well, but I actually like Fable I just a bit more than II. Fable II's mapping system needed an overhaul, but the quests are still quite fun.

3. Mass Effect

Mass Effect is a Sci-Fi semi-RPG from Bioware (same people who did Knights of the Old Republic). While this game did not come out this year, if you haven't played it, it should be on your to-play list. Contains mature themes.

2. Saint's Row 2 (and Saints Row 1)

Saints Row 2 is the latest installment. This game is ahead of GTAIV only because they have been able to far improve the GTA formula. The game is about gangs and that genre, but the quests are still of the same style as GTA. This game is not recommended for anyone under 17.

1. Fallout 3

Fallout 3 is technically the successor RPG to Oblivion: Elder Scrolls IV. While it does have the a similar combat system, they did add some improvement to it in the VATS (targeting system). This game is fun, but can be tedious to play at times. The imagery of the game is stark and there are no vehicles to speak of. That said, though, the guns are fun and the quests keep the storyline interesting until the end. Note that the Fallout 3 main quest is much shorter than Oblivion's main quest. Contains violence and possibly mature or unsuitable themes.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Xbox 360 - Fable II

Fable II by Microsoft Studios

While I haven't reviewed Fable I on Gamezelot, suffice it to say that I liked it reasonably well. Excusing the less than steller graphics, after all it was on the Xbox... it turned into a reasonably decent game after you get through the starting-off-as-a-kid beginning.

Fable II has a similar beginning, but the one thing that has changed between Fable I and Fable II is the look and feel of the entire game. But, that's not all that they've changed. Many of the changes make the game fun, many more make the game tedious. Note that there is a lot wrong with this game, so this review will be long.

What is Fable II?

Fable II is the sequel to Fable I. At the same time, it really isn't a sequel. Think of it both as a sequel and as a new beginning for the franchise. Since Fable II doesn't begin where Fable I left off and, instead, chooses to start the story line all over again from the beginning, this really isn't a sequel in the truest sense. Fable II really should be considered a remake.

At its most fundamental level, Fable II is a Role Playing Game in genre. But, at the same time, it lacks some things for me to consider it a full RPG in practice.


The quests are reasonably lengthy and work well. I've found no specific glitches in any of the quests I tried and was able to get through each of the ones I've attemped. However, the quests rapidly become repetitive and too much the same.

Map (or lack thereof)

Unfortunately, there is nothing good to say about the mapping system here. For whatever reason, Microsoft and Lionhead decided to NOT put a real visual world map into this game. There is a map on the loading screen, but there is no map within the game itself. There are area maps that show you where you are in a given play area (exits, entrances and quest spots), but there is no world map. Instead, they offer a text based menu of regions (and subregions) where you can fast travel.

Unlike Fable which you practically lived on the World Map, Fable II developers, for whatever reason, decided to not include a visual world map as part of the game play. This is one of the primary reasons (there are others, read on) why I hesitate to consider this an RPG as such.

The lack of an overall world map was a complete surprise, considering that Fable I had one. Removing this feature leaves the player fumbling to understand how each of the cities and townships interrelate to one another and how far something is from another city.

That said, the developers decided to tell you (in hours) how far something is from something else whenever you travel there. It's not really that it matters, though, as the time passage in Fable II is irrelevant (other than for shop opening and closing purposes).

For me, the lack of a world map is a huge sore spot in Fable II. For this reason alone, this game will not get 10, or even 9 stars. An RPG needs to have a full visual interactive world map as part of the game play, period.

Golden Trail

In lieu of an interactive world map, Lionhead decided to create a 'golden trail' for Sparrow to follow. While, in theory, it's a good idea... in practice, it sucks. Think of it kind of like a GPS that leads you to your final destination. The reason this system sucks is that it makes you feel like you are 3 and you need someone to hold your hand to play. Just give me a World Map and let me see where I am in the world and I'll make my own way there. I don't want to have to follow this stupid Golden Trail.

Thankfully, the developers do let you turn it off. But, what I quickly found is that when you turn it off, you rapidly get lost. Without a world map or the Golden Trail, you never get where you need to be.

The main problem with the Golden Trail is that it doesn't give you distance. So, you have no idea how far you are from your destination. Because there is no world map, you can't even reference that.

Finding Places

As with most other RPG style games, you can't fast travel to a location where you haven't been. Worse, however, is that given that you can't fast travel, it also does not help you by even letting you travel to a close destination. Without a world map, you just have to know where you are in the world. So, you can't even figure out a close destination. Naming sometimes helps, but in other cases it doesn't. There were times where I just roamed forever trying to get to the final destination.

If you can buy a real world map or download one, I highly recommend it. Again, the lack of a world map in this game is the biggest sore spot and majorly detracts from this game.

Choices and Game Saves

As with the original Fable, at the end of certain quests you will be required to make a choice. Unfortunately, there is only one saved game location available for this game. Worse, the Xbox 360 will not allow you to copy your saved game to either another profile or an MU for backup purposes. So, you cannot make a backup of your saved game. This means you also cannot start the game from previous saved positions.

So, once you make a choice and the game saves (and it will), you are stuck with that choice unless you start the game over from the beginning. Again, this is yet another MAJOR problem with this pseudo-RPG. An RPG should allow you to save at any time and allow you to have at least 10 different save positions... although, placing any limitations on saved games is highly stupid.

Marriage and Kids

Fable II does offer a Sims-style interactive relationship system. So, you can have relationships (both straight and gay) in the game. Note that later in the game, you are offered a way to change your gender and become female which completely reverses all the roles. However, you can have kids and these kids can become quests later which is kind of cool.

Treasure and the Dog

In Fable II, you find that you now have a dog that follows you around. You can teach the dog tricks from books that you find along your quests. These tricks come in handy later for other quests. However, note that a later choice from a quest eliminates the dog so you no longer have it.

I found the dog mostly a problem. It's constantly barking showing locations of treasure, keys and dig spots. This is ok, but I find that the treasure you find is really so petty and useless, why bother. For example, most treasure where you find money, it's 100-150 coins (not enough to worry about). Or, you might get a rusty necklace, an emerald or some other trinket that you can use as a relationship gift or to sell for some tiny amount of cash..

Owning Property

In Fable II, you can now own property that gives residual income. Because of the residual income, the trinkets you find as treasure really becomes pointless as sources of income. But, owning property doesn't allow you to collect treasure as Sparrow can carry infinite amounts of treasure (again, un-RPGlike). So, once you amass enough property, you'll be earning 11-15k about every 5 minutes. Since the game bases these 5 minute increments on our real world clock, you'll get that amount every 5 minutes whether you are playing or not. So, if you don't play for 24 real hours, you'll end up with like 300k-500k in coin when you do play again.

You can even just set the Xbox system clock ahead if you need fast cash. I'm not sure why Lionhead did this. Basically, once you understand how it works, money is trivially easy to obtain in Fable II.

Will (magic) User

The magic that is offered in this game is, at times, downright annoying. As with the first Fable, the stronger your magic, the longer the magic takes to manifest. The problem is that while you're manifesting the magic, you can't do anything other than get hammered on by the enemy. Really, it takes way too long to manifest the fifth (final) level of magic. There should be a way to speed up this generation, but there isn't. I would have preferred an actual mana bar where you use up mana to manifest. This would mean that instead of taking longer for spells to manifest, that it uses up more mana. For me, using a mana bar is a much more of a traditional RPG approach to magic and spells than the taking long times to manifest.


I found Fable II to be entertaining, but lacking and frustrating. The quests were good enough, but the quest system was only mediocre. Once you get to the point where the quests become repetitive, the game is really no longer very fun. The main quest shouldn't take you long to get through. The side quests may take you longer (unless you get bored and put the game down).

This is not an RPG in the truest sense because 1) you cannot fully customize your character or their stats and 2) it does not have a world map. Fable II does not hold a candle to Oblivion's system.

I'm hoping that Microsoft will decide to try Bethesda the next time around for Fable III. I also don't like playing the same game designed as a sequel. This game should have had a completely different story than Fable. But, it overall it isn't. The game is pretty much the same idea as Fable from beginning to end as Fable II (with slight alterations in the story and characters).

  • Sound: 9/10 (reasonable, decent voice actors)
  • Graphics: 8/10 (smooth, but not outstanding)
  • Bugginess: ?/10 (not rated yet)
  • Controls: 9.5/10 (reasonable controls)
  • Bang-To-Buck: 2/10 (will play through once for each quest)
  • Overall: 6.5/10 (Too much like Fable, no map, one save spot, can't backup saves)