'Memorable 'Fable' lives up to hype
Fable'Xbox ExclusivePublisher: MicrosoftDeveloper: Big Blue Box
Every now and then a game comes along that's supposed to define a genre. These titles are anticipated everywhere yet usually fail to meet the colossal expectations. "Fable" could've easily fallen into the huge let-down category, but this highly addictive and imaginative role-play game doesn't.
"Fable's" gameplay, not its story, created the hype. But while the story lacks creativity, it suits the gameplay. You begin as a happy child living a regular life in Oakvale, until a group of bandits comes and slaughters your loved ones. After that traumatic experience, you are taken to the Heroes Guild, where you'll master swordplay, archery and magic to prepare for revenge.
Once you enter the world of Albion, the action-oriented gameplay begins, which differs from the original massively open-ended RPG. Still, this exciting new take will easily suck 20-25 hours of your life away in a flash.
Even if its more action-oriented, "Fable" still contains numerous fun and exciting RPG elements. The most exciting of which is how your decisions affect your character. For example, if you slay innocent bystanders on your quest, you'll soon find yourself with horns and red eyes. Conversely, if you save lives, a small transparent halo will appear over your head. Game elements like these, along with the fact that you can journey anywhere and finish your quests at your own leisure, create a unique experience for every gamer.
As you progress through the game, your character earns experience points that help you gain crucial new skills, like improved strength and magic spells. "Fable" is challenging and you must be sure to use your experience points wisely to succeed.
In addition to its massive gameplay, "Fable" boasts superb audio and video. You'll find yourself gazing at some of the most stunning environments ever found in an RPG. The top-tier graphics are complemented nicely by a sweeping orchestrated score and solid voice acting. These two elements combine to create a wonderful atmosphere for an excellent game.
Although "Fable" has a clichéd; story that prevents the game from reaching perfection, the real-time combat mixed with a number of imaginative elements help create a spectacular and memorable RPG.
Five out of five
Joe Maus is a junior at Austin High School. To respond to reviews in Sound &; Vision, call 252-1111, category TEEN (8336) or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.