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Fable Anniversary Review

Posted by tylerh1701, in Xbox 360 21 April 2014 · 652 views

I never owned an Xbox 1 original Xbox, so I never got around to playing the original Fable. My cousin sang its praises and sunk hundreds of hours into the game, so I was always quite interested in checking it out. I've had Fable 2 and 3 in my Xbox 360 backlog for quite a while, but never played them since I didn't want to play the games out of order. So the release of Fable Anniversary gave me a good excuse to finally check out the game.

The gameplay and varied locations throughout the game were enjoyable for the most part. The combat wasn't overly complex but it wasn't just button-mashing either. Same can be said about the RPG aspects, there were enough different abilities to level up but I wasn't overwhelmed with skill trees and fine-tuning my hero. There was enough of a variety of enemies to beat down and I also enjoyed how the experience system worked, though it took some time figuring it out since the game doesn't really explain it. The main story quests produced some fun and interesting characters and told an enjoyable story. There were a few dated aspects in the gameplay, such as having to return to the guild every time you wanted to level up or take on a new quest and those cumbersome, cluttered, and unintuitive menu screens.

I had always heard that Fable had a unique and engrossing morality system. Maybe it was unique and engrossing when the game first released, but I was surprised to see how insignificant it was to the actual gameplay. For the most part I played as a good guy, but besides a few spells I couldn't learn I didn't really notice any areas that the morality had any effect. Ditto for the "interactivity" in the game with NPC's. Not knowing much about Fable, I thought I'd be spending a significant amount of my time at my home, getting married, building a family, etc. Honestly I'm glad I didn't have to (I find that sort of stuff in games boring) but for as much as it was hyped by my cousin and others, it was also completely ignorable. Fable was much more of a generic action-RPG than I expected.

I'm not trying to say that in a negative light, I quite enjoy action-RPG's and I quite enjoyed Fable Anniversary. I was just expecting it to be a unique action-RPG experience for me, which it wasn't. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy my 20 or so hours in Albion. Slaying Balverines, standing up to Rock Trolls, and exploring the Northern Wastes in the Lost Chapters DLC was entertaining from beginning to end. I did run into some issues with my character being too powerful though. Besides a couple of the end bosses, I had very little trouble in the game and rarely found any need for health potions or resurrection phials. Luckily the combat was satisfying and was able to keep me hooked.

I'd be remiss if I didn't also mention a few aspects of this new remaster. It's on Xbox 360 for the first time so it obviously now has Achievements, which were very well implemented and enjoyable to chase down. It also includes a tracker for some of the more time consuming achievements which is a feature I love in games.

Besides achievements though, Fable Anniversary doesn't really shine. The graphics felt muddy and did very little to pop off the screen. Menu navigation is really bad, I wish they had re-hauled the menus and designed them in a more modern and easy to navigate way. The load times weren't a killer, but they were noticeable. Every location change resulted in a several second load screen. The performance I experienced was atrocious as well, though apparently there was a Day 1 patch to help improve frame rate that I wasn't able to download. Without the patch, the framerate dipped into screenshot territory when exploring the towns that were filled with NPCs, though it wasn't nearly as bad during big battles. The game locked up on me 5 times during my 20 hours with the game, luckily the auto-save feature works well and I loss only minimal progress.

Overall, Fable is a game I'd definitely recommend people check out once in their life, and I'm glad I did. I plan on playing both sequels in the coming month, though I've heard mixed impressions of them both, especially #3. As for this HD remaster, while I can't speak for the original, I don't really feel like the Fable Anniversary HD Remaster is really the definitive version of the game. I don't know how the original Fable performed and how buggy it was, but Fable Anniversary is not a smooth experience.




Just completed this a couple weeks ago. I loved it, it did freeze a lot and that's with the latest patch. I beat 2 and 3 before I played this but I didn't feel like I missed too much by skipping this one. I'm actually surprised I never played this since I did have the OG Xbox. I don't blame myself though for missing out, I (and pretty much everyone else) was too busy playing my/their Gamecube and PS2. Overall though I really liked this game.

Edit- Only thing I hate, like you mentioned was your character gets to powerful towards the end.

Just completed this a couple weeks ago. I loved it, it did freeze a lot and that's with the latest patch. I beat 2 and 3 before I played this but I didn't feel like I missed too much by skipping this one. I'm actually surprised I never played this since I did have the OG Xbox. I don't blame myself though for missing out, I (and pretty much everyone else) was too busy playing my/their Gamecube and PS2. Overall though I really liked this game.

Edit- Only thing I hate, like you mentioned was your character gets to powerful towards the end.

How was the framerate post-patch?

 

I've started Fable 2 already and yeah, I could have played it without ever playing the original.  Not a whole lot of connections between the two, not yet anyway.

It still had framerate drops but not as nearly as bad as before the patch. From what I read, it was much worse than what I played through.

Interesting read. I'm following in your footsteps as I've had 2 and 3 in the backlog for some time now but I needed to play the original first. I'm about 2 or 3 hours in and enjoying it so far. It has a different feel than the RPGs I'm accustomed to playing. I've yet to experience any game lock ups (knock on wood) but I did have what seemed like a save error that sent me back 30 minutes or so.

 

First timer in Albion and I can see myself enjoying this game through to the end. I think it's because I, like you, didn't play this on the original Xbox. Hopefully nothing occurs to change that! Thanks for the good review Tyler. Have fun in (the rest of) Fable 2!

 

Update: After putting 6 or so more hours into the game, I still don't know how the experience system works and I'm trying to do good things but I received a quest where I had to kill traders and guards that just destroyed my rep (or whatever that word is in Fable)

I played the original Fable for Xbox and enjoyed it. May have to grab this HD Remaster one day down the road.

And to think, you just completed the most difficult game in the series. Wait until you see how easy the next two are.

And to think, you just completed the most difficult game in the series. Wait until you see how easy the next two are.

I actually thought 2 was a little bit harder at times because there was no armor and not nearly as many health potions laying around.  Spells were still ridiculosly overpowered and the end-game (or lack there of one) definitely made it a pretty easy experience overall.

 

I don't think I'm going to play the 3rd.  I'm Fable'd out and have heard the 3rd is the worst in the series.