Have you ever loved someone so much that when you’re with them you can’t imagine your life without them, but when you know you’re going to see them you start to feel anxious and hate the fact that you’re about to see them? They end up hurting you in some way every time but you just keep coming back, and even though you know they’re ultimately letting you down, you’re still addicted to them and the promises that they make?
That’s my relationship with Fable.
Fable is my alcoholic, depressed, emotionally abusive girlfriend. I might be one of the only people to-at least openly admit it-really like Fable 3. To the point where I even like it more than Fable 2. Fable 2 to me is a great game but it’s cluttered, and Fable 3 is streamlined and plays SO much better but in the end, there’s something about the Fable franchise that just rubs me the wrong way and I don’t know what it is. The games are hilarious, they’re very entertaining and (Fable 2 included) play very well but as much as I love them I know they’re only going to keep letting me down for some reason. Now I stand in a Gamestop and see Fable: The Journey for Kinect and just say to myself, “Maggie, walk away girl, she isn’t worth it” but I KNOW I’M GOING TO BUY IT.
And don’t even get me STARTED on the bastard child that is Fable: Heroes. Ugh.
Kinect I was already sucked into (my boss bought me one, thanks Richard) and-much like the Wii-when you play the right things it’s a TON of fun. Sadly Doodlejump has it’s issues but The Gunstringer and Haunt and Fruit Ninja are all just a blast. But there’s that problem. Fable-something that ends up hurting me-MIXED with Kinect-something that doesn’t work too great-just may be my killer. Fable has problems already but they’re mostly under the surface problems but when you mix a game like that with something like Kinect, it may just bring those problems right up to your face and I don’t think I’m ready for that part of our relationship. I’m still in the denial/slightly accepting phase. It’s weird because Fable is the ONLY franchise I feel this way about too. I mean, I’m not a big fan of any franchise actually (I would say Portal or Left 4 Dead but there’s only been 3 retail releases and an arcade game basically, unless you wanna go back to Sonic in the Genesis days) so maybe that’s why but Gears leaves no impression on me, Halo has become somewhat of a constant complete letdown and Fallout’s only had 2 games and 1 really since New Vegas was made by Obsidian. I guess Bioshock is fine. I’ve loved all 3 of those.
But Fable…it’s so hard to nail what exactly is wrong with it. It’s a tad laggy at times, but I think I’ve gotten exactly the problem. It’s got no balance. See, while Fable 2 was bloated, Fable 3 was TOO streamlined. While I love Fable 3 for its streamlining and think it helped it, it also did take away some of the fun that Fable 2 had in it. There needs to be this balance in Fable that they haven’t yet achieved. It is something that-while I hate the Elder Scrolls with a PASSION-I admit Bethesda does right with their franchise. Bethesda hits this balance where yeah, there’s a really interesting story you can follow (not that I think story is important in gaming) but you also don’t feel bothered by the sidequests. Mass Effect does it very well too, actually. I think that’s a better comparison. I want Fable to be more like Mass Effect. Mass Effect does it very very well where the sidequests are super interesting and at times more so than the campaign itself and often even have something to do WITH the main story.
That’s the balance I want Fable to achieve.
I just don’t think it ever will. A lot of people hated Fable 3 and they hate Peter Molyneux (though I stand by his decisions because he is the epitome of a dude who does not give a FUCK), but I’d rather have the funny and slightly frustrating Fable with likable Molyneux than the ridiculously taking itself too damn seriously and no impression lasting Gears of War with the INCREDIBLY DISLIKABLE Cliffy B. Maybe one day I’ll go into why I hate Cliffy B. so damn much, but as it stands, I don’t even wanna give him my time to tell him why I hate him.
Fable 3 has flaws but what game doesn’t? I’ll say this much. I’ve been playing a few things lately ranging from 100%ing Dead Space to Fable 3 to Batman: Arkham City and I’ve had the most fun with Fable because it knows it’s a video game and it doesn’t take itself seriously at all. I can look past the flaws.
At least until I end up in a womans shelter.