Let's Play

I make no secret of the fact that I am a big fan of The Escapist Magazine. I think it is easily one of the best, most complete geek resources out there. However, for a while, when I first started going to the site, I was only availing myself of one of the articles, and that was Zero Punctuation by Yahtzee Croshaw. I don't even remember how I came to finding this dude, as I don't remember anyone recommending it to me. That is neither here nor there though, my point is, sometime in the last two weeks, he wrote an article about this website that I have never heard of before. Now normally if this guy goes out of his way to point something out, it usually means he is going to tear it apart with his superior accent.

However this time the focus of his writing were a series of screenshots and videos of people essentially giving the Mystery Science Theater treatment to playthroughs of video games, called Let's Play. So far today, I have been spending a good part of my day watching a dude named Garin play trough Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, with a rotating cast of guest speakers. Now I know I am extremely late to the party when it comes to this website, but if you're as slow as me and have never heard of it, check it out, well worth the time. Hell it has made writing more enjoyable than music or TV tonight.

Anyhoo, here is the link: http://lparchive.org/

Ranty...or not enough of it.

I have been in something of a writing funk as of late. I think I finally figured out why too. When I first started writing this thing, it was supposed to be about my thoughts on video games. Quickly though, things devolved into me simply reviewing games, which while fun, did become far to formulaic and hence, boring. What I need to do is get back into what I wanted to do with this deal, and write whatever comes to mind about video games. So here, I shall commence writing about whatever I damn well please.

Quick list

Quick list of the top 10 games I missed the boat on that I need to finish...or start to play (no order in terms of importance)

1. Half- Life
2. God of War
3. Dragon Age: Origins
4. Shadow of the Colossus
5. Earthbound
6. Devil May Cry
7. Fallout
8. Persona
9. Panzer Dragoon
10. Shadow Hearts

Fable 3

A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I promised I was going to play Fable 3 upon my completion of Halo: Reach. So really me talking about this damn game has been a long time coming. I finished it something like a month ago, I don't know. I mean I could go check, but that would require me turning on the Xbox, which shall not be done as House is on right now, and nothing interrupts my viewing of that show...nothing. So anyhow, let's talk about Fable 3 and what a piece of crap it was. Well...gave away my opinion right there didn't I? I should really talk more about this I guess, so here it goes. Click on to see the rest of the article.

So I decided to give the Fable series another chance after Halo: Reach decided to show me that a series as bland as wall Spackle can eventually churn out something worth being played. I played the first Fable game way back when before the 360 came out, and it was impossible to hate anymore. It was boring beyond reproach, bland and did not feature one original idea. While the moral choice system of gaming was still in its infancy, you had games like Knights of the Old Republic doing it infinitely better. Fable just had you kicking puppies, where as Revan could tear shit up if you decided to. It had a leveling system that left nothing to the imagination, and the world itself was so cookie-cutter, I'm still surprised everything wasn't shaped like a Christmas tree, a five pointed star, and a gingerbread man.

So fast-forward to the tail end of 2010, and we're up to the third Fable game. I skipped Fable 2, because really, after disliking the first one so much and seeing that about fuck-all changed while watching my friends play it, why would I bother with the second one? So back to the original point. I took the plunge and bought the third game, trying to push aside any prejudice I had about the series in order to give the game a blank slate, make sure it was judged by its own merits. In the end though, this was a complete waste of time and effort, as I could have honestly taken any thoughts I had about Fable 1, apply them to this supposedly new game and almost nothing would have been off the mark.

Albion is still a world full of things you do not need to do, and if you do happen to do them, there is really no tangible reward. Any reward you would also get, even if it were an actual help, would not be needed anyway, as all you need to beat the game is two thumbs and half of a working eye. Playing on the normal setting was such an absolute joke that I only died in the game once, and that was only because I was not paying the slightest bit of attention to the game at that moment. Regardless of this though, there is no such thing as an armor stat, so your frilly pirate prince shirt apparently affords all the same protection of that suit of armor you bought.

The story to this game, while keeping a sense of flow, is completely stupid. By the by, I am going to spoil the whole plot here, because it's fucking March, the game came out in November and a Paddington Bear book reads better. You're the prince...your brother, the king sucks. He's a dick, and he hadda break a few eggs in front of you to make his royal omelet. So you get mad, run away like a sissy, and get people to follow you by hugging them, or playing patty-cake, or fighting some easy undead a paraplegic 4 year old can fend off. Then you go yell at him, he gives you the kingdom, then you have to fight off the BP oil spill with the help of a man with a hookah, and a bald woman Lion Head had the common sense to leave out a romance subplot for, because bald women are gross. I am guessing there is a message there somewhere. Oh and you also have the help of a gruff, old British man who suffers a series of personal trials that makes you care infinitely more about him than any of the faceless whores you can marry and knock up in the game.

Speaking of those...things, like in any Fable game you can marry almost any NPC you meet in the course of the game. However, each city only has about a grand total of oh...I dunno, 4 face models, maybe. Or maybe it's only 4 face models stretched out over the course of the game with differing clothing, who knows. Point is, like I said, you can marry any of these people, and have children, assuming it is a heterosexual relationship (I guess, I wouldn't know if Albion has Butt-babies). However, the problem is with this game, and the games before this is that if you are a remotely normal person, you will not give a crap about any of the semi-faceless, one word-track set of people you can become betrothed to. If you can somehow find yourself giving half a crap about the NPCs you can do anything with in this game, then that simply means you are the type of person that goes into a department store and names all the mannequins, and remembers those names on each subsequent visit.

Lastly combat is the same as it has been in Fable previous; if you use melee, you're an idiot. Dump everything into AoE magic and go nuts. You can target spells, but why would you? You have near infinite health and eventually you can cover the screen in pretty much everything you want. I happened to choose lake of fire+ raining ice shards. However, I am sure that like the rest of this pointless game, the magic combos you use are totally up to you.