|System: Xbox 360|
|Dev: Lionhead Studios|
|Release: February 4, 2014|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood and Gore, Language, Sexual Content, Use of Alcoho, Violence|
Fable Anniversary also has Xbox SmartGlass support which is neat, but easy to look over. It allows you to pull up the worldmap at any time and look up additional information on characters and other game elements. It’s cool, but connecting your mobile device to your Xbox is actually kind of a pain in the ass. Since this is basically just additional info, you are far better off simply navigating to, say, the Fable wiki on your smart device. You’ll basically get the same experience. This, more than anything, feels like a missed opportunity. The SmartGlass could have been used to control your menu screen, or as a free included strategy guide. Instead, it’s just another shallow gimmick.
We said before that the gameplay hadn’t changed much, and that’s both a point for and against Fable Anniversary. You can still mash the attack button through most encounters, especially if you specialized in melee combat. Spells are still incredibly unbalanced and can make most of the game a breeze if you put some effort into building your character. Dodging is basically useless, as is archery, and it’s easy to get stuck in a stun lock if you aren’t careful. That being said, the game is still very easy, compared to other RPGs of the time. You can hold enough health restore items that death never becomes an issue. Just waltz into danger sipping on your health soda and you’ll be fine.
It’s also worth noting that the game hasn’t really been “fixed” in its HD incarnation. All the bugs and problems from the original game have survived intact. While this is kind of nostalgic, it’s also incredibly frustrating. The game literally froze not but an hour in for me, and it happened more than once. Characters will get stuck on objects, quests will fail to trigger, and overall you’ll have to deal with problems that were more common two generations of game consoles ago. Luckily, the ability to save anywhere moderates the frustration a bit.
Final word? Fable Anniversary is fun because Fable is fun. In fact, playing Fable again makes you realize how much more fun it is than most modern day RPGs. Even despite its flaws, both technological and conceptual, Fable captured what was fun about old school RPGs. It had breakable systems, an epic plot and an interesting world that you could lose yourself in. It wasn’t built on gimmicks or new gameplay systems or attempt to reinvent the wheel. It was just a good, solid fun RPG, and it remains so to this day.
Angelo M. D’Argenio
Date: February 7, 2014