On Saturday I played about four hours of "Fable II" during which I:
*Married Vicky the jeweler.
*Had a kid with Vicky the jeweler, a boy named Frank who has not aged but has grown to dislike me. Farting in front of him and giving him a girl's doll barely cheered him up. Go figure.
*Bought Vicky's former shop and raised prices 20%, which is apparently a "corrupt" thing to do.
*Robbed people in their homes.
*Done community service and realized that I can commit multiple crimes and only have one community service quest issued that absolves me of all of them -- the longer I wait to fulfill that one quest, the more crimes I can get away with in the interim. Bug?
*Gotten fat on three beers, despite eating some thinning celery.
*Seen floating icons representing other players visiting the same regions as me in their copies of the game. These icons included one gamer represented by an Obama logo and one by a McCain sign. It also included some French guys who tried to talk to me by calling out my gamertag. At one point, I and about a dozen floating icons all congregated at a blacksmith. I guess we were all hammering swords at the same time.
*Found the main quest, which involves finding three heroes, to be pretty basic, as did the dungeon design. The game's potential for greatness appears to be in its overworld and the interlocking simulations of property ownership, one's job(s), the trade economies and the many interpersonal relationships that can be forged with a rich variety of gestures.
*Oh, and I've trained the dog. To play dead. To stand on its hind legs. To fight. To dig for treasure. I haven't figured out how to teach it magic yet or "targeted urination." But the dog is wonderful, the best and most useful new video game companion since "Ocarina of Time"'s Navi -- at least.
Next: In horror game news, I'm almost off the Ishimura. Chapter 10 and counting.