Game Diary - October 29, 2008: Time For Plan B In 'Fable II'

'Fable II'Despite reaching one difficult section of "Dead Space" that I thought I wouldn't be able to pass, I happily finished that game a couple of days ago.

I chose "Fable II" to be my next major game, having already gotten a good impression from the few hours I spent with it while taking a break from "Dead Space" days earlier.

But last night I was considering bailing out. I was considering abandoning one of the best-built games I've played. I didn't want to do it. And I've been scrambling to identify a way I can stick with it.

I am a fan of "Fable II"'s engine, its graphics, and its no-death, fast-travel gameplay system that wastes less of the player's time than the systems of most epic games. I like the dog. I like the music. I like all the options. But I've been finding the main quest flat, the side-quests only slightly more interesting and the design of the combat sequences lacking in tactical complexity. What's strange, though, is that I support almost every design decision the game's development team made.

Last night, after a few hours more with "Fable II," I got an idea about how this situation can improve. I've decided that the problem may not be how the game was made but what I've made of it. I've made my hero uninterestingly ugly, a fat barefoot man with horns and a black robe. His only decent fighting skill is artless melee combat. What I want to be is a slender villain who buys up all the real estate in town, jacks up prices to show off how "corrupt" he is, and has a dog that can perform magic. I'd find that fun and more amusing a role to play than a fat farter.

Can I re-mold a game I'm not enjoying as much as I want to by recalibrating the many features of its chemistry set? I'm going to try. If any "Fable II" players have any tips about what the most fun way is to shape my character, please let me know.

Next: As much as I'm determined to play more "Fable II," I feel the need to pop in "MotorStorm: Pacific Rift." It'll be a two game night, I think.