Showing posts with label fable. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fable. Show all posts

Sunday, February 2, 2014

If You Liked The Original, Don't Overlook Fable Anniversary

Update: REVIEW now available

Fable Anniversary, an HD remake of Lionhead's now ten year old Xbox original adventure/rpg hybrid Fable will be available for purchase both at retail and online this Tuesday (at least in North America) for $39.99. The question you may be asking yourself is, is it worth the asking price? Considering the fact that this is a remake of an already existing game, that question seems entirely warranted and valid. Let's consider the facts and perhaps together we will answer this question for you.

The first thing anyone who has played the original will notice upon first seeing Fable Anniversary in action is of course the updated visual fidelity. Lionhead, tasked with bringing Fable to the modern era, utilized the Unreal 3 engine and employed 100 artists with the aim of totally redoing the textures, lighting and special effects. Widescreen support was added, a very important upgrade since the original Fable only supported a 4:3 aspect ratio. This might not sound like much in 2014 but pop in the original Fable and you'll be met with black bars on both sides of the image, which are now thankfully removed as the native aspect ratio has been updated to the industry standard, widescreen enabled 16:9.

In addition to the aforementioned textures and lighting, draw distances were improved, as were the particle effects, shadows and water effects. All of this has resulted in a much prettier version of the original game. It still retains the visual style and flair of the original while updating the visual offerings to a level more suitable for consumption in the modern era.

One of the strengths of the original game was the sound, especially the musical score. At the time, this high point was held back by audio compression as well as being limited to two channel (stereo) audio. Fast forward ten years and the original score that was so beloved by the fans is not only still intact but allowed to shine, freed from the chains of compressed, two channel audio. For the first time, fans of the Fable will be able to play the game they love with no limits placed on the aural experience. Multi channel surround sound and uncompressed audio are now a part of the Fable experience.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Impressions

Well, a year after the whole 38 Studios/State of Rhode Island fiasco I finally got my hands on (rental) the game at the centre of it all: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Bullshit of DLC

The Bullshit of DLC

Note: This is an old post that was sitting unpublished in my draft list. It may be outdated in terms of some specific details. 

Okay, so I have been bitching about DLC for quite some time, on an intermittent basis. While I have provided some examples in the past of what I believe constituted bullshit, ripoff, exploitative DLC, and what I considered fair DLC worth purchasing, I never provided an open shut case for my stance.

This time, however, I have done some homework, and I think what I have come up with constitutes damn near investigative journalism. Hey, if the 'pro' video game journalists don't have the balls to do it, someone has to step up and do it for them, right? Might as well be me!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Why I Love RPG's So Much. (And What Took Me So Long to Realize It)

The last few years, I have really attained a love for role playing games. But it wasn't always that way. Come with me on a journey, a journey where a young, biased action gamer learns that RPG's can be fun too.....

The story begins a long time ago. A time when this:

Viva la mullet!

was considered okay to sport around town (I never had one).

See, I have been gaming since the late 80's, and growing up, all I played were action games and platformers, with the occasional puzzle game thrown in. I had seen and heard of role playing games, but I wrote them off as boring and stupid, and never bothered to play one until I played Quest 64 in the mid '90's. That shitty game confirmed my preconceived notions, and put me off of rpg's for another several years, until I played Fable on xbox.

*waits for flames*

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Nostalgia: Do You Experience It? Also, A Hypothetical Situation.

Nostalgia: Do You Experience It? Also, A Hypothetical Situation.

Many gamers experience a phenomenon referred to as nostalgia. What this is, for those who do not know, is a feeling of longing for the past that is fraught with (often times) bittersweet sentimentality. Specifically, in reference to video games, nostalgia is a longing for a time in which certain video games systems, and certain video games, were current. The gamer was younger, and they were experiencing beloved games from what is now their past as brand new, cutting edge, and exciting. An example of this is someone remembering their  birthday in 1991, a day during which they received a Sega Genesis console with two games and they spent 10 hours that day playing those games with their brother, and hours more every day of the week for years afterwards. They remember this and they long for those days. They wish they could go back to them, and they feel like nothing these days reaches that level of emotional impact and/or just plain fun.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Ruminating on Destruction (The Demise of Classic Video Game Franchises)

Back in January I wrote a blog post entitled “My Favourite Franchises Are Being Destroyed

In light of recent events, I have taken it upon myself to produce a follow up to said post. I am not sure what form the following will take (measured, rational assessment of things as I see them, an angry, emotional, irrational rant, or some combination of the two) but I do know that I am compelled to revisit this perhaps tired, but in my mind terribly poignant point: Classic video game franchises are being utterly raped in this seventh video game generation.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Worst Video Game Sequels Of All Time

Worst Video Game Sequels Of All Time

There's nothing quite like the anticipation for a sequel to a truly remarkable game. Likewise, there's nothing quite like the sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach that occurs when one realizes that said sequel fucking sucks. This has happened to all gamers at some point in their gaming life, and to most of us, it has happened on multiple occasions over the years. The incidence rates of this horrific plague have likely decreased, and significantly at that, due to the rise to prominence of the internet and the boom of the video game journalism trade. Now, we're inundated with previews, footage, interviews, demos, and reviews, so it's a lot harder to get bitch slapped with a shit sequel. Not that it doesn't happen. Somehow, despite all of it, it's still possible to get rooked. Science knows I have, several times over.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Video Game Memories Pt. 4: Sixth Generation (Xbox/PS2/GCN/DC Era)


The Xbox was my favourite console last gen. I owned a Gamecube as well, although I did not get my PS2 until this generation (the seventh) was already underway. Anyways, the Xbox is from where most of the gaming memories from this generation are derived, so I will mostly focus on that.

The xbox was released in North America on November 15th, 2001. My brother and I received ours on Christmas, a day I still fondly recall. The xbox has provided me with innumerable memories, some of which I will detail here.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Christianity in a Nutshell (Brand NEW, not a copy)

Once upon a time, there was this eternal being named Yahweh (who was also referred to as simply God). This god character existed in an absolute vacuum with respect to time and space; ie, he existed within nothingness. This eternal being who existed in nothingness and would eventually be referred to as the very thing which he was (god) was lonely and decided to create some creatures to keep him company. With his infinite power and imagination, he created finite, fragile, bipedal creatures known as human beings. Of course, before he did this, he had to create a plane of existence in which we could live, and so, god created the universe. In six days.

That's right, god created an inconceivably gigantic universe just for us human beings in six days, although these days were, at least according to some, actually each about a thousand or so years long, as opposed to the 24 hour long periods of time we have since encapsulated and called days. Length of the six days (or “days,” if you prefer) aside, god then planted a bunch of evidence to make it seem as though we are the products of 2 billion years or so of evolution, and the universe in which we exist is 14 billion years old. Why did he do this? I don't know.....*shakes head* but anyways, again, I find myself digressing.

After making this mischievously much-younger-than-the-evidence-seems-to-tell-us universe just for us, he created a paradise within it called the Garden of Eden, and in that garden he placed the very first of us. Two brand spanking new, completely innocent, completely naked humans (foreskin and all), frolicking in this amazing garden called Eden. These humans were named Adam and Eve (not Adam and Steve lololololol aren't we clever!!).

Of course, god, being omniscient, omnibenevolent, omnipresent and omnipotent, decided to create a tree of knowledge, which he did not want them to eat from, and which, if they did eat from it, would cast them into eternal disrepute with their creator god who created both their curiosity and the tree on which they could exercise said curiosity. Following this stroke of genius, he then created a talking snake to tell them to eat from the tree. After Eve listened to the snake, and ate from the tree, god got pissed off at them and decided that they and all future generations should be punished for their sins.

After many incest fuelled generations had passed, god decided that things weren't working out, and so he did a do-over (took a mulligan, for you golfers). This do-over, or mulligan, took the form of killing everyone and everything on the Earth, with the exception of 2 of every “kind” of animal, a 600 year old man named Noah, and his family. God instructed Noah to build a gigantic wooden arc, which was designed to house all of the animals as well as Noah and his family, so that they could all survive the giant worldwide flood that god was about to unleash in order to kill everyone and everything (except for his chosen boat friends).

This worldwide flood mysteriously went unnoticed by the ancient civilizations that were well under way during that time, but to be fair, the flood was one of those “blink and you'll miss it” worldwide floods. In fact, the water disappeared afterwards, never to be seen again.

After a number of years of re-population through incest (always a biblical favourite), god selected a small group of Jewish people from Israel, known as Israelites, to be his special group. He then appeared to Moses, a burly Egyptian, in a burning bush, told him to remove his sandals (sense of propriety and what not) and then, once Moses had removed his sandals, he told Moses to travel back to Egypt in order to free god's chosen group of Jews from slavery.

Moses expressed doubt that the Israelites would believe that he was sent by god, and so god turned Moses’ stick into a snake and subjected his skin to leprosy, in order to show him how he would convince the people. God then told Moses that if the Israelites still did not believe him that Moses should give them an encore and take water from the river Nile (fantastic death metal band, btw), and pour it into the sand because it would turn to blood and that should convince them that Moses was legit.

With me so far?

Good, let's continue our tale.

Ocne Moses arrived in Egypt, he encountered Pharaoh and asked for the Israelites to be freed. God, playing double agent for the lulz, hardened Pharaoh’s heart, which resulted in his refusal to let Moses' people go. The fact that god got exactly what god wanted when he hardened Pharaoh's heart pissed god off, as god doesn't like getting exactly what he bargained for. God liked surprises goddamn it. And so, in the spirit of being an incredible asshole, god released a series of 10 plagues upon Egypt.

1)He turned all of the water in Egypt into blood, and killed all of the fish.

2)He unleashed an infestation of Frogs.

3)He sent Lice to crawl over every man, woman and beast that lived in the land.

4)God then sent a cloud of insects to attack the people.

5)He then made a severe pestilence strike the livestock of the Egyptians.

6)God made it so that the Egyptian people were suddenly covered in boils.

7)God dispatched thunder, hail and fire to strike the lands.

8)God then sent Locusts to cover the sky and fields.

9)In a move so terrifying that it made everything prior to it seem like a walk on the beach on a warm, sunny, slightly breezy midsummer afternoon, god worked his evil magic and......made it so that......(are you ready for this?).....darkness then fell for 3 days. Bastard!

10)After the terrifying act of casting darkness for 3 days, resulting in the most stubbed toes to ever to occur in one 3 day period at any time in history, antiquity or otherwise, god decided to be a bit more lenient and for the tenth and final act, went easy on the terrified and toe stubbed Egyptians, this time merely killing their first born children.

After the death of all the first born children, including Pharaoh's own son, Pharaoh is convinced and the Israelites are able to leave Egypt and told about the promised land, which was to be theirs, but only after they were tested and found their faith in god.

And so god had the Israelites wander around the desert for 40 years, until their generation died away.

They weren't able to reach the promised land, because somewhere along the way, they had lost faith in god and built a golden calf, which they had begun to worship. This pissed off Moses, who had gone away to Mount Sinai to have the Ten Commandments dictated to him by god, which he then inscribed onto some tablets, since they didn't have Dictaphones at that time and the first generation PC's were too damn expensive. They cost one bronze coin at that time. Do you know how many concubines Moses could have purchased for that kind of money? Besides, the PC's only had floppy disks for storage at that time, and they were still using 14.4 external modems, which were slow as Molasses.

Anyways, Moses was pissed off about the golden calf, so he threw down the Ten Commandments, shattering them, then got hold of the golden calf that the Israelites had been worshipping, burned it, put the golden ashes in the Israelites water, and made them drink it. Moses then returned to Mount Sinai to get a second copy of The Ten Commandments, and the Jews continued to wander through the desert towards the Promised Land. They ended up dying off without ever being able to step foot in the place.

Moses never got to step foot in there either, but, god, feeling jovial one day, did decide to let Moses cast his eyes at the place, and we can only assume it was love at first sight, but it was doomed forever to be unrequited love, as Moses was NOT allowed in. God then promised the Promised Land to Moses' offspring. The new generation then stormed the Promised Land, which, in line with god's infinite capacity for evil, was already occupied. Well, the slaughter, rape, and enslavement of scores of men, women and children at god's command took care of that little wrinkle, and then the land was theirs.

After this, things sort of stagnated for a while. As the years passed, god's people kept screwing up. Their favourite boo boo was to worship graven images, which god hated, and so for a time there was a cyclical sort of pattern: god's people would worship graven images, thereby fucking up, and then they would get fucked up, as god would visit plagues upon them. God would also have other people conquer and exile his people, and then, invariably, those people, who had become god's new people, would screw up, usually involving graven images, and god would visit upon them plagues, which would conquer and exile them, and other people, which would ravage them with disease.....or maybe it was the other way around, I dunno.

Either way, the cycle repeated, as cycles do. Occasionally, as god's people would fuck up and god would prepare to reign down upon them the wrath of a jealous, anthropomorphic god, a particularly wise prophet or priest would appear and convince god to spare the people. This convincing would take the form of a sacrifice, by these prophets or priests, to god, of an animal with absolutely no defects. Apparently, the slaughter of one of the best designed of god's own creations, to god, by one of his other creatures, made him happy enough to convince him not to kill anyone else for a while.

Of course, they weren't there to convince him not to send a couple of bears to maul 42 children (no, sorry, youths) for making fun of a bald prophet for being bald. But hey, according to god, if you make fun of someone for being hairless, you deserve to be brutally murdered by a creature who is full of hair. And who's going to dispute god? Especially such a loving, merciful one?

Still with me?

Great, because it gets even better. (Believe it or not)

After many generations, god realized that this whole situation really was not ideal, and so, in an effort to save the people from their fate (the very fate he had created the conditions for) god, in his infinite brilliance, flashed on a fantastic idea: he would magically impregnate a virgin who would then give birth to a son Jesus, who was really god, and this son who was really god would be born, have three kings bring him shit, only to have him disappear for a while and reappear at the age of 30, whereupon he would be baptized, preach for a while, perform some miracles, get tortured and killed, resurrect 3 days later and ascend into heaven, thereby giving gods' creations a second chance at the salvation they had thus far been missing.

God then had all of this written down in what became the world's bestselling book of fictio-er.....well, bestselling book.

Now, according to this book, which some people jokingly refer to as “The Bible” (lol), whomever believes that this happened, thinks gays are evil, and is truly sorry for any wrongdoings they may have enacted during their short time on this earth is granted entrance to the eternal amusement park and avoids eternal torture. Even if they kill a bunch of long as they are very sorry and repent, they are granted an all access pass to eternal bliss at Six Flags Heaven (or, Six Flags: Heeven, as the New Zealanders call it).

Contrary to this, anyone who believes that this, just like all of the other similar stories, is a myth, and/or does NOT think gays are evil, and is truly sorry for any wrongdoings they may have enacted during their short time on this earth is tortured forever in hell, a place replete with things like hot oil being poured down your throat and having hot pokers jabbed into your eyes while your lower body is submerged in liquid hot magma.

According to some interpretations of this omniscient god's notoriously contentious and difficult to grasp book (a book which many people study their whole lives to try to fully understand), after some undisclosed amount of time, god/Jesus will (presumably without this time needing to metaphysically rape a virgin) return to the earth, and bring with him a time of terror and tribulation, followed by a time of peace, some instances of the dead coming back to life, and then the end of the world.......or something like that.

All of the believers who have met the conditions for entry to heaven, save for one (being dead ) will be ascended into heaven (or heeven) while the atheists, believers in the incorrect gods, believers who have NOT met all of the entry requirements, and Christopher Walkin, will be left behind. Satan is in there somewhere, running the show for a while (finally, the poor guy has been biding his time for thousands of years now, resigned to mundane shit like making people cheat on Algebra tests and telling their significant others that “no, those pants don't make you look fat); at least until God/Jesus returns and finally kicks his ass.........or something like that. This part is a bit confusing.

Some people say that this was intended to happen within a generation of the torture killing of god/Jesus, since there were a few lines in his book that well, literally said as much, but, since this book was merely inspired by, as opposed to being directly written by, this omniscient god, some things were said to have been lost in translation (anyone else just suddenly think of Bill Murray?).

Anyways, that's basically the story of christianity. Believe that the world was created by a lonely magical being 6-10 thousand years ago (so, you know, after we built the first houses, created languages, domesticated the dog and other animals, designed jewelry, etc) and that this being, after murdering nearly everything on earth in a scientifically impossible worldwide flood (see THIS blog for details on the impossibility of that particular little tale) metaphysically impregnated a human virgin who then gave birth to a baby boy named Jesus, who was the human manifestation of the god who impregnated her (don't ask) and who, after sacrificing himself to himself in order to allow himself to forgive us for living up to our design, mandated that we believe this happened lest it be for naught and we still end up in the hell that he created, but really, really, really doesn't want us to end up know, because he's infinitely merciful.