Posts tagged xbox

Fable III Cover

My Kingdom for a Fable (3)! Review: A Rebellion

Ever wanted to lead a rebellion? Wanted to run your own kingdom? Wanted to be the ultimate Lute Hero?! Well here is your chance to do all three! Yes, that’s right, Lute Hero. I think someone needs to get on that, could be the next big thing. My adventure with Fable 3 started at 11:35 at night where I decided to travel to the midnight opening with my cane, because my busted and painful knee meant nothing when I could start playing Fable 3 that very night. A note though, don’t take a friend who doesn’t have a 360 and doesn’t really like the Fable series because s/he will rip off the plastic and the sticky bit of your game without feeling or emotion without your permission. It was tragic.

So what are some of the biggest changes for Fable? Well, get this, the Hero has a voice! Yes that’s right ladies and blokes! Your very own Hero, male or female, will actually have the ability to talk, and uses that ability every so often! No more are the days of the pantomime character who expresses feelings and actions with only expressions. Kissing will sound like ravenous dogs biting at meat, and the sex will have you wondering… well, will just have you wondering what exactly they’re doing. They also have employed some top notch voice acting with their characters, such as Stephen Fry, John Cleese, Simon Pegg, Sir Ben Kingsley, and Bernard Hill.

I start this game as I’ve started the other two, being insanely good and fair, and like in Fable II, a lass. If you have a Fable II save on your 360 it will upload it and references will be made to what the former King or Queen did before, regardless of your starting gender. I usually play the game three times at the least; Angelically good, Morally Ambiguous, and Horribly evil. Although with this installment, the characters and story telling make me feel guilty for doing anything Other than being the best person ever. Hence my evil campaign goes slowly, so I’m not bogged down with metaphorical guilt.

As you may or may not have heard, the new addition to the Fable series is a two-parter, story-wise. And here is where I review what steps (in a somewhat reduced spoiler way) are to be taken that will end the evil rule of your brother, King Logan! *Please insert gasps here*

Within the first five minutes of play you will have to make several decisions that affect your moral standing right away. This leads to your mentor, Sir Walter Beck, deciding that now is the time that a revolution is needed, and that night he takes you and your faithful dog out of the castle, with Jasper, your butler, following, as faithful as your dog is. It is then revealed that your Mother, (in my case) the Hero Queen, was not the last Hero of Albion, you are! *Pretend to be shocked now* You soon gain the ability to cast magic, a fire spell, with a gauntlet instead of the usual Will ability inherent in the blood. Then you find the Sanctuary.

This is an interesting, and very important place. This is where you will go almost every time you pause the game. Your Armoury, Dressing room, Trophy room, and Xbox LIVE room is found here, as well as game options and a look your Hero’s skills and morality. Jasper stays here and will let you know when something happens or he wants to talk to you. It’s also the place where you’ll find and take quests, and even manage your real estate ventures, or even divorce your spouse, (should you not want to do it face to face.)

Your first task to start the revolution is to gain supporters and followers. But of course it would be too easy to just walk up to the different areas and get them to agree to help. First are the Dwellers, then the village of Brightwall. The King of the Dwellers needs you to do three tasks for him to prove that they can trust you, which involves you going to Brightwall. While in Brightwall you must prove yourself to the people there in order for them to help the Dwellers. To get the help that you need you must makes promises to the people; To give the mountains and land back to the Dwellers, and to re-open the Brightwall Academy. If you want to be evil then you must wait until the end to do anything about these promises. Fake your sincerity while you press the button if it makes you feel better.

Sir Walter and you are then off again after an interesting encounter with Hobbes, to Mourningwood! To a ragtag bunch of soldiers who are fighting Hollowmen. Help them fight off the hollowmen and you’ll have your next set of supporters after giving another promise concerning the Royal Army. Then you’re off to Bowerstone, one step closer to the Bowerstone Castle and freeing the people from their oppression. You’ll meet the Resistance in the sewers and have to prove yourself once again. And you’ll have an interesting run in with Reaver. Yup, Reaver is still sacrificing people to keep his immortality, and he’s dressed for the occasion. You must promise to help the poor and the children of Bowerstone Indrustial to get this support. (Did I mention a heavy Steampunk influence? Because I make Steampunk costumes, and I was practically drooling.)

Along your travels you are allowed to go off and complete other quests, or work for some extra gold to pick up some items, or to save for a rainy, bloody, day, (start amassing money now, Trust me.) Fable II players, remember the gargoyles? The ones that would insult you if you got close, that you had to shoot? No they’re not back. It’s worse! Gnomes. That’s right, talking, insulting, annoying, gnomes. That you have to shoot. And you’ll do it gladly if you find them.

Next up, I’ll go over the last step to the revolution and the ultimate threat. Note to those who can freak themselves out by playing games at night, or thinking of creepers in a dark hallway while you’re in it, alone; this last part is not to be played in total darkness. … Just me? Oh,… well, then you can just ignore that….

The Nerdy Casual Gamer

Ok, let me preface by saying that I am in no way a “gamer”, but I do like to play video games. I have two of the three major systems in my house. Well, I have 3, but I only have a Playstation 2. We have both the Wii and the Xbox 360. And handheld-wise, we have Sony’s Playstation Portable and Nintendo’s DS. When I say we, I mean – my husband and I. The amount of money which has been spent on video games in our household could probably cure the national debt. Well, maybe not so much – but you get what I’m saying. We have a lot of games for all the systems. Our fearless leader, Miss Woots, had this idea about reviewing all the systems and asked for me to take a stab at it. So here we go. Again, this is from a standpoint of a casual gamer. Not a Fragg Doll.

Let’s begin our tale with the Playstation 2. Now, this system is a juggernaut. Sony has yet to stop releasing games for this system. Why? Because it had sold more units than any of the new generation systems (source). I still use my PS2. However, the only reason I use it is to play my favorite video game series (Kingdom Hearts). We have a few games for the console and we’ve owned it since March of 2003. We have yet had to replace it (*knock on wood*). Why on earth would Sony stop making the PS2 when they’re still selling consoles?

However, should the Kingdom Hearts series make its way to PS3, then this will be the title that will be a system buyer in our household. It’s unfortunate but true. There are many fun games on the PS3, but to me – it’s more about the Blu-Ray player than it is about the graphics. If you want a good Blu-Ray player, and wouldn’t mind playing some video games, then the PS3 is your ticket. The Playstation Network (comparable to Xbox Live’s network) is ok. You can download games, as well as stream movies from Netflix. However, when it comes to networks, I actually prefer Xbox to Sony. I know that I don’t own a PS3, but you can use the Playstation Network with the Playstation Portable (PSP). I would say that the Xbox interface is more user friendly.

Which brings us to the Xbox. The Xbox 360 is a great console. I love having one. I don’t play a lot of games, but the games that I do play, I have a ton of fun. Being able to talk with your friends via “party”, or just sending voice and/or text messages via the console is great. There are many games on that system that are meant for a casual gamer – such as, Castle Crashers and Peggle. I have spent many a night playing those two games with my friends. What’s great about Castle Crashers is that it is 4 person co-op game – you can play with up to 4 friends at the same time. This is one of the main reasons I love our Xbox. Xbox also has made it extremely easy to intergrate your “social network” through the console. When you have a Gold account (an Xbox Live account, essentially), you can access both Twitter and Facebook. You can tweet from you console, as well as update your FB status. For someone as directly connected to the social media network, I loved this integration. M$ gets points from me for this feature. Plus, with the Gold account, you can download trials for games that you may or may not want to play. It’s like a test drive for a car, but for video games. I’m sure we’ve all bought some pretty terrible games in our past. How great is that option? I mean, ‘Family Feud’ sounds fun and all, but is it really? Let’s download it and find out!

I’d like to take a minute and direct our attention to the handheld devices before I move on to the third and final console. I really don’t know what I would do when I go to the doctor’s office if I didn’t have my handheld devices. My DS saved my sanity when my mother was in the CCU a few years ago – but that’s neither here nor there.

As stated previously, I have both a DS (actually, I have a DS, a DS Lite and a DS XL) and a Sony PSP. Both are two very different machines. We purchased the DS a few months after launch (we have both the Gameboy SP and Gameboy Micro). I had gone to e3 in 2003 and played Mario Kart and then realized what a fun system it really was. Eventually, we bought two DS’. And that was a blessing in disguise because a game called “Animal Crossing” came out. I wish I was joking when I tell you that I played that game every single day for 3 years. That’s devotion. Or insanity. Or a little bit of both. There are a TON of games for the DS – my personal favorites are Super Mario 64 DS and then Kingdom Hearts 358/2 (surprised? i didn’t think so). Another great game for the DS – if you like role playing games – is ‘The World Ends With You’. There are Zelda titles, as well as fun games like ‘Scribblenauts’ – where you write a word and then a picture is drawn of that word. So, you write ‘elephant’ and an elephant appears. It’s fantastic! The DS also has the capability of going online – being able to play with players, as long as you have a friend code, for certain games. My love for the DS is never ending. The battery life is about 9-10 hours, give or take. I love the DS so much that when they release the new 3DS, we will be purchasing it for our household. I’d like to say we’ll be able to buy 2 at launch, but at a $300 (as of right now), that’s a little steep. But for sure our household will have one.

Now on to Sony’s Playstation Portable. I really like this system a lot. The graphics are far superior to that of Nintendo’s, however – it is a UMD system. A UMD is like a very small DVD (non technical term). Because it is a disc-driven system, the noise that it produces while trying to load is beyond ridiculous. There was one game I was playing and all I could think was “I think I can, I think I can” as I heard the UMD spinning. One game that I played ‘Final Fantasy VII:Crisis Core’ had cinematic cut-scenes that looked as if I was watching a DVD. Amazing. However, the noise of the UMD spinning is a bit distracting and makes it rather difficult to play the console in bed when your spouse is trying to sleep. Graphics – A+. Functionality – C. But, you can access the web with the PSP. So, there is that. And, you can use the PS Network, downloading games to your memory card (the DS has an internal memory, the PSP requires a memory card). The battery life for the PSP is about 5-7 hours, depending on if the game you’re playing requires a lot of juice (cue The Little Engine That Could).

Now, this casual gamer’s favorite console – the Nintendo Wii. I love my Wii. We’ve had it since launch, and we only just had to replace the hard drive this past summer (that was heartbreaking – losing all of my saved games? I held a funeral for them). The Wii is a perfect machine if you like to entertain. There are plenty of games that you can pick up while having friends over, and anyone can play. We’ve had quite a few parties where we end up playing ‘WarioWare’, basically throwing the Wiimote around like ‘hot potato’. And of course there’s Wii Sports. Who doesn’t love playing 4 person Mii Bowling? I think Nintendo finally found a niche – market to the casual gamers, or people who really had never played video games before. That’s not to say that there aren’t games on the Wii that are meant specifically for gamers (i.e. Red Steel, Goldeneye, etc). However, Nintendo is known for their heavy hitters – ‘Legend of Zelda’, ‘Mario’ and ‘Metroid’. ‘Mario Galaxy’ – both 1 and 2 – are fantastic games. They are easy enough for anyone to pick them up, but as the stages progress, you then find yourself feeling more like a gamer due to the difficulty level raising up quite a bit. If Nintendo were to only make those three games, I’d still be a fangirl. I love those characters that much.

This concludes our casual gamers’ look at the “console wars”. If you have a lot of friends that play the Xbox, buy an Xbox. If you are a person who loves technology and loves to have everything be crystal-clear images, buy a PS3. If you just like to entertain and have friends over, buy the Wii. And hand-held wise, prettier graphics – PSP. Hours and hours of entertainment without worrying if the battery is going to die – DS. I hope that what I’ve told you about may help sway you to purchase that particular console you’ve been eyeing.

Hot time in the Old Town Tonight!

To those of you ladies who are playing Halo: Reach, the guys of Achievement Hunter(Also the guys who bring you Red vs. Blue)are hosting a community playdate tonight from 8-10 Central time. I’ll be about, my Gamertag is Tenii87. Drop me a friend request or a party invite and I can show you my somewhat mad skills…well my slowly developing mad skills. 😛

PRELUDE to Halo: Reach

September 13, 2010 – 23:22

Best Buy. At the door, I’m greeted by an ODST Helljumper. Next to him, a soldier of the retail variety, clad in blue and khaki armour (pretty crappy armour, actually). He hands me a grey beanie, a blow up Energy Sword, and motions me in. Gathered around TVs, a group of us eagerly await 0:01. White and black controllers gripped by the hands of Halo fans, blasting round after round of pistol and Assault Rifle into the others’ faces. All laughing, some sort of caffeinated beverage in hand, discussing their experiences with the other games. This, was a small group of the Halo Nation. This was what Halo can do. Bring a group of diverse people together (well, all geeks), and have them be able to smile and reminisce.

My hands sweat a little as I stand on line, pre-order slip in hand, ID in the other (it’s Best Buy pick-up policy). I am first to check out. Rocking the Noble Team beanie, I hoist my Legendary Edition (shut-up) in the air as the others tell me to enjoy and clap. Likewise peoples.

I return home.

This was it. The unboxing, like foreplay, slowly undressing piece by piece until you get to the core and bask in the majesty. Then just lay they afterwards, smiling, glowing.


Since the release Halo: Combat Evolved, I’ve been a huge fan. Because of the epic story, the badassity of the Master Chief, the co-op, multiplayer LAN parties through system link, Halo was this game that surpassed the game. It became a universe, through the various books (which I read, thank you very much), comics, etc. But also through the various people who bonded over it. It was this amorphous mass, much like the Gravemind, that grew and took gaming from this “in the basement, nerd” thing to a mainstream audience. And it helped Microsoft compete with their newly released X-Box.

So when I dropped almost $150 on what to many of my friends was a huge cardboard box, albeit awesomely designed, it was worth it. This was the last of Bungie’s installments. It was their swan song to all of the millions of players. To me, Halo was part of my life for almost a decade. This was worth it.


Part 2 Coming Later Today or Tomorrow! Full of review, who the hell I am, and other awesome saucery!

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