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The Bittersweetness of a Fable 2 Game Ending Glitch

November 3, 2008

I had spent about 15 hours playing Fable 2 and was about 75% through the game when I fell victim to a game-ending-glitch. In the final part of the Tattered Spire quest, the final confrontation never materialized leaving my character trapped on the Spire with no way to leave. With only one saved game allowed there were no prior save to start from and with no desire to start over this effectively ended the game for me. I am returning the game to Amazon for a full refund.

I certainly wish I had been able to complete the game and get the attendant Xbox Achievements and experience the conclusion of the story, on the other hand I enjoyed the time I spent with the game, I got a pretty good sense of the the world of Fable 2 and will be getting my money back (which I will be using to purchase Fallout 3), have avoided any possible frustration with trying to beat end-of-game bosses. I have also avoided any guilt at for buying a game I failed to finish (I’m looking at you Gears of War). The 15 hours I had spent with the game since release was also about the limit of my wife’s tolerance for such an endeavor. In sum, I am only slightly annoyed at this turn of events.

As evidenced by the preceding paragraph, I have also found the experience to be food for thought about what I like and dislike about games. As married 41-year-old with three still-attention-craving kids my conclusions are at least partly a function of my life circumstances, but what here’s what I like in games I play:

  • An entertaining story. Halo 3 and Bioshock had this. Games like GTA 4 and Fable 2, less so.
  • A difficulty level that provides a slight challenge, but doesn’t prevent me from completing the story in some mode (even if that mode is "easy"). Halo 3 did an excellent job of this, as did the combat system in Fable 2. Oblivion was excellent in that it let you adjust the difficulty level with a slider. GTA 4 eventually got too hard for me to want to bother with.
  • Not be too reliant on hand-eye coordination. I like games that let me overcome my lack of skill with preparation. Bioshock’s system of plasmids allowed this. No such system was present in GTA4 and it eventually led me to abandon the game about 80% of the way through.
  • Multiplayer that matches me with similarly incompetent players. Xbox live’s trueskill does a pretty good job of this, except when the universe of other players consists of devotees of a franchise. This made me one of the relatively few people (evidently) who enjoyed Shadowrun.
  • Graphics that transport me into some type of alternate world, or the equivalent of a good boardgame. Almost all triple-A games these days meet the first standard and well designed Xbox Live Arcade games like Carcasonne can easily meet the second.
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