Playing With My Weiner

Gaming at the mercy of miniature daschunds.

Weinercast Wednesday October 29, 2008

The Weinercast is go! This week I discuss the WoW Zombie Invasion and the Fall Game Glut.

As always, the Weinercast is available on Gwyddia - Weinercast

Please leave us a review or a comment/question, and we’ll address it on air next week!

And a non-iTunes link if you need it.

 

Review: Fable II October 28, 2008

Filed under: 4 weiners,Araan,Games,Reviews,XBox 360 — Gwyddia @ 3:57 pm
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From Araan:

 

This is NOT a stereotype.  No.

This is NOT a stereotype. No.

You’ve seen a lot about Fable II on this site. Actually, I should say you’ve seen a lot about Peter Molyneux, Fable’s creator, who has Chronic Foot-In-Mouth Disease. You may have seen an article or listened to a Weinercast here and there in which his penchant for over-promising and under-delivering has been discussed.

 

I’m a fan of the original Fable and was ready to give Fable II a fair shake. I eagerly slipped the disc into the Xbox 360 and waited impatiently through the Microsoft and Lionhead bumpers for the actual Start screen to show.

 

Starting the game allows you to choose between playing a male or female Hero — a choice unavailable in the original — and is followed by a beautifully rendered cutscene that drops you into the middle of the action into the town of Bowerstone from the first game. It’s hundreds of years after the time of Fable, though, and the world has changed greatly. You’ll find early on, for instance, that no one really believes in Will (magic) anymore, and that firearms are now commonplace. Fable II represents a more rational, almost Renaissance-like world compared to the more fairytale-like medieval world of the original Fable.

 

Many of the elements of the new edition of the land of Albion will seem familiar. Yep, there are still Demon Doors that lead to treasure once you’ve figured out what’s needed to open them. Chests containing goods abound. The chief difference is that the Hero’s Guild is no more; it was destroyed in the time between the two games, and there are no heroes anymore until you come along. (It’s implied throughout the game that you are a descendant of the character from the first Fable, who is referred to as the Hero of Oakvale.)

 

Fable II is a game that I would say appeals to both “passengers and sailors”. That is, it’s very easy for even the most casual gamer to enjoy, while also offering rewards for those who wish to play deeper inside of it. Let’s take two cases to illustrate: the Dog and making money. A lot has been said about the Dog, and I find the concept and the implementation both innovative and refreshing. Honestly, what hero runs around with a minimap in his head? The dog is a much more natural way of finding your way around. There’s also a trail of “reverse breadcrumbs” wherever you go — you’ll find that following a golden, glowing trail will lead you to your quest destinations.

 

There’s so much going on in Fable II that it’s tempting to delay pursuing the story while interacting with the rest of the world, much as I did. You’ll find that the story itself is well-plotted and full of unexpected twists and a couple of breathless, I-can’t-believe-that-just-happened moments.

Take A!  And B!  And A again!

Take A! And B! And A again!

 

And then there’s money — it’s ridiculously easy to come by. A number of jobs have been implemented in the game. These are essentially minigames that you’re paid to play. They have different “skins” as it were, but the play is more or less the same whether you’re a blacksmith or a woodcutter. You mash the A button at the right time, you make gold. That’s it. You can rack up a few thousand gold coins in a short time. If you’re eager to upgrade your gear it’s an easy way to make some money; if you’re looking at a longer-term investment you can put your cash into real estate by buying a house or business. Your rental fees accumulate even while you’re not playing, so it can be a big moneymaker over time to invest for the long term.

 

The game shipped with some problems. Audio sometimes goes out of sync with the rest of the game, causing stuttering and other annoying effects. I also have to fault Lionhead, again, for releasing the game without the promised — and still MIA at the time of this writing — online multiplayer feature that so many were looking forward to.

 

For being worth your $60 despite Molyneux’s best attempts to the contrary, Fable II gets 4 weiners out of 5.

 

Peter Molyneux, Part VII October 23, 2008

Filed under: Araan,Games,Industry,Kotaku,Reviews — Gwyddia @ 2:52 pm
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As per Kotaku, Peter Molyneux is all verklempt at the Fable II reviews he’s read. He believes that Fable II is “one of the hardest games to review”, and thanked the critical community for their “patience and belief”. Not me, Petey-boy. I have no more patience in you, and I don’t believe in your game. That’s why I am making Araan review Fable II this weekend.

 

WoW Paladin Changes October 21, 2008

Filed under: Blizzard,Games,World of Warcraft — Gwyddia @ 12:34 pm
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From Araan:

Are WoW Paladins really overpowered? Not so, says Blizzard. Though they implemented a hotfix to tone down Paladins some, and there are some changes on the way, blue posts say that Paladin damage is right on target. They only thing they want to change is to make it less “bursty”, which I can get behind since uncontrollable crit strings are bad to having low threat.

Also, I’m eagerly awaiting my copy of Fable 2 from GameFly and will give you my fair and balanced opinion of it as soon as I’ve had a day or two to come to grips with it.

 

Peter Molyneaux Needs to Shut His Damn Mouth Parts V and VI October 10, 2008

Filed under: Games,Other Folks,Penny Arcade,Pups,Uncategorized — Gwyddia @ 2:01 pm
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Why am I a moron??

Why am I a moron??

I didn’t realize this was going to be come a regular series, but so be it.

First, instead of fretting over having Fable II not become the laughingstock of the industry, Peter Molyneaux is fretting over the casual/hardcore divide. Of course, Fable II, which is all things to all people. Molyneaux is unhappy that Fable has been “pigeonholed” as an RPG, just because it has quests, leveling, character development, plot, etc. Poor, Peter Peter crow eater.

Second, if you ditch your dog in Fable II, you’re a terrible person who is going directly to Hell. Now I love me some animals, pups especially. That being said, I don’t like being made to feel guilty by games. Petey-boy says he decided not to have a dog disattachment option because “I wanted people to realize this dog loves you.” Of course, the first time you fight with the dog around he gets hurts, so that’s love, right?

That being said, Gabe and Tycho, I love you.

 

Fable II WILL Have Online Co-Op at Launch October 9, 2008

Filed under: Games,Rumors — Gwyddia @ 1:40 pm
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According to our friends at Kotaku, Fable II will have an online co-op multiplayer available as a patch if you are connected to XBox Live.

Apparently the Fable II dev blog makes it plain. I’d believe it, since it doesn’t come from You Know Who’s mouth.

 

Weinercast Wednesday – Truth In Advertising October 8, 2008

The Weinercast is go! This week Araan and I discuss Big Game Hype. When does the hype kill the experience? When do big games live up to the hype? Featuring a special Fable II “advertisement”!

 

As always, the Weinercast is available on Gwyddia - Weinercast

 

Please leave us a review or a comment/question, and we’ll address it on air next week!

 

And a non-iTunes link if you need it.

 

Also, as promised, here are the links for Fantastic Contraption and WoW Radio.

 

Molyneaux still talking: Fable II DLC October 7, 2008

Filed under: Games,Rumors — Gwyddia @ 4:39 pm
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Despite being bound and gagged by Microsoft PR people, Peter Molyneaux has told VideoGamer.com that Lionhead would be “pretty dumb” if they weren’t planning Fable II downloadable content.  Before receiving his tranquilizer dart, Molyneaux opined that he wouldn’t “want it to be just a whole load of new weapons and armour.” When might these riches materialize?  Who knows, but The Weiner’s favorite designing head would prefer if people “didn’t have to wait months and months for it as well.” 

 

You know, online multiplayer isn’t weapons and armor, and people don’t want to wait for it…

 

Fable II “CE”: Are you KIDDING me? October 4, 2008

Filed under: Games,Kotaku,Rumors,XBox 360 — Gwyddia @ 10:19 am
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As per Kotaku, the increasingly inaptly-named Fable II Collector’s Edition may be trimmed down even more than we thought.

 

Apparently now the developer’s diary and soundtrack are no longer going to be on the “bonus” DVD. No further price cuts, though. Enjoy paying $70 for a making of featurette an extra dungeon of indeterminate length, and some completely out of place (if cool) Spartan armor and energy sword. Or so they tell us this week. We’ve still got seventeen days till the North American release. I’m sure they can trim some more of that fat before then.