What is there to do after you beat Fable II, really?

When I sat down for the first time to play Fable II, I was enthralled. The whole charm of the game captured me from the first hour, and I never looked back. I played for hours on end, eventually beating the main story and most of the main side quests. Now, I'm not entirely sure how many hours I put into Fable II, but I could guess roughly about 20-25 hours.

Now for which side of the spectrum of morality I leaned towards, I played it naturally. I just chose whatever decisions made sense to me. I ended up being mainly good, but very corrupt. It's strange that you can be good in nature, but also very corrupt. They contradict each other.

Anyways, when I beat the main story,  (No boss battle by the way) I was left with about 4-5 side quests, which were completed in a matter of an hour or two. Now there isn't much else to do. I could try to own all of the property in Albion, but that doesn't seem worth it.

Now I am going to replay Fable as pure evil just to see what options are changed, because I enjoyed the game very thoroughly, but I'm just commenting on how short the game can be. They could have included a lot more side quests.

Although this post is very negative, don't misinterpret me, I enjoyed Fable II very much so.

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Rock Band - Pro's and Con's (Old review)

With the upcoming release of Rock Band 2, I'd thought I'd repost a review I wrote a while a go about the original Rock Band. You can give feedback if you'd like.

Pro’s and Con’s - Rock Band



Rock Band Gameplay
Any fan of the Guitar Hero series or of video games in general have been interested in any tidbit of news for Rock Band, and with reason to. Rock Band may not score points for originality, but why mess with a supreme formula? Harmonix, the creators of the first two Guitar Hero games, decided to leave the franchise for bigger and better things. They did exactly this. With Rock Band, you get Guitar Hero, plus Karaoke Revolution and the first drumming game available in North America. But with it’s heavy price, is it worth all the hype? Quite simply, yes, it is.

The peripherals
Let’s look at the peripherals. The Rock Band version of the guitar peripheral is called the Fender Stratocastor, and it is a bit different from the Guitar Hero guitars. First, the buttons are only coloured on top of the neck. Second, there are 4 additional buttons near the bottom of the neck for soloing. Finally, there is a 4-mode effect switch. (Including the no-effect mode) Some gameplay that is different is the solos. In it, the player does not need to strum, and can merely finger-tap the solo with the high buttons (in terms of octaves, if you‘re looking at this from just the buttons, then it would be the lower buttons), although it is not needed. Also, when the player goes into “overdrive”, the effects will kick in from the effect-switch. It does have a cheap feel to the hardware, however.

The drums consist of four pads in order of Red, Yellow, Blue, Green (different from the guitar) and a pedal that is displayed by a yellow line that comes across the screen. Although some drumming peripherals have been noted as ineffective, both my set and my friend’s sets have been effective for the most part. I started with medium difficulty, but others are having trouble with the rhythm. I don’t blame them. I’m having huge trouble stepping it up to the hard difficulty, mainly because of the seemingly random bass pedal notes. Other than that, it’s a blast playing the drums.

The microphone is basically a microphone. You can adjust the sensitivity of it in the song options menu and you can also turn up or down the vocal track. Medium is the best bet for awful singers, including myself. I have to note that if you go on World Tour Mode, and you do not know the song you’re about to sing, you’re going to have a lot of trouble. The best bet is hand it over to someone who does, or just hum and match the pitch. This will make up for hilarious moments, especially when someone overestimates notes or just completely fucks up the lyrics.

Finally, lets looks at some of the modes. If you’re going at it along, you have the Quickplay option or Solo Tour. These are pretty self explanatory modes. Solo Tour mimics the Guitar Hero series; You play the set-list, and when completed, you unlock a new set-list. With Multiplayer, a group of up to 4 people can play in Band Quick Play, or go on a full-out World Band Tour. In this mode, you start off with a local venue, playing easy songs to earn a small amount of fans. If you bail out of a song or fail it, you lose fans. Eventually, you start to play in bigger venues and travel across the world to earn fans and become ‘stars’. I use this term loosely because you look like fucking retards as a band playing this game, although it’s a guilty pleasure. Although this is a really fun game, you run into set-lists with just painstakingly awful songs, such as Train Kept On Rolling, by Aerosmith. When we see this song, we all let out a major groan. There can be many times that this happens in the game, but the better songs make up for it.

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Eventually you’ll deck out your band members with ridiculous costumes thanks to Rock Band’s custom player feature. This is a huge addition over Guitar Hero. There are four genres to choose from (Metal, Rock, Gothic and Punk) and often endless amounts to choose from. Including torso, pants and shoe options. Although this may seem like not a lot, but with over sometimes 20 options for each and four genres to choose from, it can be crazy with what you can think of. You can also choose the colours (primary and secondary in most cases) for each article of clothing. Then there’s the Ink and Scissors section. This means tattoos, and this also means highly customizable tattoos. First you can make layers of tattoos, then change the size. Then choose your haircut and colour and your set. There’s also facial hair options. Each player gets their own money so no worrying about band expenses.

Finally, there’s the online play. Right now there’s only Band Quickplay and duelling but I hear there’s a patch coming out for World Tour Mode. Basically, the host of each room chooses the song, and you have to play it. Of course you can plug in your headset to argue with the host but they choose the song. Only the guitar players have to fight for the guitar while the other gets stuck with the bass, unless they choose it. (Shocking, really)

With all that wrapped up, here are the pro’s and con’s:

PRO’S


- Visuals are far superior to that of the Guitar Hero series, as the concerts feel more artistic, but at the same time realistic. Each member of the band has very fluent movements and just add to atmosphere of the game. Also to note, the singer actually looks feasible when singing. (Ahem, in Guitar Hero, it looks like the singer is just lip syncing)
- Fully customizable players. Start off with a name, hometown and physic, then deck him/her out with tons of clothing features. The more ridiculous the article of clothing, the higher the price tag. This makes you want to play more to earn more money.
- This game is so easy to get into, being up to you to pick the difficulty, that even parents and elders will be attracted to it.
- The songs range from down to the 60’s, all the way up to the present, leaving people of all ages to enjoy it’s music with plenty of recognizable hits.
- Out of the box, there are 58 songs. This may not seem like a lot, but they are releasing new tracks on a weekly basis. With song-packs of 3 or single song downloads, you begin to realize that Rock Band is far worth it’s money.
- The drumming aspect of the game is some of the most fun I’ve ever had in any rhythm game, period. It’s much more realistic than playing any guitar song, because it mimics that song with each drum piece.
- Speaking of which, the expert difficulty basically follows EVERY part of the track for drums, giving great practice for any drummer, or future drummer. (Dare I say that this game spawns future Neil Pearts?)
- The Overdrive, or the save-your-friend’s-ass mode, will save your band from failing completely, which is great for newbies or those daring people who want to try the harder difficulties for the vocals or drums. (What’s wrong with you?)
- This game isn’t entirely focused on nut-busting guitar songs, so the other band members will have fun too.
- Considering there are 3 different types of solo modes, (Drums + Guitar + Vocals, no bass) there is plenty to do after you’re finished with World Tour Mode, or just to practice while your friends aren’t there.
- Finally, this is the ULTIMATE party game. Unless you’re friend despise any type of Rock song and would rather pop in a 50 Cent album, this game is going to spawn laughter, excitement and the feeling of stardom. And yes, that is the lamest thing you’ve heard all day, but it’s true. This game will give you goose bumps.

And the not so awesome:

CON’S


- I’ll make it a point that the drums are way too noisy. These pads make an annoying tapping noise that can often overlook the noise coming through the T.V. Unless you turn it way up, you’ll often be focusing on yourself tapping these pads. You’ll often question yourself, thinking, “Why the fuck have they overlooked this shit?”
- When coming to a song where only a couple of you know as a band, and you’re stuck with vocals, you think, “Oh shit. What now?” Sure it’s hilarious when you try to keep up with the vocals, but it’s also embarrassing as all hell, and quite frustrating. They may be laughing at you now, but when it’s their turn, laugh it up. It’s called karma, by the way.
- The drums will destroy beginners. The learning curve is pretty steep and novice players may be detracted to play if they can't complete a song.
- The new square notes that fly by you may looks nice, but are an annoyance when it comes to hammer-ons. These hammer-on notes do come, but it’s very difficult to spot the difference, causing you to strum all the notes, and miss a lot of them. This is where Guitar Hero wins.
- The price is huge. If you break it down, it makes sense. But still, it’s a lot for a game.
- Okay, you get drums, a guitar and a microphone. Missing something? Yes. Another damned guitar called the bass. You could of put a little effort into making a different, longer looking guitar. But I forgot that nobody gives a damn about bass players. These instruments will be coming out for 80 dollars each (What?!) later on and you can use the Guitar Hero guitars but still, we got ripped.
- The bonus songs. When you think of the word ‘bonus’, you think extra. And with extra stuff you’ll be more happy, right? Well these songs are awful and unrecognizable. I guess Rock Band thought it was best to buy out these bands for little price instead of getting bigger bands to put songs in. Good cost management but terrible songs. Who the fuck are The Konks, and why should we care? The only decent song I’ve played is Pleasure (Pleasure). 

With all the bitching out of the way, I’d like to say that Rock Band was well worth the wait and price. It’s truly a fantastic game with much to offer, out looking the hefty price. Let’s see how they update with Rock Band 2. More peripherals? (Keyboard?!? Let’s see them pull that off) More drumming pieces? (Ha! That’d make it impossible to play) A Guitar Petal? Better bonus songs? (Hopefully)


For a score, I give Rock Band a 9.0/10.

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