I got Fable II for my birthday. It’s turning out to be the biggest boon the game project may have ever received since it is the biggest time waster I’ve deigned to put hands upon since MGS3. But here’s the key – I’m not wasting that much time with it, the wife is.
Fable II has one of the best RPG additions ever – drop in/out co-op play. So the wife will play the game, run around, buy loot, buy a house and open Demon Doors. Then she’ll summon up me, the loyal henchman, when she runs into a dungeon or something like that. I play with her through these parts and then she’s back to screwing around the world of Albion for another 2 hours, while I drop out and get back to building levels and debugging code.
Every game needs this addition. If you want to talk “Casual Play” this goes a long way towards it. Hey Nintendo? Are you listening? What to get the Casual Gamer to play? Put a Drop In/Out Co-Op option in the next Zelda. Let Mom wander the world and collect the Skulltulas or gems or whatever other chotchkies you want to have her fetch and then let her summon her kid for a little help with the bosses. Since She is fighting the bosses, not just handing off the controller, She will feel like she’s done it. Then who knows? Maybe next time she’ll do it all by herself. I call that a hell of a lot better than trying to push Nintendogs on her unsuspecting “Casual” ass.
-I read an interesting article recently regarding game art. Not being an artist myself (instead being able to draw well enough to let a “Real Artist” know what I wanted/was going for) I can’t comment on the specifics, but I do have a point from a Production perspective. As games get more and more advanced and the graphics get progressively more shiny, we will get to a point where the cost of creating said graphics becomes cost prohibitive. Then we’ll see less of a trend of life-like or pseudo life-like and I think that the natural reaction will be to create super expressionist art. Okami comes to mind, so does Wind Waker and anything by Suda 51. Eventually making something look as realistic as possible isn’t the point – it will be about making something memorable that doesn’t break the suspension of disbelief.
You can go to far though with the abstract. I think the myriad of shooters on Live that use some kind a vector graphic are stupid. “Vector Graphics” are not art and adding particle effects does not help.
-Oh, in Fable II you can get married. The wife built a heroine and then wandered the world to find the best looking lesbian in the game to open a Demon Door. They are very happy in their alternative lifestyle living in the in-between spaces inside a Demon Door. I feel like a weirdo, but I think I like watching the wife’s virtual avatar seduce her virtual life partner. This is a strange new world indeed.
-Yes, Fable “II” like in the promotional materials and on the box. It gets to keep the “II” because I like it enough to not refer to it as “2” and since it is “old-timey” it works. Unlike in the Rocky movies.