Excerpt: The Fable franchise comes with big ambitions, it always has and always will so for Lionhead to release a hack and slashesque brawler arcade title onto the Xbox Live means that there has to be something special about it – right? It’s pretty hard to do something based around Albion that hasn’t already been done as Fable, for the most part, includes God like features that span every genre.
Summary: The idea behind
was actually a good one, and a refreshingly off kilter take on a standard RPG franchise. However, the execution of this interesting idea…was not. The game lacks polish and can be really stupid when looked at on any rational basis, but it still proves to be a fun game to play with undiscriminating friends.
Pros: Cute character designs, Fun to play with friends, Definitely an original take on the usual boardroom question of “what can we do with this franchise?”
Cons: Computer-controlled teammates are rarely a good idea, particularly when they don’t fight but do steal all your earned money and health, Characters move like the roads of Albion are paved with molasses
Excerpt: When you have a universe as successful as Fable’s, it's inevitable that spin-off titles will eventually emerge. Enter Fable Heroes, a game that takes the series’ enemies and locations and transforms them into a cel-shaded, lighthearted beat-'em-up. The possibilities seem exciting and rich on paper, and yet it’s anything but. Fable Heroes' greatest flaw is that it can't overcome its issues to be anything more than a bland experience.
Pros: The cute puppets, The competition, The Fable references
Cons: The simplistic, uninspired combat, Rolling dice for abilities, The repetitious, bland levels
Conclusion: Fable Heroes is yet another brainless hack 'n' slash in a sea of similar games, and while it has an admittedly strong levelling system, that isn't enough to save it or make it stand out from its peers. I can't say I'm surprised to be disappointed yet again by Lionhead, but if anything I've mentioned sounds nice to you feel free to give it a try. For the moment, though, I'm going to have to stick it with a rating to match its true nature. Mike D.
Pros: Unquestionably the coolest thing about Fable Heroes, and possibly the only cool thing, is its levelling system. Your little puppets collect gold and die rolls throughout each level, and at the end of it you're given the option to spend both on a board game-style levelling system. The space you land on is of course determined by your die roll, and each space usually gives you a few options for improving your character. This can be anything from an attack speed boost to...
Cons: Mainly what you'll be doing in Fable Heroes is putting the smackdown on hordes of enemies in an attempt to gain money and die rolls, which will, in turn, make you better at it. This wouldn't be a problem normally, but the actual gameplay of Fable Heroes is relatively dull. It's all about using the same couple techniques over and over to eviscerate your foes, and occasionally choosing between two paths that have the potential to lead you to a (generally uninspired) min...
Summary: Lionhead Studios tried to give players something different from the Fable universe and even though it did not pan out in my view, it does not mean there is not stuff to enjoy here for Fable fans that can stomach the poor gameplay especially for only 10 bucks. The online co-op helps add a little bit of length but not much and I expect online to be a ghost town fairly soon.
Summary: The Fable faithful might love the look of this adorable take on the franchise, but those who favor gameplay depth over a fan-pleasing presentation, won't find more than thumb-blistering brawling beneath its charming exterior.
Pros: Charming re-imagining of Fable universe, Mindless button-mashing with buddies, Will be able to transfer gold to Fable: The Journey
Cons: Lack of challenge undermines good ideas, Tedious upgrade system, Shallow, simplified combat
Summary: As a cartoonish brawler centered on four-person hijinks, Fable Heroes resembles the chaotically entertaining Castle Crashers . Unfortunately, Fable Heroes never comes close to reaching the highs of that downloadable juggernaut, and even in its best moments it feels like it's three steps behind gameplay developments that have kept the genre alive.
Pros: Fun competition for coins with four players present, "Dark Albion" offers a humorous topsy-turvy vision of Albion, Clever nods to previous Fable games
Cons: Uninspired, simplistic combat, Boring level design, Upgrades too reliant on chance
Conclusion: It's a nice idea and, if it wasn't for Lionhead's laissez-faire attitude with the development, it might have had a bit more depth to it. As it is, Fable Heroes feels like a bit of a half-hearted effort and will struggle to find its place in the high quality Live Arcade market. With just eight levels the game feels light on content, but challenge versions of each level as well as unlockable weapons and characters help add some replayability.