Fable Heroes will remind you of a pop-up book. It is a 3D view, side-scrolling game where the characters are puppets but without strings. The game has three difficulty levels; family, normal, and challenging, as well as four characters from which to choose. If there are no other players, A.I. will handle the other three. Also, you only have four choices at the beginning, but can unlock other characters later. The difficulty levels will give you more or less hearts to start with. Hearts measure your health, and when you run out, you die. Well, sort of. You come back as a "ghost" who can fight, but until you find a heart to increase your health again even to the bare minimum, you can't collect a single gold coin.
In Fable Heroes you move through a board game-like setting from area to area. For gamers who have played Fable in the past, the areas will be recognizable, as will the enemies you fight within each one. You can move around the path to a certain point, both towards the screen and away from it, but you can't veer off the path, so there is no way to get lost. The only time you get to choose is at the end of each level. One choice takes you to a boss for that level, and the other choice, to a competition-based on the area where you are at the time. One example of this is in Mistpeak: one direction makes your fight the ice troll, while the other has you sled down a hill attempting to beat your companions for the most gold. Once you beat a location, you can revisit the entire thing again or just the boss / competition area. However, you do have to play both to revisit them without completing the original level again.
As you progress through Fable Heroes, you will earn coins from attacking and killing enemies, breaking apart barrels or other breakable items that reflect the area in which you are playing, and even from bonus chests. Bonus chests are not all good though. Sometimes you will get a "power-up" which is actually bad. There are also specific chests, which open up, as good or evil, just like in other Fable games. When you run across enemies, a stop sign of sorts shows up at the far right of your screen showing that you can't go anywhere until you kill all the baddies. Once you defeat them all a "ding" sound is heard and "GO" floats across the screen for a moment. Each level also has a "Break Time" spot where an object must be destroyed before you can move on. The object, which can reflect the world you are in, such as a present in Mistpeak, gives coins as you take it down, and once destroyed, it really pumps them out to boost your money.
Once you complete a level in Fable Heroes, your characters go to an actual board game to roll a dice, move a number of spaces, and purchase power-ups, upgrades, and other cool things that will help you in the game. Each character gets their own rolls and uses the money they earned during the play level to purchase these. You can earn extra rolls from chests and winning the competitions at the end of each level.
Players can have others play the same game on the same console or across Xbox LIVE. You can even pick a private or public game, depending on if you want to allow anyone to join or just specific people. Playing online with unknowns can be a pain because some might move at a faster or slower pace than you, which can cause you to miss coins, get left behind (you eventually pop back into the game with the rest of the group), or have to go back for someone to move on.
Fable Heroes is rated E +10 due to cartoon violence, but with some of the enemies from the Fable series, such as Hollow Men and Balvarines, younger children might not like the game. At the same time, classic Fable fans might not find enough entertainment here, as it's such a different game. The controls to move around the 3D world can be difficult at times - some areas look like you can move through them, but you can't. The game does offer achievements for completing each level, so at least it's a good pastime for those who like to buff up their gamer score.
GameDynamo's Score for Fable Heroes (X360)
I have been gaming since I was in high school, before it was acceptable for a girl to do it. I have been a writer for even longer. It's only natural the two would combine. I prefer RPGs, action/adventure, and strategy games, but I also play dancing, sports titles, and shooters.
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