Valentine's Day is never that big of a deal for my wife and I. Her birthday is today, so it usually gets mostly overlooked in favor of her gaining a year of life on me for a couple of weeks. Still, I did my duty assigned by greeting card companies, and bought her flowers and chocolates to be delivered to her desk at work. They nearly didn't make it, but after catching the delivery van en route and telling the person that she needed to head to Building 3 and not Building 1 of the complex, all was well.
When we got home, my wife had to make something delicious for a coworker's going away party, so I got all nestled in on the couch and started up the Xbox 360. 2000 Microsoft Points and about an hour's worth of downloading later, I was playing the original Xbox's best game (in my book), Fable.
Don't ask me why I downloaded it. I have the Lost Chapters version for the PC already, and the Xbox Originals version is missing the expansion content, so it was really like spending money on PART of something I already had. But I can say, after playing it, that I'm glad I did so. It's far more fun on the console and 42" TV than on the mouse and keyboard and 19" monitor.
I know that the title broke a lot of hearts when it came out 3 years ago and was missing some features that were promised, but I'm one of the many who was able to forget about the features that got cut because what did get released really was an amazing game.
It's unlike just about any other action-RPG, and I can't help but get a sense of satisfaction from playing in Albion and doing various good (or bad) deeds. I love that my character gets portly when I eat lots of red meat. I love that he gets thin from running about a lot. I love that he gets scars from particularly nasty fights, and white hair from being such a goody-two-shoes. I love that people cheer me on when they see me, only to choke on the foul air I leave behind with a well-placed fart. I love that I can have more wives than I can count, and husbands even if my character feels like going Freddie Mercury on me.
In all, while the graphics have aged and the presentation (cutscenes and whatnot) is not on par with today's near cinematic quality titles... Fable's still one of the most fun games out there. I could have just bought the Xbox disc copy of The Lost Chapters... but I really don't mind. I'd spend another 20 bucks for it down the road if I need to, because the game's always fun. It's one of few titles I can replay over and over again and not be bored.
If you've never tried it out, I highly recommend it. It's got its share of shortcomings, the worst of which to me is the boxed in feel of the game world, but by and large it's a damned good time.