'Fable' with a twist

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Entertainment,Greg Prince

The new "Fable" is the best Kinect game yet.

That's not saying much, because there have been precious few halfway-decent Kinect titles.

But to be fair, "The Journey" is rock-solid and has what every good adventure game needs: a great story and fun gameplay mechanics.

"The Journey" follows Gabriel as he reluctantly becomes a hero and helps famed seer Theresa regain her powers. Along the way, he learns magic that you wield with both hands.

'Fable: The Journey'
» System: Xbox 360
» Price: $59.99
» Rating: 3.5 out of 5

The standard attack spells are controlled with your dominant hand, and can be steered midflight to strike baddies trying to hide. Blocking and the grab spell are done with your other hand.

The controls for magic attacks work fairly well, but in larger battles, be prepared to miss a few times when the enemies are along the edges of the screen. Some of the out-of-combat controls don't work as well, but it's not a massive drawback.

This fifth entry in the series comes across as cartoonish at first, but the visuals work well and fit in quite nicely with the gameplay. This isn't some watered-down "Fable"; it has all the epic feel you would expect, the voice acting is superb.

Peter Molyneux's Lionhead Studios yet again helps you build a strong connection to the characters, with Gabriel's horse Serin being by far the most likable. Most of the game is spent with Serin's reins in hand and traveling the roads of Albion.

As with most Kinect games, the repetitive motions will tire you out, but "The Journey" has well-placed rest points. And while it may look like an on-rails shooter, this new "Fable" definitely doesn't play that way.

Just make sure not to slouch while playing, or the game will get fussy.

"Fable: The Journey" has the draw to ability to delight both core and casual gamers. It's too bad more Kinect titles don't take this much care.

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