Quick Hits: Fable 3, Puzzle Quest 2, Sonic Colors
Remember Fable 2? You liked that? How do you feel about holding hands? If you like doing that too, then have I got a game for you! Fable is not a series that demos well. Taken out of context, the combat, social interactions and quests all seems very similar to Fable 2. The draw of the new game in the series will ultimately be the origin story of becoming king and seeing how ealier choices will impact the later game. Being thrown into town with a quest or two doesn't do it a whole lot of favors. If you played Fable 2, it will be immediately familiar.
Puzzle Quest 2
An odd step back in terms of presentation. I like the 2D art but HATE the overland map that essentially looks like something I'd play in a web browser. I appreciate that they're giving it a stronger dungeon delving vibe with smaller areas per screen that each represent a room of sorts with treasure, enemies, and a few directions to choose from. What I don't like is the stiff avatar that waddles from one point to the next at your command. It may sound silly to rail on that when the real meat of the game is supposed to be the Bejeweled battles, but without a good presentation and a bland world, you'd might as well just play bejeweled.
High points are definitely the arrays of different powers you can unleash in a fight and how loot plays a role in your powers and abilities. It's just more match three, though. I suspect a lot of people have moved on since the original Puzzle Quest.
I really liked this demo. I know, right? I'm surprised too. It's fast, it jumps smoothly from 2D views to 3D and delivers it all with the kind of nearly-out-of-control verve we like in our Sonic games. Not to be confused with Sonic 4, this Wii exclusive seems like a good balance between the classic 2D play and the better parts of Sonic Adventures. The controls are responsive and it was really easy to get a feel for doing your dashes and drilling into the ground to plow through the dirt during one particularly frantic moment.
Whether or not they can continue the trend for an entire game remains to be seen, but don't ignore it! For now.