I'm pretty sure you can sum up my style of video-gaming in two words: Button Masher. I've tried my hand at a couple of "fighting" games in the past -- Soul Calibur II and Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers -- and in both cases I never got far and ever got frustrated.
This is because, as far as I can tell, I'm hitting more buttons than the game will respond to. I'm SUPPOSED to be hitting the "swing your sword" button ONCE for each sword swing, and then hitting the "parry" button, or whatever the next combination of buttons is, at exactly the right moment. Sadly, my thumb refuses to play this way. My brain is saying "okay, we can take this guy... we just need to tap him a couple of times from the front, and then roll around behind him and skewer him." My thumb, meanwhile, is saying "YEAARGH KILL KILL KILL MASH MASH MASH." And then my little avatar on screen goes all windmill-berserker, gets in a few whacks, and then gets crimsonly chutneyed for his trouble.
I just rented Fable for the X-box. I'm enjoying the role-playing aspect of this game, but melee combat -- even as simplified as it is (attack, parry) -- has reached a difficulty level where it doesn't MATTER that my character has leveled a few times in physical skills... the poor guy is a slave to my suicidally mashing thumb.
(By way of reviewing the game: it's pretty, but the constant "loading new area" thing really tears a hole in the fourth wall for me. Oh, and this amoral Hero's Guild is disturbing. They're actually okay with me using my powers for evil, and they'll provide quests to that effect.)
I'm not asking for tips here. I don't want links to a walkthrough, or a copy of your Player's Guide. Mostly I just want to grumble, and I've done that. I'll probably sit down and play the game more, and see if my thumb can't be retrained with lots of practice wandering through dark woods at night where I can pick on these bandits in twos and threes. Maybe I'll focus more on archery, too. At least with THAT skill my thumb knows full well that he's only got one button to mess with, and mashing it at speeds where the interphalangeal joint begins to glow red is pointless.
entry Addendum, December 13, 2004
When you rent games, you don't get the little booklet that explains stuff. One of the things I needed to have explained to me was that my Fable character is not "auto-equipping" his best stuff. He auto-equips his WORST stuff when I sell the weapon he was holding.
I was taking on the entire bandit camp with a stick. I THOUGHT that big sword I bought looked stick-ish, but didn't think long enough on it. I'm now pretty pleased with my button mashing, because apparently I killed close to 50 bandits WITH A STICK.
I've since equipped my guy with the Obsidian Great-Axe, gone back to the bandit camp with new spells and a better archery skill, and made several flavors of Bandit Mince: Mince L'Electrique, Mince Du Fletch, and Mince Flambé.
I've also gotten tips via email from helpful readers who cannot follow instructions. That's okay. They solved my key problem, and some of these cheats sound like fun...