My birthday still isn't for 10 more days, but last week my Mom was kind enough to go ahead and bestow on me my birthday present.... a brand spankin new X-Box 360 Elite (the 120gb model).
Gaming and I go back a long way, as is to be expected with most guys in their early 20s. We were kids when NES came out, tweens when the N64 and Playstation hit the market, and well on our way to post-adolescence adulthood when the next-gen systems started rolling out. I played games religiously for years, right up to around my 21st birthday. At the time, I was engaged to be married and living out on my own, and never had much free time to play, so my Playstation 2 started to collect some dust. 3 years later, I'm a single guy, and between working and playing catch up on my DVR, I found myself being bored when I was home, more often than not. With the slumping economy and still high gas prices, it's not so easy to go out and do whatever I want anymore. I have to be more fiscally responsible, and find ways to occupy my time in the house. So I began to get the itch to play games again. About 5 months ago, I was invited to a coworker's house for a party, where I played a Wii for the first time. I was instantly hooked, and had to have one.
I bought the Wii, but quickly found that the gameplay on it wasn't quite what I was looking for. I ended up playing mostly Gamecube games on it (i.e. Zelda: Twilight Princess), or just throwing in on some Wii Sports with my roommate. What I wanted instead, was a console that provided me with exciting platform games and an experience that didn't require me to swing my arms all over the living room. What I got, was an X-Box 360.
So far, I'm only playing the first game I bought for it, and that's Fable 2.
This game is so far beyond anything I've ever played before, that I easily lose myself playing it for 5, 6, even 7 hours straight. It's safe to say there's aspects of this game that have never been done before. It's pretty much mesmerizing to play once you get in to it. You have your basic quest, which shapes the direction of the game, but you also have hundres of customizable side quests. I say customizable because you make independent decisions that affect the outcomes of those quests. Just this morning, I was commissioned by a Farmer to catch a Bandit and his band of theives. Once I'd defeated all the bandits, I was presented with the option to take the surrendering leader back to the farmer for proper punishment, or I could kill him myself. By killing a man who had surrendered, I'm pushing myself a little further towards evil. I like to use magic, and since I use it so much, my skin is starting to crack, and bright light glows out from under it. My pupils are blackening even. I'm married, own three houses, and my wife is pregnant. My dog has mastered 5 different tricks, is a level 3 fighter dog, and a level 3 treasure hunter. I have statues in my image in 4 towns, and bards singing songs about me just as far.
If you're in to a good fantasy epic (or really just a great game period), this is definitely the game for you.
I'd write more now... but all this talk to my X-Box makes me want to go play it some more.