OK, I've been playing Fable II, and it's fair-to-middling awesome. It's definitely FUN, and that's the primary goal of a game, right? I intend to put together a spectacularly ruminative comparison of Fable II to Fallout 3, but I won't get my grubby little hands on Fallout 3 until Monday at midnight, and then playing the damn thing will take a hundred hours or so, so that post may be some time in the making. I know it's not really fair to compare and contrast a light-hearted fantasy RPG with a gritty, shooty post-apocalyptic RPG, but I'm going to anyway, and damn the consequences.
It seems like there is a fundamental difference in design philosophy between Lionhead and Bethesda, and illuminating that difference sheds light on what games are and how they do what they do... that's vague to the point of irritation, but I can't quite put my finger on what I mean... I'll have much more (MUCH MORE) to say next week after playing Fallout 3.
Suffice to say for the time being that Fable II is a mechanism for linear story-telling (deep but narrow), whereas Oblivion was a mechanism for constructing narrative (shallow but broad).
That's not quite it, either.
Oh well. I'll blather more next week. Now I'm off to defeat Lucien and buy Fairfax Castle for my bride-to-be, Jemma the Whore (she was the only cheerful, good-natured raunchy bisexual I could find in Bloodstone. What?).
You sold out everything you believed in to be President, and now you're going to lose. You hired the people who pilloried you in South Carolina, you kissed the rings of the far-right fundy fatcats you'd always loathed, you repudiated every progressive stance you've ever taken to make yourself palatable to the fanatical wing of your party, and you're still going to lose. You chose a running mate based solely on her ability to rile up the mouth-breathers, and she went out and drove the final nails through the heart of your campaign. You're going to lose. It's not even going to be close.
Now you won't be the President, and you won't have the solace of knowing that at least you were true to yourself.
You were an honorable man, Senator McCain. You were the candidate that free-thinking lefties like me used to look at and think, "Eh, he's the best of a bad bunch." What happened?
According the BBC, half of the world's heroin supply is missing. There seem to be two main theories as to why this is: either some countries are drastically under-reporting their rate of heroin use (Russia? China?), or someone somewhere has a big fucking warehouse stuffed full of pure heroin.
I propose a third possibility: in the same way that the people in charge of big trading companies seem to be able to magically make billions of dollars disappear, the people in charge of big heroin operations are magically making thousands of kilos of heroin disappear. Stockpiling it all in one place makes no sense -- too much risk, not much upside. But spreading it around makes more sense -- no one would have enough to hedge against the global market, but everyone involved would have enough to insure continuity of supply in case of, say, a major US offensive against opium growers in Afghanistan.
So get your money out of the heroin market now! Invest in safer commodities like LSD and ecstasy -- much lower production and transportation costs, plus much, much easier to stockpile (a suitcase instead of a warehouse, say). And in this new age of tight credit, it's the intangible costs that'll bite you in the ass.