Game Analysis - Combat: Fable's Balverines

I was recently thinking about Fable. Specifically about Fable's combat. I've played Fable I and III, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed. The games do have their shortcomings, but overall they are entertaining and certainly worth a play. But back to my topic; I realized that the most fun I ever had in either Fable was fighting the Balverines.

Balverines are scary.

Balverines are essentially Fable's version of werewolves. They can turn other people into Balverines with a bite, so they're feared by the common people. They are also incredibly fast and can jump very high. They aren't very durable, though, given that they're so fast and do a lot of damage.

The reason I've always loved fighting Balverines was that they aren't as easy as Fable's other enemies. Most enemies rarely required you to use block to defeat them. Whereas Balverines require you to know how to block, or they will rip you a new one. Their fighting pattern is essentially fall down from the 'trees' and howl. They then circle you a little bit and jump in and try to hit you. If you don't block they will hit you four or five times then jump back and then up into the 'trees'. Then they'll probably howl and drop back down and repeat. They have some other behavior, but that is the most important part. If you fight them correctly, you feel like a badass, which is exactly what you're suppose to feel like while fighting. There is the right amount of blocking and countering and going Ohshitpleasedontripmyfaceoffnicedoggy. The pause after they finish their combo is also vital because if you miss a block you aren't auto-killed because you can't do anything. There is nothing more annoying than fighting an enemy who will continually disable you and eventually kill you while there isn't anything you can do about it. That's just bad combat design.

So there's my two cents about Balverines. If I have any more insights about games I'll post 'em...eventually.


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