fable

E3 is fast upon us, as the year’s largest and most important gaming expo kicks off next week. This is the time for console gaming leaks. And this year it also happens to be a week for big announcements, perhaps because some publishers fear news of their games would be lost in the wave of news that strikes during E3 itself.

If you have an Xbox 360 or Xbox One, I dare you not to be excited by the games we’re about to discuss… I’m talking about a new (old) Fable game, the first game from original Call of Duty: Modern Warfare creators Respawn Entertainment, and one very big PC port: Diablo III! Read on for that news and more.

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Fable Heroes Xbox 360 impressions

As part of WPCentral’s ongoing Xbox 360 coverage, we’ll sometimes discuss console titles of interest to our readers. Last week’s Arcade Next XBLA release was Bloodforge, a dark and gory action game from Climax Studios. This week’s release, Fable Heroes cleanses the pallet with a much lighter tone and cooperative play.

Remember Fable Coin Golf, the Fable-themed Windows Phone exclusive that shared a connectivity feature with Fable 3 on 360? Fable Heroes is another spin-off, this time of the beat-em-up genre. It also skews younger than the mainline Fable series, putting players in control of wooden puppet heroes as they romp through stages based on the console games. You won't find a story of any sort here (unlike past Fable games), as it centers squarely on the multiplayer experience instead.

Head past the break for our full impressions.

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In February, Microsoft promoted both its Windows Phone and Xbox Live Arcade releases as Must Have Games. Now they look to follow that promotion up – on Xbox 360 at least – with ‘Arcade Next,’  which runs from April 18 through May 9. At least three of the XBLA games are highly anticipated titles, and all four of them will include 400 GamerScore of Achievements (the new limit for XBLA games). No word on whether there will be an equivalent promotion for Windows Phone Xbox Live games, but it seems unlikely given the ‘Arcade’ moniker.

Head past the break for screens, details, and our impressions of the next four XBLA heavy hitters, including Fable Heroes and Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition.

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If you’ve resisted picking up Fable Coin Golf until now, it’ll be especially hard to hold out this week. The Windows Phone-exclusive Xbox Live game is on sale this week for $2.99, down from $4.99.

Fable Coin Golf (see review) comes from developer Ideaworks Game Studio, who have worked on a ton of excellent iPhone games. Loosely inspired by the Fable action-RPG series, Coin Golf is essentially a minigolf game set in a fantasy universe and with a nice silly story between levels. It features excellent friend leaderboards and mild connectivity with Fable III on Xbox 360 – money earned in the phone version transfers up to the console game. The connectivity isn’t as advanced as what we’ll see in Kinectimals, but it’s only natural that such features will improve as time goes on. Even if you don’t know your Fable from your Elder Scrolls (you unfortunate person), Coin Golf is plenty of fun on its own.

The sale lasts for one week only. You can pick up Fable Coin Golf here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

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Fable Coin Golf - Review

The Xbox game Fable has been around for years, dating back to the first generation Xbox consoles.  It is a widely popular game (it even has its own Wiki Page) that is on its third installment (fourth if you count the Lost Chapters) and has now come to your Windows Phone.  Well, in a manner of speaking.

Fable Coin Golf is a companion game to the XBox 360 console game and incorporates several elements of Fable III in a table top golf game.  The object, as described in the Marketplace, is to "rid the land of evil and conquer each area by getting your Hero Puck into the Pillar of Light in as few shots as possible." The evil in which is spoken of includes characters from the video game including Hobbes, Balvarines, Hollow Men and other colorful characters who are intent on destroying you.

Fable Coin Golf is a wonderfully presented game that has challenging moments that border on being a pain. To find out more about this XBox Live game for your Windows Phone, slide on past the break.

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Just two weeks after Full House Poker’s launch on Xbox Live, Microsoft Game Studios will debut another big first-party title. Fable Coin Golf is coming on March 30!

Fable Coin Golf’s gameplay is based on British pub games like Bar Billiards. Players try to shoot the Hero Puck into the Pillar of Light in as few shots as possible while collecting gold and other items along the way. Authentic enemies from Microsoft’s Fable role-playing franchise and other hazards ensure a lively experience. The game features sharp, cartoonish 3D graphics that really take advantage of the Windows Phone 7 hardware.

Fable Coin Golf also connects to other Fable games. Gold earned in the Windows Phone 7 version transfers to Fable III on Xbox 360 and PC. Interestingly, Fable Coin Golf was originally intended to launch on March 2, alongside the Fable III “Traitor’s Keep” DLC. Instead, I Love Katamari was the March 2 Xbox Live release. Fable Coin Golf has seen some delays, but at least we’ll still be coin golfing before March is out.

Fable Coin Golf is launching as an Xbox Live title on March 30. It will cost $4.99. We’ll have a full review shortly after its release.

See our video hands on from CES after the break...

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No word on when Fable Coin Golf will be available to download, but the idea of collecting gold in your spare time that you can actually use in-game on Fable III is pretty fly. The game itself looks clever - with lots of upgrades and tricks to keep it from being a boring mini-golf game. All those features apparently add a whole lot of load time, because as you can see above, the game spent its sweet time loading up.

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