You guys and girls have me baffled with this one. I've paid attention over the past few months as you've told us this will be better than we think - you'd played it, i hadn't, I was listening...
Now don't get me wrong, i hate the inevitable comments after nearly every review nowadays that suggest the reviewer can't play games/get a boyfriend or girlfriend/succeed at anything because they gave something a 7 instead of an 8 (and don't worry, i'm not going to suggest any of those things), but with reviews elsewhere landing and being less than complimentary about F:TJ i had to raise an eyebrow when i read this one.
The score is the score is the score etc - if the reviewer is happy with it and stands by it, then cool, i'm not going to question his/her integrity (like the recent conspiracy theorists who've been lurking), but from what i read and compare he/she seems to praise a lot of the elements that are being damned with faint praise, or just being damned? Kinect is a strange beast in that once configured results can still vary greatly from day to day even if no one goes near the bloody thing, let alone breathes in its general direction - so again, that's something else to take into consideration (but worrying if only a handful of so many reviewers could get it configured right?).
To my main point, the one thing i feel 'missing' from the review - and maybe it was cut for editing - is the quality of this game in context to others. It praises it as a Kinect game, and compares it to Fables past, but by your guys own standards, shouldn't it then be made to stand up against every other 360 title - especially as this is what Lionhead & MS said it was going to be, the kinect solution for core gamers/kinect haters? Criticism was thrown when darksiders 2 got a 7 as it's 'bigger & better than the original' - yet quite rightly you compared it to other games around at the time and felt it did nothing to stand out from them and reached the conclusion it was good but not amazing (obviously 7 being above average on a 1-10 scale). By giving this an 8 it would suggest it falls only just short of the greatness of XCOM/Dishonored - but compare the reviews themselves away from the scores and the latter are lavished with praise almost to the point of bursting, whereas the fable one - seemingly like the game - trundles along saying nice things but never has you thinking 'WOW'...
Being the official mag you guys & gals are unfortunately open to easy, if unfounded and wild criticism/speculation, and when there's such disparity it's inevitable there will doubtless be extra scrutiny - and i'm not sure in this example the review stands up to that....? People shouldn't just compare scores, but they inevitably do, and with an 8 it puts this alongside Max Payne 3, Battlefield 3, Dragons Dogma and even Fable 3 - something the review itself never seems to back up?
Just my thoughts/ramblings anyway - hopefully it reads as constructively as it was meant!!
EDIT: Bugger, written all this and Ed's already given his second opinion!!