Fable 2's lurveliness – following a verbal double-take by concept artist Mike McCarthy – actually appreciates the fact that most people don't notice every single, on-screen visual effect.
Lovett explains himself, saying, "I want [players] to be drawn in, and that's more than the sum of the parts. Nobody's going to look at this and go, 'what amazing normal mapping on that! I'm so glad they did that!'" Really, Ian? We hear what you're getting at, but we have, oh, an entire internet full of gamers we're pretty sure will pick every itsy-bitsy last facet of your game engine apart, count the polygons, then email us a picture of an improperly applied tessellation and ask for a free car.