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Game News Bard's Tale Demo Release

Sol Invictus

Erudite
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Pax Romana
Tags: Bard's Tale (2005); InXile Entertainment

With the upcoming release of Bard's Tale, Brian Fargo's InXile has released the demo of the game weighing in at a relatively modest 278mb. The demo contains The Mountain Tomb, and it is available at <a href=http://www.3dgamers.com/news/more/1096481270/>3DGamers, <a href=http://www.gamershell.com/news/21008.html>Gamer's Hell</a>, and <a href=http://www.worthplaying.com/article.php?sid=24207>Worthplaying</a>. Please feel free to post your impressions in the thread.
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Thanks <b>Pooperscooper</b>.
 

Shagnak

Shagadelic
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Arse of the world, New Zealand
Cool, or not - I heard it was bad. But I'm open to being surprised.
(Was just about to post that it was available)

Downloading now...

Edit: the size is unusually modest - I hope there is enough gameplay in the one level/area they have included to give a proper impression.
 

Sarvis

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I just rented this the other day for PS2. It's pretty fun, but I'm betting you guys'll hate it. ;)

Well, maybe not. Just don't expect it to be a "real" RPG and take it for what it is: a fun and humorous Action RPG.
 

Shagnak

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OKay, very very first impressions.

The demo might be a bit beta-ish? There are a couple of sections in options that say "Missing String" for example.

The in-game zoom is worthless. Try it, you'll see what I mean. They might as well have not included it.

Aesthetically it is okay. I would have liked to be able to change the view perspective a bit more (see zoom above), to get a better appreciaition of the graphical design. Yes, yes, I know that isn't paramount.

Gameplay is rpg-lite - as expected. Have not played enough to say how fun or well designed it is yet. Some big nice looking ogre/troll creatures to fight early on.

Saving is done via save points - once again, perhaps expected, due to console origins

How the hell do you interact with your party members? Or can't you?
@Sarvis - are your party members decided by the plot? Or can you ditch them/pick them up as you desire?
 

Sarvis

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Shagnak said:
OKay, very very first impressions.

The demo might be a bit beta-ish? There are a couple of sections in options that say "Missing String" for example.

The in-game zoom is worthless. Try it, you'll see what I mean. They might as well have not included it.

Aesthetically it is okay. I would have liked to be able to change the view perspective a bit more (see zoom above).
Gameplay is rpg-lite - as expected. Have not played enough to say how fun or well designed it is yet. Some big nice looking ogre/troll creatures to fight early on.

Saving is done via save points - once again, perhaps expected, due to console origins

How the hell do you interact with your party members? Or can't you?
@Sarvis - are your party members decided by the plot? Or can you ditch them/pick them up as you desire?

Hrm... wonder what they give you in the demo...

There is no "party" per say. What you actually have is a team of summons, and a dog. So you can summon those guys, unsummon them and there are some simple commands (attack, stay, come here) that you could use with the d-pad. Other than that you don't interact with them at all.

I do agree with you about the zoom and the perspective though, but you kinda get used to it.
 

DemonKing

Arcane
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Dec 5, 2003
Messages
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It's official...my fond memories of countless hours playing the original Bard's Tale games on the C64 have been sullied.

This demo sucks. Horrid gameplay and graphics - I can't imagine it would even be much fun on a console.
 

Shagnak

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Sarvis said:
Hrm... wonder what they give you in the demo...

The part the demo is set in is "The Mountain Tomb", and it has lots of giant undead viking types (I thought they were ogres or trolls at first, but a cutscene later proved me wrong).

So, aside from the cool little dog that follows you around, there is:

- some old geezer with a Scottish accent, who runs around moaning about traps being everywhere and gets continually squished or sliced up by them :D

- some chick in leather armour (that shows a lot of skin), who does not seem to do or say a lot so far.

I don't think either of these are summons.

But I have managed to summon some big guy in plate armour, who proved himself handy.

Mucking around with the 1,2,3 keys and the directional (wasd) keys you can uncover some abilities etc. Thats how I stumbled on the summoning stuff.
Combat is straight-forward, in the Diablo click-fest mode. In the demo, right from the get-go you have a choice between 2-weapon combat and trad sword-and-shield combat.

Despite initial misgivings, Im enjoying it - might be a good rental if I had a console.
I don't think I would actually buy it...
And you are right, most people here will slam it. And possibly rightly so, some of the design decisions are a bit crap (collected items automatically turning into gold? Hmmm...). But taken as a weekends enjoyment, with some beers, and a comfy chair in front of a big telly...

I'm finding the dialogue quite funny, too. It may be an aquired taste for some - perhaps slightly Pythonesque?

Gotta go, have a point to prove with some undead has-been berzerker.

:MILD PLOT SPOILER:
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Seems that he won't be let into Valhalla as he died a dishonourable death - he fell on his sword after a drunken binge - and the only way for you to get the keystone you need off him is to prove that you can best more opponents than he can (at least thats what I think is gonna happen). Cue lots of good natured insults of the "you call that a sword-thrust, I'll show you a sword-thrust!" mode.
 

Sarvis

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Shagnak said:
So, aside from the cool little dog that follows you around, there is:

The dog is cool... heh.

- some old geezer with a Scottish accent, who runs around moaning about traps being everywhere and gets continually squished or sliced up by them :D

Yep, that's his job! If the trap goes off and he isn't interrupted the trap is disabled. He also collects loot for you, and can find secret entrances. A definate must have in any dungeons.

- some chick in leather armour (that shows a lot of skin), who does not seem to do or say a lot so far.

She's the heroine summon, yes she's a summon. She's really not that great, but one of the first ones you get.

I don't think either of these are summons.

They are, unless they changed something drastically for the PC version.

But I have managed to summon some big guy in plate armour, who proved himself handy.

Seems too early for you to have the Knight, but I can't remember for sure.

If you can figure out how I'd unsummon the archer chick and bring out the Crone, she does healing spells every minute or so. Makes you survive a LOT longer... heh.

Summons stick around forever, unless they are killed or you unsummon them. In the PS2 version you unsummon in the exact same way you summon, so do whatever you did to get the knight but on other characters.

Mucking around with the 1,2,3 keys and the directional (wasd) keys you can uncover some abilities etc. Thats how I stumbled on the summoning stuff.
Combat is straight-forward, in the Diablo click-fest mode. In the demo, right from the get-go you have a choice between 2-weapon combat and trad sword-and-shield combat.

You have to click like in Diablo? That sounds a lot less fun. How do you block in this?

There are also flails and two handed weapons, each of which require their own talents to use. I highly recommend getting the counter attack talent for whichever fighting style you want, it's the only way to handle some of the fights where you are badly outnumbered. It blocks any attacks for a second, then counters in a half circle that knocks everyone back...


Despite initial misgivings, Im enjoying it - might be a good rental if I had a console.
I don't think I would actually buy it...
And you are right, most people here will slam it. And possibly rightly so, some of the design decisions are a bit crap (collected items automatically turning into gold? Hmmm...).

I really like that feature. It's really just a way for them to be more creative with giving you silver, and there's no reason anyone should expect this game to be serious anyway. It fits quite well with wat they were trying to do, plus it saves the horrid annoyance of having spend a bunch of time selling things at a store.


:MILD PLOT SPOILER:
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Seems that he won't be let into Valhalla as he died a dishonourable death - he fell on his sword after a drunken binge - and the only way for you to get the keystone you need off him is to prove that you can best more opponents than he can (at least thats what I think is gonna happen). Cue lots of good natured insults of the "you call that a sword-thrust, I'll show you a sword-thrust!" mode.


No, that's not quite the point here... hehe.
 

Shagnak

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Sarvis said:
I don't think either of these are summons.
They are, unless they changed something drastically for the PC version.

Oh, okay. It was hard to tell, because you are just dropped off in this dungeon thing with what appeared to be party members. Must play about with the summoning stuff a bit more then.

Sarvis said:
You have to click like in Diablo? That sounds a lot less fun. How do you block in this?

You click, as in, right- click continually to hack people up. Not sure about blocking. When I get back into the game (got sidetracked) I'll explore the controls a bit more fully. Sounds like I'm missing a lot of stuff.:wink:
Just jumped in boots and all to get the quickest impression I could.

Sarvis said:
No, that's not quite the point here... hehe.
Oh? Heh.
I guess I'll have to find out then...

Edit: that should have been left-click up there
 

Sarvis

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Heh... just to give a better idea of the feel of this game:

I just entered the Obligatory Lava Level, where I prevented yet another chosen one from getting himself killed like all the others. Every time you lookt a chosen one some kunal trow show up and sing this goofy song about it being bad luck to be you.

Also, a little while ago I killed the Haggis Monster.
 

Keldryn

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Vancouver, Canada
Give it a chance, it's a fun game, with a great sense of humour. At least, I'm quite enjoying it on the Xbox. Uses the same engine as the BG: Dark Alliance and Champions of Norrath games.

I think it would control best with a gamepad though, rather than the keyboard/mouse combo.

"RPG-lite" or not, it has more meaningful character interaction than a lot of CRPGs do. Certainly greater opportunities for role-playing than the original Bard's Tale games did.
 
Joined
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I was going to download this demo, but the server I connected to wasn't "resumable". Ain't no way I'm going to be able to suck back a 250 MB download in one shot on a 56K modem, so I'll have to look around and see if I can't get a real server. It might take a week and half of stopping and starting, but if they let me, I'll download it. :)

As for the game itself... I'm still kind of looking forward to it. I'm looking for something a little less serious right now, something not quite as... how you say... pretentious?... as most RPGs.

If it can make me laugh, I'll likely count it a good investment. I don't buy or play all that many games anyway, so I tend to appreciate the ones I do more than all ye professionally jaded gamerz appear to. :)
 

Surlent

Liturgist
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Jul 21, 2004
Messages
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I didn't like it. Some of the dialogue seemed okay though, but combat was nothing special. Voiceacting wasn't very convincing either.
It also enforced me to install to default path even when I defined clearly a new one.
 

Sarvis

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Surlent said:
I didn't like it. Some of the dialogue seemed okay though, but combat was nothing special. Voiceacting wasn't very convincing either.
It also enforced me to install to default path even when I defined clearly a new one.

I actually like the voice acting. It somehow sounds more like real people talking, as opposed to characte archetypes or something. I mean, a lot of times in games you will here voices that no one living would ever have... whereas here it just sounds like it might if you took a trip to scotland and hung out at the pub for a while.
 

Surlent

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heh, exactly, I felt too they just took two drunken scottish old cocks from a local pub do the voice acting.
 

Keldryn

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Tony Jay as the Narrator is awesome. :D

And Cary Elwes does a great job as the sarcastic jerk of a bard. The rest of the voice acting ranges from okay to extremely grating. Although I think some of it is intentionally bad and over-the-top.

I love the sense of humour. Kind of reminds me a bit of Discworld 2, where Rincewind keeps going off on rants about item fetching quests and the like.
 

RGE

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So, I really need a GeForce 3 instead of a 2 then? With some kind of Vertex Shader support, whatever that is? I don't have any plans to buy a new computer until a real good game comes along and demands it. And while I still think that the bard's Tale may be fun to play, I don't think it's serious enough to make me want to upgrade before I have to.
 

DarkUnderlord

Professional Throne Sitter
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What's the AI like? Are monsters working in groups or running away and getting friends like promised¹?

¹I think it was something like that anyway.
 

Otaku_Hanzo

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The state of insanity.
Bleh. Maybe if someone gives me the full game when it comes out I'll give it a playthrough. It's okay for a mindless action game. Funny thing is, I just recently pulled both Crusader titles out of storage and have been messing with them. Pretty funny when a ten year old game can beat the pants off something released today. ;)
 

Sol Invictus

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So far, the game is pretty fun. It's not an RPG experience if you're looking for one, but it's a quick and dirty arcade-ish (e.g. Gauntlet) hack and slasher with a bit of innovation with the summons and the neat counterattacks. It's definitely fun if you're looking for a powergame and not willing to spend hours on. Hacking people to bits is satisfying. Cary Elwes is funny as the Bard, besides, and the AI of the monsters is pretty interesting. They don't just come at you in waves like in Dungeon Siege. While they're not 'intelligent' per se, the tactics they use creates for some nice variety.
 

taks

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i've got it... DL'd from gamershell pretty quickly. 2 Mb/s is more than i'd expect from a public server. better than fileplanet, that's for sure.

unfortunately, i won't be able to comment on the game till after the weekend. tonight is pool night, thursday is babysit night, friday is ski-day then pool night and the weekend is... well, maybe some BT action! :)

taks
 

triCritical

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taks said:
i've got it... DL'd from gamershell pretty quickly. 2 Mb/s is more than i'd expect from a public server. better than fileplanet, that's for sure.

unfortunately, i won't be able to comment on the game till after the weekend. tonight is pool night, thursday is babysit night, friday is ski-day then pool night and the weekend is... well, maybe some BT action! :)

taks

Every night is babysit night for me. That is why they go to bed promptly at 8:30 PST.
 

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