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Review So Hyped, So Mediocre: The Bard's Tale Review

Diogo Ribeiro

Erudite
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
5,706
Location
Lisboa, Portugal
Tags: Bard's Tale (2005); Brian Fargo; InXile Entertainment

inXile's The Bard's Tale gets a Codexian <a href=http://www.rpgcodex.com/content.php?id=140>smackdown</a> for your reading pleasure. Bard lovers stay away.
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Unlike most other hack’n’slashers, The Bard’s Tale has no inventory to speak of nor does it have any loot that you can physically acquire from fallen enemies. All the items the Bard can acquire are either purchased at weapon stores and taverns, or handed out at several fixed points in the game’s story with the weaker equipment being automatically converted to the game’s currency. It's not hard to imagine some sort of brief setup on why this happens - considering the Bard's big mouth and penchant for making rash decisions, he might have angered some wizard or genie that made his desire for coin come true but at the expense of never being able to acquire items unless he spent the gold he cherished so much. But nothing ever explains the logic behind this quirky mechanic, ingame or otherwise. And since the Bard's equipment is improved once in a while by picking up better weapons and replacing the ones he has automatically with shinier and deadlier versions, why am still I finding poor weapons that are instantly changed to gold? Instead of just finding a ton of weapons the Bard won't equip and since automation was apparently a design goal, why not have enemies just drop gold right away? There's no point showing the player a weapon or item the Bard has picked up but won't be able to use. There could be a certain charm to the items you find on slain enemies but seeing Wolfs dropping the likes of picnic baskets and red hoods isn’t exactly pushing humor to new heights.
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Who would've thought loot in a hack'n'slasher was good?
 

Amasius

Augur
Joined
Sep 24, 2006
Messages
959
Location
Thanatos
Good review for a bad game. Played it last year for two hours or so and never touched it again. You obviously put more effort in the review than this piece of crap is worth.
 

Psycroptic

Liturgist
Joined
Nov 15, 2006
Messages
287
Location
Long live the new flesh!
It's a bit disappointing what they did with this. If you consider Dragon Wars to be Bard's Tale IV -- then there's been a LONG wait for a part V -- these guys completely dropped the ball. The original was never that realistic (slaughtering 4 x 99 berserkers, for example) but this is good example of what happens when a company acquires a license and then consolizes the game for the masses.
 

Volourn

Pretty Princess
Pretty Princess Glory to Ukraine
Joined
Mar 10, 2003
Messages
24,924
Why the hell is the Codex reviewing an Action game?

Other than that, a decent review. :cool:
 

Greatatlantic

Erudite
Joined
Feb 21, 2005
Messages
1,683
Location
The Heart of It All
Thank goodness for this review. I've been debating whether I should buy it since its release the other day, and was just about to give in. I hope the new staff members will continue to release such timely and prompt reviews!

Sarcasm aside, that is one mega review. Hard to believe you needed all that for a 10 hour game which you ultimately don't recommend, but you pretty much cover all the bases so ain't nobody going to criticize it. Shame about the game though. I had high hope for Brian Fargo rebounding and heaven knows the genre is ripe from some good paroding.
 

Diogo Ribeiro

Erudite
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
5,706
Location
Lisboa, Portugal
Action RPG, Vollie :)

Thanks for the feedback. I do my best to be as thorough as possible in my reviews, even if the game seemingly doesn't deserve it because I want to point out the most crucial aspects of gameplay and where they succeed - or fail.

If you believe this to be too long, you may have a surprise coming in the next few days ;)
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
28,017
Greatatlantic said:
Thank goodness for this review. I've been debating whether I should buy it since its release the other day, and was just about to give in. I hope the new staff members will continue to release such timely and prompt reviews!
Better late than never. I'd like to see more reviews, and games like Darklands and Realms of Arkania simply MUST be reviewed here.

Hard to believe you needed all that for a 10 hour game which you ultimately don't recommend, but you pretty much cover all the bases so ain't nobody going to criticize it.
It's a review. It must be detailed and cover all the bases, regardless of what the reviewer thinks of the game, so that people who haven't played it can form an accurate opinion.
 

Jasede

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Jan 4, 2005
Messages
24,793
Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Codex Year of the Donut I'm very into cock and ball torture
Naked Lunch is better for Ultima. VD would write nice Darklands and RoA reviews, and so would I, but trouble is, my mind is clouded with nostalgia. Even now I can't play those games and not long for olden times. Yes, RoA is just that damn good, and so is Darklands. Would that be bias? Or is it just the truth?

Focus: That was one awesome review.
 

Diogo Ribeiro

Erudite
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
5,706
Location
Lisboa, Portugal
Good point, VD sounds like a good chocie. I would review them if I thought I would do them justice, but it's been a long time since I've played the games and never finished them either. Besides, I'm knee deep in other Codex content.
 

Jasede

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Jan 4, 2005
Messages
24,793
Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Codex Year of the Donut I'm very into cock and ball torture
Someone should photoshop a head of you onto the Doom starting screen, but instead of imps, there would be content.
 

Fez

Erudite
Joined
May 18, 2004
Messages
7,954
The review is probably longer than the script for the game, but I did like it. You know exactly what you are getting into by the end.
 

cutterjohn

Cipher
Joined
Sep 28, 2006
Messages
1,629
Location
Bloom County
Ahm, isn't this "news" so old that it's stale?

I figured this out about the new Bard's Tale what seemed like years ago, when I had hoped that it would be another Bard's Tale RPG.

That said, it was designed to be an action game spoof on RPGs AFAIK. I'm not a big fan of this type of action game, so I gave it a pass.
 

Volourn

Pretty Princess
Pretty Princess Glory to Ukraine
Joined
Mar 10, 2003
Messages
24,924
"Action RPG, Vollie "

Meh. It's an ACtion game. Maybe Action Adventure if we push it. Games like JE, G3, and BL are more apt to fit the Action RPG descrption; but BT seems to be afull on Action game with maybe 1, or 2 rping elemnts thrown in for fun.

But, no biggie. Just seems silly to review (evfen if the review itself is fine)a game that doesn't even try to be rpgish. It'll be like reviewing BT's counterparts BDGA or FOBOS here at the Codex since it's basically the sasme type of game as them.
 

Diogo Ribeiro

Erudite
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
5,706
Location
Lisboa, Portugal
Well, we're basically analyzing the game as it's marketed. We all have our opinions about how games play - Vault Dweller made the case that he feels Baldur's Gate plays more like an adventure game, for instance; and we've got a Grandia 2 review, even - but they're still considered to be RPGs for all intents and purposes. Sometimes they're traditional, other times they're focused on the action side of things but we try to keep a middle ground - no exclusion of the games simply because we feel they're not particularly good at representing the genre.

I supposed Dark Alliance and Brotherhood of Steel would be reviewed - or at least listed in the database - if they had been also published on the PC.
 

Naked_Lunch

Erudite
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Messages
5,360
Location
Norway, 1967
I wouldn't mind doing an Ultima VII review. Maybe I'll do it this weekend seeing how I'm finally and completely free for the first time in a while. I already have access to the RPGcodex staff forum (I think) so can I just post it there once I complete it?
 

Naked_Lunch

Erudite
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Messages
5,360
Location
Norway, 1967
Jasede said:
Someone should photoshop a head of you onto the Doom starting screen, but instead of imps, there would be content.
roleplayswamp.jpg
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2005
Messages
4,559
Strap Yourselves In Codex+ Now Streaming!
Nice to see the codex is being revitalized in terms of staff and content. Im waiting for more reviews to come, theyre always a good read. A piece on the RoA series would be fantastic.

Im still waiting for that nwn 2 review from suibhine, just for the heck of it ;)
 

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