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Bard's Tale The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep - Director's Cut

Fluent

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The Real Fanboy
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Hey guys. Thank u for your words. I will say a few things. If you haven't been a big fan of blobbers or old-school dungeon crawlers, u may not like that game at all. I believe this is what happened in agris 's case. That's not a bad thing, we each prefer what we prefer. But the game definitely shines its brightest to those who have an open mind and enjoy dungeon crawlers to begin with. I'm a HUGE blobber fan, and this game is FRESH and modern, yet old-school at the same time. It is perhaps niche.

ProphetSword , I'm not sure what to say about your take. I know you are a fan of Gold Box and things like that. This game defers off the beaten path of crawlers and again, takes a fresh, modern approach. But it also shines a light on the old-school aspects as well. I mean, you can map the game if u want and turn off all map help. And I'm playing in Grid Mode, which is fantastic for me.

In the end I think people expected a super old-school blobber, got something a bit different, and never gave it a chance. Or the game perhaps was too niche for them to truly enjoy. Whatever the case may be, I am LOVING it. It has subtleness to its systems, which are deep and rich with choices. It has so many secrets that u can't even possibly find them all, even with a fine-toothed comb sometimes. It offers alternate paths in its exploration, side roads and side happenings. NPCs say funny and interesting things if u listen, and there are plenty of side quests to satisfy a fan of questing. In short, the game excels in all the areas I care about, being a deeply rooted old-school fan, but also appreciating the new and different. It is true that some are afraid, resent or fight against change. I would look inside mySelf to see if that is what is happening to me.

Best wishes guys. Much love and respect. Take care. :)
 

Decado

Old time handsome face wrecker
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Codex 2014
I liked this game but after so many (I mean a lot) hours in it was just too much. I don't mind long games but Jesus Christ. It is a typical Brian Fargo game: too fucking long for its own formula. I can't remember where I stopped, I should check Steam. But it has been years since I touched it.

The inventory was fucking horrible, as I recall.
 

Decado

Old time handsome face wrecker
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Codex 2014
Also, I'm not sure what this game's problem is but it is horribly fucking optimized. My PC ran like a fucking lawnmower the whole time I played this game. I could have cooked eggs on my fucking CPU.
 

Fluent

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The Real Fanboy
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Hey Decado ! Thanks for the words. It runs fine for me on my 1080ti, BUT it does have the occasional hiccup. Lasts for half a second and continues on fine. I notice it happens more in busier areas, and my goodness, the production value of the backgrounds, walls, textures, lighting, is phenomenal imo. A sight to behold on Ultra settings, so beautiful...

I LOVE long gamaes, especially RPGs and especially especially CRPG dungeon crawlers. :) So this is right up my alley. I'll have no problem pouring 100+ hours into this, it truly has captivated me and has been a sheer joy to experience. Much props to Brian Fargo and crew, they completely outdid themselves with this game. Just beautiful stuff. Legendary.
 

KeighnMcDeath

RPG Codex Boomer
Joined
Nov 23, 2016
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I tried playing the comical THE BARD's TALE then I noticed it came packaged with the original 3 bards tale games but done weird.

I picked that one up in the Wasteland 2 packaged bundle so essentially a lot if games in one buy for thag sale.

I have BT4 as well but just never got to it. I printed out the code wheel and laminated it before putting it together. Not sure where i put that.
 

Fluent

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Anytime! :) Hope that if and when u do it play it, u enjoy it!

Edit - P.S. There's so many secrets in this game it will make your head spin! :D
 
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KeighnMcDeath

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Cool. I actually enjoy puzzles and secrets. I play adventure and text adventure games and one of my old favorites is Realms of Darkness.
 

Fluent

Arcane
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Messages
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Cool. I actually enjoy puzzles and secrets. I play adventure and text adventure games and one of my old favorites is Realms of Darkness.

Nice man! Cheers! :D I will go out on a limb and say u will love Bard's Tale then. It has heavy adventure elements, like a WIDE variety of puzzles, multiple solution puzzles and the whole 9 yards. And secrets, my goodness. The very FIRST dungeon alone will take u hours to scour for every secret. I'm running back thru it after completing it just to find things I missed (which are plenty). What a game. :)
 

Fluent

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Messages
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Hey Sinatar ! To be honest (and you're probably going to laugh at me for this), I *enjoyed* fairy golf. :D lol...I remember the part where it was quite heavy and that is fine with me. I don't mind a series or string of puzzles, and it's so rewarding when u get thru them (picking up all the treasure along the way!) and can explore the next area. So yeah, all good with me, heh. Cheers friend! :)
 

Fluent

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Well, I enjoy golf and pool and frisbee golf and shooting hoops.

Fairy Golf as it's called here is when u have a field of "mirrors" that you must arrange to "putt" a fairy (yes, the fantasy type of fairy :P ) into the end goal via bouncing thru the mirrors. It's fun imo! Another puzzle in the game that has a huge variety of puzzles to tease your brain. :)

Edit - Just wanted to share a quick thing I noticed. NPCs get new dialogue after u complete certain quests and comment on things you may have had a part in. Just talked to 2 NPCs at the camp near the Adventurer's Guild after finishing Kylearan's Tower, and they mentioned hearing a loud noise there, and one asked if it was I who fought (the boss enemy) there. That's just some of the subtlety that InXile has beautifully crafted into this gem. Enjoy! :)
 
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KeighnMcDeath

RPG Codex Boomer
Joined
Nov 23, 2016
Messages
13,128
I recall when I got frustrated at Shadowgate, The Secret of Bastow Manor, and Psycho. Tbh, Tomb of Horrors had me confused as hell since it was given to me by someone who only enjoyed typing basic & machine language programs. For a long time in Shadowgate i couldn't even get inside. Bastow was worse. I finally saw a walkthrough a few years ago.
 

ProphetSword

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Monkey Island
ProphetSword, I'm not sure what to say about your take. I know you are a fan of Gold Box and things like that. This game defers off the beaten path of crawlers and again, takes a fresh, modern approach. But it also shines a light on the old-school aspects as well. I mean, you can map the game if u want and turn off all map help. And I'm playing in Grid Mode, which is fantastic for me.

I'm glad you're enjoying it. My experience was a lot less enjoyable...but to be fair I played it on initial release and not after a ton of bug-fixes or the later "Director's Cut." I may try to revisit it at some point. I don't have high hopes that I will love it when I do, though.
 

Fluent

Arcane
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The Real Fanboy
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Messages
830
I'm glad you're enjoying it. My experience was a lot less enjoyable...but to be fair I played it on initial release and not after a ton of bug-fixes or the later "Director's Cut." I may try to revisit it at some point. I don't have high hopes that I will love it when I do, though.

Hey Prophet. I know u love Gold Box, and so do I. I *know* u can get into Bard's Tale IV DC, I just know it. :) The game is *seriously* great! I'm amazed by it frankly, it drips with love and attentive production. When u do play, pay close attention to the small stuff, the subleties. There is a huge amount of stuff to find in this game, and it just gets sweeter and sweeter as you go imo. Play with Grid Mode too! It makes it like a more traditional crawler. I could go on forever about what I've discovered with this game, and I think u are the type to also discover a gem like this and will see what I'm talking about. Hope if u do play it u enjoy it bro! Take care. <3

Edit - I'd also recommend playing without resurrection after combat. U have to find a Save/Luck Stone to resurrect dead party members. Just adds a little level of tension to the game. :) Also, u may want to turn off the maps and just map it yourself if that's your thing. It's possible to do here. Oh, and play with Quest Waypoints turned OFF for maximum immersion. :)
 
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agris

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Apr 16, 2004
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6,869
Fluent what’s your take on itemization? Does it reward exploration? Feel satisfying? Expand the capabilities of your characters in interesting ways?

what about the maps, and their linearity? I assume you’re past the wilted woods (blighted forest? You know what I mean).

How about hidden optional content, the stuff that made you think hard. Can you share an anecdote or two?

Can you be specific about where the game really challenged you? where the victory was made all that much more sweeter due to the struggle.
 

Fluent

Arcane
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The Real Fanboy
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Messages
830
Hey agris ! Sure, I can answer your questions.

Itemization is excellent. There are varying tiers of equipment that u must have the skill learned to use. The farther the skill is down the skill tree, the better benefits the type of gear offers. There are also fabulous Elven Weapons, which have built in puzzles u can solve to increase the potency of the weapon itself. Many named items and legendaries, as well as an abundant amount of prefixes for various tiers and types of equipment. Lastly, the types of gear offer different benefits based on how u want to build your character. Want a higher Armor Class but less Constitution bonus (HP)? Choose heavier armor types. Want the Constitution bonuses to make your Fighter have a ton of HP? Choose Medium Armor. And so on.

The maps are divine. There are *many* secrets - so many in fact that you'll struggle mightily finding them all, and there's plenty of side paths to go down and find different things. There's also often strange connectivity in levels, with secret rooms and passages leading u to an area u have been before, almost as a shortcut or alternate route. Plenty of that in the game. Speaking about the maps as well, u get a plethora of environmental Songs to use to change the environment in designated (and often secret) spots to gain access to hidden things. It's fantastic.

Sure! I had to solve a few Dwarven Shrine puzzles. A talking mouth on the wall told me the riddle, and I had to place the items in the shrine to open a door. The riddle was very clever and had me stumped for awhile, and then finally, it clicked! I was rewarded with some cool loot behind the door. :) Oh, and for one super secret that I had a heck of a time trying to find, I was rewarded with the strongest headpiece armor in the game thus far. The puzzles can be hard, but they are not *too* hard, and so far the puzzles have been fairly light in the first 15-20 hours of the game. They are very nice brain teasers overall, and have been short so far.

The game on Legendary is too hard for me, I can't optimize my characters enough to best it. Hard is the sweet spot for me so far. The combat WILL challenge u. Often the enemies act cleverly and u must use your Opportunity Points wisely, as a slip-up or two could cost u the entire battle. The combat is exquisite, but it's too much to put into words. In short, there are a myriad of ways u can build a character, then build a team that synergizes with one another, then even more strategies u can use in a given combat to overcome the challenge. I have party-wiped or Surrendered about 10 times in the first 15-20 hours. The combat requires u to use your brain to solve, almost like a puzzle of how u can efficiently kill the enemies. In short, they give u a TON of options (as is the general theme in the game, u get a TON of "stuff" for your purchase.)

^^^ Gameplay Choices & Consequences at its finest. U can lose yourself just trying to decide which Trinket or Off-hand item to equip. You can't use your inventory during battle so u better make sure you equip those potions, caltrops, battle standards or what have u, and devise a strategy around using them. :)

The victories are always sweet. The developers know how to reward u. I defeated a 3 wave fight against cultists and the reward was an Elven named dagger/sword. Those types of weapons are awesome and always prized. Then in another case where I found a very hidden wall, I was rewarded with an entire chest full of blueprints for Shard weapons. Those are another form of weapons u can craft with shards that are also powerful.

I mean, I can go on so much more about all the little things in the game. The lip-syncing in dialogue and the excellent voice acting. The atmosphere, my God, it just oozes out of every pore of the beautifully crafted world. The attention to detail in every aspect of the game. The side quests and opportunities to gain much needed yet hard to come by gold (yes, the economy is quite tight for this section of the game so far). The excellent balance. They put a lot of TIME, EFFORT & MONEY in this game and it completely shows.

If u have any other questions just let me know! And I hope these answers help u. I can try to clarify things if u need. Cheerio! :)
 

Fluent

Arcane
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The Real Fanboy
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Messages
830
Sorry man, did I overload u with info? Needed it to be more short & sweet? :)

Fluent what’s your take on itemization? Does it reward exploration? Feel satisfying? Expand the capabilities of your characters in interesting ways?

Yes, it greatly rewards exploration. Tons of secrets and side paths. Tons of options in gear and the strategies u want to use for equipment.

what about the maps, and their linearity? I assume you’re past the wilted woods (blighted forest? You know what I mean).

Again, tons of side paths, tons of secret nooks and crannies. Open-ish world yet small enough to be manageable. Very nice.


How about hidden optional content, the stuff that made you think hard. Can you share an anecdote or two?

Plenty of puzzles, riddles, small little things to tease your brain. U get rewarded nicely. Some puzzles are quick and easy, others may take longer.


Can you be specific about where the game really challenged you? where the victory was made all that much more sweeter due to the struggle.

Just progressing past a tough enemy encounter is rewarding. Or finding a super secret nook with a very powerful item because u searched hard to find it. It rewards u in all these cases.

Responses in bold :).
 

agris

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Apr 16, 2004
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Sorry man, did I overload u with info? Needed it to be more short & sweet? :)
No, fluent, you didn’t overwhelm me. Your use of a multitude of exuberant qualifiers that serve no purpose other than to display your enthusiasm, at length, fails to provide a single iota of actionable information for a person to judge the quality of the game based on. You writing is that of an excitable elementary school student, yet I know you to be a grown-ass man.

That’s why I wished mercy on your soul, you clearly think you’ve provided something compelling in your response but it is pablum, drivel, and does not inform.

I feel bad writing this, like I’m punching down. I’m glad you like the game and are challenged by it; yet I hate that you are elevating inXile’s particular brand of contractor-developed cRPG pyramid scheme.
 

Fluent

Arcane
Patron
The Real Fanboy
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Messages
830
I wrote you a shorter version, see if that is more to your liking.
 

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