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

Tacgnol

Shitlord
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Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Grab the Codex by the pussy RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath I helped put crap in Monomyth
Maybe that IE-style game (name escapes me, I think a Codexer was writing on it) that is somehow actually getting made (I don't mean Black Geyser, the other one) will prove me wrong.

Do you mean Realms Beyond Ashes of the Fallen (or Chaos Chronicles as it used to be known)?

JarlFrank was working on that but, due to an unfortunate incident with his posts being shared outside the Codex, is no longer on the project.
 

4249

I stalk the night
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PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Codex Year of the Donut Divinity: Original Sin 2
Just started this today and played a few hours in. How on earth can a game from a studio that has existed for 15 or so years and with multiple games under their belt prior to this feel so amateurish. The game just screams of a bedroom project by a couple of college students on multiple fronts. Even Spiders games feel more professionally produced than this.

Oh well, at least it's entertaining enough to play so far, despite the jankiness. The sheer ineptitude of inXile game after game just baffles the mind...
 

4249

I stalk the night
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PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Codex Year of the Donut Divinity: Original Sin 2
Hoo boy, what a mess of wasted potential. There were fun ideas here and there, but in the end it was just ugly, buggy, janky and way too long and repetitive. But I guess I should've already known that from the previous comments. With a more limited scope and a lot more polish I could imagine this being quite alright.

With the amount of bugs I encountered, I can't imagine what the state of the game was before the Director's Cut. Some of the bugs were utterly stupid as well, like meditate suddenly changing back to a channeled skill from an instant skill, even though I still had the skill selected in the tree. And the fix was to reload the game. That should be a simple flag somewhere, I have no idea how they could fuck it up. Truly felt like an amateur project 'till the end. I just have to wonder what kind of a racket Fargo is running, since I can't understand how a "professional" studio can stay this inept.
 

Fluent

Arcane
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The Real Fanboy
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Hey guys. :D About to start a playthrough of this. Played a little bit beforehand and man, this game is LEGIT! Especially if u love blobbers. :) I put 30 hours or so into the original, excited about the Director's Cut, especially for grid movement and Legendary difficulty. Should be a blast like before, but this time I hope to finish it in time. But if u love blobbers and want something fresh and western to play, this game may deliver for u like it does for me.
 

agris

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Hey guys. :D About to start a playthrough of this. Played a little bit beforehand and man, this game is LEGIT! Especially if u love blobbers. :) I put 30 hours or so into the original, excited about the Director's Cut, especially for grid movement and Legendary difficulty. Should be a blast like before, but this time I hope to finish it in time. But if u love blobbers and want something fresh and western to play, this game may deliver for u like it does for me.

I'm going to save you and people reading your post some time, because yes the game comes on strong and it takes a bit for the cracks to show. Although.. 30 hours your say? You have surely seen the things mentioned below. Perhaps you have no standards?

Multi-headed Cow is really being too kind to this game. It vastly overstays its welcome, is mediocre to bad in all elements (maps, character building, itemization, challenge, length, “””puzzles”””, story, graphics) except the music. Even that gets a caveat because they overplay a single song per area until you’re sick to death of it.

And I have to say, calling the impediments to progress that dot every map like acne scars on a codexer’s face “puzzles” is a gross denigration of the word. This game has puzzles like politicians have morals. 99.3% of the time (and I can use that number of significant figures cuz there’s a fucking TON of these time wasting speed bumps) the “puzzles” require next to no thought and just break the monotony of fighting the same groups of enemies in a given map for the 39th time, or to distract you from the fact that you hit the deep end of the loot pool 1/3 into the game and you sure as shit know that elven weapon you just got won’t beat your diablo 3-style generic “rare” loot.

This game is the best that I’ve played from inXile and it’s garbage. Do yourselves a favor and play something good. Even if it isn’t new! Old stuff can be good too...

The game is tedious and uninspired in all aspects except the music. And you will even grow tired of that given how frequently the same songs are played. The puzzles are anything but, the combat is bland because the enemy roster and your abilities are bland, chardev has obvious best choices (and full respec courtesy adventurer tokens), and the loot pool is bland as well as shallow.

There are much better ways to spend your time.
 

Fluent

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Hey agris . Thanks for the response! Perhaps rather than thinking i have no standards, maybe u could entertain the notion of "different strokes for different folks"? Basically, I really enjoyed my time with the game. The puzzles, to me, were great! They were often brain-teasing and I welcomed them being there. U say the combat and such is bland, but I also greatly enjoyed it. I enjoy slower-paced, low...."excitement"? I guess? To me the combat was meaty and thoughtful on Hard difficulty. That said, I did think the game became too easy in combat for me sometime after a dozen hours or so on Hard difficulty, so I'm hoping Legendary difficulty presents more of a challenge for longer. But that said, I did love the game and what they did with the genre.

It's fun for me to enjoy different games from all over the RPG spectrum. I still enjoy the classics and the old-school offerings just as much as a newer RPG. What is life without variety, right? :) All I know is that I can't wait to start another run of the game after a few years of shelving it. And I think it offers something fresh for fans of the genre that they might like it too, so I recommend it. Different strokes for different folks, my friend! Take care. :)
 

agris

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Hey agris . Thanks for the response! Perhaps rather than thinking i have no standards, maybe u could entertain the notion of "different strokes for different folks"? Basically, I really enjoyed my time with the game. The puzzles, to me, were great! They were often brain-teasing and I welcomed them being there. U say the combat and such is bland, but I also greatly enjoyed it. I enjoy slower-paced, low...."excitement"? I guess? To me the combat was meaty and thoughtful on Hard difficulty. That said, I did think the game became too easy in combat for me sometime after a dozen hours or so on Hard difficulty, so I'm hoping Legendary difficulty presents more of a challenge for longer. But that said, I did love the game and what they did with the genre.

It's fun for me to enjoy different games from all over the RPG spectrum. I still enjoy the classics and the old-school offerings just as much as a newer RPG. What is life without variety, right? :) All I know is that I can't wait to start another run of the game after a few years of shelving it. And I think it offers something fresh for fans of the genre that they might like it too, so I recommend it. Different strokes for different folks, my friend! Take care. :)
Alright you cheery fuck, I literally cannot stop you from enjoying it so have at it. The fact that you describe the puzzles as brain-teasing... well, I guess that says it all. :hero:

The reason I posted my self-quotes is because I see a slow, steady decline in the standards this community applies to brand a game "good", and I legitimately worry that a hobby I spent a lot of time enjoying in my youth, and even spend a bit of time enjoying now, will soon entirely stop making games that appeal to me. It happens through the lowering of standards, cultural rot, forgetting what good actually is and celebrating mediocrity. And that's what BT4 objectively is - mediocre. We should reserve our praise for that which is truly special, not excreted out into the marketplace to be food for gamer flies.

This hobby needs more fly swatters.
 

Fluent

Arcane
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hey agris . Thanks again for the words. :) I honestly don't think there's anything to worry about regarding your concerns. As long as you're open to playing indie games, smaller budget RPGs and older games (replaying them and what not), there will always be good RPGs to play. There'd be even more to play if u open your mind to a variety of RPGs, styles, subgenres and the like. I can't tell u how to enjoy but I can assure u that if u keep an open mind and do your dilligent searching, u will find great new RPGs to play. There's just sooo many RPGs nowadays, it's fairly easy to find things I like, even finding more than I could possibly play in a lifetime probably! :) So I'd just chill and keep an eye out and you'll find some interesting stuff in time. Good luck! Hope u can find RPGs to enjoy as well. <3
 

Efe

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Dec 27, 2015
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if wer disregarding the somewhat horrid visuals at release, I liked the songs and atmosphere of BT 4 a lot too.
puzzles do get old fast tho i heard they added a puzzle skip song
 

Fluent

Arcane
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Hey Efe . :) Thanks for your input. They even added a "Skip All Puzzles" option in the Director's Cut, so if u really don't like the puzzles u can basically just turn them off for the playthrough. As the game went on the puzzles got trickier for me and I enjoyed solving them and being rewarded.

I also enjoyed the songs and atmosphere a lot too. I really liked the various environmental skills/songs that open up new areas to explore. I greatly enjoyed the exploration overall. The dungeons also were cool, not super in depth dungeons but good enough to feel rewarding and complete. I feel the game overall is a bit underrated but that's just me. :)
 

vazha

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Of course Fluent liked the puzzles most other people found trivial, anything to jolt that dead ass brain of his is a welcome respite.
 
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Fluent

Arcane
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I dunno about quitting and starting a new game...I have quite a few complete playthroughs of RPGs on my youtube channel, with more to come. I'm on the last boss fight in Dark Sun, and I'm one floor away from completing Wizardry: Labyrinth Of Lost Souls. I'm also halfway or so thru Stranger Of Sword City Revisited - all of these playing at the same time. So I'm pretty sure I'll be wrapping up games and finishing a few very soon. I hope to continue that trend going forward and if not completing everything I LP, at least playing a sizable 30 hour or so chunk of it. :)
 

Martyr

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Jan 28, 2018
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Bavaria
puzzles do get old fast tho i heard they added a puzzle skip song

problem is the puzzle skip song doesn't work with the most annoying puzzles (yes, plural) of them all: the multiple floor spanning laser beam shite.
 

Fluent

Arcane
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Apr 8, 2021
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Hey guys. I'm playing this now (years back spent 25+ hours with the original but got distracted), and I gotta say, I have no CLUE why this bombed the way it did! It's *great*! I love the lip-syncing in dialogue and all the colorful characters u meet. Combat is pretty fantastic on Legendary difficulty with a few other difficulty options turned on. I'd map it myself (that would take it to the NEXT LEVEL :) ) but i'm happy just playing with the game's map. But really? I'm having a downright blast with it. No, it's definitely not the old-school Bard's Tale trilogy (which i also LOVE), but it's dang good! Certainly unique if anything. If any of u guys give it a go I hope u enjoy it as much as i do! Cheers! :)
 

Zed Duke of Banville

Dungeon Master
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Hey guys. I'm playing this now (years back spent 25+ hours with the original but got distracted), and I gotta say, I have no CLUE why this bombed the way it did!
InXile created a type of RPG that doesn't really build on the audience of any existing subgenre and then woefully failed to market it to people who might appreciate it. The casualization of combat and exploration/puzzles meant that The Bard's Tale IV would appeal neither to fans of Wizardry-likes, nor fans of Dungeon Master-likes, nor fans of tactical combat RPGs (e.g. the Gold Box games), nor anything else that could be considered a "traditional dungeon crawler". These fundamental design choices alienated anything resembling the original audience for the Bard's Tale trilogy, while the developers were unable to pick up the casual gaming audience they were so clearly pursuing. The reasons for the latter aren't entirely clear, but certainly InXile did itself no favors by wasting money on advertisements attempting to attract people who had enjoyed Skyrim, even though nearly all Skyrim's audience would run away screaming by the first real puzzle and not many would be fond of the (rather odd) turn-based combat either. Moreover, the horrendous optimization and serious bugs on release certainly hurt, and I suppose casuals might have been interested in either the combat or the puzzles but not both simultaneously. :M
 
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V_K

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Nov 3, 2013
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at a Nowhere near you
InXile created a type of RPG that doesn't really build on the audience of any existing subgenre and then woefully failed to market it to people who might appreciate it.
In theory, I should have been the game's audience - I love puzzles in my dungeon crawlers and don't care much about combat. But BT4 is also somehow extremely unpleasant to play - it looks bad, it sounds bad, it the less said about UI and control scheme the better. And then you have the casualized chardev that's just annoying in itself. Even Operencia that has even more casual combat and shit puzzles was able to hold my attention for a few hours, but BT4 I could stand for less than the 2 hours that are the Steam refund window.
 
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Fluent

Arcane
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Apr 8, 2021
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Hey guys. :) I'm 15 hours in and this game is *unbelievable*! Wow. So good! Just finished Kyleran's Tower, aka the first real dungeon in the game, and it was probably one of the coolest dungeons I've ever explored! What a game. I also wouldn't say it's casualized at *all*, really. There are some very complex and clever things u can do in combat, and some real different ways u can build each character. Plus u get cool story characters that join your cause, and they can be built in even more unique and fantastic ways. It's really a meat & potatoes crawler, tons of content and just great, unique and fresh systems everywhere u look. Do not sleep on this game if u are a fan of crawlers OR CRPGs in any way, shape or form. This is a must-play imo. Cheers guys!
 

ProphetSword

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Monkey Island
Hey guys. :) I'm 15 hours in and this game is *unbelievable*! Wow. So good! Just finished Kyleran's Tower, aka the first real dungeon in the game, and it was probably one of the coolest dungeons I've ever explored! What a game. I also wouldn't say it's casualized at *all*, really. There are some very complex and clever things u can do in combat, and some real different ways u can build each character. Plus u get cool story characters that join your cause, and they can be built in even more unique and fantastic ways. It's really a meat & potatoes crawler, tons of content and just great, unique and fresh systems everywhere u look. Do not sleep on this game if u are a fan of crawlers OR CRPGs in any way, shape or form. This is a must-play imo. Cheers guys!

Are you sure you're playing Bard's Tale IV? The game you're describing sounds like a game I'd actually play...and Bard's Tale IV, as a game I did play, didn't fit that description at all. I'm confused.
 

agris

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ProphetSword some people's standards are so low, you gotta dig a new sub-basement to find them.

InXile created a type of RPG that doesn't really build on the audience of any existing subgenre and then woefully failed to market it to people who might appreciate it.
In theory, I should have been the game's audience - I love puzzles in my dungeon crawlers and don't care much about combat. But BT4 is also somehow extremely unpleasant to play - it looks bad, it sounds bad, it the less said about UI and control scheme the better. And then you have the casualized chardev that's just annoying in itself.
Exactly, I'm not raised on old school blobbers although I do enjoy a certain cut of old rpg and tactics games and inxile managed to create an insipid title in BT4 that took the 30 hours I put into it and turned me into an anti-evangelist.

And BT4 is the best inXile game I've played (haven't played WL3).
 

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