Bard's Tale is not a remake or a sequel to the popular
RPG of the 80s although the original three games are
included in this package. You would have to be a real
fan of ancient RPGs to appreciate the repackaging
of these three games. Back in the 80s I didn't even
know what a RPG was - I was still interested in girls.
I'm married now so that's not an option anymore.
I'm an authority on RPGs. Not that I'm any good at
playing them, but at least I know what's going on
- and that took a while let me tell you. The new version
of The Bard's Tale kind of mirrors my own life in
many ways with the exception of it taking place in
the Middle Ages - and him killing all those freaky
skeletons with swords and stuff.
Bard is a traveling musician who is more interested
in picking up chicks than saving the world. Not only
is he hedonistic but he's downright rude and crude
with a nasty sense of humor. I won't give this game
my stamp of approval because there are a lot of missed
opportunities in the gag department. This game could
have been so much more hilarious if I had a hand in
producing it. Not that I would have even contributed
one joke to the whole project but I would have severely
limited the input from that one nerd on the development
team with the immaturely developed sense of humor.
There are some things in this game that will make
you cringe. Just as the Bard is insulting people and
making fun of RPGs in grand fashion, he turns around
and does something so out of character that you just
know that the boss's kid was giving suggestions during
the brainstorming sessions with dad looking on approvingly.
I could be wrong but I just don't understand why 75%
of the material is good and the rest just sucks. It's
too inconsistent to not be the work of the boss's
conversations allow you to choose reactions and remarks
that are either nice or rude. The game is not linear
as your decisions will determine what adventures may
befall you. Even though the game makes fun of traditional
fantasy-based RPGs, it uses this exact genre as a
gameplay foundation with hack and slash combat, dungeon
crawling, leveling-up and performing various missions
and side quests to acquire money, upgrades, weapons
and information. It does tend to treat these elements
in a shallow way so don't expect a very deep adventure.
It's more of a lampoon.
will encounter wizards, druids, elves, monsters and
other freaks on your journey. To simplify things there
is very little micromanagement to concern yourself
with. You'll only be allowed to carry whatever you
pick up. The other items you have on hand will turn
to silver which you can use to purchase things at
the store. You'll always have an abundance of cash
to buy just about everything you want. This may offend
some traditionalists but it plays right into the Bard's
spoiled brat persona. It's like walking through the
game with one giant cheat code up your arse.
are lots of diverse environments from villages to
forests and creepy dragons' lairs. There isn't a lot
of detail but there's good depth perception in the
backgrounds. Some of the special effects are very
aliased and artificial looking. The animation isn't
smooth with lurching and jerky characters that look
like puppets controlled by Michael J. Fox. The cutscenes
are always a treat to look forward to so that you
can see what hostile situation the Bard will find
himself in and what his irreverent response will be.
voiceacting is great but the writing isn't so hot
in places. More than a few times I was scratching
my head and it wasn't because of the lice. Musically
appropriate, the game is filled with the lighthearted
melodies of lutes and flutes although there are some
musical numbers that take center stage and overstay
Bard's Tale is a relatively short RPG that could be
conceivably finished in a weekend unless you want
to play those moldy, oldie, 80s classic games that
come with it - the same games you wouldn't play if
you got them for free with a printer at Staples.