posted by MDBluesfan (MANCHESTER, MD) Jul 16, 2007
Member since Sep 2006
gamers (100%) found this review helpful
For the first half hour or so, I was pretty thoroughly unimpressed by this game. The controls aren't terribly precise, which can really ruin a hack 'n' slash title.
I stuck it out, though, and suddenly found myself several hours into the game and enjoying (almost) every bit of it.
While the controls didn't magically improve, my character did, and his increased ability was enough to offset the disadvantage the clumsy controls had left him at. On top of that, he was aided buy, in my opinion, the games strongest feature: the summon system.
After the first few hours, your character will rarely fight alone. He'll find at his disposal a variety of creatures to fight along side him (up to 4 allies by the end) who fill a variety of roles. Essentially, you end up with a prototypical RPG-style party that work better than you might expect. While no AI is perfect, your allies to a generally decent job of helping you out.
The game's other strong point is the humor. While it sometimes feels like they're trying too hard, the satirical attitude will have you chuckling more than you might be used to with a game.
The game does fall flat here and there, however. As mentioned, the controls are very clumsy. You'll find yourself frequently swinging into a combo in the wrong direction, and sometimes the action resembles a little kids soccer match: everybody bunches up right in the middle, and it's hard to tell who's who.
Still, it's worth a rent, and it's worth pushing through the first hour or so, because the game really does start to shine.
gamers (90%) found this review helpful
The Bard's Tale is an interesting game, because it's an action game looking for laughs. In some ways it succeeds and in others it gets the boot. The gameplay is very reminiscent to a hack-n-slash RPG like Diablo or X-Men Legends. The Bard himself favors all sorts of summoning skills that add personality to the game and distances itself from similar titles. Also helping to set it apart is the focus on irony and sarcasm, helped along by the voice-acting of Cary Elwes. Now, most of this script is not laugh-out-loud funny, but is humorous enough to give it character. Although, watching the undead have a dance-off was hilarious. While graphics and sound design are average at best, the gameplay runs smoothly with several side missions to enjoy and a main quest lasting roughly 15 hours. The big problem with the game is tedium. While the Bard does well at making fun of gaming conventions, it also exemplifies them, making many gamers look for a few cheat codes just to move it along faster. Not that the game isn't worth your time, it just might go a little too slow for people like me. If you want some action RPG fun with a twist, take a little trip with the Bard.