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The Bard's Tale

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Also on:PS2
GF Rating
6.5

804 ratings

Critic & User Reviews

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Better than I expected...

posted by MDBluesfan (MANCHESTER, MD) Jul 16, 2007

Member since Sep 2006

5 out of 5 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.

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GF Rating
6

Above Average

Bard's Tale is entertaining in a different way.

posted by nvanheuk (DES MOINES, IA) Feb 19, 2008

Member since Aug 2006

3 out of 3 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

When I began this game, I expected a classic RPG and what I got was a somewhat pared down game similar to that of several other games in this genre.

What Bard's Tale offers that other games do not is a very entertaining and sardonic sense of humor sprinkled throughout the classic RPG environment.

Even though the gameplay is somewhat limited, this game makes up for these drawbacks with a good sense of humor and a summoning aspect that is rather unique the typical hack 'n' slash game.

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GF Rating
6

Above Average

It's like Diablo, but with musicals!

posted by JCDenton (FREEDOM, NH) Aug 26, 2006

Top Reviewer

Member since Mar 2006

9 out of 10 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.

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GF Rating
7

Good

RPG Remix

posted by SlickJ2002 (HARRISBURG, PA) Feb 14, 2008

Member since Jan 2008

5 out of 6 gamers (83%) found this review helpful

The Bard's Tale is an interesting take on the classical western RPG. While it may feature the typical cast of goblins, wolves, and damsels in distress, the entire experience is given a satirical makeover and a personality suppository.

The basic game mechanics couldn't be simpler. Face buttons attack, jump, block, and interact with the environment, while the triggers are used to pull up your songs (summoning spells) and artifacts (magic items). The white and black buttons change weapons.

A lot of comparisons have been made to hack-n-slash RPGs like Diablo or Baldur's Gate. While it is similar in a way, it's definitely a slower-paced hack. Enemies can take quite the thumping before they hit the dirt. The camera is a bit high for my liking, and I think a lower angle would have served to bring you closer to the action, but what's there works well enough.

The sound is great. Voice acting, while not always on target, is amusing at worst and at times draws a few IRL laughs. The entire game has a sense of humor, whether poking fun at itself or RPG stories in general, and the actors present the humor more than adequately.

Visuals are a bit muddy and don't feel as vibrant as they could be, but it almost fits with the dark storyline in a way. They're always functional, at least.

Overall, The Bard's Tale is an entertaining adventure that any fan of RPGs who has a sense of humor should play. While it's not a terribly deep adventure, you'll likely be inclined to stick it out long enough to find out what happens to the ridiculous characters.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Surprising..!

posted by nova0629 (SACRAMENTO, CA) Jul 18, 2006

Member since Oct 2005

2 out of 3 gamers (67%) found this review helpful

This game is a gem. Not for the game mechanics (if you've played the stinker known as "Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel" then you know about the gameplay-reminds me a lot of the classic Gauntlet), but for the sheer comedic energy and genius invested in the game. The "Hero" of the game is the Bard, a rambunctious, smarmy, quick-witted ne'er-do-well with a penchant for summoning creatures with his music (this is how you as the player create parties to adventure with). The tunes to conjur the separate creatures must be found, as well as more powerful instruments (which give you more mana to cast with, as well as more slots to fill for your party). All in all, the Bard's Tale sounds like an average dungeon crawler-But, when coupled with the nuggets of comedy sprinkled throughout, this game becomes pure gold. From a sword that talks to you and about you-BADLY-To a zombie dance-off, to an axe which is used like an axe and an "axe" (in the musical sense)... Hilarity ensues..! Rent this game; you will not be sorry!

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Fun, clever, creative

posted by JMMack (UNIVERSITY PARK, MD) Feb 28, 2007

Member since Sep 2006

1 out of 3 gamers (33%) found this review helpful

This game is fun! Not for kids, but fun.

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GF Rating
1

Horrible

bards tale

posted by LOKI60 (EUGENE, OR) Sep 28, 2006

Member since Jul 2006

1 out of 16 gamers (6%) found this review helpful

would have been nice to know that it does not work on the 360. oh, well.

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GF Rating
5

Fair

I didn't get it

posted by dsach00 (DULUTH, GA) Oct 21, 2010

Member since Mar 2010

I tried playing this game once when i was younger and figured out i was way too young to keep playing because i just didn't get the point. I later returned to this game after playing baldur's gate dark alliance for the ps2 which i really enjoyed and thought maybe this would be a little like that. now thinking i was old enough to get the objective of the game i just really couldn't understand what the point was, it was fun don't get me wrong but i felt as if i were just returning to the same places over and over again killing the same enemies over and over again. After a while i just gave up and i think maybe i might return to it again later to see if anything comes out of it

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

Very Nice

posted by tagurit (FRAMINGHAM, MA) Aug 27, 2007

Member since Mar 2007

Game play isn't always optimal but the story and the in-jokes are great. The entire concept was very funny and the voice acting was super great.

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GF Rating
1

Horrible

Nothing good to say about this game

posted by upsetgamer (PLAINVILLE, KS) Jul 25, 2007

Top Reviewer

Member since Mar 2004

This has got to be one of the worest games ever programed it might have been a god game until the programers got their hands on it but once they did it isnt. First the controls dont work the camera is not good lets just say that Nothing in this game works at all. Whats is up with the endless waves of enemies and the bosses that You have to defeat to go any further in the game that wont fight you they just run away or actually they use Magic to disappear if you do accidently get close to them, I tell you whats up with that it is called Over paid programers being lazy and making a game that no one will ever bother to finish because they make it next to impossible
LIke the enemies that seem to block ever one of your attacks and you cant block theirs that is Just The Programers being lazy and Stupid

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