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User Reviews

There's a difference between pointing out clichés and avoiding them all together. Terrence Bosky (5459) 3.57 Stars3.57 Stars3.57 Stars3.57 Stars3.57 Stars
Right Script and Acting, Wrong Game Indra was here (20862) 4.29 Stars4.29 Stars4.29 Stars4.29 Stars4.29 Stars

Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
Acting The quality of the voice or video acting. 4.4
AI The quality of the game's intelligence, usually for the behavior of opponents. 4.1
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work and the game plays. 3.9
Graphics The visual quality of the game 3.9
Personal Slant A personal rating of the game, regardless of other attributes 4.1
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 4.2
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they are executed. This rating is used for every game except compilations and special editions which don't have unique game content not available in a standalone game or DLC. 4.1
Overall User Score (14 votes) 4.1

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
Game Chronicles (Dec 14, 2004)
Although The Bard’s Tale doesn’t offer anything new in terms of gameplay, it’s the amazing story, presentation, voice acting, and sense of humor that make it a great game. With its solid graphics and easy to learn control scheme, The Bard’s Tale truly is a tale to remember.
GameLemon (Mar 26, 2005)
A humorous mockery of the traditional adventure RPG. Think Baldur's Gate with an attitude. Talking back to the narrator, cow tipping, spitting on selfless heroics and lusting after anything with a cleavage kind of thing. Killer dialog, lots of off-beat humor, average graphics. Gameplay is fun enough, though lacks true shine.
GameZone (Nov 08, 2004)
Sarcasm rules the day in this game. (That last bit was a joke to the developers.) Gameplay does, too. No one who enjoys RPGs will not enjoy The Bard’s Tale. It’s got everything you desire from the genre: great characters, a great story, addictive gameplay, and a quirky soundtrack that you won’t find in any other game released this year.
XGP Gaming (Nov 30, 2004)
For those hack n’ slash/dungeon crawler lovers, this game breathes a breath of fresh air into the genre. The Bard is the most unlikely hero you will come across - only out for coin, cleavage and wine, not necessarily in that order. The humor is adult and the game is rated Mature, so it’s not meant for the younger crowd out there. However, it’s a great thing to see the genre making fun of itself, in a way that will keep you laughing from one cut scene to the next. So, even if you’re not a fan of the top down hack n’ slash adventuring games, you should give this a try. The game dynamics have totally simplified this genre of game where others have failed and been bogged down in complex inventory systems and potions. The system is simple, and allows you, the player, to focus on the fighting and the story of the game: the fun parts!
IGN (Oct 21, 2004)
Brian Fargo, famed creator of seminal RPGs Baldur's Gate and Fallout is finally back in action with a re-telling of his original great, The Bard's Tale. Having formed his own company, inXile Entertainment, Fargo licensed the Snowblind Engine used to make Sony's Champions of Norrath and created a rather unique, if somewhat familiar, top-down fantasy role-playing game. While The Bard's Tale may look like every other top-down perspective RPG hack-n-slash you've played in the past, it is not. The Bard's Tale is a lampooning of the entire genre with a hero who is often more despicable than the villains and a magic system that is unlike anything done before.
80 (Jun 30, 2005)
Trotz einiger Längen und des geringen Umfangs war The Bard‘s Tale sehr amüsant und teils erfrischend anders. Die vielen Parodien und der schwarze Humor sorgten dank erstklassiger Lokalisierung ebenfalls immer wieder für gehobenen Spielspaß. In den Genreklischees, die inXile schonungslos durch den Kakao zog, ist aber auch der Barde gelegentlich stecken geblieben, so dass unterm Strich zwar ein herrlich zynisches Rollenspielerlebnis strahlt, das rein spielerisch jedoch nicht so viele Akzente zu setzen vermochte wie erhofft und darüber hinaus ohne den sonst üblichen Koop-Modus auskommen muss. Wer auf unkomplizierte Hack‘n‘Slay-Kost à la Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance oder Champions of Norrath steht, wird dennoch seine Freude mit dem tollpatschigen Barden und seinen Missgeschicken haben, die kein Rollenspielerauge trocken lassen dürften.
Worth Playing (Nov 13, 2004)
I can’t praise its groundbreaking gameplay mechanics, I can’t gush over its unreal sense of reality, I can’t be breathless about its mind-blowing lighting effects, but I can tell you this: This is the most fun I have had with a role-playing game in a very long time. It drips with an attitude that is wonderfully anarchic and cynical. It eschews the heroic knight in shining armor in favor a more “normal” hero, one that cares mostly for two things, coin and cleavage, and that can’t be a bad thing in my questbook.
GameSpy (Oct 26, 2004)
As mentioned in GameSpy's numerous previews, The Bard's Tale parodies many conventions found in fantasy RPGs. From "chosen ones" to breaking barrels for treasure to killings rats in the cellar, the game isn't afraid to poke fun at anything and pulls no punches. To call the game a mere parody is a disservice though as its story can stand on its own -- it's just way funnier if you've played several RPGs. The script and dialog are among the best I've experienced all year. It's a truly enjoyable tale with lots of interesting twists and immensely enjoyable banter.
74 (Apr 14, 2004)
Es ist wirklich toll mit dem Barden Abenteuer zu erleben. Die Technik stimmt und Dialoge sorgen für viele Lacher. Dennoch geht mir der Sarkasmus des Barden an mancher Stelle nicht weit genug – das ist jedoch Geschmackssache. Was wirklich negativ auffällt ist das limitierte Inventar und das umständliche Gezaubere. Hier hätte ein wirklich einfaches System wesendlich bessere Dienste geleistet. Ein weiteres großes Manko ist der nicht vorhandene Zweispieler-Modus. Gerade bei solchen Spielen ist dies heutzutage ein Muss! Dennoch: Erfahrene RPG-Solisten, die Ihr Lieblings-Genre gerne mal auf die Schippe genommen sehen wollen, müssen unbedingt zugreifen!
Sydney Morning Herald (Oct 21, 2004)
Combat is typical hack-and-slash, but it is prudent to rely on summoned allies and ranged weapons. Most enemies do ferocious damage up close but, stupidly, stand idle when struck from afar.
70 (Mar 24, 2005)
En misant tout sur son ambiance décalée et sur le caractère acerbe du personnage principal, The Bard's Tale parvient à se démarquer des autres hack'n slash du moment malgré d'énormes simplifications de gameplay. Les nombreuses invocations apportent d'ailleurs beaucoup à l'intérêt du jeu, même si celui-ci ne nous fera pas oublier les titres de Snowblind.
Gaming Target (Jan 12, 2005)
We've all heard of (or rather seen) many film parodies before. Yeah, they're those kick ass films that make fun of some of our other favorite movies, which in themselves (the parodies I mean) become even better than the original (sometimes they do...or maybe not). Comedic greats in their own agenda, Scary Movie, Hot Shots!, and everyone's favorite, Spaceballs, are some of these classic examples. Inevitable by design, parodies poke fun at the movies we love, and in return we go, "Oh hey, I didn't even think of that before!" And then the laughter ensues. Video games have been going Hollywood for years now. There've been game adaptations of films. There've been movie actors voicing game characters.
Yahoo! Games (Oct 26, 2004)
Poking fun at cliches is a hallmark of many forms of entertainment, but tongue-in-cheek games are few and far between. The Bard's Tale, the spiritual successor to a popular '80s series of role-playing games, mercilessly lampoons fantasy cliches with hilarious results. The hack-and-slash gameplay doesn't have the depth to carry the title on its own, but the laughs are compelling enough to make it well worth a play.
1UP (Jan 19, 2005)
It may be called The Bard's Tale, just like the Amiga roleplaying classic, but the true ancestor of inXile's enjoyable action-RPG is Earthbound. Like Nintendo's cult classic, it's a game with likable characters, a sharply-developed sense of humor, and somewhat perfunctory gameplay.
GameSpot (Oct 25, 2004)
The Bard's Tale has some genuinely good ideas, but much of its execution falls short. The funny stuff isn't as funny as it needs to be, and at its apex it's just kind of amusing. The straight high-fantasy stuff it employs is actually pretty good, and the game might've even been better if it had played it straight all the way through. The core hack-and-slash stuff is solid, and the changes it makes to the genre's formula, though not entirely successful, do help give the game a bit of its own personality. It's certainly not an out-and-out failure, but in light of the legacy created by its namesake and the previous landmarks in the genre, The Bard's Tale is a disappointment.
Joypad (Apr, 2005)
Ce mois-ci, Ubisoft édite deux hack'n slash, et, bien évidemment, c'est le jeu Champions: Return to Arms qui a eu notre préférence. Mais il ne faudrait pas non plus passer à côté des tribulations de ce si sympathique barde. Ce serait, pour sûr, se priver d'un petit jeu d'action/aventure pas trop mal fichu, un peu vieillot certes, mais loin d'avoir été programmé avec les pieds. Ne serait-ce que pour son ambiance taillée dans un humour exquis, le titre d'InXile parvient à attirer notre attention malgré la rigidité de son personnage principal dans les combats. C'eût été mieux avec un mode multijoueur aussi...
Game Revolution (Nov, 2004)
Want to really piss off the D&D geeks in your school, dorm, office, or extended family? Then try this: the next time they’re planning a rousing game of pen and paper, ask politely to join in the festivities. Don’t worry, they’ll let you come along even if you’re a total D&D newbie (a new party member IS a new member, after all, which at the very least means there will likely be a dead, lootable body in the immediate future). Obviously, you’ll show up unprepared and will have to create a new character.

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