Bard's Tale IV Reviews

For all Bard's Tale IV discussion that does not fit elsewhere, suggestions, feedback, etc. No spoilers allowed.

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ZiN
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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by ZiN » September 27th, 2018, 2:16 am

50-60% ratings are well-deserved and are perfectly fine for this game. It is a jack-of-all trades but master of none. It has some puzzle elements, some adventure elements, some RPG elements, a bit of dungeon-crawling and tactics, but there are much better games overall in each of these categories. But yeah everyone can find something to like and dislike here. If it had a better focus, it could've gotten better ratings (at the cost of lesser mass-appeal / less sales).

I myself would give it an 5/10 (after the technical issues are fixed), with the possibility to go up by 2 points with the Director's Cut. I also give 3/10 to InXile as a company at this point and won't ever back anything from them and will only buy their stuff at deep discounts.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by eisberg » September 27th, 2018, 4:11 am

Well here is a different type of review. It is a review to help parents make smart buying decisions
https://www.heraldcourier.com/community ... 18ac2.html
RATING AND CONTENT

Recommended for ages 14 and older

Quality: 4 out of 5

Positive messages: 3 out of 5

Positive role models: 3 out of 5

Ease of play: 2 out of 5

Violence: 4 out of 5

Sex: 0 out of 5

Language: 1 out of 5

Drinking, drugs, and smoking: 4 out of 5

Consumerism: 3 out of 5

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by eisberg » September 27th, 2018, 4:49 am

PC Gamer review came up 10 hours ago, here it is
https://www.pcgamer.com/the-bards-tale- ... ep-review/
The verdict:
Score of 84/100
THE BARD'S TALE IV
An old-fashioned game in a shiny new package, The Bard's Tale 4: Barrows Deep is a worthy addition to a classic series.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by DNACowboy » September 29th, 2018, 1:09 am

IGN Video Review rating: GOOD. ‘A great RPG with some technical issues’

https://uk.ign.com/articles/2018/09/26/ ... eep-review
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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Themadcow » October 1st, 2018, 4:28 am

https://www.gamespot.com/reviews/the-ba ... 0-6417002/

Ouch, 4/10. Probably a little harsh, and also somewhat annoying to see things blamed on "old" systems when it's really just design choices doing the damage. Stats too simplistic? Yeah, but you can't say old games like Wizardry or Fallout 1 were lacking meaningful stats...
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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Themadcow » October 2nd, 2018, 8:13 am

https://techraptor.net/content/bards-ta ... eep-review

4.0 / 10

https://www.destructoid.com/review-the- ... 4737.phtml

4.5 / 10

Both reviews cover pretty similar territory in terms of things like inventory, bugs and some frustrations with combat.

If the Techraptor one was included on Metacritic then the score would dip under it's current metascore of 70.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » October 2nd, 2018, 11:06 am

Thanks for digging those up. Good to see the overly saccharine early reviews start to be balanced out by ones where the reviewers mention the numerous hours they spent in the game, gathering sufficient information to make detailed assessments.
Destructoid Review wrote: Winning requires at least some thought, though once I discovered a winning strategy, battles played out essentially the same no matter what.
At least it's not the "AAADDD" that everyone allegedly had to do in the originals.... Oh, wait.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Spectralshade » October 2nd, 2018, 12:24 pm

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
October 2nd, 2018, 11:06 am
Thanks for digging those up. Good to see the overly saccharine early reviews start to be balanced out by ones where the reviewers mention the numerous hours they spent in the game, gathering sufficient information to make detailed assessments.
Destructoid Review wrote: Winning requires at least some thought, though once I discovered a winning strategy, battles played out essentially the same no matter what.
At least it's not the "AAADDD" that everyone allegedly had to do in the originals.... Oh, wait.
I've been saying that for a while. that in spite of all the flashy looks the end result is combat that in practice is equally 'deep' but where the difference is that instead of hitting keys and seeing the result fast, you have to click on icons and wait for animations (not to mention waves).

Of course, I've been shouted down by certain people when I made such assesments, but it's nice to see that others are starting to see the same patterns.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » October 2nd, 2018, 5:47 pm

Spectralshade wrote:
October 2nd, 2018, 12:24 pm
_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
October 2nd, 2018, 11:06 am
Destructoid Review wrote: Winning requires at least some thought, though once I discovered a winning strategy, battles played out essentially the same no matter what.
At least it's not the "AAADDD" that everyone allegedly had to do in the originals.... Oh, wait.
I've been saying that for a while. that in spite of all the flashy looks the end result is combat that in practice is equally 'deep' but where the difference is that instead of hitting keys and seeing the result fast, you have to click on icons and wait for animations (not to mention waves).

Of course, I've been shouted down by certain people when I made such assesments, but it's nice to see that others are starting to see the same patterns.
I've also mentioned this a number of times previously, as well. I remember one person making the bad assumption that the originals were all about "AAADDD" and therefore "tactically shallow" and then in the very next sentence mentioning that the "deeper" combat of Barrows Deep meant that you had a more complex routine for the first two rounds and then you repeated it after that. Needless to say, I called that out: more complex repetition != tactically deeper. Also, a lot of people who remember the original BT games well have called out how much slower combat resolution is compared to the Barrows Deep game. And, given that combat system ends up being gamed by a couple of winning tactics, it just seems more painful overall.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Drool » October 2nd, 2018, 6:03 pm

And, of course, it was only AAADDD if you were way over-leveled. Go into fights underleveled and you're doing a lot more work juggling songs and spells to stay alive while reducing the amount of healing you need to do every round. I had a lot of fun taking on Brilhasti in BT3 when I was 10 or 15 levels lower than I probably should have been.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Jalis » October 2nd, 2018, 7:30 pm

At a certain point in this game, you probably find a specific rotation revolving around Conjurer's Mark and vampirism, and combat becomes less strategic and more a predetermined destruction of anything that you face. Put multiple practitioners in your party, and it becomes OP. The challenge now is whether I'll destroy the enemies in the first round, which I do 9/10 times, with the 1/10 feeling like a letdown that I let them get an attack in.

I can't say I'm not having fun completely outsmarting and overwhelming opponents, but to say that the original was less/more, etc... it's not a good argument, as you guys are saying. This one's combat was growing stale until I forced myself to change up my tactics that were also already winning against everything, and I then stumbled upon an even greater nuking rotation wherein I only bother using my 2 fighters to taunt to position everything, and maybe my rogue to trigger a mark... my bard hasn't done anything but watch for days... imagine if I substituted her for another archmage...

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Themadcow » October 3rd, 2018, 3:07 am

Nicked this link from the Codex, but another review:

https://www.slantmagazine.com/games/rev ... rrows-deep

6/10
Puzzles in Barrows Deep are clever and occasionally challenging and, above all, quite frequent. You can play long stretches without fighting at all, which lends the block-pushing and fairy-chasing and circuit-building an equal sense of purpose.
Yes, long stretches with no fighting at all. You know, just like no other Dungeon Crawler / Blobber ever.

:roll:
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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Themadcow » October 4th, 2018, 4:19 am

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2018 ... rs-delight

A more positive review from Eurogamer despite acknowledging the bugs/crashes.
It is an ideal place to return to puzzle in. There's no urgency, no tension; it's peaceful and relaxing, and accompanied by the most beautiful Gaelic soundtrack I've ever heard in a game. A whole album was specially commissioned for The Bard's Tale 4 and it is enchanting, from melancholic air to jaunty jig. This, mingled with the game's easy-going fantasy and pretty scenery, makes The Bard's Tale 4 exactly the game to play in the evening to unwind.

If there's such thing as a B-movie game, The Bard's Tale 4: Barrows Deep is it. I don't mean it detrimentally, because although it's scruffy, it has bags of charisma, and by not trying to please everybody it revels in being different. And being different in a world of so many spectacular role-playing games means everything. If you don't like puzzles, I hope I've made it clear you should probably avoid The Bard's Tale 4, but if you do - if you take pleasure in a mental stretch - then there's an awful lot here for you.
Which is probably fair enough. A game for puzzle fans rather than the traditional dungeon crawl crowd. Not sure I'm on board with the idea of no urgency or tension as being a good thing tbh ^^
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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Themadcow » October 4th, 2018, 7:20 am

Quick update on digital storefront reviews:

Steam: 55% for Steam buyers (60% for all reviewers) - this had been edging up slowly over the initial two weeks, but now seems to have settled around these numbers.

GOG: 3.2/5 (roughly the same for verified/unverified) - this probably isn't helped by the patching issues on GOG.

---------------------------------------------------

Metacritic:

Metascore: 70 from 24 reviews - this has dropped quite a bit since the initial release
User score: 6.6 from 65 ratings - this one has been edging upwards but now settling

In conclusion, it looks like we're getting to a consensus of both critics and owners that BT4 on release is somewhere between a 6/7 out of 10. Looking at overall metascores for PC RPG's in 2018 would put this somewhere in the lower middle.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by DNACowboy » October 4th, 2018, 10:15 am

Metacritic score is rising again, at 70 now. It is fascinating how so many reviews from AAA sites really rate the game but the less well-populated sites which don't employ actual experienced gaming journalists offer up negative reviews, perhaps we can learn something here? Also, I am wondering whether there is a reverse age divide? From comments on the forum, it seems many of those criticising the game prefer very old gaming mechanics, perhaps the positive reviews are from younger journalists and/or 'fan reviewers'?
This poster receives no commercial consideration or work from Inxile, he truly believes Bards Tale IV: Barrows Deep to be a great game and one he enjoys on a daily basis

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Hawkeye » October 4th, 2018, 12:50 pm

DNACowboy wrote:
October 4th, 2018, 10:15 am
Metacritic score is rising again, at 70 now. It is fascinating how so many reviews from AAA sites really rate the game but the less well-populated sites which don't employ actual experienced gaming journalists offer up negative reviews, perhaps we can learn something here? Also, I am wondering whether there is a reverse age divide? From comments on the forum, it seems many of those criticising the game prefer very old gaming mechanics, perhaps the positive reviews are from younger journalists and/or 'fan reviewers'?
Sure we can learn something here.
You don't bite the hand that feeds you.

Starwars Battlefront 2 has a Metascore of 68 while the userscroe is sitting at a 1.0
Middle Earth, Shadow of War has a Poligon score of 7.5 and a Metascore of 80 yet a userscore of 3.8
Or how about The Last Jedi with a whooping 91% rating from profesional movie critics because it's such a great movie but sits at an abysmal 45% public score (yes, it's a movie, but the same symptom)?

See a patern there, 'cause I sure do.

Funny how, no matter how those "profesional critics" try to hype up those games/movies, large parts of the audience stubornly refuse to buy their BS and praise those POS.

Could it perhaps be that those critics wouldn't recognize a bad game if it hit them over the head with a sign, reading: "I am a bad game!"?

Could it perhaps be that, even if those critics _did_ recognize a bad game, they couldn't rip it apart because that would mean no free review-codes and no invitations to exclusive events in the future (not to mention all the lost revenue from the canceled adds)?

Could it perhaps be that those large "gaming journalism" sites have very little to do with actual journalism but have developed into advertisement agencies?
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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Drool » October 4th, 2018, 3:18 pm

DNACowboy wrote:
October 4th, 2018, 10:15 am
actual experienced gaming journalists
This is possibly the funniest thing I've ever read on this forum.
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ZiN
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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by ZiN » October 5th, 2018, 2:14 am

Drool wrote:
October 4th, 2018, 3:18 pm
DNACowboy wrote:
October 4th, 2018, 10:15 am
actual experienced gaming journalists
This is possibly the funniest thing I've ever read on this forum.
Funny and sad at the same time. I do miss my favourite $0.75 gaming magazine from the 80's, with their black & white "screenshots" photographed from a C64 monitor. Their style was "slightly snappy, not to say sour" and they have hand mapped the whole freaking BT3 for their walkthrough.

Hawkeye got it perfectly, exactly my thoughts as well. Today you just can't trust any "reviews".

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Jalis » October 5th, 2018, 6:48 am

Like Scorpia!

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Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by DNACowboy » October 7th, 2018, 1:34 pm

Eurogamer review: Recommended, 'a scruffy puzzler's delight'

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2018 ... rs-delight
This poster receives no commercial consideration or work from Inxile, he truly believes Bards Tale IV: Barrows Deep to be a great game and one he enjoys on a daily basis

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