I'm one of the 2 people who genuinely love this game

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I'm one of the 2 people who genuinely love this game

Post by Staehrminator » December 14th, 2018, 12:21 pm

The other being my roommate.

Seriously, I don't understand why the game gets so much flak. It has a Metroidvania-style dungeon design, which I've always liked, and what I perceive to be a huge world with many different locations. It has riddles and quests that make me *think*, and secret stuff that tickles my exploration bone. It has a combat system that's simple enough to be instantly gratifying yet deep enough that I can spend hours theorycrafting party builds. It has downright fantastic music and atmosphere, and is still lighthearted, relaxing and fun. It's the best game I've played all year.

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Re: I'm one of the 2 people who genuinely love this game

Post by Gizmo » December 14th, 2018, 2:40 pm

The reason is simple. For a loose parallel...Imagine if the next Elder Scrolls game was the best RTS that you've ever seen or played—nothing technically wrong with it, no bugs; wonderfully polished work, and with good writing.... but not an open world, and it used fixed characters with charged abilities. A mechanically sound and well devised game.

Could it be fun? Yes
Would there be people who liked it? Probably so
Would it offer the gameplay that the series' reputation and expectation demand? Of course not.

BT4 does not offer the gameplay that the series' reputation and expectation demand... It offers a blend of unrelated game elements that are wrapped up in a very loose and skewed interpretation of... well... not even that; it kept a few of the names used in the series; often not with the same meaning or definition.

Alas... the above statement equally applies to the crap-fest that Bethesda did to the Fallout IP. :(

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Re: I'm one of the 2 people who genuinely love this game

Post by thebruce » December 15th, 2018, 5:18 pm

Most people who wonder why it's not doing so well often cite aspects of the game that are good - and get very little debate - because on its own merit, sure it's a great game (ymmv, but generally the sentiment is yes). But it got bit by the fact that it's a sequel, and many don't feel that it fit that bill. So, generally speaking, it's not that any of those things people like about the game are disputed, but rather "it's not Bard's Tale", as oft sung.

Could it have done better were it billed as a spin off or its own IP? I'm guessing probably yes.
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Re: I'm one of the 2 people who genuinely love this game

Post by Hawkeye » December 16th, 2018, 12:41 am

I agree with @Gizmo and @thebruce above, it is, at a minimum, a decent game on it's own (I still have issues with a few design decisions but hey, I sunk 150 hours into it, so it can't be all bad :) ).

Problem is, it was advertised and kickstarted as a Bard's Tale game, a sequel to the original trilogy, no less and in that aspect it most definitly crashed and burned - HARD.

In contrast, I'm currently playing Pathfinder Kingmaker and the Baldur's Gate vibe this game radiates is _insane_!
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Re: I'm one of the 2 people who genuinely love this game

Post by Staehrminator » December 16th, 2018, 2:16 pm

Ah. That makes sense then. No idea what the originals were like, I tried the ones that came with the 2004 Bard's Tale, but couldn't figure out how to play them. Not sure if they were even working correctly, I may have had some compatibility issues.

I do agree that it could have skipped the "IV" part of the title and gone with Barrow's Deep. Maybe with a rebranding and some more advertising it wouldn't have flown so low under the radar. Still, enjoying it immensely for what it is.

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Re: I'm one of the 2 people who genuinely love this game

Post by Gizmo » December 16th, 2018, 2:46 pm

Staehrminator wrote:
December 16th, 2018, 2:16 pm
Ah. That makes sense then. No idea what the originals were like, I tried the ones that came with the 2004 Bard's Tale, but couldn't figure out how to play them.
I couldn't get them to play reliably—and they were why I bought BT 2004.

But we are in luck... If you would like to know what they are like, there is a gloriously reverse-engineered & remastered version; recreated in the Unity3D engine, by Krome Studios.

Seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78wpEFQwEk8

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Re: I'm one of the 2 people who genuinely love this game

Post by Drool » December 16th, 2018, 4:46 pm

Gizmo wrote:
December 16th, 2018, 2:46 pm
I couldn't get them to play reliably—and they were why I bought BT 2004.
Really? Once I muddled through the awkward emulated disk drive nonsense, I found them pretty solid and stable.
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Re: I'm one of the 2 people who genuinely love this game

Post by thebruce » December 18th, 2018, 6:19 am

Staehrminator wrote:
December 16th, 2018, 2:16 pm
Ah. That makes sense then. No idea what the originals were like, I tried the ones that came with the 2004 Bard's Tale, but couldn't figure out how to play them.
Yeah, precisely. That's the context I read in most of the positive reviews of BT4 (I say most - some people are professing fans of the trilogy AND love BT4 - that is of course entirely valid). But most people who love BT4 also reveal some level of ignorance (speaking literally, not derogitory) to the original trilogy. ie, they've come to BT4 with fresh eyes and have enjoyed it having no idea what the trilogy was like. Many (don't know if it's most) negative reviews are from people who make some connection to it not being as faithful to the trilogy as they'd hoped or expected, which can certainly colour their entire review (as in, even though some aspect of the game could be fun, because it's played through tinted lenses it's not considered fun in their review).

It was a big risk having it claim the title of sequel #4 given how significant the gap was between BT3 and 4. And one the problems which I think was a BIG issue was the oft-repeated claim that they were making a sequel as if it were a few generations down the road. In other words, they assumed that a number of changes to the BT formula were successful over those (non-existent) iterations, so that this sequel was built upon "successful evolution" over multiple generations. But there were no intermediary releases. There were no sequels that showed that decisions they made for #4 would have been successul if implemented in those middle non-existent games. So it ended up being a huge risk with a number of significant changes relative to the last successful release of a Bard's Tale series game.

And that is the big catalyst for much of the negative reactions to the game. Not that those changes or game concepts themselves are bad, but the relative gap between 3 and 4 is enough to sway a whole lot of opinions.
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Re: I'm one of the 2 people who genuinely love this game

Post by Lucius » January 8th, 2019, 12:00 pm

So I haven't touched the game. Haven't even downloaded it. Haven't read anything about it. My old video cards are dying so I've been off PC gaming for awhile, but I'm getting a new gpu in tomorrow and I'm thinking of starting to play this. Is it worth playing? Is the game fun for what it is?

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Re: I'm one of the 2 people who genuinely love this game

Post by Gizmo » January 8th, 2019, 12:09 pm

I can't say... I played it for about 20 minutes, and had to leave the house on some errands; figuring that I'd resume when I got back... and simply haven't yet. No concerted dislike for it... it just didn't pull me back like Disciples, Quake, or Grimrock did. Image

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Re: I'm one of the 2 people who genuinely love this game

Post by Lucius » January 8th, 2019, 1:18 pm

Actually when's the free dlc or whatever suppose to release? I might just wait until then.

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Re: I'm one of the 2 people who genuinely love this game

Post by Roscoe » January 29th, 2019, 6:30 am

It took me a while to start playing it after release. I played the Alpha. Skipped the Beta because I was switching jobs, then the game was released. I started playing this about a week ago and I'm having a whole lot of fun with it.

I can see both sides of the argument. The grid based opportunity limiting battle play is not like the original games. Limiting abilities to only 4 at a time is annoying to say the least. No spell lists. No Mangar's Mind Blade or YMCA to cast.

Skill trees vs bonuses for leveling (double attack, hunter crit, monk AC drop per level, etc)

That being said, what I have found very fun are the following:

The puzzles are great. Varied enough to stay interesting. Fairy Golf is great. Those electricity puzzles in the mid-stage of the game are challenging and have a high level of satisfaction when completed. Elf Puzzle Weapons are fun, if a tad annoying at times (Think the hilt spin puzzle)

The map is beautiful. I can still remember that view in the Baedish Lowlands when I crested that snow-topped path for the first time.

Music is great

The in character banter is great. I actually laughed out loud when the Demon Imp was talking to the Barbarian Chick like she was a retard :)

-

I played the original trilogy on a C-64. I won it on a Tandy 1000. I was jealous of my friend who had the Atari ST version :) I've played a LOT of The Bard's Tale in my time. As a modernized reflection of the original, I'd say that they got it about half right. I would have preferred a spell book and spell points. I would have been fine with a more modern version of the 'attack, attack, attack, defend, defend, defend' schema of the original trilogy. Dungeons that had a 'click here to load next level' could have been a nice tip of the hat to the old games, giving you that feel that you're getting deeper and deeper into the dungeons. I'm not done yet though, so maybe this is going to happen.

I'd say if you haven't played it yet, give it a chance. It's a fun game. The fights are a tad repetitive in that you're doing the same thing first round every fight (Bard drinks, casts damage shield on himself and the two fighters to the left/right)

I just got the Wand of Peace quest completed. Very fun electricity puzzles, and that 3 round fire giant fight was a real bitch to get through in one piece :) I'd give it an 8/10 as far as an RPG goes, and a 6/10 as far as a Bard's Tale sequel goes. I'm a fan of turn-based combat and this one has strategy in spades.




One thing I found that was missing: There was a VERY overpowered heal song in the Alpha which didn't make it's way into the final version. It's too bad as I really wish I had that heal song. I've been missing it every single fight :)

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Re: I'm one of the 2 people who genuinely love this game

Post by svdp » February 20th, 2019, 11:05 am

In short: it's a very good and fun game. Is everything perfect? No. But if you manage your expectations and realize it's an indie game, not an AAA title, then you're bound to find it very enjoyable, especially if you love (a modern update of) old school RPG and some puzzling. The combat is quite novel, and thus also needs some time to get used to, but is very satisfactory as well, once you get the hang of it and realize its strategic/tactical possibilities.

Of course, whiners gonna whine - in a self-entitled way, even, but I would say it's been, overall, a great experience. I've put in more than 150+ hours, testimony of how enjoyable it was.

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Re: I'm one of the 2 people who genuinely love this game

Post by thebruce » February 20th, 2019, 11:44 am

Calling people who don't like something as much as you do whiners and self-entitled won't win you any points.
Indie or AAA isn't really the issue. It can be a very good and fun game (for those who enjoy it, as with anything), but that's a more likely take-away for people who can enjoy game on its own merit. Those who are looking for a faithful BT-classic-like sequel are more often quite disappointed. Yet even many of them can still enjoy it on its own merit. The scale of the game isn't the issue. The similarity to the classic games is. That's not self-entitlement - that's managing expectations.
It's great that you're able to enjoy the game with everyone else who is! I hope to once I have a powerful enough computer to enjoy it without chugging at bare minimum graphics settings (also not an expectation I had for a BT sequel). :P
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Re: I'm one of the 2 people who genuinely love this game

Post by Gizmo » February 20th, 2019, 11:44 am

svdp wrote:
February 20th, 2019, 11:05 am
...I would say it's been, overall, a great experience. I've put in more than 150+ hours, testimony of how enjoyable it was.
That makes it a good game, that doesn't make it a good Bard's Tale. ;)
(Akin to how a great pipe wrench is not a great hammer, and vice versa—it doesn't matter how good they are, each is not made suitably for the other's task.)

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Re: I'm one of the 2 people who genuinely love this game

Post by svdp » February 22nd, 2019, 7:44 am

thebruce wrote:
February 20th, 2019, 11:44 am
Calling people who don't like something as much as you do whiners and self-entitled won't win you any points.
Indie or AAA isn't really the issue. It can be a very good and fun game (for those who enjoy it, as with anything), but that's a more likely take-away for people who can enjoy game on its own merit. Those who are looking for a faithful BT-classic-like sequel are more often quite disappointed. Yet even many of them can still enjoy it on its own merit. The scale of the game isn't the issue. The similarity to the classic games is. That's not self-entitlement - that's managing expectations.
It's great that you're able to enjoy the game with everyone else who is! I hope to once I have a powerful enough computer to enjoy it without chugging at bare minimum graphics settings (also not an expectation I had for a BT sequel). :P
I'm not here to win points. What else to call people who whine, whiners? It's an accurate description. If you meet someone on the street who acts as an asshole, it's correct to call him an asshole. Yes, could be that he has temper-management issues or what not... but he's *still* an asshole, at that moment.

I agree with your part about managing expectations: that's exactly what I have been saying as well. However, it doesn't change the fact that one can have an issue of managing expectations and not whine about it, and then you can have the same issue, and whine about it. The former are not whiners, the latter are. And of course a game SHOULD be enjoyed or judged on its own merit, it would be foolhardy to do anything else. If everyone was to judge a game based on other merits than its own, then there is simply no meaning to it, since the merit would only exist in the subjective assumptions and a-priori expectations of their own mind. But of course, in reality that's a problem of the person, NOT of the game.

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Re: I'm one of the 2 people who genuinely love this game

Post by Gizmo » February 22nd, 2019, 8:12 am

svdp wrote:
February 22nd, 2019, 7:44 am
And of course a game SHOULD be enjoyed or judged on its own merit, it would be foolhardy to do anything else.
Not in the case of sequels. A sequel has a charge for the design to fit in with the established series. To not deliver on this is an abuse of trust—and it's worse if willfully done, instead of just from ineptness. Then it becomes an insult on top of it all. :evil:
If everyone was to judge a game based on other merits than its own, then there is simply no meaning to it, since the merit would only exist in the subjective assumptions and a-priori expectations of their own mind. But of course, in reality that's a problem of the person, NOT of the game.
A bogus assumption; if the developer ignores the established series' experience, and intents, then their game as a "sequel" simply has no meaning to it, and again, it's a abuse of trust and expectation... Like advertising a Strawberry Festival, and serving all manner of delicious treats—but no Strawberries... It simply doesn't matter if the Baked Alaska, and Quiche are superb... It's a Strawberry Festival with no strawberries; it's a Bard's Tale sequel with no Bard's Tale.

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Re: I'm one of the 2 people who genuinely love this game

Post by svdp » February 22nd, 2019, 8:19 am

Gizmo wrote:
February 20th, 2019, 11:44 am
svdp wrote:
February 20th, 2019, 11:05 am
...I would say it's been, overall, a great experience. I've put in more than 150+ hours, testimony of how enjoyable it was.
That makes it a good game, that doesn't make it a good Bard's Tale. ;)
(Akin to how a great pipe wrench is not a great hammer, and vice versa—it doesn't matter how good they are, each is not made suitably for the other's task.)
This seems to involve some a priori assumptions, what you're saying, there. Let me explain using your own analogy. The task of a game is to be enjoyable when playing it; dull games do not make good 'tools' and did not perform their task adequately. This game was exactly that: enjoyable, and fulfilled its task, thus. By making a distinction between a wrench and a pipe, and pointing out the different tasks and making them inherently unsuitable for eachother, you're in effect saying that a 'Bards' game' would need to fulfill another task then being enjoyable when playing. I do not concur with that thought. A game should be viewed and judged on its own merits, NOT on the preconceived ideas of how it should have been fulfilling another task aside being enjoyable to play. Because then one is supplanting ones' own subjective preconceptions AS the goal/task. This doesn't mean one can't be disappointed for 'other reasons', but the source of that disappointment, then, does not lay in the game, but in ones' own mind. Now, I've played the original games as well, and for sure: this one is different on a lot of aspects. But then again, I had no doubt that it WOULD be different in a lot of ways: my expectations were realistic. It's been 20 years: time and technology have moved on, and so did game-concepts. Deriding a game because it doesn't fulfull ones nostalgic wishes as one had imagined, does not make for a good argument. And let's be honest here: the vast majority of people whining and deriding the game simply say or indicate it's a BAD game, not that it's a good game but it felt short based on their own wishful thinking of how it should have been in their mind.

As I said elsewhere: the real problem is managing your own expectations. If you keep it realistic (it's an indie game, after all) and not have pre-conceived ideas of how *you* think a Bards' tale *ought* to be (and everyone will have another opinion about that, so the point is moot to start with), and you give the actual game a chance, you'll see it does a great job in fulfilling exactly the task a game is supposed to fulfill.

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Re: I'm one of the 2 people who genuinely love this game

Post by svdp » February 22nd, 2019, 8:27 am

Gizmo wrote:
February 22nd, 2019, 8:12 am
svdp wrote:
February 22nd, 2019, 7:44 am
And of course a game SHOULD be enjoyed or judged on its own merit, it would be foolhardy to do anything else.
Not in the case of sequels. A sequel has a charge for the design to fit in with the established series. To not deliver on this is an abuse of trust—and it's worse if willfully done, instead of just from ineptness. Then it becomes an insult on top of it all. :evil:
If everyone was to judge a game based on other merits than its own, then there is simply no meaning to it, since the merit would only exist in the subjective assumptions and a-priori expectations of their own mind. But of course, in reality that's a problem of the person, NOT of the game.
A bogus assumption; if the developer ignores the established series' experience, and intents, then their game as a "sequel" simply has no meaning to it, and again, it's a abuse of trust and expectation... Like advertising a Strawberry Festival, and serving all manner of delicious treats—but no Strawberries... It simply doesn't matter if the Baked Alaska, and Quiche are superb... It's a Strawberry Festival with no strawberries; it's a Bard's Tale sequel with no Bard's Tale.
The problem with this argument is that it's simply impossible to fulfill. If you have 12 people who played the old games, you'll have 13 opinions of how the sequel "should have" been made, and thus, whatever anyone makes, as a new game - and we're 20 years further by now - it would never please everyone, and people could still argue with *exactly* the same arguments: "but it's not a *real* sequel!!".

The problem here is, that there is NO SUCH THING as a "real" sequel, except as the sequel that has been made, now. The real, perfect, ultimate sequel only exists in ones' own mind. If you're not aware of that, and don't realize this truth, then one is ALWAYS going to be in for a load of frustration and gonna whine about it. And this is exactly what's happening in a lot of fora. As said; this is not a problem with the game, but of ones' own mind.

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Re: I'm one of the 2 people who genuinely love this game

Post by Gizmo » February 22nd, 2019, 9:03 am

svdp wrote:
February 22nd, 2019, 8:19 am
The task of a game is to be enjoyable when playing it
No; secondary in the case of sequels. The type of fun plays a part in it. If a person want's to have fun at a World Of Warcraft convention, then offering them Halo or Skyrim themed entertainment will not suffice, nor be well received. Same in the case of FO3 [but of course], and with BT4—but not BT:Remastered. BT:R has the right kind of fun, and I wish that InXile had spent their efforts making a superb BT engine in along the lines of what Krome did.

No one here expected a BT4 strictly done along the lines of the BT:Remaster, but that would have been far better than a Frayed Knights clone. Anything resembling an eight-PC Grimrock (or even Realms of Arkania clone) would have likely been passable, or even well received. Again, it's the right kind of fun that BT4 is lacking.

I'll give you an example: Dawn of War players might love Warhammer, but I doubt that there are any who would accept Spacemarine as a Dawn of War sequel... It doesn't matter that it's also based on Warhammer—it's the wrong kind of game.
...dull games do not make good 'tools' and did not perform their task adequately. This game was exactly that: enjoyable, and fulfilled its task, thus. By making a distinction between a wrench and a pipe, and pointing out the different tasks and making them inherently unsuitable for eachother, you're in effect saying that a 'Bards' game' would need to fulfill another task then being enjoyable when playing.
Absolutely correct—though you arrive by accident; derisively. Yes it should perform a different task, and it should be enjoyable, but being enjoyable is not the task itself.

Anyone can hit a nail with a pipe wrench, or beat on a pipe fitting with a hammer, but both tasks are better served by switching the tools, and using them for what they are designed, and best suited.
I do not concur with that thought.
Good, neither do I; we agree on something. ;)
A game should be viewed and judged on its own merits
That bring's to mind the hapless job seeker, who applies for a programming job with an art portfolio; a superb artist—and totally not what they need. Merit alone doesn't cut it.
It's been 20 years: time and technology have moved on, and so did game-concepts.
Technology is irrelevant; game-concepts are irrelevant. This was a pre-paid for project. All they had to do was deliver a Bard's Tale game... they had three under their belt already; they chose not to, and created a modern hybrid of unrelated games, and branded it BT4.
As I said elsewhere: the real problem is managing your own expectations. If you keep it realistic (it's an indie game, after all) and not have pre-conceived ideas of how *you* think a Bards' tale *ought* to be
There are no preconceived ideas about it, there are three complete examples of it. One simply compares the new one. Just like the Sesame Street game:

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