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The Bard's Tale (BTA) Review:
Originally released for PC in 2005, The Bard's Tale is an action adventure title filled with tongue-in-cheek humor. For example, you can talk to some drunks who break out into song, praising the inventor of beer. Naturally there is also some sophomoric humor concerning the physical attributes of the widow who owns the bar as well as an awareness of the narrator. At times Bard looks up towards the overhead camera to speak directly with the narrator.
The gameplay is fairly standard for an action adventure, though you can use either the WASD keys or mouse to move Bard around, which is nice instead of having to use one or the other. One major difference from modern games of the genre, though, is that spells are kept behind menus, so there are no quick-keys to summon helpful companions. The game does pause when you open a menu though, so you do not have to worry about being quick about it.
Something I have noticed that is good or bad, depending on how you look at it, is that many picked up items are just converted directly into money. Enemy dropped a sword? Money. Is that a bow and some arrows on the ground? Money. Barmaid's diary? Money. While it is nice how this simplifies gameplay, I am use to being able to play around with different weapons. Also I am curious what the diary would say, given the game's humor.
The graphics do not appear to have been upgraded much since the game's original release. When I first saw the graphics in fact, I immediately and accurately guessed its age. However, it does support widescreen resolutions, so you do not have to settle for pillar boxing, and offers some graphical settings for both the PC and Android versions. One interesting graphical mechanic is a bobbing as Bard moves around, because as you walk your height changes. You do adjust to this eventually, but it is different from the smoother camera movement you find today.
I am not sure what to say about the soundtrack, beyond that it is completely aligned with the game's humor and setting. Though the Beer song stands out, that is the temperament of all of the music.
I am definitely having fun with The Bard's Tale and will do my best to make time for playing it more. The experience it offers is definitely entertaining, even if it has some curious mechanics in it. Would I recommend it to others? Most certainly. Is it worth beating the average for? If you want to have a game that makes you laugh, or at least chuckle, then the answer is definitely yes. If not, then you need a better sense of humor.