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My Love-Hate Relationship with this game is worthy of a psychologist


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Ever play a game that at one point you think "this is pure nirvana!" and a few hours later you want to find the person responsible for the game and slap them silly?

This is the case for me with

The-Bards-Tale-IV-Directors-Cut.jpeg.cf45dffb887bbc39c71efbcc0f5c4897.jpeg

When the game is great, it really does just about everything right! -- Exploration, secrets, battles, story, humor...

When it's bad, it's really bad. Honestly, there is ONE major flaw, and that is the horrible horrible puzzles. Seriously, there are so many puzzles in this game you sometimes wonder if you purchased an RPG or a puzzle adventure, except that instead of being Professor Layton the puzzles are shit! Not all of them, some of them are reasonable, but others are just trial-and-error to the point where you ask yourself "How the $*^# did anyone think this was FUN!" The game oscillates between just pure fun, and then pure ultra-obnoxious agitation! It's really too bad, because in many ways this easily could have been a truly "five-star hidden gem" but instead the puzzles ruin it to the point where I absolutely have to take off a whole star for the ineptness that went in making the abysmall puzzles. There are of course solutions to the puzzles online (thankfully) which is what most people will do - look them up. Because, some of them are some of the worst ideas I have seen implemented in an RPG. Yet, a while later you are exploring, listening to some of the most beautiful music ever heard in an RPG. It's as if this game is bipolar! Honestly, I'm not entirely sure to what to make of it. At it's best, it's super addictive, and at it's worst, it's excrement. Strange...

Anyway, I leave you with this beautiful track from The Bard's Tale IV (the language is Gaelic 🙂

 

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I’m sure there are plenty of games out there that have strong elements (eg. sounds, visuals, gameplay), whilst at the same time, having some weak aspects to its overall experience. 

Fantasia on the Megadrive comes to mind. For its time, graphics looked very impressive. Unfortunately, it played like a turd..

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