The Bard’s Tale: Remastered and Resnarkled (PS4/Vita): Not A Review (Yet)

A few bards.JPG

A few years back, when I liked certain games I tended to go mildly berserk and buy a few versions of it (if it made it to multiple platforms). Hey, don’t look at me like that! I’m far from the only one who dis/does this (although I’ve cut down on that significantly over time thanks to me not exactly rolling in dough these days). Anyway, InXile Entertainment‘s The Bard’s Tale from 2004 was one of those games I snapped up on anything it appeared on thanks to its use of Snowblind Studios’ wonderful game engine and often hilarious parodying of RPG tropes including subtle nods to the original game.

Flash forward to late last month when The Bard’s Tale: Remastered and Resnarkled appeared without fanfare as a digital-only release on PSN. Ten bucks for a cross-platform HD remaster (PS4 and Vita) with a cross-buy/cross-play feature that allowed players to take the game on the road and use cloud saves to continue at home? SOLD. I didn’t hesitate at all or bother to even bug InXile about a review code. This was certainly going to be the best version of the game to date and yep, the ability to play anywhere and go home to continue was going to keep me grinning long into the wee hours. What could possibly go wrong?

Well… a few things folks. Thankfully, cross-play and cloud saves are flawless, but in terms of other things on the technical front, this version of the game (done by Square 1 Games) needs patching. Badly. I was initially going to write up a full review, but have decided to wait a few days to see if the problems can be fixed as the older console versions were great overall and this remaster needs to be as good or better in terms of consistent performance. Right now, it’s not.

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The Bard’s Tale Unfolds on GOG.com – Ye Olde, Yet New-ish School Fun…

 
 

I’m old enough to remember the classic original trilogy (I didn’t get around to playing them until the late 1990’s) and this not quite remake/reboot from 2004 that got decent reviews (I even reviewed it for one site back in the day) and I say you should try it out even if you’re a fan of the older games who doesn’t like more action-oriented experiences. You get those three vintage games as a bonus with this newer one (so there!) and the team at inXile Entertainment actually made quite a hilarious experience to dive into. While the gameplay is purely action/RPG (in the visual and gameplay vein of the Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance and Champions of Norrath games), the writing is really funny for the bulk of the Bard’s adventure and there are even “follow the bouncing ball” musical numbers that may have you single along even if you thought you wouldn’t… Continue reading