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Rock, Paper, Shotgun retro The Bard's Tale

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun retro The Bard's Tale

Preview - posted by DarkUnderlord on Tue 19 August 2008, 14:47:12

Tags: Bard's Tale; Interplay

Rock, Paper, Shotgun have reviewed The Bard's Tale. The original one that is:
They say you can never go back. Tell that to the abandonware folk. With their help, I booked a one way ticket to Skara Brae to see how time has treated this particular blighted city. You go back to games like this with a certain knowledge. Firstly, strategy games – especially turn based games like The Bard’s Tale – tend to age better than their action-based brethren. An RPG now is an RPG then, so those skills of perfecting character builds and equipping people with the right armour or weapons, practiced in every role-playing game since, move directly into play.

Which makes the bits where they were clearly learning how to actually make a role-playing game work stick out like a Thief who’s forgot to take any stealth skills. Take how it treats death. When someone dies, unless you’re willing to pay the (unfeasibly enormous for a beginning character) fee to raise them from the dead, they’re dead. You can’t reload a previous game to recover. It’s Nethack-style hardcore play. Except, after setting the game up like this, the manual actively goes out of the way to advise you how to work around it by backing up your character files or just turning off your PC when a party member has died before it saves their dead state. They knew something was a bad idea, but couldn’t see that was a reason not to include it - presumably it was because of the aforementioned deification of D&D. D&D has permadeath and tricky inacessible resurrection? That’s how we have to do it.

Old games were hardcore.

Spotted @ Guess!

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