The great voice work overcomes some real "been-there-done that" gameplay.

User Rating: 7.3 | The Bard's Tale XBOX
You've seen this game before. Whether it was called "Dungeons and Dragons Heroes" or "Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance" or "Champions of Norrath" when you load up Bard's Tale, you will immediately think--hey! I have been here. And so you have. Welcome back to the action RPG world of breaking barrels, whacking bosses with health bars, wild graphic spell effects and other cliches of the genre. So if it is so hackneyed, why play it? Two reasons. 1. First, this is a pretty entertaining genre in my view. I never tire of these games. Easy to master, they just are a good way to pass a few hours. 2. Cary Elwes, as the Bard, brings voice acting to a level rarely seen in these games and he is delivering reasonably well-written lines. The best part of the game is really not the game itself--you can buy a similar game for a lot less. It is the funny lines delivered by the Bard as he roams a typical medieval environment of slummy towns, gritty dungeons and other locales you probably know better than the way to 7-11 by this point. Everything else is the game is fine. Nothing special, nothing horrible. Average gameplay, average graphics, average story, average everything. One downside...many of the spell effects have relatively long animations that it would have been nice to be able to bypass. So, while I should probably give more detail than I have, the reality is what I could write about this game was written about other Action RPGs that have come before. Just read one of those reviews. You will get the gist.