After playing through a few hours of The Bard's Tale IV, my strongest impression is that this is the game Might & Magic IX was trying to be.

It's got lots of references to the original trilogy, but it feels like a cross between the 2000s reboot and MM9: the look, the size of the towns, skill trees... Only unlike MM9, it feels like the world has been filled in more thoroughly.

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I was listening to the Bard's Tale IV soundtrack (highly recommended) today and started thinking about the game, and how I posted my first impressions but never came back to say anything about the game after playing it through.

Short version: Enjoyable mix of retro mechanics and new gaming capabilities, *great* soundtrack, emphasis on strategy rather than just overpowering, some clunky bits even after the "Director's Cut" update.

Long version: hyperborea.org/reviews/games/b

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