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Role-Playing (RPG)

Description

Role-playing video games are descendants of pen-and-paper RPGs. In those games character development is the main driving gameplay mechanic. Typically one or more characters are created and shaped by the player, then embark on a series of encounters that increase the inventory, wealth, or combat statistics of said character(s).

A role-playing game is not just any game in which the player "plays a role", i.e. controls a character and participates in exploration and narrative. Rather, the defining characteristic of role-playing games is player-dependent character growth. A role-playing game can be seen as such when player-controlled characters become stronger ("levels up") because of the player's actions (usually depending on experience points received for vanquishing enemies), rather than being upgraded automatically as dictated by the storyline. The degree of the player's involvement in shaping the characters may vary considerably: some RPGs offer vast customization possibilities, while others tend to simplify and even nearly automatize the process.

Traditional RPGs have turn-based combat and a fantasy setting (Wizardry series, Ultima series, Roguelikes, etc.). Later, other settings were introduced, and many RPGs - such as Diablo - began favoring action-based combat. In these games, Action is used as a modifier to the RPG genre.

By the late 1980's, the genre has been distinctly split into two main sub-genres: Western and Japanese (sometimes called console-style) RPG. Western RPGs typically favored free exploration and player-made decisions, while Japanese RPGs focused on following a linear story line. Japanese RPGs also tended to retain simple turn-based combat mechanics, and in many cases also random enemy encounters.

In many early Western RPGs the player was given the option to create an entire party of characters (usually up to six). Ultima games introduced the possibility of recruiting initially non-playable characters (NPCs) with their own personalities from the game world into the party. Beginning with Phantasy Star, Japanese RPGs followed this template and even elevated it to their cornerstone mechanic.

Late 1990's saw a "RPG revival" in the West. Fallout greatly expanded the usage of non-combat statistics and moral decisions during gameplay, while Baldur's Gate popularized real-time party-based combat.
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sorted in ascending orderGame Title

PC-98 (1995)

The events of the game take place in medieval Japan, most probably during the Edo period (17th to 19th century)....

Browser (2009)

Another fantasy RPG that plays itself (fire-and-forget after character generation), this one distinguishes itself from the pack by offering an...

Aralon: Sword and Shadow Android Front Cover

iPhone (2011), Android (2013) and iPad (2011)

Aralon: Sword and Shadow is 3D, open world RPG, where you can explore the world as you see fit, while...

Arcana SNES Front Cover

SNES (1992)

In this game you play as a young boy named Rooks. He's the only one that can save the world...

ArcaniA: Fall of Setarrif Windows Front Cover

Windows (2011)

ArcaniA: Fall of Setarrif is an add-on sized successor to ArcaniA: Gothic 4. The story directly follows up the ending...

ArcaniA: Gothic 4 Windows Front Cover

Windows (2010) and Xbox 360 (2010)

The hero of the Gothic saga has fulfilled his destiny and became King Robar III. Once he recklessly agreed to...

ArcaniA: Gothic 4 (Collector's Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2010) and Xbox 360 (2010)

This is the Collector's Edition of ArcaniA: Gothic 4. In addition to the game itself, it includes: A3 Poster Sticker...

Arcania: The Complete Tale Windows Front Cover

Windows (2013), Xbox 360 (2013) and PlayStation 3 (2013)

This release contains: ArcaniA: Gothic 4 ArcaniA: Fall of SetarrifBoth releases are slip-streamed as a single title. For the PS3...

Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura Windows Front Cover

Windows (2001)

The luxury zeppelin IFS Zephyr begins her maiden voyage from Caladon in the Kingdom of Arland to Tarant, one of...

Arcatera: The Dark Brotherhood Windows Front Cover

Windows (2000)

Something is rotten in the quiet medieval town of Senora. A mysterious Dark Brotherhood seems to have taken control over...

ArchLord Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

ArchLord is a Massive Multiplayer Online Game set in the fantasy realm of Chantra. The world environment has 5 distinct...

Arc the Lad PlayStation 3 Front Cover

PlayStation (1995), PSP (2010), PlayStation 3 (2010) and PS Vita (2012)

A girl named Kukuru lives in a village controlled by the Sacred Tribe - people who guard an ancient flame...

Arc the Lad Collection PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (2002)

Arc the Lad Collection contains the following games: Arc the Lad Arc the Lad: Monster Tournament Arc the Lad II...

Arc the Lad: End of Darkness PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2004)

SCE takes the Arc the Lad series away from its roots and into an Online-playable action-adventure game. Players become a...

Arc the Lad II PSP Front Cover

PlayStation (1996), PSP (2007), PlayStation 3 (2010) and PS Vita (2012)

This direct sequel to Arc the Lad continues the unfinished story of the first game, but starts from a totally...

Arc the Lad III PlayStation 3 Front Cover

PlayStation (1999), PSP (2008), PlayStation 3 (2008) and PS Vita (2012)

The events of this game take place several years after Elk and Arc faced their ultimate enemy in Arc the...

WonderSwan Color (2002)

Two generations ago, there was a great battle between the humans and the machines. Led by their evil god, the...

Arc the Lad: Monster Game with Casino Game PlayStation 3 Front Cover

PlayStation (1997), PSP (2007), PlayStation 3 (2010) and PS Vita (2012)

Arc the Lad Monster Game is a spin-off from the Arc the Lad series and a bonus expansion to Arc...

Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2003)

The world of Arc: Twilight of the Spirits is populated by two races: human and Deimos. The two races prefer...

Windows (2000)

Two thousand years ago, humans were protected by benevolent gods and lived peacefully alongside them. However, human green and pride...

Arcus MSX Front Cover

MSX (1988), PC-88 (1988), PC-98 (1988), Sharp X68000 (1989), Sharp X1 (1988) and FM-7 (1988)

The people of the kingdom Arkases have mastered the ways of magic, thanks to their connection to the world of...

PC-98 (1991)

Twelve years have passed since the half-elf Pikto and his friends have defeated the evil demon and restored peace in...

SEGA CD (1993)

Arcus I・II・III is a full 16-bit remake of the first three PC titles in the Arcus series, Arcus, Arcus II:...

Arcus II: Silent Symphony MSX Front Cover

MSX (1989), PC-88 (1989), PC-98 (1990) and Sharp X68000 (1990)

Ten years have passed since the knight Jedah Chaf and his companions gained an audience with the Golden Dragon and...

Game Boy (1990) and SNES (1993)

In a far away land, war was raging, as an evil ruler sent his troops to invade the castle of...

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