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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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Final Fantasy III Windows Front Cover

Windows (2014), Nintendo DS (2006), PSP (2012), iPhone (2011), Android (2012), iPad (2011), Windows Phone (2013) and Ouya (2013)

In 2006, Final Fantasy III reached North American shores in an official update/remake for the Nintendo DS, finally bringing all...

Final Fantasy I•II NES Front Cover

NES (1994)

Final Fantasy I•II is a compilation of the first two Final Fantasy games, released in Japan only for the Nintendo...

Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2004)

Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls is a re-release of the two remakes of the original Famicom (NES)...

Final Fantasy IV Windows Front Cover

Windows (2014), Nintendo DS (2007), iPhone (2012), Android (2013) and iPad (2012)

Final Fantasy IV is a remake of the classic Japanese RPG that was first released for SNES, known as Final...

BREW (2008), J2ME (2009) and DoJa (2008)

Shūketsu Hen: Tsuki no Inryoku (Gathering's Tale: The Moon's Gravity) is a downloadable tale for Final Fantasy IV: The After...

BREW (2008), J2ME (2009) and DoJa (2009)

Shūshō Kōhen: Hoshikui (Final Tale Part Two: Planet Eater) is a downloadable tale for Final Fantasy IV: The After Years....

BREW (2008), J2ME (2009) and DoJa (2009)

Shūshō Zenpen: Shingetsu (Final Tale Part One: True Moon) is a downloadable tale for Final Fantasy IV: The After Years....

Final Fantasy IV: The After Years Wii Front Cover

BREW (2008), J2ME (2008), DoJa (2008) and Wii (2009)

Final Fantasy IV: The After Years is a direct sequel to Final Fantasy IV. It is a Japanese-style role-playing game...

Final Fantasy IV: The After Years Android Front Cover

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

This version of Final Fantasy IV: The After Years has enhanced 3D graphics and uses a refined version of the...

BREW (2008), J2ME (2009), DoJa (2008) and Wii (2009)

Edge's Tale: The Pulse of Babil is an optional story for Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. It is a...

BREW (2008), J2ME (2009), DoJa (2008) and Wii (2009)

Edward's Tale: Star-Crossed Damcyan is an optional story for Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. It is a separate download...

BREW (2008), J2ME (2009) and DoJa (2008)

Kain's Tale: Return of the Dragoon is an episode of Final Fantasy IV: The After Years that was sold separately...

BREW (2008), J2ME (2008), DoJa (2008) and Wii (2009)

Palom's Tale: The Mage's Voyage is an optional story for Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. It is a separate...

BREW (2008), J2ME (2009), DoJa (2008) and Wii (2009)

Porom's Tale: The Vanished Lunar Whale is an optional story for Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. It is a...

BREW (2008), J2ME (2008), DoJa (2008) and Wii (2009)

Rydia's Tale: The Eidolons Shackled is an optional story for Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. It is a separate...

Wii (2009)

The Crystals: The Planet Eater is the final tale for Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. It consists of three...

BREW (2008), J2ME (2009), DoJa (2008) and Wii (2009)

The Lunarians' Tale: The Blue Planet That Was is an optional story for Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. It...

BREW (2008), J2ME (2008), DoJa (2008) and Wii (2009)

Yang's Tale: The Master of Fabul is an optional story for Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. It is a...

Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection PSP Front Cover

PSP (2011)

Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection contains: Final Fantasy IV Final Fantasy IV: The After YearsIt features enhanced high-resolution graphics,...

Final Fantasy IX PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (2000), PSP (2010), PlayStation 3 (2010) and PS Vita (2012)

Final Fantasy IX tells the story of Zidane, the member of a team of theater actors who also happen to...

Final Fantasy Legend II Game Boy Front Cover

Game Boy (1990)

The second in the Final Fantasy Legend series increases the amount of detail over the original in gameplay and graphics.The...

Final Fantasy Legend III Game Boy Front Cover

Game Boy (1991)

The final (no joke) Final Fantasy Legend title to grace the Game Boy, FFLIII tells the story of a great...

The Final Fantasy Legend Game Boy Front Cover

Game Boy (1989) and WonderSwan Color (2002)

The first 'Final Fantasy' title on the Game Boy, Legend allows you to choose from 8 different characters, from the...

Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest SNES Front Cover

SNES (1992), Wii (2010) and Wii U (2014)

Focus Tower is the center of the world and balances the forces of the world. However 4 monsters have taken...

Final Fantasy Tactics PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1997), PSP (2007), PlayStation 3 (2009), iPhone (2011), iPad (2012) and PS Vita (2012)

Final Fantasy Tactics was a big move for the whole Final Fantasy franchise into different fields. Tactics combines traditional elements...

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