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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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...

Arc the Lad: Kijin Fukkatsu WonderSwan Color Front Cover

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...

Game Boy (1991) and SNES (1994)

The game continues the story of the young princess Ariel. After she rightfully regained her throne, people enjoyed a peaceful...

Game Boy (1992)

One of many untranslated Japanese games for Game Boy. This one is rpg - third from the Aretha trilogy. You...

Windows (2001)

Argentum Online is an online multiplayer role playing game which takes place in a medieval fantasy world. The world is...

PC-88 (1986), PC-98 (1987), Sharp X1 (1987) and FM-7 (1988)

Loosely based on the Greek myth of the Argonauts, Argo focuses on its central protagonist Iason (Jason), narrating a simple...

Game Boy Color (2000)

A monster-collecting RPG set in the Puyo Puyo game world and starring the young apprentice magician Arle, who must explore...

Armies of Exigo Windows Front Cover

Windows (2004)

Armies of Exigo is another RPS (RTS-RPG hybrid) in the tradition of Warcraft III. The land of Men is threatened...

Army Corps of Hell PS Vita Front Cover

PS Vita (2011)

In this game, the player takes on the role of a fallen Demon Lord who must reclaim his throne. With...

Artelius NES Front Cover

NES (1987)

Long time ago, an advanced civilization existed in the Solar System. But one day, a black hole appeared nearby. Many...

Ar tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2007)

In the world of Ar Ciel, the Reyvateil region is being threatened by an epidemic that's been killing the citizens....

Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2006)

The story of Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia takes place in the world of Sol Ciel, a world consisting of...

PlayStation 3 (2010)

Ar tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel is set two years after the happenings of Ar tonelico II: Melody of...

Artus et le grimoire secret Macintosh Front Cover

Windows (2004) and Macintosh (2004)

Artus is a little mouse living secretly in the Louvre museum. One day, he discovers a strange scroll and he...

Arx Fatalis Windows Front Cover

Windows (2002) and Xbox (2003)

Arx was a once a prosperous place. However, after one night the sun of the world of Exosta never rose...

Arx Fatalis (Collector Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

This is a re-release of the original Arx Fatalis at the same time as a new and final patch (1.18)...

Ascend: Hand of Kul Windows Front Cover

Windows (2014) and Xbox 360 (2013)

Ascend: Hand of Kul is an action role-playing game where players control a Caos, a member of a strong breed...

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