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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Game Boy Color (2001)

In the first Harry Potter game for the Game Boy Color, the story of Harry's first year at Hogwarts School...

Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 4 PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2008) and Wii (2008)

Chihiro Ashihara is a high school girl with no memory of her past, who lives together with her classmate Nagi...

Hatoful Boyfriend Macintosh Front Cover

Windows (2012) and Macintosh (2012)

In Hatoful Boyfriend, the player plays the role of a human girl who is beginning her second year at St....

Hatoful Boyfriend Linux Front Cover

Linux (2014), Windows (2014) and Macintosh (2014)

Hatoful Boyfriend is a remake of the 2012 dating sim game of the same name. The gameplay and story remain...

Hazard Windows Front Cover

Windows (1998)

Hazard is a role-playing game in which the player controls Rick, a warrior whose master has been murdered. Together with...

DOS (1985)

This is another version of DND, originally written for the Heathkit Z-150 computer's GW-BASIC, and later compiled for DOS. Apart...

Windows (2001)

Heath: The Unchosen Path is a turn-based RPG. The main character is Heath who received powers from the gods and...

Heavy on the Magick Amstrad CPC Front Cover

ZX Spectrum (1986) and Amstrad CPC (1986)

With full graphics throughout, Heavy on the Magick aimed the standard adventure style at a wider audience. Axil the Able...

Heimdall DOS Front Cover

DOS (1992), Amiga (1991), SEGA CD (1994), Atari ST (1992) and Acorn 32-bit (1993)

You play as Heimdall, a demi-god based in Norse mythology. Heimdall's job is to protect the entrance to Asgard, the...

Heimdall 2: Into the Hall of Worlds DOS Front Cover

DOS (1994), Amiga (1994) and Amiga CD32 (1994)

Isometric adventure platform game. Wandering mystic worlds in search of answers, weapons, and a hot meal. You can change shape...

Helherron Linux Front Cover

Linux (2006) and Windows (2006)

King Krolh and the Divine Sceptre have been taken away by a dark winged creature. Now the Isle of Helherron...

Hellfire Windows Front Cover

Windows (1997)

Hellfire is an add-on to the action RPG Diablo.It adds two new dungeons to the game: the Demon Crypt and...

Hellgate: London Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

It's the year 2038 and London lies in ruins. The nearby Hellgate has turned the sky gray and it's presence...

Hellgate: London (Collector's Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

The Collector's Edition includes: Hellgate: London Map poster A Darkhorse Hellgate: London graphic novel Bonus DVD with making-of and official...

Hello Hero Browser Front Cover

Browser (2013), iPhone (2014), Android (2014) and iPad (2014)

Hello Hero is a fantasy-themed role-playing game originally dedicated as a Facebook application game.In this game, the player assembles a...

Windows (2002) and Macintosh (2003)

Hengband is based on a Japanese version of Zangband, meaning it can also trace its roots to Angband. While the...

Herakles no Eikō 3: Kamigami no Chinmoku Wii U Front Cover

SNES (1992), Wii (2007) and Wii U (2013)

In this third installment of The Glory of Hercules series, you once again visit the world of ancient Greek mythology....

Herakles no Eikō 4: Kamigami no Okurimono SNES Front Cover

SNES (1994), Wii (2008) and Wii U (2015)

In this installment of the Glory of Hercules RPG series, you are a young man who lives in Atlantis, an...

Herakles no Eikō II: Titan no Metsubō NES Front Cover

NES (1989)

In this second installment of "Greek mythology" RPG series, the main hero is not the legendary hero Herakles (Hercules), but...

Herakles no Eikō: Tōjin Makyō Den NES Front Cover

NES (1987)

In this game, you play the role of Herakles (or Hercules, in Latin pronunciation), the famous legendary Greek hero. Starting...

Herakles no Eikō: Ugokidashita Kamigami Nintendo 3DS Front Cover

Game Boy (1992) and Nintendo 3DS (2011)

Herakles no Eikō: Ugokidashita Kamigami is a traditional Japanese-style RPG based on Greek mythology and a spin-off in Herakles no...

Heretic Kingdoms: The Inquisition Windows Front Cover

Windows (2004) and Macintosh (2006)

Heretic Kingdoms: The Inquisition takes place in a land where religion is illegal and the Inquisitors do their best to...

Heroes Chronicles: The Final Chapters Windows Front Cover

Windows (2001)

The last part of the Heroes Chronicles games contains two campaigns. In the Revolt of the Beastmasters Tarnum frees the...

Heroes of Annihilated Empires Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

Heroes of Annihilated Empires mixes of two separated genres; the real time strategy games and the RPG likes, all together...

Browser (2009)

Heroes of Gaia is a free to play, Flash-based fantasy MMO game. Players choose from one of four races, Humans,...

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