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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Growlanser Generations PlayStation 2 Front Cover Front Cover A

PlayStation 2 (2004)

Growlanser Generations marks the first time this Turn-Based Strategy RPG series made it to the States. Growlanser Generations is a...

Growlanser Generations (Deluxe Edition) PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2004)

The Deluxe Edition of Growlanser Generations includes: The game Growlanser II: The Sense of Justice The game Growlanser III: The...

Growlanser: Heritage of War (Limited Edition) PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2007)

In North America Growlanser V: Generations was released as a limited edition containing the following: Growlanser: Heritage of War. The...

PlayStation 2 (2001)

The events of Growlanser III: The Dual Darkness take place long before those described in the first game of the...

PlayStation 2 (2001)

Growlanser II: The Sense of Justice is a sequel to the first Growlanser; it is set in the same universe...

PlayStation 2 (2006)

Once, an isolated island continent was plunged into war. The people who wished to end the warring revived a powerful...

Guardian Heroes SEGA Saturn Front Cover

SEGA Saturn (1996) and Xbox 360 (2011)

Ages ago, the spirits of Earth and Sky waged war on each other. Neither could win, and eventually the Sky...

Guardian's Crusade PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1998)

A young boy named Knight is sent on a routine assignment by the mayor of his home town. His best...

Guardians of Middle-earth Windows Front Cover

Windows (2013), Xbox 360 (2012) and PlayStation 3 (2012)

Guardians of Middle-earth is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game set in the Lord of the Rings universe. Two...

Guardian's Sword: Alpha Era Windows Front Cover

Windows (1998)

During a war with the demons, a young man named Shot has lost everything - his home, his family, his...

Guardian War 3DO Front Cover

3DO (1993)

In a classic Japanese RPG style, Guardian War pits you as guardian golem against the dark forces of Azrael, the...

PC-98 (1996)

Long time ago, human passions caused the appearance of a monster tribe that has since become unwelcome in the human...

The Guild 2: Pirates of the European Seas Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

The first add-on to The Guild 2 brings several new features and changes to the original game but the main...

The Guild 2: Renaissance Windows Front Cover

Windows (2010)

The Guild 2: Renaissance is the fourth installment in The Guild 2 series and similar to its direct sequel The...

The Guild 2 Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

The Guild 2 is a follow-up to the medieval life simulation Europa 1400: The Guild. In essence the player is...

The Guild 2: Venice Windows Front Cover

Windows (2008)

The Guild 2: Venice is the second add-on to The Guild 2 but doesn't require the main game to play.As...

Guild Wars Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005)

Guild Wars: Prophecies (renamed after the release of Guild Wars: Factions) sets players in the fantasy world of Tyria.When creating...

Guild Wars 2 Windows Front Cover

Windows (2012) and Macintosh (2012)

Guild Wars 2 is an MMORPG and the sequel to the original Guild Wars game. It is set 250 years...

Guild Wars: Bonus Mission Pack Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

The Bonus Mission Pack is a mini-add-on where the player can witness certain events in the history of the current...

Guild Wars (Collector's Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005)

Set in the fantasy world Tyria, Guild Wars offers a mixture of massive multiplayer gaming and the online cooperative play...

Guild Wars (Edition 2006) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

This re-release of the Guild Wars (Special Edition) offers the following features:The original Guild Wars game (Prophecies Campaign). The Guild...

Guild Wars: Eye of the North Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

Guild Wars: Eye of the North is the first true expansion to the Guild Wars series of games in that...

Guild Wars: Eye of the North (Pre-Release-Bonuspack) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

The Guild Wars: Eye of the North (Pre-Release-Bonuspack) is a retail bonus pack, which includes the following features: Three "Pre-Order"-Bonus-items,...

Guild Wars: Factions Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

Guild Wars: Factions is the second chapter in the Guild Wars Universe. Again, it is subscription free.Factions is set in...

Guild Wars: Factions (Collector's Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

This Collector's Edition includes:Guild Wars: Factions Colored map of Cantha Guild Wars Factions poster Ritualist cloth poster Art book Mouse...

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