User review spotlight: Carmageddon (DOS). Released in 1997.

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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PC-98 (1993) and FM Towns (1993)

The world Irium is a world ruled by magic. One of the most powerful magicians of Irium, the young and...

Windows (2011)

I Shall Remain: Prologue is a portion of the 3D action and survival RPG I Shall Remain. It was made...

Ishar 2: Messengers of Doom DOS Front Cover

DOS (1993), Amiga (1993) and Atari ST (1993)

Ishar 2: Messengers of Doom is the sequel to Ishar: Legend of the Fortress.Following the defeat of Krogh and the...

Ishar 3: The Seven Gates of Infinity DOS Front Cover

DOS (1994), Windows (1999), Amiga (1994) and Atari ST (1994)

After Zubaran, the Lord of Ishar, has defeated the evil Shandar, peace has returned to the land. Unfortunately, it didn't...

Ishar Compilation Windows Front Cover 2014 cover

Windows (2009)

This compilation includes these games: Crystals of Arborea Ishar: Legend of the Fortress Ishar 2: Messengers of Doom Ishar 3:...

Ishar + Ishar 2 Windows Front Cover

Windows (2009)

This collection includes the first two Ishar games: Ishar: Legend of the Fortress Ishar 2: Messengers of Doom

Ishar: Legend of the Fortress DOS Front Cover

DOS (1992), Amiga (1992) and Atari ST (1992)

Ishar: Legend of the Fortress is the sequel to the Crystals of Arborea. Morgoth and Morgula, the black god and...

Ishar Trilogy DOS Front Cover

DOS (1995), Amiga (1995) and Atari ST (1995)

After the success of Silmarils' Eye of the Beholder-influenced RPG trilogy, they released this collection of all 3 games: Ishar...

Island of the Lizard King Android Front Cover

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

When you hear of the kidnappings of young men from Oyster Bay to be enslaved by the Lizard King, you...

Sharp X1 (1988)

Legend says that the god Issural has imbued the magical stone Calvan with his powers. Two countries are ready to...

İstanbul Efsaneleri: Lale Savaşçıları DOS Front Cover

DOS (1997) and Amiga (1994)

İstanbul Efsaneleri: Lale Savaşçıları is one of the first Turkish games (first CRPG) ever developed for PCs. The game consists...

Windows (2001)

Hikaru is a normal Japanese teenager, who goes to the prestigious Izumo academy. Lately he has been seeing dreams: a...

Windows (2004)

The hero of the game is Takeru, an ordinary Japanese teenager who attends the private academy Izumo. He leads a...

Windows (2007)

Kakeru, the protagonist of the game, has lost his parents when he was a little boy. Now he is a...

Izuna 2: The Unemployed Ninja Returns Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2008)

Izuna is back. After making friends with the six gods of Kamiari Village in the first game, she finds herself...

Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2007)

This is a rogue-like role playing game with a basic plot and manga style characters.You play as Izuna, a pink-haired...

Jade Cocoon 2 PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2001)

Jade Cocoon 2 is the sequel to Jade Cocoon: Story of the Tamamayu. The events of the game take place...

Jade Cocoon: Story of the Tamamayu PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1998), PSP (2008), PlayStation 3 (2008) and PS Vita (2012)

Levant is a young boy from a village Syrus. Long time ago the country was cursed by a powerful spirit....

Jade Empire Xbox Front Cover

Xbox (2005) and Xbox 360 (2008)

A young apprentice of the old Master Li, a martial artist in the town of Two Rivers, is close to...

Jade Empire (Limited Edition) Xbox Front Cover

Xbox (2005)

The Limited Edition of Jade Empire adds a new default playable character, monk Zeng, with the exclusive Monk Spade fighting...

Jade Empire (Special Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007) and Macintosh (2008)

Jade Empire (Special Edition) is an enhanced version of Jade Empire. No changes have been made to the game's storyline....

DOS (1994)

Jageun Manyeo ("Little Witch") is a hybrid of a platformer and a role-playing game. The titular character is a little...

Jagged Alliance DOS Front Cover

DOS (1994) and Windows (2008)

The land of Metavira needs your help! Contract additional mercenaries as you explore, capture, and hold new territory so the...

Jagged Alliance 1: Gold Edition Linux Front Cover

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

Jagged Alliance 1: Gold Edition includes: Jagged Alliance Jagged Alliance: Deadly GamesThe game were previously not available for the Macintosh...

Jagged Alliance 2 Linux Front Cover

Linux (2000) and Windows (1999)

The political situation in the democratic monarchy of Arulco has gone from bad to worse. The country has been taken...

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