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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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Windows (2008)

This special edition includes: Last Chaos Manual World map Special pet (a pink dragon) and a naming sign for a...

PC-98 (1996)

Last Guardian 2: Yomi no Fūin is a direct sequel to the first game in the Last Guardian series. It...

PC-98 (1995)

Last Guardian: Jūkyō no Shugosha is set in a fantasy world ruled by gods and inhabited by many different races....

Last Imperial Prince PC-FX Front Cover

PC-FX (1997)

When an army of monsters attacked the castle Camelot and forced the Emperor to resign, the whole country fell under...

Last Rebellion PlayStation 3 Front Cover

PlayStation 3 (2010)

In the world of Junovald death is not a natural process. After dying all living things come back as monsters,...

The Last Remnant Windows Front Cover

Windows (2009) and Xbox 360 (2008)

In The Last Remnant, the player controls the young hero Rush Sykes on a quest to rescue his kidnapped sister....

The Last Story (Limited Edition) Wii Front Cover

Wii (2012)

The Limited Edition comes in a cardboard box and includes: The Last Story The Premium Steelbook cover The Illustrations Art...

The Last Story Wii Front Cover

Wii (2011)

Lazulis Island, location of the like-named harbour town of Lazulis City. A band of mercenaries, headed by Zael and his...

La Tale Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

Iris Livier is an offspring of a Derr, member of a race of demigods with superior power, and a human....

Laxius Force Windows Front Cover

Windows (2008)

A dreadful cult called the Order, ruled by the mysterious Grand Commendanter, plans to turn humans into submissive, bloodthirsty creatures....

Laxius Force II Windows Front Cover

Windows (2009)

Laxius Force II is the sequel to Laxius Force, and the follow-up in general to the Laxius Power trilogy. Overall,...

Windows (2010)

Laxius Force III: The Last Stand is the finale of the Laxius Force trilogy.In this act, Random and his friends...

Windows (2002)

Random, a young swordsman from the town of Rillia, is bored of the daily life and wishes to become a...

Windows (2003)

Direct sequel to Laxius Power, Laxius Power II features this time the separate destinies of each of the four main...

Windows (2004)

After several exploits in Laxius Power I & Laxius Power II, Random and his friends (Sarah the elven healer, Luciana...

Leadlight Browser Front Cover

Windows (2010), Apple II (2010), Macintosh (2010) and Browser (2010)

Troubled 15-year-old dancer Belinda Nettle awakens from nodding off in the library of her Australian private school to find the...

League of Legends Windows Front Cover

Windows (2009)

Runeterra is a world full of magic. But not in an esoteric or invisible kind of way. No, the magic...

League of Legends (Collector's Pack) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2009)

The Collector's Pack is the retail release of the normally free-2-play-game and includes: League of Legends 20 playable Champions 4...

Le Diamant de l'Île Maudite Amstrad CPC Front Cover

Amstrad CPC (1986) and Oric (1984)

Le Diamant de l'Île Maudite (The Diamond of Cursed Island) is a role-playing adventure game with first-person graphical view and...

Legacy of the Ancients DOS Front Cover

DOS (1989), Commodore 64 (1987) and Apple II (1987)

You are a simple shepherd in the world of Tarmalon who one day discovers a panic-driven dying man by the...

Legacy of Ys: Books I & II Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2009)

This is a remake of the first two games in the Ys series. For the DS release, the games have...

The Legacy: Realm of Terror DOS Front Cover

DOS (1992)

The year is 1993. The protagonist's ancestors, the Winthrops, have obviously dealt with black magic and perhaps even pacts with...

Legaia 2: Duel Saga PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2001)

A group of people known as Mystics live like outcasts, shunned by most humans because of their unique connection to...

Legend: Hand of God Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

Four races live in the lands of Aris. While the elves and dwarfs forged an alliance because of the threat...

Legend: Hand of God (Collector's Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

This Collector's Edition includes: Legend: Hand of God Legend: Hand of God - The Chronicles of Aris 1 audiobook Official...

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