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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King's Field PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1995), PSP (2007), PlayStation 3 (2007) and PS Vita (2012)

The powerful and holy Moonlight Sword was stolen from King Alfred of Verdite. Prince Alexander, one of the king's closest...

King's Field PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1994), PSP (2007), PlayStation 3 (2007) and PS Vita (2012)

The country of Verdite has descended into decay. Its royal family began practicing dark magic, guided by evil forces lurking...

PlayStation (2007) and PlayStation 2 (2007)

In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of FromSoftware, Inc, the developers, decided to have a special release of the four...

King's Field II PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1996), PSP (2007), PlayStation 3 (2007) and PS Vita (2012)

A storm runs through the kingdom of Verdite, taking away the precious Moonlight Sword and spreading evil throughout the land....

King's Field: The Ancient City PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2001)

Many years ago, a powerful talisman known as Idol of Sorrow turned the ancient Holy Land, the home of the...

King's Quest: Mask of Eternity Windows Front Cover

Windows (1998)

The Realm of Sun is a magical world situated above the Kingdom of Daventry. Powerful beings known as Archons dwell...

KingsRoad iPad Front Cover

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

KingsRoad is online role-playing game. The land of Alderstone enjoyed peace until their king was slain and his army dispersed....

WonderSwan Color (2003)

Kinnikuman Nisei: Chōjin Seisenshi is an RPG game based in the Kinnikuman/Ultimate Muscle series, although the plot of the game...

TurboGrafx CD (1995)

The Ends of Shangrila is a direct sequel to Kisō Louga. Vaice is on the way to his home country...

PC-98 (1995)

A scientist named Zen Shiratori was investigating the ruins of an ancient Mayan temple, convinced that the proof of the...

Klonoa Heroes: Densetsu no Star Medal Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2002)

Klonoa Heroes: Densetsu no Star Medal is an action-rpg hybrid featuring the cast and universe from the Klonoa game series.The...

Knightfall: Death and Taxes iPhone Front Cover

Windows (2010) and iPhone (2010)

Knightfall: Death and Taxes is a freemium game that offers two free stages to get the player started on his...

Knightmare Amiga Front Cover

Amiga (1991) and Atari ST (1991)

A team of adventurers seek out four magic objects in the dungeons of Dunshelm: The Shield of Justice, the Sword...

Apple II (1983)

John Nelson's attempt to update the Eamon system for the Apple II resulted in the KnightQuest gaming system. It contains...

Game Boy (1991)

You take control of a young man named Will who wants to become a knight. After successfully completing his first...

KnightShift (Director's Cut Special Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2003)

This is an upgraded version of Once Upon a Knight, featuring: 150 new weapons and armor components 25 new enemies...

Knights in the Nightmare Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2008) and PSP (2010)

A great war once raged across the land with many a valiant knight falling on the field of battle. In...

Knights of Honor Windows Front Cover

Windows (2004)

Knights of Honor brings together many genres. Although the game is mainly a real-time strategy game, it offers much more...

Knights of Legend DOS Front Cover

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

Knights of Legend is set in the fantasy land of Ashtalarea. The evil Pildar has captured the ruler of the...

Knights of Pen and Paper + 1 Edition Linux Front Cover

Linux (2013), Windows (2013), Macintosh (2013), iPhone (2012), Android (2012) and iPad (2012)

Knights of Pen and Paper + 1 Edition is an 8-bit retro-styled RPG with a twist; you play the players...

Knights of the Chalice Windows Front Cover

Windows (2009)

Knights of the Chalice is a turn-based old style RPG similar to the Dark Sun series of games. The game...

Browser (2010)

Knights of the Crystals is a quest-based medieval fantasy game on Facebook where players can choose a job class and...

Knights of the Temple II Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005), PlayStation 2 (2005) and Xbox (2005)

In Knights of the Temple II, you again play the role of a Templar knight: Paul de Raque, the grandmaster...

Knights of Xentar DOS Front Cover

DOS (1994), PC-98 (1991), FM Towns (1992) and Sharp X68000 (1992)

Knights of Xentar is a sequel to Dragon Knight II, and is the only Dragon Knight game that was released...

Windows (1999)

This is a gift edition of Legend of the North: Konung. It contains: Legend of the North: Konung in box...

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