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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Land of Three Classes: The Exam iPad Front Cover

Browser (2011), iPhone (2011), Android (2011) and iPad (2011)

In this early game published through Choice of Games' "Hosted Games" program, players assume the identity of a young fantasy...

Lands of Lore 1+2 Windows Front Cover

Windows (2011)

This digitally distributed game collection includes: Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos Lands of Lore: Guardians of Destiny

Lands of Lore: Guardians of Destiny DOS Front Cover

DOS (1997) and Windows (1997)

In her quest for power and revenge, the witch Scotia accidentally set into motion the revival of Belial, God of...

Lands of Lore III Windows Front Cover

Windows (1999)

Copper is the bastard son of Eric LeGré, brother of King Richard and commander of the White Army who had...

Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos DOS Front Cover

DOS (1993), PC-98 (1994) and FM Towns (1995)

The Dark Army is on the move again, led by the evil sorceress Scotia. Her goal is obvious: to destroy...

DOS (1989)

Loosely based on The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. Donaldson, The Land is a role-playing game where the...

Nintendo DS (2007)

Adapted from the famous series of European comics "Lanfeust", this game takes you on an adventure in the heroic universe...

Langrisser II Windows Front Cover

Windows (2004), Genesis (1994) and Wii (2007)

Langrisser II is a sequel to Warsong (whose original title is Langrisser). The events of the game take place several...

Langrisser III SEGA Saturn Front Cover

SEGA Saturn (1996)

This is a prequel to the two Langrisser games (the first one is known in the US as Warsong). The...

Langrisser I & II PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1997), SEGA Saturn (1998), PSP (2009), PlayStation 3 (2009) and PS Vita (2012)

This is a remake of two games: Langrisser (known as Warsong in USA) and its sequel, Langrisser II – or,...

SEGA Saturn (1996)

The Limited Edition of Langrisser III has a custom 3D holographic cover, and comes with a Fan Book that has...

Langrisser IV SEGA Saturn Front Cover

SEGA Saturn (1997)

Langrisser IV is the fourth in the long-running Japanese strategy RPG series.Cleons, the king of the country Regenburg, offers his...

Langrisser IV (Limited Edition) SEGA Saturn Front Cover

SEGA Saturn (1997)

The Limited Edition of Langrisser IV comes in a custom cardboard box. It also includes a Special Fan Book and...

Langrisser IV & V: Final Edition PlayStation 3 Front Cover

PlayStation (1999), PSP (2009), PlayStation 3 (2009) and PS Vita (2012)

This is a Playstation release of two Saturn games bundled together: Langrisser IV and Langrisser V: The End of Legend....

Dreamcast (1999) and WonderSwan (2000)

Langrisser Millennium is yet another installment of the long-running Japanese strategy RPG series. You control five main characters: Taji, a...

Langrisser V: The End of Legend SEGA Saturn Front Cover

SEGA Saturn (1998)

The story of Langrisser V is closely connected to the one told in Langrisser IV - the two games form...

SNES (1995), TurboGrafx CD (1993), MSX (1989), PC-88 (1987), PC-98 (1987) and Sharp X68000 (1990)

The town Newcam, Massachusetts, 1924. On the outskirts of the town stands the Weathertop mansion. It was just an ordinary...

La Prisión Windows Front Cover

Windows (2000)

La Prisión (The Prison) is a massively multiplayer role-playing game online (MMORPG), set in a prison as a persistent game...

La Prisión: La fuga de Don Vitto Windows Front Cover

Windows (2002)

La fuga de Don Vitto is the first expansion for the Spanish MMOG La Prisión and it also goes by...

La Pucelle † Ragnarøk PSP Front Cover

PSP (2009)

There exist in the Kingdom of Paprika two main religious groups: the Church of the Holy Maiden and the Church...

PSP (2009)

This first print limited edition of La Pucelle † Ragnarøk includes the following: La Pucelle † Ragnarøk PSP game a...

La Pucelle: Tactics PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2002) and PlayStation 3 (2012)

Prier and her brother Culotte are novices with the demon-hunting organization, La Pucelle. They've just passed their final exams and...

Linux (1991), DOS (1986), Amiga (1987) and Atari ST (1988)

Larn is one of the first Roguelikes (RPG dungeon crawls with top-down or isometric graphics and a high degree of...

Larva Mortus Macintosh Front Cover

Windows (2008) and Macintosh (2008)

The international agency in charge of investigating paranormal and strange phenomena have hired a new agent and it seems just...

Last Armageddon NES Front Cover

NES (1990), TurboGrafx CD (1990), MSX (1988), PC-88 (1988), PC-98 (1990), FM Towns (1989), Sharp X68000 (1989) and Sharp X1 (1988)

The Earth has changed. We don't know yet what happened to humanity, but we know it was eradicated. The new...

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