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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Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - Dark Samurai PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2014) and PlayStation 3 (2014)

This Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII add-on allows the player to obtain the Schema of Dark Samurai, the Cloud Veil,...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - Divine Wear PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2013) and PlayStation 3 (2013)

This Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII add-on allows the player to obtain the Schema of Cosmocrator, Crocea Mors, Abyss Gate,...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - FF LEGENDS Collection PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2013) and PlayStation 3 (2013)

The FF LEGENDS Collection is a compilation of three Final Fantasy series inspired add-ons for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII:...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - FFVII Aerith PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2013) and PlayStation 3 (2013)

This Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII add-on allows the player to obtain the Schema of Midgar's Flower Girl, Guard Stick...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - FFVII Cloud PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2013) and PlayStation 3 (2013)

This Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII add-on allows the player to obtain the Schema SOLDIER 1st Class, the Buster Sword...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - FFX-2 Yuna PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2014) and PlayStation 3 (2013)

This Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII add-on allows the player to obtain the Schema of Sphere Hunter (Yuna's Gunner Garb...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - FFX Yuna PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2014) and PlayStation 3 (2013)

This Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII add-on allows the player to obtain the Schema of Spira's Summoner, the Summoner's Staff...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - Flower of Battle PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2014) and PlayStation 3 (2014)

This Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII add-on allows the player to obtain the Schema Flower of Battle, the Jikishinkage, and...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (Includes Bonus Cloud Strife's Uniform and Buster Sword DLC) Xbox 360 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2014) and PlayStation 3 (2014)

This edition of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII includes the following: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII FFVII Cloud DLC Voucher...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - Moogle Lover PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2013) and PlayStation 3 (2013)

This Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII add-on allows the player to obtain the Schema of Moogle Queen, Mog's Staff, Mog's...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - Shining Prince PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2014) and PlayStation 3 (2014)

This Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII add-on allows the player to obtain the Schema of Shining Prince, the Rising Sun...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - Shogun PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2014) and PlayStation 3 (2014)

This Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII add-on allows the player to obtain the Schema of Shogun, Thirteen Nights, and Thunderstruck....

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - Sohei Saviori PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2014) and PlayStation 3 (2014)

This Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII add-on allows the player to obtain the Schema of Sohei Savior, the Treasure Hold,...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - The Premium Collection PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2013) and PlayStation 3 (2013)

The Premium Collection is a compilation of three add-ons for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII: Divine Wear Ultimate Savior Moogle...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - The Samurai Collection PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2014) and PlayStation 3 (2014)

The Samurai Collection is a compilation of seven add-ons for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII inspired from medieval Japan: Shining...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - Tomb Raider PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2014) and PlayStation 3 (2014)

This Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII add-on allows the player to obtain the Schema of Tomb Raider, Survivor's Shield and...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - Ultimate Savior PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2013) and PlayStation 3 (2013)

This Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII add-on allows the player to obtain the Schema of Celestial Body, Aegis Shield and...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - Utsusemi PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2014) and PlayStation 3 (2014)

This Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII add-on allows the player to obtain the Schema of Utsusemi, the Heavenly Fan and...

Windows (2008)

Lightning Warrior Raidy is a remake of Ikazuchi no Senshi Raidy for DOS, and the only version of this game...

Windows (2007)

This is a remake of the original DOS/Windows version of the game, Ikazuchi no Senshi Raidy 2. The thunder-powered sexy...

Game Boy Color (2000)

Lil' Monster is an RPG strongly inspired by Pokémon games, the major differences being that it has no open world....

TurboGrafx CD (1995)

An asteroid is nearing the planet Neo Kenya. Scientists warn that the planet might be completely annihilated by it. In...

Linda³ Again  PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1997)

Linda³ Again is an enhanced remake of the PC Engine (TurboGrafx) CD game Linda³.The main story line in this version...

SEGA Saturn (1998)

Linda³: Kanzenban ("Perfect Edition") is a slightly different version of Linda³ Again - which, in its turn, is a remake...

Lineage II (Collector's DVD Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2004)

This edition features: Lineage II: The Chaotic Chronicle Chronicle I: Harbingers of War (on one DVD with Lineage II) 22-inch...

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