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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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...

The Legend of Alon D'ar PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2001)

Chandar is a floating world populated by different races; unfortunately, not all of them are at peace with each other....

Windows (2014)

Legend of a Ninja: A Shadow to Remember is a top-down RPG with classic sprite graphics. The battles are first-person,...

The Legend of Blacksilver Commodore 64 Front Cover

Commodore 64 (1988) and Apple II (1988)

The Legend of Blacksilver is the sequel to Legacy of the Ancients and uses a similar but refined interface.In a...

The Legend of Dragoon PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1999), PSP (2012) and PlayStation 3 (2012)

Dart, a brave and loyal warrior swordsman, has sworn to avenge the death of his parents by destroying the mysterious...

Legend of Dungeon Linux Front Cover

Linux (2013), Windows (2013) and Macintosh (2013)

Legend of Dungeon is a role-playing game with the classic roguelike plotline: adventurer explores a dungeon in order to find...

Game Boy Advance (2003)

In this game, the player takes control of a modern-day male teenager and his female best friend (the player gives...

Legend of Faerghail DOS Front Cover

DOS (1990), Amiga (1990) and Atari ST (1990)

Something bad has happened to the race of elves. Without provocation, they attack innocent people and are preparing to conquer...

Legend of Grimrock Linux Front Cover

Linux (2012), Windows (2012) and Macintosh (2012)

Legend of Grimrock is an old-school dungeon crawler with gameplay similar to Eye of the Beholder, but with more advanced...

Legend of Grimrock Bundle Windows Front Cover

Windows (2014)

This compilation includes: Legend of Grimrock Legend of Grimrock II

The Legend of Heroes: A Tear of Vermillion PSP Front Cover

PSP (2005)

The Legend of Heroes is old-school JRPG with new-school sensibilities and graphics. The old-school elements of the game are its...

PC-98 (1994)

Jurio is a young boy who must travel to five sacred shrines as part of his warrior initiation rite. The...

The Legend of Heroes III: Song of the Ocean PSP Front Cover

PSP (2007)

Song of the Ocean is the third installment in Nihon Falcom's RPG PSP trilogy, a third remake based on the...

PlayStation (1998) and SEGA Saturn (1998)

The Legend of Heroes I & II is a bundle composed of two games of the Legend of Heroes series:...

The Legend of Heroes II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch PSP Front Cover

PSP (2006)

The game opening quickly introduces us to Jurio and Chris, two teenagers who are just about old enough to set...

Windows (2000) and PC-98 (1996)

Long time ago, two gods, Bardus and Octum, fought for dominance in the world. The benevolent Bardus defeated the evil...

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky Windows Front Cover

Windows (2004) and PSP (2006)

In this latest installment of the long-running Legend of Heroes series, you control two heroes: Estelle bright, a daughter of...

Legend of Legaia PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1998)

Legend of Legaia is a Japanese-style RPG. Your initial party consists of three characters: Vahn, Noa, and Gala - two...

Amiga (1991)

Legend of Lothian is a public domain RPG heavily inspired by the Ultima series. As it happens, Lothian, king of...

Legend of Mana PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1999), PSP (2010), PlayStation 3 (2010) and PS Vita (2012)

A twinkling consciousness became a star that sparkled in the night and banished the darkness. The Mana Goddess acquired consciousness...

The Legend of Oasis SEGA Saturn Front Cover

SEGA Saturn (1996)

Long time ago, Reharl, the King of Spirits, fought the destroyer Agito. Both sides used powerful armlets - Golden and...

Legend of the Ancient Dragon Windows Front Cover

DOS (1996) and Windows (1997)

The land of Lotland, inhabited by many different races, was once threatened by the giant dragon Pursival. Five heroes -...

Legend of the Cryptids Android Front Cover

iPhone (2012) and Android (2012)

A malevolent being known as the Shadow King has descended on the land of Neotellus. Clandestine beings that lived in...

Browser (2002)

An update of Legend of the Red Dragon for the internet generation (playing it a bit closer to its source...

Legend of the North: Konung Windows Front Cover

Windows (1999)

Legend of the North is a role-playing game out of Russia. The game focuses on the Scandinavian landscape and mostly...

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