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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 (2011)

Mass Effect: Edycja Rozszerzona (Extended Edition) is a compilation that includes: Mass Effect Mass Effect: Bring Down the Sky The...

Mass Effect (Limited Collector's Edition) Xbox 360 Front Cover Sleeve

Xbox 360 (2007)

This Limited Collector's Edition includes: Mass Effect A Future Imagined art book Galactic Codex: Essentials book (36 pages detailing the...

Mass Effect: Pinnacle Station Windows Front Cover

Windows (2009) and Xbox 360 (2009)

Pinnacle Station is the second downloadable content pack (DLC) released for Mass Effect. After achieving Spectre status, Commander Shepard can...

Mass Effect (Zolotoe izdanie) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2009)

Zolotoe izdanie is a gold edition of Mass Effect by 1C Company. It includes: Mass Effect. Mass Effect: Bring Down...

Master of the Monster Lair Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2008)

Master of the Monster Lair is a dungeon crawling RPG with a different twist, whereas in previous dungeon crawlers the...

TurboGrafx CD (1991)

It was just an ordinary cruise ship gig for the four musicians. The band leader, known only as the Flute...

SNES (1995)

"Maten Densetsu" is a RPG set in post-apocalyptic Japan, similar in style and in gameplay to Shin Megami Tensei and...

Genesis (1993)

Maten no Sōmetsu tells the story of a young boy (you can name him as you like) who was found...

Browser (2006)

Originally launched in 1996 and still being actively maintained and updated, Materia Magica is a complex fantasy MUD set on...

The Matrix Online Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005)

The universe of The Matrix goes massively multiplayer in this cyberpunk RPG. Players jack into one of the many districts...

Maze Heroes: Meikyū Densetsu PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (2002)

This is a world where humans and monsters coexist. Legend has it that there are four treasures in the world...

Commodore 64 (1983)

In Maze Master you create a party of three characters, each either a Warrior or a Wizard and venture into...

Maze of Space Macintosh Front Cover

Windows (2010) and Macintosh (2010)

In this prototype, the player controls a spaceman wandering the blocky confines of a randomly-generated space-maze (space station? planetary colony?...

Game Boy Advance (2006) and Nintendo DS (2008)

The ancient gods have passed judgment, and as a result all of mankind has been sentenced to be replaced with...

DOS (1996)

A roguelike inspired by (and released at) the annual Assembly demoparties held in Helsinki's Hartwall Areena, in this "virtual demo...

Mean Girls: High School Showdown Windows Front Cover

Windows (2009) and Macintosh (2009)

Cady is the 16 years-old daughter of two zoologists stationed in Africa. Her mother receives an invitation from Northwestern University,...

Mecha Ace: Heroes of the Vedrian War Browser Front Cover

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

In this multiple-choice game, the player makes decisions on the behalf of the leader of a lance (a tactical grouping)...

MechCommander 2 Windows Front Cover

Windows (2001)

In a region of space known as the Chaos March, three factions of warriors battle out in Mechs of immense...

Medabots: Infinity GameCube Front Cover

GameCube (2003)

In Medabots: Infinity, Ikki and his Medabot goes to the Toru-Toru Land amusement park to compete in the Medafighter race....

MedaBots: Metabee Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2003)

Welcome to the world of MedaBots. MetaBots are robots that can have various parts upgraded and swapped to change and...

Mega Man Battle Network Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2001)

In the future, a young net-battler named Lan, boots his 'personal information terminal'(PET) and prepares to hack into the network...

Mega Man Battle Network 2 Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2001)

Netto Hikari (a.k.a. Lan Hikari) and his Navi MegaMan.EXE are back in a new adventure! After defeating the sinister World...

Mega Man Battle Network 3: Blue Version Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2003)

LAN, the young hero, is invited to attend a local net-battle tournament with his Personal Electronic Trained character, Mega Man....

Mega Man Battle Network 3: White Version Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2002)

LAN, the young hero, is invited to attend a local net-battle tournament with his Personal Electronic Trained character, Mega Man....

Mega Man Battle Network 4: Blue Moon Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2003)

It's been rather quiet after Lan and Mega Man defeated the WWW in Mega Man Battle Network 3. Little do...

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