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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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sorted in ascending orderGame Title
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...

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...

Mega Man Battle Network 5: Double Team DS Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2005)

Mega Man Battle Network 5: Double Team DS is a slightly enhanced port of both versions of Mega Man Battle...

Mega Man Battle Network 5: Team Colonel Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2005)

Lan and Mega Man return in the fifth entry to the Battle Network series of games. In this sequel, a...

Mega Man Battle Network 5: Team Protoman Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2004)

Lan and Mega Man return in the fifth entry to the Battle Network series of games. In this sequel, a...

Game Boy Advance (2005)

Lan and his family have moved house to Cyber City, which is famous for its new technology. Lan and Mega...

Game Boy Advance (2005)

Lan and his family have moved house to Cyber City, which is famous for its new technology. Lan and Mega...

Mega Man Legends 2 PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (2000) and PSP (2005)

Mega Man returns in this, his second 3D outing. The Blue bomber and his teammate, Roll, must journey to a...

Mega Man Star Force 2: Zerker X Ninja Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2007)

Mega Man Star Force 2: Zerker X Ninja, along with Zerker X Saurian, is the sequel to Mega Man Star...

Mega Man Star Force 2: Zerker X Saurian Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2007)

Mega Man Star Force 2: Zerker X Saurian, along with Zerker X Ninja, is the sequel to Mega Man Star...

Mega Man Star Force: Dragon Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2006)

Many years in the future, humankind has finally discovered extraterrestrial life. In an effort to make contact with aliens, they...

Mega Man Star Force: Leo Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2006)

Many years in the future, humankind has finally discovered extraterrestrial life. In an effort to make contact with aliens, they...

Mega Man Star Force: Pegasus Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2006)

Many years in the future, humankind has finally discovered extraterrestrial life. In an effort to make contact with aliens, they...

Mega Man X: Command Mission PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2004) and GameCube (2004)

Mega Man X teams up with Zero in a traditional console RPG. The game was developed by the same people...

TurboGrafx CD (1994)

In a magical country where only women dwell, young girls study in a magic school to become powerful and benevolent...

Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible II Game Boy Color Front Cover

Game Boy (1993), Game Boy Color (1999) and Nintendo 3DS (2012)

Th king of Magoku (Demon Country) is concerned. Only one baby has been born in the kingdom that night. According...

SNES (1995)

"Last Bible III" is a sequel to two Last Bible games for GameBoy and GameBoy Color. You control Shieru, a...

Game Gear (1995)

Last Bible Special is a part of Last Bible series, which are a sub-series within the Megaten universe. The events...

Windows (2007)

Megami Tensei Online: Imagine is an online RPG set in the Megaten universe. The time line of the game falls...

MegaTraveller 1: The Zhodani Conspiracy DOS Front Cover

DOS (1990), Amiga (1991) and Atari ST (1991)

Based on the MegaTraveller table-top science-fiction game, your task in The Zhodani Conspiracy is to prevent war breaking out between...

MegaTraveller 1: The Zhodani Conspiracy + MegaTraveller 2: Quest for the Ancients DOS Front Cover

DOS (1996) and Windows 3.x (1996)

A compilation of two classic sci-fi role-playing games: MegaTraveller 1 and MegaTraveller 2. Both are adaptations of the original table-top...

MegaTraveller 2: Quest for the Ancients DOS Front Cover

DOS (1991) and Amiga (1992)

Three hundred thousand years ago, the ancients ruled the galaxy. It's now ~4000 AD and they're long gone. Unfortunately, one...

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