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Role-Playing (RPG)


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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PlayStation 2 (2006)

This first print special edition of Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories comes in a collector's box and includes the following: Disgaea...

PlayStation 3 (2008)

This first print limited edition contains: Disgaea 3 game Two-disc Disgaea 3 soundtrack Setting source book

Makai Senki Disgaea 4: Fuka & Desco-hen Hajimemashita PlayStation 3 Front Cover

PlayStation 3 (2013)

This compilation includes the base game and the additional scenario starring Fuka and Desco: Disgaea 4 game The Fuka &...

Makai Senki Disgaea 4: Fuka & Desco-hen Hajimemashita (Sūryō Gentei Append-ban) PlayStation 3 Front Cover

PlayStation 3 (2011)

This limited edition includes: The Fuka & Desco Show append disc A Desco figure Original Maxi Single disc

PlayStation 3 (2011)

This first-print limited edition of Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten contains the following: Disgaea 4 game disc A Soft-cover artbook...

Makai Senki Disgaea (Genteiban) PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2003)

This limited edition of Disgaea includes the following: Disgaea: Hour of Darkness PS2 game A softcover artbook A two-disc Disgaea...

PSP (2006)

This first print limited edition includes: Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness game A two-disc soundtrack Original Maxi Single disc

Makai Tenshō PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2003)

Amakusa Shirō, leader of the Shimabara Rebellion, was put to death by the Tokugawa Shogunate. However, in his final moments,...

Makeruna! Makendō Z PC-FX Front Cover

PC-FX (1998)

Makeruna! Makendō Z takes place in the same universe as Makeruna! Makendō, known outside of Japan as Kendo Rage. However,...

Make Your Own Murder Party DOS Front Cover

DOS (1986), Commodore 64 (1986) and Apple II (1986)

This strange piece of software that, as the name states, allows you to host your very own murder party.Murder parties,...

Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2008) and PSP (2009)

The fourth entry of the Atelier Iris series, this time around the player takes control of a student named Vayne...

Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis (Premium Edition) PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2008)

The Premium Edition of Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis includes: Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis Original soundtrack featuring 33 songs...

Mandragore Commodore 64 Front Cover

Commodore 64 (1986), Apple II (1985), ZX Spectrum (1986), MSX (1986) and Amstrad CPC (1986)

Mandragore is a role-playing game that was originally released in France. The kingdom was at peace under King Jorian. When...

PC-98 (1995)

Manji: PSY Yūki is set in medieval Japan, but has many supernatural elements and bizarre anachronisms. The heroine of the...

Windows (2006)

MapleStory is a F2P (free to play) 2D side-scrolling fantasy MMORPG set in Maple World. There are several different servers...

Marauder Windows Front Cover

Windows (2013)

Marauder is a tactical strategy game with RPG elements. It is based on the book Marauder written by Berkem Al...

SEGA Saturn (1997)

Shinjitsu no Sekai means real world in Japanese - and indeed, the game is set in modern-day Tokyo. The protagonist...

Mario Golf  Game Boy Color Front Cover

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

Mario Golf on Game Boy Color isn't a straight port of the N64 game - it's a totally different game...

Mario Golf: Advance Tour Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2004) and Wii U (2014)

Similarly to Mario Golf for Game Boy Color, Mario Golf: Advance Tour allows players to create two of their own...

Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2009)

The Mushroom Kingdom is stricken with a horrible disease known as 'The Blorbs'! Princess Toadstool calls a meeting to discuss...

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Nintendo 3DS Front Cover

Nintendo 3DS (2013)

One day, the people from the Mushroom Kingdom receive an invitation to visit Pi'illo Island, turned into a touristic region....

Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2005)

The famous Mario Brothers return in this sequel to the humorous Superstar Saga. In this adventure, Princess Peach takes a...

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2003) and Wii U (2014)

Princess Peach's voice has been stolen by Cackletta and replaced with explosives! Mario and Luigi with the help of Bowser...

Mario Tennis Game Boy Color Front Cover

Game Boy Color (2000) and Nintendo 3DS (2013)

Mario Tennis for the Game Boy Color is a much different experience than its N64 effort. In addition to the...

Mario Tennis: Power Tour Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2005) and Wii U (2014)

Mario Tennis: Power Tour is the portable sibling of Mario Power Tennis on the GameCube. Aside from the standard spins,...

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