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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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) and Wii U (2015)

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,...

PlayStation (1999)

This is a budget-priced re-release of Marl Ōkoku no Ningyō Hime (Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure) that includes an extra bonus...

Mars Saga DOS Front Cover

DOS (1989), Commodore 64 (1988) and Apple II (1989)

You're a stranded space jockey in a rugged frontier settlement on Saturn's moon, Titan. Your one chance to get off...

Mars: War Logs Windows Front Cover

Windows (2013), Xbox 360 (2013) and PlayStation 3 (2013)

Mars: War Logs is a role-playing game set on the red planet of Mars. It has been nearly a century...

Windows (2007)

Martial Heroes is a free to play, free to copy 3D MMORPG. It is based on Martial Arts from the...

Marvel: Avengers Alliance Android Front Cover

Browser (2012), iPhone (2013), Android (2013) and iPad (2013)

Based on the Marvel Comics universe, Marvel: Avengers Alliance is a superhero role-playing game where the player assumes the role...

Windows (2010)

Marvel Brothel is a simple freeware manager/RPG, taking the form of a fangame in the X-Men universe.Professor Charles Xavier decided...

Marvel Heroes Windows Front Cover

Windows (2013)

Marvel Heroes is a persistent universe role-playing game set in the Marvel superhero universe. Dr. Doom, the main opponent of...

Marvelous: Mōhitotsu no Takarajima Wii U Front Cover

SNES (1996) and Wii U (2014)

In Marvelous: Mōhitotsu no Takarajima, the famous pirate Captain Maverick is said to have left behind a great treasure known...

Marvel Puzzle Quest Windows Front Cover

Windows (2013), iPhone (2013), Android (2013) and iPad (2013)

Marvel Puzzle Quest borrows the concept of the previous Puzzle Quest games, but with characters from the universe of Marvel...

Marvel Ultimate Alliance Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006), PlayStation 2 (2006), Xbox (2006), PSP (2006), Xbox 360 (2006), PlayStation 3 (2006) and Wii (2006)

Dr. Doom has united supervillains as the Masters of Evil. Now for the first time ever, over 20 Marvel superheroes...

Game Boy Advance (2006)

The handheld version of Marvel Ultimate Alliance, like its console counterparts, has the player taking control over one of a...

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 Xbox 360 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2009) and PlayStation 3 (2009)

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 continues the four-player mayhem of the previous Marvel Ultimate Alliance and, before that, the X-Men Legends...

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 PSP Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2009), PSP (2009) and Wii (2009)

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 continues the four-player mayhem of the previous Marvel Ultimate Alliance and, before that, the X-Men Legends...

Nintendo DS (2009)

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 shrinks the console game to fit on Nintendo's handheld. It is still in 3D and played...

Xbox 360 (2007)

This gold edition is a re-release of Marvel Ultimate Alliance with eight additional downloadable characters for the original game now...

Marvel: War of Heroes Android Front Cover

iPhone (2012) and Android (2012)

Marvel: War of Heroes is a collectible card game featuring comic book characters from the Marvel universe. The player is...

PC-98 (1994)

This game can be considered a sequel to Nerawareta Shitai, since they both share the same story arc and many...

PC-98 (1994)

Long time ago, there were two dragons in the world: the Blue Dragon, also called Dragon of Creation, and the...

TurboGrafx CD (1991) and PC-88 (1989)

In this game, the player controls a swordsman named Alan. One day he arrives at the village of Flodi, and...

Mass Effect Windows Front Cover

Windows (2008) and Xbox 360 (2007)

Mass Effect is the first part of a science fiction RPG trilogy. It is set in a futuristic universe created...

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