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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 descending orderGame Title
Murkon's Refuge Browser Front Cover

Browser (2002)

Murkon's Refuge is a first-person party-based RPG, similar to the early Wizardry games. The player takes his party through the...

NES (1990)

The player controls a young boy called Musashi, who lives somewhere in medieval Japan in the village of Arima ....

PlayStation 2 (2007)

This Japan-only treasure box includes: Warriors Orochi A set of 77 character puffy pop-ups which represent the main heroes and...

My Brute Browser Front Cover

Browser (2008), iPhone (2009), Android (2012) and bada (2012)

Statistics for a virtual champion are randomly generated based on the value of the characters in the player's username. Customizing...

Mysterium Game Boy Front Cover

Game Boy (1991)

As a alchemist you must solve a set of mazes to prove your worth.To solve the mazes you must transform...

Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer Nintendo DS Front Cover

SNES (1995), Nintendo DS (2006) and Wii (2007)

The legend of the Golden Condor... from village to village and from town to town, everybody speak of it -...

SNES (1995)

Seven heroes from seven different Worlds. Seven heroes who were brought to a mysterious temple on a remote island and...

Windows (2005)

In Mystic: Duell der Zauberer the player takes the role of Tim who suddenly finds himself in castle Urqhard. Unfortunately...

Mystic Towers DOS Front Cover

DOS (1994)

In Mystic Towers, the player takes control of an old and rather eccentric wizard, Baron Baldric, whose task is to...

Mythos Windows Front Cover

Windows (2011)

Mythos is an online role-playing game with a very basic storyline: The land Uld is hounded by monsters and the...

MSX (1989), PC-88 (1989), PC-98 (1989) and Sharp X68000 (1989)

Several months have passed since the protagonist of this game experienced the sexual pleasures and horrors of the mysterious mansion....

DOS (1994)

Nahlakh is a shareware game written as RPG adventure with an emphasis on intricate tactical combat, and extensive world exploration....

Namco x Capcom PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2005)

Set in the year 20XX, a space-time distortion dubbed "Yurigi" has been appearing throughout the world. Join Reiji and Shaomu,...

The Nameless Mod Windows Front Cover

Windows (2009)

The Nameless Mod is an unofficial add-on for Deus Ex which is available on DVD or as freeware download. It...

PC-98 (1995)

Bandits attack a quiet village and kidnap a female magician. The two bravest local warriors are quite unable to protect...

PC-98 (1995)

The kingdoms of Clarence and Garla are at war with each other. The priestess Mirelia leads a group of children...

Narsillion: Leithian Another Story Windows Front Cover

Windows (2002)

Two countries, Temision and Halicarnassus, are at war with each other. King Ferdinand of Temision commands war magicians, hoping to...

Game Boy Advance (2003)

This game is a strategy/RPG game based on the popular manga/anime Naruto. With the use of ninja tools such as...

Naruto: Rise of a Ninja Xbox 360 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2007)

The first Naruto game made by North Americans, Naruto: Rise of a Ninja is an action game with puzzle and...

Windows (1999)

OverviewNatuk is a traditional overhead party-based role-playing game with a focus on detailed tactical combat that appeals most to those...

Necromania: Trap of Darkness Windows Front Cover

Windows (2002)

As you can read on the official site this is "action-tactical fantasy game". And that's true - it's an isometric...

Necropolis Browser Front Cover

Browser (2008)

Necropolis is a top-down dungeon explorer starring Ms. Lilian Trevithick, a lady adventurer and radical steam technician. During one of...

TurboGrafx-16 (1990)

Necros no Yōsai is based on the characters from the eponymous Japanese toy line from the 1980s. The story tells...

TurboGrafx CD (1995)

In a world where baseball plays a pivotal role in people's lives, teams compete against each for supremacy, using spiritual...

SNES (1995)

The young fighter Ryu was thrown out of his father's home, and this childhood trauma has been dominating his life...

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