User review spotlight: Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (DOS)

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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Monster Galaxy Browser Front Cover

Browser (2012) and Android (2013)

Monster Galaxy is a monster taming game originally dedicated as a Facebook application game. The player takes on a role...

Game Boy Advance (2001)

Monster Guardians is a strategy role-playing game. The player controls a team of monsters, and fights against enemy teams. Collected...

Monster Hunter PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2004)

Monster Hunter is a third-person action game set in a kind of pre-historic fantasy world. Many of the creatures you'll...

Monster Hunter MSX Front Cover

MSX (2006), iPhone (2013), Android (2013) and iPad (2013)

Made in the old Japanese top-down style, Monster Hunter is a straight-forward RPG with a few original twists. You, as...

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Wii U Front Cover

Nintendo 3DS (2013) and Wii U (2013)

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is the reboot of the Japanese game Monster Hunter Tri. In Monster Hunter Tri, the players...

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite PSP Front Cover

PSP (2008), iPhone (2014) and iPad (2014)

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite features over 400 quests and claims to provide 500 hours of game play. New environments, monster,...

Monster Hunter Tri Wii Front Cover

Wii (2009)

Monster Hunter Tri is an action-RPG in which the player hunts dinosaur-like monsters. Monsters can be carved for items which...

Monster Hunter Tri (Classic Controller Pro Pack) Wii Front Cover

Wii (2010)

This is a special edition of Monster Hunter Tri that includes:Monster Hunter Tri game Black Classic Controller ProThe Classic Controller...

Monster Hunter Tri - Limited Edition: Ultimate Hunter Pack Wii Front Cover

Wii (2010)

This limited edition Ultimate Hunter Pack comes in a cardboard box imitating a treasure chest and contains: Monster Hunter Tri...

Monster Kingdom: Jewel Summoner  PSP Front Cover

PSP (2006)

Monster Kingdom: Jewel Summoner is an RPG by Cozy Okada focusing on monster collection and battles. It contains a complex...

Monster Lab Wii Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2008) and Wii (2008)

Monster Lab allows the player to make his or her own monsters and send them out to fight. In this...

TurboGrafx CD (1994)

Yami no Ryū Kishi is a Japanese-style role-playing game based on the setting and themes of the card game Monster...

Monster Rancher BattleCard GB Game Boy Color Front Cover

Game Boy Color (2000)

Monster Rancher BattleCard GB combines traditional overhead-view RPG gameplay with a complete collectible card game. Players familiar with other Monster...

Monster RPG 2 Android Front Cover

Linux (2011), Windows (2011), Macintosh (2011), iPhone (2010), Android (2012), iPad (2012) and Ouya (2013)

Monster RPG 2 is a role-playing game in the tradition of classic Japanese 2D console RPGs like Lufia II, Final...

Browser (2007)

Monsters' Den is a simplified, combat-oriented, turn-based RPG set in typical fantasy world. What sets apart this graphical dungeon crawler...

Browser (2008)

Monsters’ Den: The Book of Dread is an expanded version of Monsters’ Den graphical dungeon crawler, a combat-oriented RPG set...

PlayStation (1998)

Not much of a fighter? Like to work with exotic animals? Like helping people? Then start gathering your seeds today!Monster...

Monster Tale Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2011)

Young girl, Ellie, finds a strange, glowing bracelet in the woods, and upon touching it is transported to a magical...

Moonchild Windows Front Cover

Windows (2012)

Moonchild is a top-down RPG that tells the adventure of a princess and mum whose only child gets abducted. Calypso,...

Moon: Remix RPG Adventure PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1997)

A little boy likes to play video games. Day and night he sits in front of his GameStation and plays...

Moonstone: A Hard Days Knight DOS Front Cover

DOS (1992) and Amiga (1991)

Something's happening in these lands, and the only hope seems to be the moonstone. You, as a chosen knight from...

DOS (1995)

This compilation includes 3 of Moraff's original role-playing games: Moraff's Revenge Moraff's World Dungeons of the Unforgiven

DOS (1993)

Dungeons of the Unforgiven is Moraff's World and Moraff's Revenge with a story.There is more dungeon crawling action and slaying...

DOS (1988)

Moraff's Revenge is the first of Moraff's classic dungeon crawls. Choose to be a fighter or a wizard. The player...

DOS (1991)

Moraff's World is a shareware role-playing game.There are many dungeons and continents to explore. All the dungeons are randomly generated,...

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