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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DOS (1992)

Morkin 2 is a not-too-serious freeware role-playing game, written by two brothers. The game is a simple strategy-RPG mix in...

Morning's Wrath Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005)

Princess Morning belongs to a 'race' of people called the Leowyns. A long time ago, they migrated from a place...

Morphs: Cloud Kingdom iPhone Front Cover

iPhone (2012)

Morphs: Cloud Kingdom, the sequel to Morphs, is an RPG in the vein of the Pokémon games where players choose...

Windows (2010)

Mortal Online is an MMORPG with similar visuals to Oblivion. However, Mortal differentiates itself from other MMOs as it features...

Mōryō Senki Madara NES Front Cover

NES (1990)

As a baby, Madara was found floating in a river near Mount Shumi. The elder Tatara saved him, build gadgets...

Mōryō Senki Madara 2 SNES Front Cover

SNES (1993)

Set partly in modern-day world and partly in a fantasy medieval Japan, the game is based on the manga/animé series...

PC-98 (1993)

The game is based on the manga series Moryou Senki Madara. The story is set in a mythological era in...

Mother NES Front Cover

NES (1989)

In the early 1990s, a mysterious dark shadow covered a small country town in rural America. A young married couple...

Mother 1+2 Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2003)

Mother 1+2 is a Japanese compilation of the role-playing games Mother and Mother 2 (the latter also known as EarthBound...

Mother 3 Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2006)

The Nowhere Islands are an idyllic place; the residents of Tazmily Village live peacefully and in harmony with nature and...

Mother 3 Deluxe Box Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2006)

This is a special version of Mother 3 for the Game Boy Advance that also includes the following:A Mother 3...

PSP (2010)

Motto NUGA-CEL! is an updated port of the PS2 title NUGA-CEL! which includes a number of changes and additions. Several...

PSP (2010)

This limited-edition release of Motto NUGA-CEL! includes the game along with a soundtrack CD and a set of postcards featuring...

Mount&Blade Windows Front Cover

Windows (2008)

Mount&Blade is an open-ended, nonlinear game focused on realistic medieval warfare that combines RPG elements with strategy management, exploration of...

Mount & Blade: Warband Windows Front Cover

Windows (2010)

Although Mount&Blade: Warband is called a stand-alone expansion pack to Mount&Blade, it is more of an enhanced remake of the...

Mount&Blade: With Fire and Sword Windows Front Cover

Windows (2011)

Mount&Blade: With Fire and Sword continues the saga, this time in the gunpowder age of medieval Eastern Europe.The player starts...

MS Saga: A New Dawn PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2005)

MS Saga: A New Dawn is an RPG inspired by the Gundam series anime. Far in the future a machine...

Muelsfell: Rise of the Golems Browser Front Cover

Browser (2009)

Muelsfell is a browser-based game where players take on the roles of mages that craft golems. These golems are used...

Game Boy Advance (2003)

Mugenborg is a turn-based RPG with robots fights. The game was released only in Japan. The player controls a young...

PC-88 (1984) and PC-98 (1984)

Cursed by the gods, on the verge of death, the protagonist of the game is transferred to a different realm...

PC-88 (1985), PC-98 (1986), Sharp X1 (1986) and FM-7 (1986)

After the protagonist of the previous game retrieved the precious Heart of Phantasm, he was teleported away from the magical...

PC-88 (1990)

After having traveled to two magical realms, the hero was finally able to leave the world of Elderein and return...

PC-98 (1994)

A young man wakes up and sees a young woman in front of him. She tells him that her name...

Amiga (2011)

MCE is an editor for saved games, characters and highscores from the following 50 games: Bard's Tale 1 Bard's Tale...

Muramasa Rebirth: Genroku Legends - A Cause to Daikon For PS Vita Front Cover

PS Vita (2014)

A Cause to Daikon For is one of the Genroku Lengends additional scenarios for Muramasa Rebirth. This add-on follows the...

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