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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Nox Windows Front Cover

Windows (2000) and Macintosh (2013)

Jandor, the legendary hero of Nox, defeated evil necromancers and trapped their souls in an orb, which was then cast...

Browser (2010)

Nox Mortis is a steampunk influenced online RPG browser game. The game itself takes you back into the Victorian age....

Windows (2000)

Nox Quest is a download-only add-on to Nox. It updates the base game to version 1.2 and adds to it...

PlayStation 2 (2009)

Tokyo-23 is a land in turmoil. Each of the 23 districts has its own leader hoping to unify Tokyo-23 under...

NUGA-CEL! Nurture Garment Celebration (Genteiban) PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2009)

This limited-edition release of NUGA-CEL! contains the game along with a 120-page Prologue Novel and a Digital Artbook DVD, packed...

Numen: Contest of Heroes Windows Front Cover

Windows (2009)

Numen: Contest of Heroes is an action RPG set in mythical Greece. The hero of the game starts out as...

Nushi Tsuri 64 Nintendo 64 Front Cover

Nintendo 64 (1998)

Nushi Tsuri 64 is a fishing-themed role-playing game. It was the first installment of the series for the N64 console...

Oath of Genesis Android Front Cover

Windows (2015), Android (2015) and Windows Phone (2015)

Oath of Genesis describes how there once was a village named Midgar. In that time the people depended on the...

Obitus DOS Front Cover

DOS (1991), SNES (1994), Amiga (1991) and Atari ST (1991)

A medieval history lecturer named Wil Mason has been transported to the fantasy world of Middlemere, which is ruled by...

Ocean City Nemesis Windows Front Cover

Windows (2004)

Ocean City Nemesis is a mix of action, adventure and role playing game. As a player, you control agent Darcy,...

ōdi∙um Linux Front Cover

Linux (2006), Windows (1999) and Macintosh (2002)

StoryMutants have been found in the bombed out Polish city codenamed 'Gorky 17' near Lubin, and a trio of soldiers...

Windows (1998)

You are awaken without any memory of your past. You don't know where you have come from, you don't even...

O.D.T. - Escape... Or Die Trying Windows Front Cover

Windows (1998) and PlayStation (1998)

The airship Nautiflyus, piloted by the famous hero Captain Lamat, was on its way to deliver the wondrous Green Pearl...

Apple II (1980)

Odyssey: The Compleat Apventure is a turn-based role-playing game. It consists of multiple parts and places the player in the...

PC-98 (1993)

Long time ago, the king god Reg and the evil god Barbados fought each other in a titanic battle. But...

Windows (2008) and Macintosh (2013)

The player has been assigned to control the Batter, a somewhat quiet man dressed like a baseball player, on a...

Of Orcs and Men Windows Front Cover

Windows (2012), Xbox 360 (2012) and PlayStation 3 (2012)

Of Orcs and Men is a role-playing game where the player controls Arkail, an elite Orc soldier from the Bloodjaws...

Ogre Battle PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1996), SNES (1993), SEGA Saturn (1996), Wii (2008) and Wii U (2013)

Twenty-five years ago Empress Endora conquered the entire continent of Zetegenia. Her reign proved to be tyrannical, and people of...

Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber Nintendo 64 Front Cover

Nintendo 64 (1999) and Wii (2010)

Magnus Gallant leads the revolution for the kingdom of Palatinus. The kingdom's Lord, Holy Lodis Empire, is rumored to be...

Okage: Shadow King PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2001)

Okage: Shadow King is an RPG with a slight twist: it's humorous.The game's premise is that a boy (nameable by...

Linux (1991), DOS (1988), Windows (2003) and Amiga (1990)

Omega is usually considered the first roguelike game (CRPG dungeon crawls with top-down or isometric graphics and a high degree...

Omega Quintet (Iffy's Online Store Exclusive Limited Edition) PlayStation 4 Front Cover

PlayStation 4 (2015)

This edition is exclusive to the US Iffy's Online Store retailer and includes: Omega Quintet (base game) Omega Quintet: Symphony...

PlayStation 4 (2014)

This edition is limited to Japan/Asia market only and includes:Omega Quintet (base game) Special Wall Scroll (B2 Size) Special Clear...

Once Upon a Knight Windows Front Cover

Windows (2003) and Macintosh (2005)

Knightshift is a hybrid of the RPG and the RTS genre. The singleplayer RTS part consists of three campaigns, in...

One Piece: Oceans of Dreams! PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (2003)

Monkey D. Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates were once again engaged in a battle with another group of pirates....

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