User review spotlight: Carmageddon (DOS). Released in 1997.

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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Radiant Historia Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2010)

Radiant Historia is a traditional Japanese RPG which focuses on time travel. The story is set in a world torn...

NES (1991)

The hero wakes up in the middle of a forest. His head hurts. He doesn't remember anything: he doesn't know...

Radiata Stories PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2005)

Young Jack Russell wants to follow in the footsteps of his father, a renowned member of the Royal Radiata Knights...

Rage of Mages Windows Front Cover

Windows (1998)

Rage of Mages is an isometric role-playing game, in which the main character and his companions must journey through the...

Rage of Mages II: Necromancer Windows Front Cover

Windows (1999)

Rage of Mages II: Necromancer is the sequel to the first game in the series and continues in its role-playing...

Ragnarok DOS Front Cover

DOS (1993)

Valhalla (Ragnarok in the US) is a medieval fantasy based roguelike game with Viking/Norse (Scandinavian) mythology as its main theme,...

Ragnarok II: Legend of the Second Windows Front Cover

Windows (2013)

Ragnarok 2: Legend of the Second is an MMORPG and a remake of Ragnarok Online 2: The Gate of the...

Ragnarök Online Windows Front Cover

Windows (2002)

Ragnarok Online is a massively-multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) based on the fantasy manhwa comic series Ragnarök by Myung-Jin Lee.The...

RailWorks 3: Train Simulator 2012 - BR 4BIG Class 422 EMU Add-On Windows Front Cover

Windows (2013)

BR 4BIG Class 422 EMU is a downloadable content (DLC) for RailWorks 3: Train Simulator 2012, which features: Class 377...

DOS (1989)

Officially this is an updated version of Ranadinn, but it qualifies as a separate game, since a lot has profoundly...

DOS (1988)

You are a Battlemage - a Ranadinn: you have the skills of a fighter, a wizard and a cleric. You've...

Windows 3.x (1995), PC-98 (1995) and FM Towns (1995)

This is a side-story in Rance series, released shortly after the fourth game, but dedicated to an entirely different quest....

Windows 3.x (1995), PC-98 (1995) and FM Towns (1995)

Rance 4.2: Angel-gumi is the second part of the story that began in Rance 4.1: O-Kusuri Koujou o Sukue! rather...

Windows (2002)

Rance 5D: Hitoribocchi no Onna no Ko, the seventh entry in the Rance series (since there were three Rance 4...

Windows 3.x (1990), MSX (1989), PC-88 (1989), PC-98 (1989), FM Towns (1990) and Sharp X68000 (1989)

The player takes the role of Rance, a young guy who works in a private investigator's office. One day, the...

Windows 3.x (1991), MSX (1990), PC-88 (1990), PC-98 (1990), FM Towns (1990) and Sharp X68000 (1990)

Four magical rings were stolen from Custom Town. A bunch of sexy, but dangerous sorceresses terrorizes the land. The town...

Windows 3.x (1991), PC-98 (1991), FM Towns (1992) and Sharp X68000 (1991)

The money our hero Rance got in Custom City as payment for his latest detective work has been long gone....

Windows 3.x (1993), PC-98 (1993) and FM Towns (1994)

Hundreds of years ago, the Master of Magic decided to use his immense power to bring peace to mankind and...

Windows (2011)

Rance Quest is an adult role-playing game and a sequel to Sengoku Rance. The titular hero, the knight with an...

Windows (2004)

This is the eighth installment of the longest-running hentai RPG series (since there were three Rance IV games). The protagonist...

MSX (1989)

This is the second role-playing adventure of the little round creature Randar. This time, the adventure takes place not in...

MSX (1989)

The little blue egg-shaped creature Randar, who was the healer in Golvellius and appeared as a mascot in other Compile's...

MSX (1990)

In this game, you don't play the cute little round creature Randar any more, but a human hero (whom you...

Ranma 1/2: Akanekodan-teki Hihō SNES Front Cover

SNES (1993)

The game is based on the animé series Ranma 1/2. It tells the story of the young martial artist Ranma...

Windows (2006)

This is a fantasy MMORPG set in a medieval world where three races co-exist: the Gaia (humans close to nature),...

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