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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 ascending orderGame Title
Rent A Hero Genesis Front Cover

Genesis (1991)

TarĊ Yamada is an average young man who lives in the suburbs with his parents, until one day a strange...

Rent A Hero No. 1 Dreamcast Front Cover

Dreamcast (2000) and Xbox (2003)

16-year old Taro Yamada is an average kid, living in the suburbs of Japan with his family. One day, while...

Windows (2008)

The land of Ethergia is a barren planet ravaged by past wars between races where magic and science have been...

Requital Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

In Requital, the player can follow the story of Wolfhound, last member of the Venn clan. His family and other...

DOS (1991)

The Princess Lorri has been abducted by anonymous parties to some similarly unknown location. Which throne is she heir to?...

Resonance of Fate Xbox 360 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2010) and PlayStation 3 (2010)

Resonance of Fate is a role-playing game that takes place in the future when the Earth becomes too poisonous to...

Restricted Area Windows Front Cover

Windows (2004)

The year is 2083, and the world is no longer the way it was before. Huge cities, surrounded by a...

Retro Game Challenge Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2007)

Arino wants to be the greatest gamer in the world, but he's continually defeated by his friends at every new...

The Return of Heracles Atari 8-bit Front Cover

Commodore 64 (1985), Apple II (1983) and Atari 8-bit (1984)

Player(s) travel the land of Greece to accomplish the 12 tasks assigned to them by Zeus and the other gods....

Return to Chaos Windows Front Cover

Windows (2001)

Return to Chaos is a freeware remake of the engine behind the influential Dungeon Master game series, recreating the original...

Return to Krondor Windows Front Cover

Windows (1998)

The direct sequel to Betrayal at Krondor, Return to Krondor takes the player back to the fantasy world of Midkemia,...

Revelations: The Demon Slayer Game Boy Color Front Cover

Game Boy (1992), Game Boy Color (1999), Game Gear (1994) and Nintendo 3DS (2012)

Revelations: The Demon Slayer is a side-game (gaiden) of the Megami Tensei (Megaten) universe. Unlike all other Megaten games, this...

Revenant Windows Front Cover

Windows (1999)

It was time when you were happy, with your woman. But she left this mortal plane, and you lost your...

Revengers of Vengeance SEGA CD Front Cover

SEGA CD (1994)

Revengers of Vengeance is a combination of RPG, vertical shooter, and fighting game with a fantasy/anime style. There are ten...

PC-98 (1993)

Revery are people who know the secret way of magic. Few of those are left in the world, and unfortunately,...

PC-98 (1995)

Revival Xanadu is a remake of Xanadu: Dragon Slayer II.The remake distinguishes itself with the more detailed, graphically more advanced...

PC-98 (1995)

Revival Xanadu II: Remix is a remake of Xanadu: Scenario 2.The remake is done using graphics and engine identical to...

RF Online Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

As one of the three factions vying for control over the planetary sector known as 'Novus', your job is to...

Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1998), PSP (2006), PlayStation 3 (2006) and PS Vita (2012)

In this game the player controls Cornet, a young orphaned girl who can animate lifeless puppets by playing on her...

Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2008)

This is a remake of the original PSone game. While this version still sports the same storyline it features new...

Rhapsody of Zephyr Windows Front Cover

Windows (1998), PlayStation 2 (2004) and Dreamcast (2001)

Rhapsody of Zephyr is a Korean-made role-playing game and a side-story in The War of Genesis series. Unlike most other...

Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

It appeared out of nowhere. Life was normal on Earth when a big shadow appeared on the sky and blocked...

Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa (Limited Collector's Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

This limited collector's edition includes: Limited Collector's Edition DVD case with Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa installation DVD and behind-the-scenes DVD-ROM...

Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa (Pre-Order Bonus Pack) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa is a large-scale science fiction massively multiplayer online game, pitting the player as a soldier fighting...

Ridegear Guybrave PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1997)

Colonel Dahar, leader of the Mars Imperial Army, has brought his forces to attack Earth, seeking to take the remains...

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