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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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Planet Alcatraz Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

Planet Alcatraz is a real-time post-apocalyptic RPG. It has been described by the developers as a mixture between Neverwinter Nights...

Planet's Edge: The Point of no Return DOS Front Cover

DOS (1991), PC-98 (1993) and FM Towns (1993)

The discovery of an alien craft entering our solar system causes quite a stir. When the small craft is accidentally...

N-Gage (2004)

Pocket Kingdom is a strategic MMORPG set in the fantasy world of Ulgress. The core gameplay mechanic is combining combat...

Pocket Legends iPad Front Cover

Browser (2011), iPhone (2010), Android (2011) and iPad (2011)

Pocket Legends is an online MMORPG (massively online role-playing game). This free-to-play fantasy game implements 3D anime-inspired graphics and three...

Game Boy (1996)

In this game you are a 10-year-old boy, now old enough to receive your first Pokemon. You train this Pokemon...

Pocket Monsters Midori Game Boy Front Cover

Game Boy (1996)

In this game you are a 10-year-old boy, now old enough to receive your first Pokémon. You train this Pokémon...

Pocket Wizard: Magic Fantasy! Android Front Cover

Android (2014)

Pocket Wizard: Magic Fantasy! follows a young mage on her quest to become the Croesus pixel world. Fortunately she has...

PC-88 (1983), PC-98 (1984), Sharp X1 (1984) and FM-7 (1983)

Emperor Dark has taken control of the star system Kurane, invading the Eastern territories of the galaxy an bringing them...

Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Nintendo 3DS Front Cover

Nintendo 3DS (2014)

In this enhanced remake of Pokémon Sapphire Version, players travel throughout the Hoenn region on a journey to become a...

Pokémon Bank Nintendo 3DS Front Cover

Nintendo 3DS (2013)

Pokémon Bank is a downloadable application for the Nintendo 3DS. It serves as a complement to Pokémon X and Pokémon...

Pokémon Black Version Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2011)

Pokémon Black Version along with Pokémon White Version mark the 5th generation of the main series. This version exclusively features...

Pokémon Black Version 2 Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2012)

Players return to the region of Unova for Pokémon Black Version 2, the sequel to Pokémon Black Version. The story...

Pokémon Blue Version Game Boy Front Cover

Game Boy (1996)

You've finally been granted your Pokémon trainer's license. Now, it's time to head out to become the world greatest Pokémon...

Pokémon Box: Ruby & Sapphire GameCube Front Cover

GameCube (2003)

A storage program that allows the user to place up to 1500 Pokémon collected from the various Game Boy Advance...

Game Boy Color (2001)

Pokémon Card GB2: Here Comes Team GR! is the sequel to Pokémon Trading Card Game. The game expands on the...

Pokémon Colosseum GameCube Front Cover

GameCube (2003)

Pokémon Colosseum for the Nintendo GameCube is a follow-up to the popular Pokémon Stadium series on the N64. Connect your...

Pokémon Conquest Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2012)

Pokémon Conquest is a combination of the Pokémon and Nobunaga's Ambition series. In the Ransei region, feudal warlords and Pokémon...

Pokémon Crystal Version Game Boy Color Front Cover

Game Boy Color (2000)

Pokémon Crystal is an upgrade of the parallel Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver. The game is to its parallels like...

Pokémon Diamond Version Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2006)

Together with Pokémon Pearl, this game starts the 4th generation of the Pokémon series. Set in a new region, Sinnoh,...

Pokémon Emerald Version Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2004)

Pokémon Emerald is the fifth Pokémon game of the advanced generation, after its predecessors Ruby, Sapphire, FireRed, and LeafGreen. It...

Pokémon FireRed Version Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2004)

Pokémon FireRed takes the player into the world of Kanto on a mission to catch all of the 350 pokémon...

Pokémon Fushigi no Dungeon: Ikuzo! Arashi no Bōkendan Wii Front Cover

Wii (2009)

Ikuzo! Arashi no Bōkendan is one of three Pokémon Mystery Dungeon titles released as WiiWare. Like the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon...

Pokémon Fushigi no Dungeon: Mezase! Hikari no Bōkendan Wii Front Cover

Wii (2009)

Pokémon Fushigi no Dungeon: Mezase! Hikari no Bōkendan is one of three Pokémon Mystery Dungeon titles released as WiiWare. Like...

Pokémon Fushigi no Dungeon: Susume! Honoo no Bōkendan Wii Front Cover

Wii (2009)

This game is one of three Pokémon Mystery Dungeon titles for the WiiWare format. Like the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games...

Pokémon Gold Version Game Boy Color Front Cover

Game Boy Color (1999)

Pokémon Gold takes place several years after Red, Blue and Yellow, and puts the user into a brand new world,...

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