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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Windows (2003)

Two years have passed since the mysterious Phantom Labyrinth emerged in the desert. One day, a young adventurer seeking for...

Windows (2000)

The sudden emergence of twisted labyrinths in the midst of the desert was called the "Phantom Phenomenon". Adventurers and researchers...

Windows (2005)

This Platinum Edition is an enhanced version of Phantom Knight: Mugen no Meikyū Trilogy DVD. It contains visual scenes that...

Windows (2004)

This compilation contains: Desert Time: Mugen no Meikyū Phantom Knight: Mugen no Meikyū II Phantom Knight: Mugen no Meikyū 3...

Pier Solar and the Great Architects Linux Front Cover

Linux (2014), Windows (2014), Macintosh (2014), PlayStation 3 (2014), Wii U (2014), PlayStation 4 (2014), Xbox One (2014) and Ouya (2014)

Pier Solar and the Great Architects is an enhanced remake of the 2010 Genesis game Pier Solar and the Great...

Pier Solar and the Great Architects Genesis Front Cover

Genesis (2010)

The story of Pier Solar tells about Hoston, a young botanist who is on a quest to save his father...

Pillars of Eternity Linux Front Cover

Linux (2015), Windows (2015) and Macintosh (2015)

Pillars of Eternity is a role-playing game crowd funded as a spiritual successor to the Infinity Engine RPGs like Baldur's...

Pillars of Eternity (Collector's Edition) Linux Front Cover

Linux (2015), Windows (2015) and Macintosh (2015)

Pillars of Eternity: Collector's Edition is a special edition of Pillars of Eternity and was exclusively available for backers (participants...

Windows (2001) and Macintosh (2001)

You are the Master of the Royal Riding School of Gidolan Keep working for Queen Ariana on a quest to...

Pinball Quest NES Front Cover

NES (1989)

Pinball Quest is billed as a pinball role-playing game, though the term is used loosely, as you only earn gold...

PC-98 (1989)

The story of Pink Shock Pirates is rather simple: the protagonist is a young girl named Pink, who wants to...

PC-98 (1990)

After the brave pirate Pink has defeated the evil Temujin in the first game, peace was restored in the land...

Windows (2012) and Macintosh (2013)

Pirate101 is a free online game set in "The Spiral" this is the same universe as Wizard101 and they share...

Windows (2009) and Browser (2010)

Pirate Galaxy is a browser-based massively multiplayer online role playing game.The Mantis, a ruthless and powerful breed of space aliens,...

Pirates of the Burning Sea Windows Front Cover

Windows (2008)

Pirates of the Burning Sea is an MMO set in the Caribbean sea in the 1700's. You can choose to...

Pirates of the Caribbean Windows Front Cover

Windows (2003) and Xbox (2003)

Pirates of the Caribbean is a role-playing game in which the player takes the role of a pirate who has...

Pirates of the Caribbean Online Macintosh Front Cover

Windows (2007) and Macintosh (2007)

Pirates of The Caribbean Online is an MMORPG adaptation of the popular movie and game series of the same name....

Pixel Dungeon Android Front Cover

Android (2012)

Taking inspiration from Brogue and any number of roguelike predecessors, this game pits players in one of four fantasy player...

Planescape: Torment Windows Front Cover

Windows (1999)

Waking up on a stone slab in a morgue, which the zombie workers just pushed into the room, a big...

Planescape: Torment / Baldur's Gate / Fallout 2 Windows Front Cover

Windows (2000)

This is a compilation of three Black Isle's roleplaying games: Baldur's Gate, Planescape: Torment and Fallout 2, and the last...

Planescape: Torment (Memorial Box) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2001)

The Memorial Box is a special re-release of Planescape: Torment that includes in addition to the game:Five collectible cards Double-sided...

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...

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