User review spotlight: Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (DOS)

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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MSX (1990), PC-98 (1988), FM Towns (1994) and Sharp X68000 (1991)

Haiiro no Majo is one of the several different games set in the fictional Lodoss War universe created by Ryo...

TurboGrafx CD (1994)

Set in the Record of Lodoss War fantasy universe, created by the Japanese writer Ryo Mizuno, this game is based...

PC-98 (1991), FM Towns (1994) and Sharp X68000 (1992)

Goshiki no Maryū is a follow-up to Haiiro no Majo and is set in the Lodoss War universe in the...

DOS (1993)

You are in the land Darkmoore which is reigned by the evil Lexnor. And because you are playing an RPG...

GP2X Wiz (2010)

Redemption: Liar is a remake of Sin'geom-ui Jeonseol 2. The remake features re-mastered graphics and sound, as well as a...

Windows (1999)

A young man named Jeongcheon lives with his brother in a quiet village. On one fateful day, two mysterious figures...

Windows (1999)

Redmoon is a Massively Multiplayer Online Game set in an anime-style Science-Fantasy world. Based on an 18 volume comic book...

PC-98 (1996)

The town of Jester is located near a spring, which is used both by humans from the town and the...

Reincidentes: La Prisión Online Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005)

Reincidentes: La Prisión Online is the second expansion for the Spanish MMOG La Prisión. This add-on brings along several new...

FM Towns (1992)

In the year 19XX, a huge meteorite fell upon Tokyo. Within a short time the entire city was destroyed. Due...

SNES (1992)

This game is quite different not only from Aretha 3, but also from the first two Aretha games. Rejoice is...

Rengoku: The Tower of Purgatory PSP Front Cover

PSP (2005)

In Rengoku, the player takes control of a android called A.D.A.M. (Autonomous Dueling Armed Machine) who, along with his fellow...

Rent A Hero Genesis Front Cover

Genesis (1991) and Wii (2007)

Tarō 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...

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