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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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,...

Pokémon HeartGold Version Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2009)

Pokémon HeartGold is an enhanced remake of one of the second installments in the Pokémon Main RPG Series, Pokémon Gold.Set...

Pokémon LeafGreen Version Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2004)

Pokémon LeafGreen takes the player into the world of Kanto on a mission to catch all more than 150 Pokémon...

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2005)

Natural disasters have been occurring in the Pokémon world! And if that's not enough of a dilemma, you've woken up...

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2007)

In the newest installment of the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series, players find themselves transported to a world of Pokémon—Pokémon that...

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2009)

In this Pokémon Mystery Dungeon game, players are once again drawn into the mythology and intrigue of Treasure Town, where...

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2007)

In the newest installment of the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series, players find themselves transported to a world of Pokémon—Pokémon that...

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity Nintendo 3DS Front Cover

Nintendo 3DS (2012)

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity is the ninth game in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series and the first for...

Windows (2007)

This game is a demo version of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team. Due to the game's obscurity, there is...

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2005)

Breaking the conventions of prior Pokémon games, you play as a human who has suddenly been transformed into a Pokémon,...

Pokémon Omega Ruby Nintendo 3DS Front Cover

Nintendo 3DS (2014)

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

Nintendo 3DS (2014)

This demo for Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire was distributed to selected as a Nintendo eShop download code...

Windows (2013) and Macintosh (2013)

Pokémon Omicron is a fangame for the main series of Pokémon RPGs. It begins as the player character escapes the...

Pokémon Pearl Version Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2006)

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

Pokémon Platinum Version Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2008)

Together with Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl, this game is the 3rd games in the 4th generation of the Pokémon...

Pokémon Ranger Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2006)

In the region of Fiore, the delicate balance between people, Pokémon, and nature is protected by Pokémon Rangers, stalwart youths...

Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2010)

In the region of Oblivia, a gang of thieves known as the "Pokémon Pinchers" are stealing wild Pokémon and planning...

Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2008)

The player steps into the shoes of a Pokémon Ranger in the land of Almia, on the cusp of graduation...

Pokémon Red 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...

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