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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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Black/Matrix II PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2002)

Rage was one of the four Great Generals of the Demon Army, but he was slain in a battle against...

PlayStation (2004)

Black/Matrix OO ("Double O") is a remake of Black/Matrix Zero featuring a heavily reworked and expanded story, numerous additional endings,...

Game Boy Advance (2002)

This installment of the Black/Matrix series is set in the same universe, a world which is populated by angels with...

MSX (1986), Sharp X1 (1986) and FM-7 (1986)

After having recovered the legendary Black Onyx in your previous adventure, your party of heroes took the portal in Utsuro...

The Black Onyx NES Front Cover

NES (1988), MSX (1985), PC-88 (1984), SG-1000 (1987), Sharp X1 (1984), FM-7 (1985) and PC-6001 (1986)

Rumor says that the legendary Black Onyx, an artifact that grants eternal youth and happiness to those who can find...

Black Rock Shooter: The Game PSP Front Cover

PSP (2011)

In the year 2032, aliens have invaded Earth. Humanity bands together and fights back valiantly, but they are simply no...

Black Rock Shooter: The Game (White Premium Box) PSP Front Cover

PSP (2011)

This is a limited-edition package that includes: Black Rock Shooter: The Game Limited Soundtrack 16-page booklet featuring original art by...

PSP (2011)

This is a special first-print edition of Black Rock Shooter: The Game that includes the game itself along with a...

Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2009)

The world of Black Sigil is filled with magic. The magic is a part of everyday life for its inhabitants,...

Black & White Windows Front Cover

Windows (2001) and Macintosh (2002)

Spiritual descendant of the Populous games, Black & White is a 'god' game in which players take the role of...

Black & White: Creature Isle Windows Front Cover

Windows (2002) and Macintosh (2002)

Plenty of new features are available in this expansion pack to Black & White: New Creature Pets allow your creature...

Black & White Deluxe Windows Front Cover

Windows (2003) and Macintosh (2002)

This is the full version of Black & White combined with Black & White: Creature Isle. Nothing else is included....

Blade Dancer: Lineage of Light PSP Front Cover

PSP (2006)

In Blade Dancer, the player takes control of a young warrior named Shane (shown as "Lance" in the English text)...

Windows (2004) and Macintosh (2004)

The fourth role-playing game in the Avernum series. Create a party of four heroes, and set off to one of...

Windows 3.x (1998) and Macintosh (1997)

This is the final game in the Exile series. This is not a continuation of the plot of the series...

Windows (2005)

Laura Vujovic is a Shadow Blade from the town of Frechette. She works at the Guild and is finally given...

Bladestorm: The Hundred Years' War Xbox 360 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2007) and PlayStation 3 (2007)

Bladestorm: The Hundred Years' War has players take control of a mercenary for hire during the legendary English / French...

Blade & Sword Windows Front Cover

Windows (2002)

In BC 1044, Emperor Jo sets fire to himself when invaders destroy his country. Emperor Jo's grand wizard Wen creates...

Blaze & Blade: Eternal Quest Windows Front Cover

Windows (1999) and PlayStation (1998)

Blaze & Blade: Eternal Quest is an action RPG where you control a party of four. Character creation allows you...

Blazing Heroes SEGA Saturn Front Cover

SEGA Saturn (1995)

You are Aragon, the prince of Mystaria. Long time ago, your father was one of the twelve mighty warriors who...

DOS (1995)

Blind Justice is a post-modern fantasy role-playing game. You are a shapeshifter - a genetic experiment which has managed to...

Blood Gear TurboGrafx CD Front Cover

TurboGrafx CD (1994)

The Deguna Empire is terrorizing the planets and their inhabitants, using their unbeaten military force consisting of "Powered Gears", giant...

BloodNet DOS Front Cover

DOS (1993), Windows (2014), Amiga (1994) and Macintosh (2014)

BloodNet is an adventure game with RPG elements.You play as Ransom Stark, a computer hacker, scrounger or mercenary (depending on...

Blood of the Zombies Android Front Cover

iPhone (2012), Android (2012) and iPad (2012)

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Fighting Fantasy series of gamebooks, Icon Books published a new FF gamebook...

PC-98 (1991)

The spaceship "Triant II", carrying an all-female crew under the command of Rachel Hugett, was attacked by mysterious aliens. The...

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