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.
Viewing Page 128 of 162 (items 3176-3200 of 4033) Previous | Next
sorted in ascending orderGame Title
Shining Force III Scenario 2 SEGA Saturn Front Cover

SEGA Saturn (1998)

This is the second in the three scenarios of the Shining Force 3 series. The story continues with the adventure...

Shining Force III Scenario 3 SEGA Saturn Front Cover

SEGA Saturn (1998)

This is the third and final game from the Shining Force III trilogy. In it, you take the role of...

Shining Force: Neo PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2005)

Max completes his Force military training and returns to his village to meet his family and to find news of...

Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2004)

Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon is a remake of the first Shining Force game. The story still revolves...

Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya Game Gear Front Cover

Game Gear (1993) and Nintendo 3DS (2013)

This is not a sequel to the game Shining Force: The Legacy of Great Intention for Genesis, but a sequel...

Shining in the Darkness Windows Front Cover

Windows (2011), Genesis (1991) and Wii (2007)

This is a story-driven console-style RPG, and is the first in the three game Shining series for the Genesis (followed...

Shining Soul Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2002)

Long ago the Dark Dragon reduced the civilisation to dust. After hundreds of years of rebuilding, that same civilisation is...

Shining Soul II Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2003)

The Dark Dragon was defeated by our hero in the first Shining Soul, and the people rejoiced as the Darkness...

Shining Tears PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2004)

Shining Tears is an old-school Action RPG set in the Shining universe (previous games include Shining in the Darkness and...

Shining the Holy Ark SEGA Saturn Front Cover

SEGA Saturn (1996)

Part of the Shining game universe, Shining the Holy Ark is a pure console-style RPG (unlike Shining Force games, that...

Shin Megami Tensei SNES Front Cover

SNES (1992), SEGA CD (1994), TurboGrafx CD (1993), Wii (2007) and Wii U (2013)

A young man lives together with his mother in Kichijoji, a district in modern Tokyo. One day, he has a...

Shin Megami Tensei PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (2001), Game Boy Advance (2003), PSP (2010), PlayStation 3 (2010), iPhone (2014) and PS Vita (2012)

Shin Megami Tensei is a remake of an earlier game with the same name. The changes mostly involve the visual...

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Children - Aka no Sho Nintendo 3DS Front Cover

Game Boy Color (2000) and Nintendo 3DS (2013)

One of the two editions of "Devil Children", "Red Book" follows the story of a girl named Kaname Mirai, who...

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Children - Kuro no Sho Nintendo 3DS Front Cover

Game Boy Color (2000) and Nintendo 3DS (2013)

The dark world of Megami Tensei (Megaten), with its heavy demonology and complex religious and moral problems, becomes much more...

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Children - Kuro no Sho/Aka no Sho PlayStation 3 Front Cover

PlayStation (2002), PSP (2010), PlayStation 3 (2010) and PS Vita (2012)

This is a compilation that contains the remakes of two GameBoy Color Devil Children game editions, the Black Book and...

Game Boy Advance (2004)

Long time ago, a powerful demon was captured and sealed within a contraption that was called "Messiah Riser". At present...

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Children - Shiro no Sho Game Boy Color Front Cover

Game Boy Color (2001)

White Book is a sequel to two editions of the first GBC Devil Children title. It stars two new main...

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner SEGA Saturn Front Cover

SEGA Saturn (1995) and PSP (2005)

A modern-day Japanese college student is about to go on a date with his girlfriend Kumiko, who has found a...

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2 - Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2008) and PlayStation 3 (2014)

The events of this game occur shortly after the ones described in the first installment of the series. Once again,...

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner - Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2006)

For many years, the members of the Kuzunoha family have been skillful detectives, specializing in supernatural cases. They have mastered...

SEGA Saturn (1996)

This special edition of Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner includes the game itself, an expanded manual with liner notes and...

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2009)

The main character and his friends, Yuzu Tanikawa and Atsuro Kihara, get caught up in a mess when the main...

Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2004)

Junkyard is a grim wasteland, a realm of eternal rain and eternal battle. Its inhabitants are divided into six tribes...

Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga 2 PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2005)

Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga 2 is a direct sequel to Digital Devil Saga, and the conclusion of its...

Shin Megami Tensei If... SNES Front Cover

SNES (1994), Wii (2011), iPhone (2013) and Wii U (2013)

Something terrible has happened in the perfectly ordinary Karukozaka high school. A resentful student named Hazama made contact with a...

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