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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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Star Wars: Galaxies - An Empire Divided (Collector's Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2003)

Become a part history in the Star Wars galaxy, with options to become one of eight different species, as well...

Star Wars: Galaxies - Episode III Rage of the Wookiees Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005)

Rage of the Wookiees is the second expansion to the MMORPG Star Wars: Galaxies and it features a number of...

Star Wars: Galaxies - Jump to Lightspeed Windows Front Cover

Windows (2004)

The first expansion to the Star Wars Galaxies online game. This addition focuses on space and adds real-time space combat...

Star Wars: Galaxies - Starter Kit Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005)

A compilation of the original Star Wars: Galaxies - An Empire Divided, plus Jump to Light Speed and Rage of...

Star Wars: Galaxies - The Complete Online Adventures Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

This is a compilation of the Star Wars: Galaxies series with bonuses. In this you get: Star Wars: Galaxies -...

Star Wars: Galaxies - The Total Experience Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005)

This Star Wars: Galaxies compilation contains the main game An Empire Divided and its two expansion packs Jump to Light...

Star Wars: Galaxies - Trials of Obi-Wan Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005)

In Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Jedi Master and Republic hero Obi-Wan Kenobi found himself in the...

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Windows Front Cover

Windows (2003), Xbox (2003), Macintosh (2004) and iPad (2013)

Four thousand years before the events depicted in the Star Wars movies, the political and ideological situation is not much...

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Collection) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2012)

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Collection) includes the following titles: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Star...

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005) and Xbox (2004)

Five years after the events depicted in Knights of the Old Republic, the Sith have become stronger and more determined...

Star Wars: The Old Republic Windows Front Cover

Windows (2011)

Star Wars: The Old Republic is an MMORPG set in the Star Wars universe, in a time called the Old...

Star Wars: The Old Republic (Collector's Edition) Windows Front Cover Including slip transparency

Windows (2011)

The Star Wars: The Old Republic Collector's Edition features:Digital Items Flare Gun - Shoots flare into the air Training Droid...

Star Wolves Windows Front Cover

Windows (2004)

Star Wolves is a space-based 3D RPG/strategy game. You control a team of up to six bounty hunters to fight...

Star Wolves 2 Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

Star Wolves 2 is the sequel to Star Wolves and it is a 3D RPG strategy game set in space....

Steam Pirates iPhone Front Cover

iPhone (2010)

Steam Pirates is a side scrolling RPG where the player assumes control over (at first) Kat, a human that was...

STED: Iseki Wakusei no Yabō NES Front Cover

NES (1990)

Star date 0991... Milky Way... A sudden increase of monster activity in the Galaxy. Our heroes receive a mysterious distress...

Stella Deus: The Gate of Eternity PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2004)

The world is dying. The country of Solum are surrounded by poisonous fog. This fog devours everything on its way,...

PC-88 (1988)

Three dragons suddenly appeared in the magical world of Forfaral. Five princesses of five countries constituting the realm, entrusted with...

PC-88 (1988)

For years, the magical realm of Forfaral existed in balance thanks to the power of five princesses, protectors of its...

Stonekeep DOS Front Cover

DOS (1995), Windows (2008) and Macintosh (2012)

When the insane god Khull-Khuum was rampaging the world, devastating everything on his way, the only person who survived the...

The Stone of Sisyphus Atari 8-bit Front Cover

Apple II (1981), Atari 8-bit (1982) and TRS-80 (1980)

A fantasy adventure where you can create your own characters, choose from a wide inventory of weapons and armor, and...

PC-98 (1989)

The story of Melroon is quite simple and similar to a fairy tale: the old king of Melroon has a...

Strider NES Front Cover

NES (1989)

The Striders are a global organization of infiltration specialists who work to combat villainy and keep the world safe. From...

Stronghold DOS Front Cover

DOS (1993), PC-98 (1994) and FM Towns (1994)

Mixing the gameplay of Civilization and similar games into real-time and with a 3D view, players must build up a...

Stuart Smith's Adventure Construction Set DOS Front Cover

DOS (1987), Amiga (1986), Commodore 64 (1985) and Apple II (1985)

Despite its title, Adventure Construction Set is an editor that allows players to create their own role-playing scenarios. It is...

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