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Role-Playing (RPG)


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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Linux (2009), Windows (2009) and Macintosh (2009)

Seventh Sense is an interpreter for play of the Project Aon ebook versions of Joe Dever's Lone Wolf gamebook series,...

PlayStation (2000)

Shachō Eiyūden: The Eagle-Shooting Heroes is based upon the popular Chinese Wuxia novel written by Louis Cha (better known by...

Shadowbane Macintosh Front Cover

Windows (2003) and Macintosh (2003)

Shadowbane is a dark fantasy Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMORPG) with a large amount of player interaction with other...

Shadowbane / Shadowbane: The Rise of Chaos Macintosh Front Cover

Windows (2004) and Macintosh (2004)

This package contains :ShadowbaneShadowbane: The Rise of Chaos (add-on)

Shadowbane:  The Rise of Chaos Macintosh Front Cover

Windows (2003) and Macintosh (2003)

Rise of Chaos is the first expansion pack for Shadowbane. This expansion adds a new island to the Aerynth map,...

Windows (2004) and Macintosh (2004)

The second expansion pack to the MMORPG Shadowbane, Throne of Oblivion includes both the original release, and The Rise of...

Shadow Company: Left for Dead Windows Front Cover

Windows (1999)

You are the commander of an elite mercenary team. During a mission in Angola, you've been abandoned by your high...

Shadowfire Commodore 64 Front Cover

Commodore 64 (1985), ZX Spectrum (1985) and Amstrad CPC (1986)

General Zoff is holding Ambassador Kryxix captive in his spaceship. Plans for a new type of spaceship are hidden in...

Windows (2002)

ShadowFlare: Episode One is the first of four episodes in an action role-playing game series organized through missions. The gameplay...

Apple II (1990)

Released a few years after its original creation, John Carmack's earliest written game is a fantasy RPG somewhat inspired by...

Shadow Hearts PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2001)

Yuri Hyuga is a young harmonixer: a man who possesses the power of transforming into demons. He meets Alice Elliot,...

Shadow Hearts: Covenant PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2003)

The year is 1915. War has raised its ugly head to greet the nations of Europe. A year and a...

Shadow Hearts: From the New World PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2005)

The year is 1929. America is threatened by a mysterious evil power. Pale green distortions in the sky, called "windows",...

PlayStation 2 (2005)

This is a Japan only release of Shadow Hearts: From the New World. Besides a copy of the game, this...

PlayStation 2 (2006)

This is a Japan only release of Shadow Hearts: From the New World. Besides a copy of the game, this...

Shadowkeep Apple II Front Cover

Apple II (1984)

Shadowkeep is a role-playing game with commands given through a text parser. The setting is a huge castle named Shadowkeep...

Shadowlands DOS Front Cover

DOS (1992), Amiga (1992) and Atari ST (1992)

Viewed isometrically, this role-playing game saw you leading a party of four intrepid souls on a mission to restore peace...

Shadow Madness PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1999)

Something is going wrong in the land of Arkose: cities destroy themselves, monsters attack innocent citizens, diseases spread among the...

Shadow of Yserbius DOS Front Cover

DOS (1993)

Shadow of Yserbius is the single-player, non-networked version of the popular graphical multi-user dungeon game on The Sierra Network. You...

Shadoworlds DOS Front Cover

DOS (1993), Amiga (1992) and Atari ST (1992)

In this sequel to Shadowlands, you find yourself commanding a team of explorers through a deserted space-station, trying to discover...

Shadowrun Genesis Front Cover

Genesis (1994)

The year is 2058. Following an event known as the Awakening, magic has returned into the world. Native American shamans...

Shadowrun SNES Front Cover

SNES (1993)

After the Awakening, magic has been re-discovered, and human beings have accepted the existence of those they thought to be...

Shadowrun SEGA CD Front Cover

SEGA CD (1996)

Shadowrun for Sega CD is a little-known game (and one of the very last ones released for this console) that...

Shadowrun Chronicles: Boston Lockdown Linux Front Cover

Linux (2015), Windows (2015) and Macintosh (2015)

Shadowrun Chronicles - Boston Lockdown is a turn-based, tactical role-playing game set in the Shadowrun universe. The game requires an...

Shadowrun: Dragonfall Windows Front Cover

Linux (2014), Windows (2014) and Macintosh (2014)

Dragonfall is an expansion pack for Shadowrun Returns and requires the original game to play. This new campaign builds upon...

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