User review spotlight: Carmageddon (DOS). Released in 1997.

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 Ocean: The Second Story PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1998)

Claude Kenni is a young man who recently joined the Earth Federation, following the steps of his father. A strange...

Star Ocean: Till the End of Time PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2003)

Star Ocean: Till the End of Time is the original, Japanese-only release of the game. The Japanese Director's Cut, US...

Star Ocean: Till the End of Time PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2004)

This is the localized North American and European version of Star Ocean: Till the End of Time and it is...

Star Odyssey Genesis Front Cover

Genesis (1991)

In the distant future, mankind has long left the Earth and spread all over the Milky Way. Humans settled down...

Starpoint Gemini Windows Front Cover

Windows (2011)

Starpoint Gemini is a combination of RPG, simulation and tactical strategy. It is set in a science-fiction version of the...

StarQuest: Rescue at Rigel Atari 8-bit Front Cover

DOS (1983), PC Booter (1983), Apple II (1980), Atari 8-bit (1981), VIC-20 (1982), TRS-80 (1980) and Commodore PET/CBM (1980)

In Rescue at Rigel, you take the part of Sudden Smith, a human adventurer teleported down by transporter beam inside...

StarQuest: Star Warrior TRS-80 Front Cover

DOS (1983), Apple II (1981), Atari 8-bit (1981) and TRS-80 (1980)

It's one warrior against an empire, but you are a Fury, a paladin fighting for freedom, and you have nuclear...

Star Saga: One - Beyond the Boundary DOS Front Cover

DOS (1988) and Apple IIgs (1988)

Star Saga: One is the first of an innovative role-playing trilogy (yet only two titles were released). It attempts to...

Star Saga: Two - The Clathran Menace DOS Front Cover

DOS (1989), Apple II (1989) and Apple IIgs (1989)

The second entry in Masterplay's Star Saga, combination of science fiction role-playing with a strategy board game. Gameplay allows for...

Starship Traveller Android Front Cover

iPhone (2014), Android (2014) and iPad (2014)

Journeying through space, the Starship Traveller is sucked through a black hole and is flung across space into a parallel...

TurboGrafx CD (1993)

In Startling Odyssey, the player takes the role of a young boy named Leon. One day, his home villages is...

PlayStation (1999)

Startling Odyssey 1: Blue Evolution is a remake of Startling Odyssey. The story is the same as in the original...

Startling Odyssey II: Maryū Sensō TurboGrafx CD Front Cover

TurboGrafx CD (1994)

A mad scientist named Dr. Killbait succeeded in resurrecting one of the eight ancient dragons, endangering the country of Hyneld....

Star Trek Online Windows Front Cover

Windows (2010) and Macintosh (2014)

Star Trek Online is a MMORPG set in the Star Trek universe. The game takes place 30 years after the...

Star Trek Online (Collector's Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2010)

The Collector's Edition includes: Star Trek Online High-quality aluminum-box with hologram-cover Three 10-day-guest-passes Wearable Metal Communicator Badge Ingame-ship-item "Red Matter...

Star Trek Online (Digital Deluxe Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2010)

Digital Deluxe Edition includes the main game and these bonus features: Star Trek (Original Series) Uniform Set Exclusive ability to...

Star Trek Online (Gold Edition) Windows Front Cover Box

Windows (2010)

This Gold Edition includes the main game and these bonus features: Exclusive T-shirt Map of the universe DLC code for...

Star Wars: Galaxies - An Empire Divided Windows Front Cover

Windows (2003)

Explore the worlds of Star Wars in your own, special way. Become a Jedi, a Bounty Hunter, smuggler, ranger, merchant...

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...

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