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.
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Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2004)

Django has been stripped of his valuable weapon of choice and now must rid the world of evil with more...

Bokuj┼Ź Monogatari: Harvest Moon for Girl PlayStation 3 Front Cover

PlayStation (2000), PSP (2008), PlayStation 3 (2008) and PS Vita (2012)

As a young girl, you took a cruise aboard a luxury ship. However, your life was in peril when the...

PlayStation 2 (2003) and GameCube (2003)

Bomberman Land 2 is a sequel to Bomberman Land. Bomberman and his gang are invited to an all new Bomberman...

Bomberman Quest Game Boy Color Front Cover

Game Boy Color (1998)

Carrying with him all the monsters he captured on his last mission, Bomberman is headed for his home planet Bomber....

PC-98 (1994)

A young man named Shounosuke sees a strange dream: a voice talks about mankind and its sins, and a beautiful...

DOS (1991)

Bones: The Game of the Haunted Mansion is a member of the pseudo-roguelike Wizard's Castle family. It is one of...

Bonez Adventures: Tomb of Fulaos Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005)

In Bonez Adventures: Tomb of Fulaos the player takes the role of the archaeologist Marc Bonez who finds a mummy...

The Book of Legends Windows Front Cover

Windows (2012)

The Book of Legends is a top-down RPG featuring about 30 characters. The game puts you in the shoes of...

Windows (2001)

The Book of Three is an RPG based on the first book of the "Chronicles of Prydain", a series of...

Bookworm Adventures Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

Bookworm Adventures follows the tale of a little green worm named Lex (of the original Bookworm game) throughout 3 themed...

Bookworm Adventures Volume 2 Windows Front Cover

Windows (2009)

Lex the Bookworm is eating his breakfast, a bowl of letters, when suddenly a troubled Mother Goose appears, running and...

Bootleggers Browser Front Cover

Browser (2003)

Bootleggers is a PHP-coded browser game based on the activities of the Italian mafia in the United States during the...

Borderlands Windows Front Cover

Windows (2009), Xbox 360 (2009) and PlayStation 3 (2009)

The planet Pandora isn't much more than a desert filled with bandits, mercenaries and adventurers. Their goal: the legendary vault...

Borderlands 2 Linux Front Cover

Linux (2014), Windows (2012), Xbox 360 (2012), Macintosh (2012) and PlayStation 3 (2012)

Five years after The Destroyer was vanquished, a new valuable mineral known as Eridian was discovered in the crust of...

Borderlands 2 PS Vita Front Cover

PS Vita (2014)

The PlayStation Vita version of Borderlands 2 is a port of the original release. The game utilizes the Vita's touchscreen...

Borderlands 2: Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty Linux Front Cover

Linux (2014), Windows (2012), Xbox 360 (2012), Macintosh (2012) and PlayStation 3 (2012)

Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty is the first downloadable content (DLC) for Borderlands 2.The Vault Hunter has discovered a...

Windows (2012), Xbox 360 (2012) and PlayStation 3 (2012)

This collector's edition contains: Borderlands 2 4 stickers Contraband Sky Rocket Grenade (DLC) Character Skins and Heads (DLC) Inside the...

Borderlands 2: Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage Linux Front Cover

Linux (2014), Windows (2012), Xbox 360 (2012), Macintosh (2012) and PlayStation 3 (2012)

The second DLC released for Borderlands 2, this time the Vault Hunter is informed of another vault discovered on Pandora,...

Borderlands 2: Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt Linux Front Cover

Linux (2014), Windows (2013), Xbox 360 (2013), Macintosh (2013) and PlayStation 3 (2013)

The third DLC for Borderlands 2, the Vault Hunter travels to a new part of Pandora populated by exotic, but...

Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep Linux Front Cover

Linux (2014), Windows (2013), Xbox 360 (2013), Macintosh (2013) and PlayStation 3 (2013)

Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep is the fourth and final story DLC for Borderlands 2. Again the player can...

Windows (2012), Xbox 360 (2012) and PlayStation 3 (2012)

This limited edition comes in a large rectangular box and contains: Borderlands 2 (steel book case packaging) Contraband Sky Rocket...

Borderlands: Claptrap's New Robot Revolution Windows Front Cover

Windows (2010), Xbox 360 (2010) and PlayStation 3 (2010)

Claptrap's New Robot Revolution is the fourth downloadable content (DLC) for Borderlands. The treasure hunters must defeat the Interplanetary Ninja...

Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition Windows Front Cover

Windows (2010), Xbox 360 (2010), Macintosh (2010) and PlayStation 3 (2010)

The Game of the Year Edition of Borderlands includes the following: Base game. The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned add-on...

Borderlands: Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot Windows Front Cover

Windows (2010), Xbox 360 (2009) and PlayStation 3 (2010)

Madd Moxxi's Underdome Riot is the second downloadable content (DLC) for Borderlands.This time, set in the chaotic mess known as...

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! Linux Front Cover

Linux (2014), Windows (2014), Xbox 360 (2014), Macintosh (2014) and PlayStation 3 (2014)

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! is the third main game in the first-person shooter series. Just like the previous titles it offers...

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