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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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sorted in ascending orderGame Title
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 Windows Front Cover

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 Macintosh Front Cover

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 Macintosh Front Cover

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 Macintosh Front Cover

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 Macintosh Front Cover

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 Zombie Island of Dr. Ned Windows Front Cover

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

The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned is the first downloadable content (DLC) for Borderlands. It takes the player to Jakobs...

The Bouncer PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2000)

You play one of three bouncers of the bar Fate; Sion, Kou. Dominique, a young girl, bar mascot and friend...

Boundary Gate: Daughter of Kingdom PC-FX Front Cover

PlayStation (1997) and PC-FX (1997)

Long time ago, the First Mother created the world and blessed it with five magical symbols that would keep it...

Bound by Flame Windows Front Cover

Windows (2014), Xbox 360 (2014), PlayStation 3 (2014) and PlayStation 4 (2014)

Bound by Flame is an action RPG set in a fantasy universe. The player controls the mercenary Vulcan who protects...

Bounty Bay Online Windows Front Cover

Windows (2008)

Bounty Bay Online is a MMORPG playing during the Age of Pirates (14th – 16th century). The player starts with...

Brain Lord SNES Front Cover

SNES (1994)

In Brain Lord, you play a young traveler and warrior who is searching for his long lost father. Long ago,...

DOS (1987)

The Overlord has enforced unjust laws throughout the kingdom of Braminar -- raising taxes, enslaving villages, and, worst of all,...

Brandish TurboGrafx CD Front Cover

SNES (1994), TurboGrafx CD (1994), PC-98 (1991) and FM Towns (1991)

Once there was a prosperous kingdom, which was protected by a tower, where a mighty dragon was living. The people...

SNES (1995) and PC-98 (1993)

The Planet Buster continues the story that was told in the first Brandish game, and depicts the events that happened...

PC-98 (1994)

The country of Fiberia has enjoyed the blessing of the Goddess. But as their king discovered an old manuscript, an...

Windows (1998)

Brandish 4 is a re-release of Brandish VT. It has slightly improved graphics and sound quality, as well as two...

PC-98 (1996)

Somewhere in the desert of Kalua, in the country of Suelang, stands a huge tower. This is the Tower of...

Branmarker PC-98 Front Cover

PC-98 (1991), FM Towns (1993) and Sharp X68000 (1991)

The island of Radja was a peaceful place, ruled by a benevolent king. But one day, monsters have invaded the...

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