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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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Branmarker 2 PC-98 Front Cover

PC-98 (1995) and FM Towns (1995)

Branmarker 2 is a direct sequel to the first Branmarker. The heroine Shami has completed her quest, received the magical...

Windows (2006)

Shami Risni no Bōken is a remake of Branmarker. The player takes the role of Shami, a young female warrior,...

DOS (1998)

Rovenland is an ancient island country where gods rested after creating of the world. One day a powerful wizard Freghar...

Brave Fencer Musashi PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1998), PSP (2008), PlayStation 3 (2008) and PS Vita (2012)

150 years ago, the legendary warrior known as the Brave Fencer Musashi saved the kingdom of Allucaneet from the evil...

PlayStation (2000)

This Japan only re-release of Brave Fencer Musashi was part of the Square Millennium Collection, a collection of Square games...

Braveheart iPhone Front Cover

iPhone (2011) and iPad (2011)

The King has sent his servants everywhere to spread his will: whoever obtains the Holy Grail, an ancient chalice protected...

Braveland Linux Front Cover

Linux (2014), Windows (2014), Macintosh (2014), iPhone (2014), Android (2014), iPad (2014) and Windows Phone (2014)

Braveland is a King's Bounty variant, inspired by the same gameplay style of a single hero leading a band of...

Nintendo 3DS (2013)

Bravely Default is a role-playing game that follows the adventures of four heroes in the world of Luxendarc, as they...

Brave Prove PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1998)

Arys is a young swordsman who is a member of the Wild Fangs, a peaceful mountain tribe searching for an...

Windows (2003)

In this game, the player controls a young man named Rudy, who was was raised in the beautiful countryside of...

Brave Story: New Traveler PSP Front Cover

PSP (2006)

Based on the manga Brave Story, Tatsuya, a grief-stricken boy is transported to the "Vision" world where he must battle...

Breach 3 DOS Front Cover

DOS (1995)

Breach 3 is a squad-level tactical combat game in a futuristic sci-fi setting. Aliens and robots are some of the...

Breath of Death VII: The Beginning Windows Front Cover

Windows (2011) and Xbox 360 (2010)

In the year 20XX mankind's constant wars end with the use of a terrible weapon... A bomb so big it...

Breath of Fire Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2001) and SNES (1993)

Long ago in the days of darkness and magic, a young wanderer comes face to face with his destiny. You...

Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2002)

The world is called Deep Earth. The world is a huge underground complex of cities and labyrinths. The world is...

Breath of Fire II Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2001), SNES (1994), Wii (2007) and Wii U (2013)

Ryu was a young boy who has memories of a strange village far away and a magical doorway which sucked...

Breath of Fire III PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1997) and PSP (2005)

Capcom's third installment of its epic RPG. Breath of Fire III is the first installment of the Breath of Fire...

Breath of Fire IV Windows Front Cover

Windows (2003), PlayStation (2000), PSP (2011), PlayStation 3 (2011) and PS Vita (2012)

Nina, the princess of Wyndia, and Cray, chieftain of the cat-like Woren tribe, are searching for Cray's relatives who disappeared...

PC-98 (1989) and Sharp X68000 (1990)

Bretonne Lays is a role-playing game loosely based on the Breton lays, medieval European (mostly French or English) romance tales...

Brigade E5: New Jagged Union Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005)

Brigade E5: New Jagged Union is the ideological successor to the Jagged Alliance series. The storyline and scripts were written...

Brigandine: Grand Edition PlayStation 3 Front Cover

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

Brigandine: Grand Edition is the updated version of the PSX game Brigandine: The Legend of Forsena. The graphic has gone...

Brigandine: The Legend of Forsena PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1998)

Brigandine is a tactical role-playing game set in an active world where all of your army units and your enemy...

Windows (1999) and PC-98 (1995)

Gady is a black magician and a skillful martial artist who travels around with his personal fairy Leena. Gady is...

PC-98 (1991)

Brocken is a basic dungeon RPG. A hero and his female companion travel through dungeons and fight various mythological creatures...

Windows (2000)

An RPG game in the dungeon crawl style of Diablo. The basic story involves you saving Heaven (not Earth) by...

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