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.
Viewing Page 17 of 162 (items 401-425 of 4033) Previous | Next
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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), SNES (1993) and Wii U (2014)

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...

Windows (2000)

The year is 2058. The destruction of the environment by human beings has caused several space distortions, which led to...

Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday DOS Front Cover

DOS (1990), Amiga (1990) and Commodore 64 (1990)

Buck Rogers had once fought in the cold war, a pilot sent into outer space to destroy a Russian weapons...

Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday Genesis Front Cover

Genesis (1991)

This version of Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday retains most of the story and the core gameplay of the computer...

Buck Rogers: Matrix Cubed DOS Front Cover

DOS (1992)

Following the events of the previous game, N.E.O. the New Earth Organization, has gained some notoriety for defeating the forces...

DOS (1993)

In the year 2020, heavy pollution plagued the Earth. Natural environment was gradually destroyed. To serve the ever-increasing human greed,...

MSX (1992), PC-98 (1990) and FM Towns (1991)

The game is a direct follow-up to Burai: Jōkan, continuing its story. The eight heroes who were chosen by the...

Burai: Hachigyoku no Yūshi Densetsu SEGA CD Front Cover

SNES (1993), SEGA CD (1992) and TurboGrafx CD (1991)

The world of Kypros is populated by many races: humans, intelligent reptiles, dog-like wosshus, and others. There are also many...

Burai II: Yami Kōtei no Gyakushū TurboGrafx CD Front Cover

TurboGrafx CD (1992)

The beautiful planet Kypros, with its lovely view and rich population: humans, gods, intelligent animals... long ago, the god of...

Burai: Jōkan MSX Front Cover

MSX (1990), PC-88 (1989), PC-98 (1989) and FM Towns (1990)

The evil god Daar was defeated long time ago. The difference races of Kypros could co-exist in peace. But Daar...

Burntime DOS Front Cover

DOS (1993) and Amiga (1993)

Deserts cover the globe, cities are destroyed, the end of every civilization is near. The few survivors search for drinking...

SNES (1997)

This game is set in a fantasy world that resembles feudal Japan. Long time ago, the first deity, the Emperor...

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