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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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Commodore 64 (1984) and ZX Spectrum (1984)

You are a lone adventurer, trekking to the grim fort atop Craggen Rock in hopes to save the peaceful Vale...

ZX Spectrum (1985)

City of Death is a top-down RPG. The player controls a character named Swordbane. His objective is to find the...

City of Eternals Browser Front Cover

Browser (2009)

City of Eternals is a massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) with a vampire theme.In the game players take...

City of Heroes Windows Front Cover

Windows (2004)

City of Heroes is the first Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) that lets you step into the pages of a...

City of Heroes (Deluxe Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005)

City of Heroes allows its players to become crime-fighting superheroes in the fictional city of Paragon. The game's design is...

City of Heroes: Going Rogue Macintosh Front Cover

Windows (2010) and Macintosh (2010)

City of Heroes: Going Rogue is the second commercial expansion for the MMO City of Heroes. It allows players to...

City of Heroes (Good Versus Evil Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

Good vs. Evil Combined Edition includes both City of Heroes and City of Villains, including the expansion Issue 7: Destiny...

Macintosh (2009)

This special edition release is a compilation of NCSoft's earlier titles City Of Heroes and City of Villains, having been...

City of Villains Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005)

City of Villains is both the first expansion for City of Heroes, and a standalone game. In it, you can...

City of Villains (Collector's Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005)

Ever wanted to play the bad guy? Your time has come with the sequel to City of Heroes. In this...

PSP (2010)

Cladun: This is an RPG is a humorous action role-playing game. Gameplay mainly consists of fighting through levels (called "dungeons")...

Clans Windows Front Cover

Windows (1999)

Four Clans were living in harmony, until an evil demon appeared, attempting to sow discord between them. The elders, sorcerers,...

PSP (2008)

With the surprising apparition of the labyrinths, the whole world was changed. Many adventurers delved into these mazes, hunting for...

NES (1987)

Cleopatra no Mahō (Cleopatra's Magic Treasure) casts you as Daisuke Kusano, the son of an archaeologist. You had come to...

Cobra Mission DOS Front Cover

DOS (1992)

Trouble is in Cobra City! Gangsters roam the streets, and gang bosses seem to have taken the power in the...

PC-98 (1991)

The hero of the game is a Japanese private investigator named Satoru, who has opened a detective agency in the...

Code Lyoko: Fall of X.A.N.A Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2008)

Code Lyoko: Fall of X.A.N.A. is the third videogame based on the French animated cartoon Code Lyoko, where a group...

Code Lyoko: Social Game Browser Front Cover

Browser (2012)

Code Lyoko: Social Game is a sci-fi role-playing game (RPG) originally dedicated as a Facebook application game. The game is...

Code of Princess Nintendo 3DS Front Cover

Nintendo 3DS (2012)

Code of Princess is a side-scrolling hack-n-slash RPG from the director of Guardian Heroes. As Tetsuhiko Kikuchi's influence is heavy...

Cold Zero: No Mercy Windows Front Cover

Windows (2003)

Take the role of private detective John McAffrey and step into a world of trouble in Cold Zero. A deal-gone-wrong...

Colosseum: Road to Freedom PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2005)

Taken into slavery, you are now a gladiator. Your only chance at freedom is to earn enough money in the...

DOS (1993)

Welcome to the world of hackers. Computer Underground is a game where you take on the role of a computer...

Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars Nintendo 3DS Front Cover

Nintendo 3DS (2013) and PS Vita (2013)

For twenty years, Attera has been under attack from monsters spawning from anomalies called Dusk Circles. To fight those monsters,...

Conception: Ore no Kodomo o Undekure! PSP Front Cover

PSP (2012)

On the day of his high school graduation, right after his friend Mahiru tells Itsuki that she is pregnant, a...

Browser (2011)

Conclave is a browser-based tabletop-style RPG that can be played solo or cooperatively by groups of up to four players....

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