User review spotlight: Carmageddon (DOS). Released in 1997.

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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TurboGrafx CD (1995)

Dragon Knight & Graffiti is the remake of the first game in the Dragon Knight series.The remake has the same...

Dragon Knight II TurboGrafx CD Front Cover

TurboGrafx CD (1992), MSX (1991), PC-88 (1990), PC-98 (1991) and Sharp X68000 (1991)

Strawberry Fields - a magic country populated almost exclusively by beautiful young girls (that is, if we don't count the...

Dragon Knight III TurboGrafx CD Front Cover

TurboGrafx CD (1994)

This version of Dragon Knight III is based on the earlier computer release, known in the West as Knights of...

Dragon Lord DOS Front Cover

DOS (1990), Amiga (1990) and Atari ST (1990)

Play one of the three evil wizards all competing to find the magical talisman. To do so, the player must...

Dragon Master Silk SEGA Saturn Front Cover

SEGA Saturn (1997)

The plot of this semi-comical RPG is rather simple: an angelic creature named Silk must defeat the Prince of Darkness,...

Windows (2002)

This compilation includes two games, originally released for PC-98 (DOS): Dragon Master Silk: Ryuu Shoukan Musume Dragon Master Silk II...

PC-98 (1995)

In this sequel to Dragon Master Silk: Ryuu Shoukan Musume, the young Silk and her minions, the three cute, sexy...

PC-98 (1992)

The first entry in the Dragon Master Silk series, Ryū Shōkan Musume has a very simple plot: a girl named...

Windows (2011)

Dragon Nest is a free-to-play fantasy massively multiplayer online, role-playing game (MMORPG). There are six classes to choose from: players...

PC-98 (1992)

The game is based on the manga Dragon Pink, which is in fact an erotic parody on cliche fantasy computer...

Dragon Quest iPad Front Cover

DoJa (2004), iPhone (2013), Android (2013) and iPad (2013)

The mobile version of the original Dragon Quest role-playing game is the first standalone release of the game since the...

Game Boy Advance (2004)

Following the events of the previous game, Torneko despite his success has again grown restless and looking for adventure. He...

Dragon Quest I & II SNES Front Cover

SNES (1993)

This is a remake of two first Dragon Quest titles, the second version of both Dragon Quest and Dragon Quest...

Dragon Quest II: Luminaries of the Legendary Line iPad Front Cover

iPhone (2014), Android (2014) and iPad (2014)

Following the Dragon Quest mobile version, Dragon Quest II has been optimized from its SNES version for the mobile platforms....

Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2007), iPhone (2014), Android (2014) and iPad (2014)

Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chose is a remake of the NES game and the Playstation version and tells...

Dragon Quest IV: Michibikareshi Monotachi PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (2001)

Dragon Quest IV: Michibikareshi Monotachi is a remake of Dragon Warrior IV. The remade version has received a complete graphical...

Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2009)

Tasked with protecting a village, the player character along with other angels (celestials) are attempting to reach God's land. By...

PlayStation (2002)

Dragon Quest Monsters 1 - 2 is a compilation with updated graphics and interface of the following games: Dragon Warriors...

Game Boy Advance (2003)

Following in the footsteps of the media phenomenon Pokémon, Dragon Quest Monsters lets players travel a fantasy world on a...

Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2006)

In Monsters: Joker, you play an aspiring monster tournament competitor. The goal is to recruit and train a team of...

Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2010)

Our hero - a young Monster Scout desperate to take part in the championship - hopes to compete in the...

Nintendo DS (2011)

Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 Professional is an expanded version of Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2. The game follows the...

Nintendo 3DS (2012)

Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry's Wonderland 3D is a remake of the 1998 monster-recruiting role-playing game Dragon Warrior Monsters. The game...

PlayStation 2 (2006)

Part of the immensely popular Dragon Quest franchise, this entry to the Fushigi no Dungeon / Mysterious Dungeon series stars...

Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2008)

Hand of the Heavenly Bride is the second remake of the original version of Dragon Quest V, and is largely...

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