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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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Dragon Age: Origins - Ultimate Edition Windows Front Cover

Windows (2010), Xbox 360 (2010) and PlayStation 3 (2010)

The Ultimate Edition of Dragon Age: Origins includes: The game Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening expansion 9 Downloadable Content Packs...

Dragon Age: Origins - Warden's Keep Xbox 360 Front Cover

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

Warden's Keep is a commercial downloadable content (DLC) pack for Dragon Age and requires the original game to play. It...

Dragon Age: Origins - Witch Hunt Xbox 360 Front Cover

Windows (2010), Xbox 360 (2010) and PlayStation 3 (2010)

Witch Hunt is a commercial downloadable content (DLC) pack for Dragon Age: Origins and is not integrated into the main...

PC-88 (1982) and FM-7 (1983)

Commonly considered the first Japanese-made game with role-playing elements, Dragon and Princess involves a quest of a party of adventurers...

Dragon Ball 3: Gokūden NES Front Cover

NES (1989) and WonderSwan Color (2003)

The game is based on the famous Dragon Ball manga series, starring Son Goku, and spans a long time period...

Dragon Ball: Daimaō Fukkatsu NES Front Cover

NES (1988)

This is an adventure/RPG game based on the popular manga series "Dragon Ball". The story follows one of the series'...

Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2009)

Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans is a role-playing game that starts before the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament...

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2002) and GameCube (2003)

Join us on a wild ride through the best action cartoon series on TV, Dragonball Z. The story begins after...

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2004)

All the power of DBZ is yours. A Hall of Fame cast of the greatest DBZ, DBGT and DBZ movie...

Dragon Ball Z: Buu's Fury Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2004)

Buu's Fury is the third installment of the Legacy of Goku series. Prepare for Buu. A new enemy is threatening...

Dragon Ball Z: Chō Saiya Densetsu SNES Front Cover

SNES (1992)

Chō Saiya Densetsu is based on the popular manga/animé series Dragon Ball. It follows the events described in the beginning...

Dragon Ball Z Gaiden: Saiyajin Zetsumetsu Keikaku NES Front Cover

NES (1993)

One of the last games made for the NES console, this Gaiden (side-story) to the Dragon Ball Z card-RPG series...

Dragon Ball Z II: Gekigami Freezer NES Front Cover

NES (1991)

The second in the Dragon Ball Z RPG series, "Freezer the Planet Destroyer", as it is often unofficially translated, follows...

Dragon Ball Z III: Ressen Jinzō Ningen NES Front Cover

NES (1992)

"Hot Battle: The Androids" (the game's unofficial English title) is a direct sequel to the second RPG of the Dragon...

Dragon Ball Z: Kyōshū! Saiyajin NES Front Cover

NES (1990)

The game is based on the popular Japanese manga series "Dragon Ball" - more precisely, its Saiyajin Saga part. It...

Dragon Ball Z: Legendary Super Warriors Game Boy Color Front Cover

Game Boy Color (2002)

Dragon Ball Z: Legendary Super Warriors allows the player to play all his or her favorite Dragon Ball Z fights...

Dragon Ball Z: Sagas PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2005), Xbox (2005) and GameCube (2005)

Dragon Ball Z Sagas is a game that tells how the story of Dragon Ball Z began. You play as...

Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2002)

The animated cartoon comes to life. Gohan, a powerful young boy, has been kidnapped and it's up to you as...

Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2003)

Following on where Legacy of Goku left off, and expanding the story built by the cartoon series, here you play...

Game Boy Advance (2005)

Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku I & II includes in one single cartridge the two first installments of...

Dragon Crystal SEGA Master System Front Cover

Game Gear (1990), SEGA Master System (1991) and Nintendo 3DS (2012)

Dragon Crystal is a dungeon crawler with RPG elements, along the lines of classics such as Rogue or Nethack. Without...

Dragoneer's Aria PSP Front Cover

PSP (2007)

Dragoneer's Aria is an RPG game which follows its hero, Valen, a young man about to become a "Dragoon" in...

Dragon Fire Apple II Front Cover

Apple II (1981)

Dragon Fire is an early RPG for Apple II computers. It follows the standard concept of early fantasy games -...

Dragonfire: The Well of Souls Windows Front Cover

Windows (2000)

Dragonfire: The Well of Souls is an action RPG based on the Swedish Drakar och Demoner (Dragons and Demons, not...

Dragonflight DOS Front Cover

DOS (1991), Amiga (1990) and Atari ST (1990)

Many years ago, great dragons roamed the land, protecting the human kind from evil. However, a bitter rivalry between the...

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