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Thread: What's an RPG? (Long article illiterates need not apply)

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    ServBot (Level 11) roushimsx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daria View Post
    (snip)

    What Makes an RPG?
    Stripped of any real freedom, you're left with a number of common characteristics that many RPGs share; an experience system, battle system, system of barter and trade, and exploration.

    (snip)

    What doesn't make an RPG?
    This is the part of my article where we enter the realm of subjective classification. It's what stops us from lumping in the GTAs of the world with the Dragon Warriors. Sandbox games are a relatively new genre and I don't think they should be lumped in with Role-playing games. Without getting into what's a sandbox game, let’s just say if it's something other than an RPG then it can't also be an RPG. I think this also takes care of our dirty little imposter the Castlevania/Metroid type platformer with experience points. If it's a Castlevania game then it can not also be an RPG. This doesn't include spin-off titles such as Super Mario RPG which changes everything about the classic Mario game to make it an RPG, as Castlevania with experience points is exactly like Castlevania without experience points.
    I find the justification behind the experience system in Zelda to be pretty weak and I do not find hearts to be a valid substitution for experience. When you go out of your way to say that, "hey, hearts are a form of experience because you get them from completing levels" then you're opening the door for shit like, "Super C is an RPG because additional lives are a valid form of experience".

    Also, it's odd that you elimitate games that do meet your four criteria for what makes an RPG simply because they incorporate additional elements into the gameplay. How can a Castlevania game not be an RPG if it includes:
    A) Experience System
    B) Battle System
    C) System of barter and trade
    D) Exploration

    Simply because it's Castlevania and the first game was a side scrolling action game? What about Ys III, Exile, Sorcerian, or any number of other side scrolling RPGs? Why can't a game fall under the RPG umbrella along with other umbrellas? Deus Ex and System Shock 2 are both perfect marriages of first person shooters and RPGs with very little division between the two. They appeal just as well to anyone who wants an RPG with a bit more in the way of action as they do to someone who wants a first person shooter with a bit more in the way of depth and story.

    When you say that something can't be an RPG along with being something else, then you're effectively saying "nothing can be an RPG". Everything is an RPG and something else. They're simply other games with additional depth through the addition of emphasis on statistics and experience.

    For reference, here's some games that I feel meet the established criteria and some that I feel do not:

    Meets
    - Grand Theft Auto San Andreas: Open area for exploration, barter with NPCs for items or to obtain missions, third person combat engine, and the biggest addition to the series since going 3D: experience points.
    - Deus Ex: Level up individual abilities, barter with NPCs, first person combat engine, freedom to accomplish missions in a variety of ways (the first mission alone has a minimum of three distinct paths depending on play style).
    - Puzzle Quest: Experience point based character growth, shops, a world map to explore (though a bit less conventional than, say Final Fantasy), and a unique puzzle based combat engine
    - Baten Kaitos: Experience points, shops/npcs, world map, card based combat engine. Yadda Yadda Yadda.
    - Yakuza: Experience point based character growth, exploration throughout a detailed city, bartering with NPCs, and a separate realtime combat engine.

    Does not meet
    - Drakan: Does not have experience points and lacks shops or NPCs to barter with.
    - Giants Citizen Kabuto: Lacks a barter system or experience point system
    - Advance Wards: Lacks any experience system or barter system
    - Heroes of Might and Magic: Lacks experience points or bartering. Strictly turn based strategy in a fantasy realm.
    - Ghost Recon / Sum of All Fears / Rainbow Six: Sense of exploration on expansive maps, party management, experience/promotion/award system and real time combat, but lacks any sort of barter system.

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    Cherry (Level 1) Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roushimsx View Post
    I find the justification behind the experience system in Zelda to be pretty weak and I do not find hearts to be a valid substitution for experience. When you go out of your way to say that, "hey, hearts are a form of experience because you get them from completing levels" then you're opening the door for shit like, "Super C is an RPG because additional lives are a valid form of experience".
    Like you, the main thing about the hearts in Zelda which strikes me as NOT being an experience system is because they are handled as items in the game.

    Hit Points and Zelda hearts are the same mechanic, but look at how they are different.

    In Zelda, hearts are either found in the countryside or as a specific reward for defeating a boss monster.

    In RPGs, hit points are often awarded for gaining enough experience through any kind of battle to increase them. You don't need to find them in the countryside. You don't need to beat a specific monster in order to get them.

    In Zelda, hearts are a powerup, not an experience system. If they are considered an experience system, then any game which has items which can be picked up for increased capabilities would be an RPG. Mario 3 would be an RPG. And that is clearly not the case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    Looking at it from another perspective, I think the problem is that a lot of games which aren't RPGs are being forcibly squeezed into the RPG genre by fans who perhaps want them to be labeled RPGs.
    That's true. Not only is the genre complicated to label but it seems like the special status that they had in the mid-1990s, where everyone thought you were superhuman if you played RPGs, has never really gone away.

    Another problem though is that people are always inclined to put their own subjective views as part of the definition, views that don't work and cause open contradictions in both the definer's and the audience's intended views on RPGs.

    For example, from this very topic I've seen people say that RPGs:
    * Must be top-view (guess FF7 is only an RPG half the time)
    * Must have a menu-based combat system (that removes Eye of the Beholder, Stonekeep, and the PC-based Ultima games)
    * Must have a storyline "serves more purpose than just being a frame for the action" (that removes pretty much everything made before 1989)

    This debate and the constant references to stats reminded me of an article I once posted back when I was a member of RPGFan. It kinda jives with what carlcarlson was saying. I'm gonna reproduce it wholesale here:

    ========================
    Hope no one minds my random act of Necromancy, but I was just doing a late-night ramble on RPGs for an upcoming page and this was a part of it. And I'm kinda-half asleep so I hope this is coherent.

    You know what? I think I figured it out.

    RPGs should be called S&E (Statistic and Exploration) games.

    All through writing this article I've been thinking of the question "What exactly defines an RPG?" and I realized it that, whether you're talking about PCs, Consoles, or pen n' paper, the common denominator is statistics.

    But its not just that they're there, no. It's also a matter of degree. Like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. It has statistics, but your ability to beat the big bad monster has more to do with your hand dexterity than with Alucard's stats. In fact the best way to show my point is to point out an RPG with a real-time combat system: The Elder Scrolls: Arena. It's real time--no seperate battle scenes, you just use a button and the mouse to attack, sort of like a first-person shooter, however in a first-person shooter a hit is detected when sprites collide and Gun A always does # damage, in Arena hits are detected by offscreen die rollls independent of your physical distance and relevant only to your characters statistics, and damage too is calculated by a die roll which is based on statistics. That's why Castlevania: SOTN is not an RPG yet Elder Scrolls: Arena is. And that goes for any RPG across any system. I mean, try taking on Lavos with just Chrono, Marle, and Lucca, while they're below level fifteen. It can't be done--Lavos vaporizes you in three seconds. Because the game is stat-dependent.

    But video games shouldn't really be called RPGs, because you're not really role-playing. Okay so you kinda are, but mostly to the same extent that you are in say Mario. So really all video games are RPGs. So why should only one subset of games get that moniker? I again say we should call them Statistic & Exploration games (or maybe even make two monikers--S&E for the more open-ended titles, and "Statistic & Storyline" for the more story-intensive games)

    I should really go to bed.

    [Looking at it again, Secret of Mana is also a good example in favor of this arguement--no matter how fast your hand dexterity is, its statistics and offscreen die rolls that determine things like whether you land a hit or are blocked and how much damage you do and you can't exactly step out of the way of upcoming attacks. Basically I'm saying an RPG is a game where much of the outcome of conflict situations depends on statistics and die rolls as opposed to the player's reflexes. Anyone think I may be onto something here?)
    ======================
    [Original post on the second page of this topic]

    Course, the problem with the above is that if RPGs are now going to be called S&Es, then Zelda is now an A&E. And nobody watches that channel for fantasy elf stuff.

    Elder Scrolls III: Oblivion
    Errr, Oblivion is Elder Scrolls *Four*

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    Quote Originally Posted by blissfulnoise View Post
    That's a pretty narrow view. I couldn't see how anyone could not classify the Elder's Scrolls games as RPGs. They have nearly every criteria you'd want to assign to traditional RPGs. I suppose that a subgenre like FPRPG could certainly be established in it's place.

    Hellgate, as Diablo before it, is an Action/RPG. You could call it an Action (FPS)/RPG or something like that; because the game does feature a 3rd person Diabloish view when not using ranged weapons.

    Games like BioShock though fall into the established Action/Adventure (FPS/Adventure I suppose) so don't get trapped there.
    its just my view.as for the elder scrolls, no, they are ALL RPGs, except maybe oblivion... that game had less story and role playing elements than any of its predecessors. arena was an rpg, so was daggerfall. morrowind was an amazing, huge, story driven world RPG... oblivion was a beautiful console shooter with sword, sorcery and a TINY bit of lore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by James8BitStar View Post
    [Looking at it again, Secret of Mana is also a good example in favor of this arguement--no matter how fast your hand dexterity is, its statistics and offscreen die rolls that determine things like whether you land a hit or are blocked and how much damage you do and you can't exactly step out of the way of upcoming attacks. Basically I'm saying an RPG is a game where much of the outcome of conflict situations depends on statistics and die rolls as opposed to the player's reflexes. Anyone think I may be onto something here?)
    Very succinctly surmised. This is why I label Mana as an Action/RPG and Zelda as an Action/Adventure game.

    Castlevania: SotN+, Metroid, et all are simply action games with RPG elements.

    And anyone that doesn't see the Elder's Scrolls series as RPGs are distinctly, and unarguably, wrong. They are the very definition of RPGs with lineage going directly back to Wizardry.
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    I'm not entirely sure if you were actually making a case for the below games to be allowed into the RPG pantheon but I'll treat it as such and respond in kind.

    Quote Originally Posted by roushimsx View Post
    Grand Theft Auto San Andreas: Open area for exploration, barter with NPCs for items or to obtain missions, third person combat engine, and the biggest addition to the series since going 3D: experience points.
    The modern GTA series are anomalies as they spawned off a whole new type of game: the Sandbox game. While there are many RPG elements involved, each game ultimately divulges into a third person action game. The core of the game play experience is based around driving and shooting; not leveling up, acquiring equipment, and forming a party.

    While there is probably a case to be made in there, objectively speaking, GTA:SA is not, primarily, an RPG.

    Quote Originally Posted by roushimsx View Post
    Deus Ex: Level up individual abilities, barter with NPCs, first person combat engine, freedom to accomplish missions in a variety of ways (the first mission alone has a minimum of three distinct paths depending on play style).
    Deus Ex (and Thief and BioShock) is a shooter first, adventure game second. The definition of "adventure games" has been broadened beyond Zork to encompass playstyles that fall between that of a standard action game and an RPG. While pure "Adventure" game definitions will always under the domain of Infocom, Sierra On-Line, and LucasArts; the hybridization of the genre allows us to lump a great number of games that contain action elements.

    Cases in point: Snatcher on the Sega CD or Indigo Prophecy on the PS2/Xbox/PC.

    Quote Originally Posted by roushimsx View Post
    Puzzle Quest: Experience point based character growth, shops, a world map to explore (though a bit less conventional than, say Final Fantasy), and a unique puzzle based combat engine
    Tackled above.

    Quote Originally Posted by roushimsx View Post
    Baten Kaitos: Experience points, shops/npcs, world map, card based combat engine. Yadda Yadda Yadda.
    Baten Kaitos would be an RPG in my book. Cards are just substitutes for die rolls and equipment. Similarly, Phantasy Star Online Episode III.

    Now a games like Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and Culdcept Saga fall elsewhere due to play mechanics. CoM is an Action/Card game, and is pretty damn unique in the world of video games. Culdcept Saga is nothing more than a board game.

    Quote Originally Posted by roushimsx View Post
    Yakuza: Experience point based character growth, exploration throughout a detailed city, bartering with NPCs, and a separate realtime combat engine.
    See my above account of hybrid adventure games.
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    I like Gabriel's breakdown. And yeah after thinking about it more I'm flip flopping back into the Action-RPG games are legit, so the Diablos, Elder Scrolls etc.

    Because who cares if you're clicking the "fight" button, or pressing a mouse button to swing your sword. Combat rolls/stats/modifiers etc still happen and damage/outcomes are varied depending on skills stats.

    OK how about this, most of the games we run it through a series of judgement calls, and form an opinion if its an RPG or not.

    What of this, any game that fits most of the criteria given aboves (like in Gabriel's post). But is a game that was complex enough where you've gotten pen and paper out to map out skill points, character advancement etc.

    And pen and paper don't count for making maps or writing down secret locations. You guys know what I mean, everyone has written down #'s to make their ultimate characters etc, that game then would be a RPG.

    And to justify Enchanted Arms being an RPG, the Golems. Constantly figuring out which one to use in which situation etc.

    Here's a game for you, Heroes Quest (Quest for Glory). I would call it strictly adventure, even though it has RPGish the RPG aspects aren't strong enough to allow it in the genre.

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    ServBot (Level 11) roushimsx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blissfulnoise View Post
    The modern GTA series are anomalies as they spawned off a whole new type of game: the Sandbox game. While there are many RPG elements involved, each game ultimately divulges into a third person action game.
    Sandbox games are nothing new, with pen and paper RPGs being very much sandbox games. Plenty of PC RPGs, including Ultima 7, have been highly sandbox in nature. The Grand Theft Auto games might have originated as sandbox style third person action games, but they've been evolving back into RPGs, especially with the leaps that San Andreas made. While the previous games in the series might have been sandboxy action/adventure games, San Andreas "bridged the gap".

    Deus Ex (and Thief and BioShock) is a shooter first, adventure game second.
    Thief is different from Deus Ex and System Shock 2 in that it lacks the experience point and growth concept. I agree that it's a sealth-based action game above all else (and pretty much one of the highlights of the entire stealth action genre). Bioshock takes the System Shock 2 design and watered it down, but the core RPG elements are still there, all mish mashed with the action elements.

    By your criteria, Diablo, Nox, Divine Divinity, and Sacred are all point and click action games first, adventure games second, and not RPGs at all.

    The definition of "adventure games" has been broadened beyond Zork to encompass playstyles that fall between that of a standard action game and an RPG.
    Well that's somewhat of a different topic, though. Sure, there's text adventures (Zork!), point and click adventures (Sam & Max!), parser-based adventures (King's Quest), and then the broadened action/adventure category (Little Big Adventure! Legend of Zelda!), but I think that it'd be incorrect to throw in games that clearly meet the criteria for inclusion under the RPG umbrella into the adventure bucket just because they have more action.

    Now a games like Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and Culdcept Saga fall elsewhere due to play mechanics. CoM is an Action/Card game, and is pretty damn unique in the world of video games. Culdcept Saga is nothing more than a board game.
    Won't get any argument out of me on either of these. But by the same token, I wouldn't exclude Phantasy Star Online III or Baten Kaitos from a list of "Card games" just because they happen to also be RPGs.

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    I cant define what an RPG is but I know one when I play one.

    Yes Oblivion is an RPG. No Drakkan is not an RPG.


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    to clear things up quick: i consider all Elder Scrolls games RPGs, they are all desendants and contemporaries with the [as mentioned] Wizardry series, as well as Might & Magic, Betrayal at Krondor and many other greats of yore.

    however, i feel oblivion strayed a little too far away from that norm, and closer to 'mainstream console' territory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by roushimsx View Post
    By your criteria, Diablo, Nox, Divine Divinity, and Sacred are all point and click action games first, adventure games second, and not RPGs at all.
    All of those games rely on stats above all else in the game play experience. By that token, they do qualify as RPGs.

    A Role-Playing game, in a video game sense, isn't necessarily incumbent on how it tells a story, or indeed the depth of the story at all. Instead, it's based around a numbers game mechanic where gradual stat growth/manipulation (normally identified through the process of "grinding") supersedes any sort of twitch based game play.

    Thus, I categorize Diablo (et all) as an Action/RPG. Action being first (clicky, clicky, clicky), RPG second (minimize/maximize character growth EXCLUSIVELY through gear and skills).

    And regarding sandbox games, yes, pen and paper RPGs are defined as the original "sandbox" games. But when translated into video-game form you can't draw the line quite so straight between the two.

    The difference in a Grand Theft Auto III verses a game like Ultima is the nature of the game itself. Leveling up, party balance, and gear are the most important measures of success in Ultima. In GTAIII it's stocking up ammunition, driving fast, and shooting straight.

    Clearly success in GTA is based around your ability to play a "twitch" style game. In Ultima it's about balancing out your characters properly and understanding where and what you can investigate based on your characters level. The differences between the two are clear.

    RPGs/Sandbox games do typically offer an "open world" for you to explore but the difference is in how you explore said world. The similarities in Ultima and San Andreas pretty much begin and end there.
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    I think people get way too complicated in the debate over what constitutes an RPG. It has to have these 14 aspects, except these two are optional in some cases, and it can't be X, Y, or Z. Jeez. Let's try to keep it simple.

    ...So here's my criteria. Heh. To me, for a game to be an RPG, it merely needs to have two things. Number one, a player character/avatar (or group) and NPC's, with player-initiated interaction (eg, walking up and pressing the talk button). Number two, a combat system involving some level of statistics, which are improved for the player via some mechanism derived from defeated enemies (usually experience points). An RPG is any videogame that has all of the above; a game can be both an RPG and of another genre.

    I can't think of any games that meet this criteria that wouldn't naturally be considered RPGs, nor any games that would heinously be excluded.
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    Quote Originally Posted by j_factor View Post
    I think people get way too complicated in the debate over what constitutes an RPG. It has to have these 14 aspects, except these two are optional in some cases, and it can't be X, Y, or Z. Jeez. Let's try to keep it simple.

    ...So here's my criteria. Heh. To me, for a game to be an RPG, it merely needs to have two things. Number one, a player character/avatar (or group) and NPC's, with player-initiated interaction (eg, walking up and pressing the talk button). Number two, a combat system involving some level of statistics, which are improved for the player via some mechanism derived from defeated enemies (usually experience points). An RPG is any videogame that has all of the above; a game can be both an RPG and of another genre.

    I can't think of any games that meet this criteria that wouldn't naturally be considered RPGs, nor any games that would heinously be excluded.
    So, let's say a football game came out which allowed you to talk to the coach for tips, or maybe talk with other players on the field or in the locker room (maybe Madden already does this, I don't know). Football games are already extremely statistic driven. It's not even a stretch to say the team you play in campaign mode is your player character avatar/group. Such a game would be an RPG by your definition.

    Wizardry would not be a RPG by your definition. Because there is no direct interaction with NPCs. (Wizardry also has problems with my storyline criteria, so that needs work too.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    Wizardry would not be a RPG by your definition. Because there is no direct interaction with NPCs. (Wizardry also has problems with my storyline criteria, so that needs work too.)
    Well... Wizardry has shopping, and those "friendly" monsters you can either kill or avoid at risk of your alignment changing. I'm not sure if that counts though, since you don't really get any sort of info or anything from them.

    Wizardry actually DOES have a storyline of sorts, but its very minimal and you don't really discover it unless you discover the secret elevator on the first level.

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    What about Dark Cloud...I think RPG. Although, according to what we are saying here it could be action/adventure or strategy.

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    although I have no idea what other thread inspired this one, this is a very interesting topic... and I'd like to add that a few racing games with RPG elements meet your criteria as well... games like the Race Driver series come to mind... perhaps even some of the MMO racers meet all of the requirements also, but I don't play any MMO games, so I'm not very familiar with them... however, games like Test Drive Unlimited and Auto Assault come to mind...

    A) Experience System (driver character skills improve by racing)
    B) Battle System (each race is a battle, with or without weapons)
    C) System of barter and trade (car upgrades can be bought or traded)
    D) Exploration (racing environment can be explored)

    so you see, your criteria leaves the door wide open for every game with RPG elements to be classified as an RPG... so my suggestion for your potential article is to define the difference between true RPG's and crossover hybrids... the RPG genre has been infiltrating other genres for a long time now, so you need to separate the pure from the mixed... but you'll have to be careful in doing so, because it could be argued that the entire SRPG genre is actually just the first of the crossovers... once upon a time, there were RPG's and strategy games, then one day someone figured out a way to combine them...
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    Oh yeah! I was just playing ChoroQ on the PS2. That's got some RPG elements for sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Draggon View Post
    but you'll have to be careful in doing so, because it could be argued that the entire SRPG genre is actually just the first of the crossovers... once upon a time, there were RPG's and strategy games, then one day someone figured out a way to combine them...
    There's certainly the argument that can be made that some Tactical RPGs are more strategy games than RPGs.

    Most often, it's fairly clear the game isn't an RPG despite some similar characteristics: Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Koei or Commanders: Attack of the Genos for Xbox Live Arcade.

    Other times, the question is a bit iffy. Is Wizard's Crown a RPG? More severely, is Roadwar 2000 an RPG? I'd say Wizard's Crown meets the minimum requirements for an RPG while Roadwar 2000 does not, although both lean toward the strategy component.

    But, if you say games with tactical combat aren't RPGs, then you eliminate things like all the Gold Box Dungeons & Dragons games, not to mention absolutely definitive titles like Ultima IV.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that CRPGs grew out of Pen & Paper RPGs. Pen & Paper RPGs grew out of miniatures wargaming (D&D was originally Chainmail, a miniature wargame expansion which added Tolkienesque elements to tabletop battles). So, if anything, games like Fire Emblem, Jeanne D'Arc, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Front Mission 3 are even more RPGs because they are embracing the actual miniature wargaming roots of the genre.

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    Cherry (Level 1) Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James8BitStar View Post
    Wizardry actually DOES have a storyline of sorts, but its very minimal and you don't really discover it unless you discover the secret elevator on the first level.
    The catch is that the storyline is so minimal that it seems to be "merely framing the action."

    Then again, RPGs generally require some knowledge of the storyline to progress. If the requirement was that the storyline was integral to the conduct of the game itself, would that fix the criteria for Wizardry?

    That doesn't help my tactical RPGs, though. I generally play all tactical RPGs by skipping past the story bits as quickly as possible. Considering so many TRPGs are rigidly linear doesn't help either. Shining Force II would still qualify as a RPG, but Shining Force 1 would not, as there is no requirement to know the storyline because the player is merely shuffled from one encounter to the next. I believe Fire Emblem would also fail the test.

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    Kirby (Level 13) j_factor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    So, let's say a football game came out which allowed you to talk to the coach for tips, or maybe talk with other players on the field or in the locker room (maybe Madden already does this, I don't know). Football games are already extremely statistic driven. It's not even a stretch to say the team you play in campaign mode is your player character avatar/group. Such a game would be an RPG by your definition.
    Hmm. I would say that wouldn't qualify as an RPG under my definition. Who is the player character? Generally, in a football game, you have control over the entire team during the game. So what "other players" would you talk to? The opposing team? That wouldn't really work because it would have to be at very scripted opportunities, making it not player-initiated.

    A football game would only qualify as an RPG under my definition if you controlled the whole team as a group (party) in between games, and were able to move the group around in some setting and initiate dialog with whoever. Alternatively, perhaps I could envision a football game in which the player controls the coach, picking plays and such in games but not controlling the players, and you have some sort of coaching "stats" that go up by winning games (and to clarify, "stats" in the sense I am talking about, means attribute stats that actually affect the player's ability/performance in 'battle', not "stats" as in statistical records of past performances), and the player also controls the coach in between games. In that scenario, one could conceivably create a football game that qualifies as an RPG under my definition.

    And I don't think there's anything wrong with that. It wouldn't cease to be a football game... it would just also be an RPG. A "football RPG" if you will. To me, World Court Tennis totally qualifies as an RPG (albeit an unconventional one).

    Wizardry would not be a RPG by your definition. Because there is no direct interaction with NPCs. (Wizardry also has problems with my storyline criteria, so that needs work too.)
    I don't think Wizardry "needs" to be included as an RPG. I think it's okay to say, maybe Wizardry isn't really an RPG. If you really have to bend over backwards with all sorts of qualifiers to include something, then maybe it's better to exclude it.

    Although I have to say I'm not dead set on my definition of RPG either. It's just an idea. I think it's a pretty good starting point. I'm open to modifying it... but I'm also open to simply leaving Wizardry and similar games out of the definition.

    One thing to think about... Symphony of the Night is very, very similar to a dungeon crawler in many aspects. The only two big differences are that SOTN is side-view and real-time. I think disqualifying side-view and/or real-time games from the RPG definition is very problematic. To include Wizardry in my definition, you have to remove the player-initiated dialog part. But doing so (absent additional qualifications) would also make SOTN, Guardian Heroes, and a whole host of games RPGs that are, in my view, games with RPG elements. I think you have to either include SOTN or exclude Wizardry (at least I don't see a reasonable alternative to these two options). I would prefer the latter.

    And actually, the more I think about it, the more I think that dungeon crawlers aren't really RPGs to me. They share similarities, but I wouldn't put them under the RPG umbrella.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheShawn
    Please highlight what a douche I am.

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