What is the current state of the role-playing game in our industry? Well, it's complicated.

Turn-based, real-time, hybrids; it all comes together in one big jumble, and while hardcore fans of any given style will defend it to the death, all the while likely casting multiple aspersions on the other side, all forms have their merits. Having played a good 50 or 60 RPGs in my time (I've honestly lost count), ranging from the purest form of old-school turn-based to FPS/RPG hybrids like Deus Ex , I do believe I have the requisite information to perform an accurate compare and contrast concerning the state of the RPG. So many things have changed…

There's what's known as "pure turn-based," which is usually only found in strategy/RPGs like Disgaea or full-on strategy titles; this is when speed is not a concern. The player places and moves all his units and then the computer does the same. Simple. It's just very rare; even games like Final Fantasy Tactics may appear to be "purely turn-based," but in fact, because speed is a factor, they really aren't. Furthermore, unless you put Final Fantasy VII on "Wait," the enemies will still move whenever they get their turn; you can't have an infinite amount of time to decide on your decision. But while we're on the subject of speed, what exactly is "turn-based?" Remember, even in the games that appear to be entirely real-time may have time bars operating in the background, which essentially designates "turns."

In my eyes, any hacking and slashing makes an RPG real-time, which is why Nier is certainly real-time but Dragon Age: Origins – as you can always pause, issue orders, change things up, etc. – is "turn-based" even if there are no "turns," per se… But you see what's happening here. What even separates an RPG from the rest of the genres, many of which sport obvious role-playing elements in this generation? Is it only decision-making and player freedom that can be considered the defining attribute? Some always said if there were levels and experience, it'd be an RPG, but that'd be downright ridiculous to say now, right? But what about all the fresh stuff? Last year's Demon's Souls was unquestionably an RPG but really…what the hell was it?

My favorite game series of all time is Final Fantasy and that's because I always loved that particular turn-based style. Yes, I understand Baldurs Gate was also technically "turn-based," but we all know the inherent differences in how the two games are played is very clear. I've always been partial to that JRPG style and I will always claim it's one of the best ways to play a game. But they're all gone now (although I know they still exist on handhelds) and anything new won't be played like the early FFs or Suikoden s or Wild ARM s or whatever. I accept that. But I can't even put my finger on what an RPG is right now; there's Fallout 3 and there's Eternal Sonata and there's White Knight Chronicles and there's Dragon Age …they're all blending together and yet…they're all very different.

So in the end, I answer the question at the start of this article, "what is the current state of the RPG?" with the following answer: I have no goddamn idea. . Sorry I couldn't clear that up for you. I just know that defining "role-playing" today is a tedious and potentially combustible trial.

P.S. The reason I used a FFVIII pic is because we post FFVII pics enough and quite honestly, VIII needs some lovin'.

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Scarecrow
Scarecrow
10 years ago

VIII > VII

So finally good to see the right game up there.

That said, FFX had the best battle system of all the FF games imo.

As far as what an rpg is? Well it's hard to say.

Zelda for example is an Action RPG. Yet you don't level up (well you kinda do 'cause you get more life, better weapons, etc. as you progress)

Either way I can't really say that FFs battle system was my fave. All the FF battle systems were great, but there were also other jrpgs with great battle systems, imo.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

"VIII > VII"

Wrong. But close. 😉


Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 7/9/2010 9:40:44 PM

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

(FFVII >= FFVIII) AND (FFVII <= FFVIII)

There, that should do it…

LegendaryWolfeh
LegendaryWolfeh
10 years ago

I like IX personally more than both =P But I also feel ( VIII > VII ) < VI

LOL.


Last edited by LegendaryWolfeh on 7/9/2010 9:56:53 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Say what you want about X-2, but it had an even better version of the ATB than X.

neighber
neighber
10 years ago

I agree that they are good but still most of the time you would spend pressing the same button, but the Legend Of The Dragoons(Ps1) jumped to the top of my list with their additions.It took timing little skill and good memory to make battles go through smoothly.


Last edited by neighber on 7/9/2010 11:44:51 PM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

World: It did, but it hardly had a better story.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

You got me there Ben, I was so underwhelmed that I did a rush job on it, not knowing there were multiple endings and got the bad one.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Oh, I did my standard FF thing…100+ hours and got the best ending. 🙂

aaronisbla
aaronisbla
10 years ago

X-2 had the best battle system out of the majority of the ff games, shame the story was gutter trash

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
10 years ago

FFX's battle system was better imo
The pace was better imo

200+ hours on FFX-2, loved every minute of it.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Ben did you do your standard FF thing with XIII?

johnld
johnld
10 years ago

playing ff13 again seems more like a chore to me so i wont be playing it all over again. i like FFX battle system because you can actually use everyone in your party by switching members on the fly.

webberfan
webberfan
10 years ago

i loved ffVIII. best soundtrack ever. still rock out to it today.

TEG3SH
TEG3SH
10 years ago

Scarecrow strikes again FVIII> FVI>FFX>FFIX>FFVII.

Damn, all those replies !!!!

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

I did…sort of. 100+ hours to turn my characters into Gods as I always do, but when I realized they weren't really "Gods" even with stats of 3500 and 3000 for Strength and Magic for my characters…I lost interest.

johnld
johnld
10 years ago

thats what i thought too ben, i'll make my characters godlike then it would be easier to S class marks. then i tried S classing one of the easy marks and i still couldnt get it. gave up on that game.

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
10 years ago

I got the Paltinum on FFXIII 😛 and loved it all the way through finsihed it at around 110 hours.

as for rankingthe FF series i say VII, VIII, IX and X are in a whole league of there own, i dont even debate it any more i just class them all as masterpieces.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

I'll comment on that image for now….

Nice. I always liked the Rinoa Heartilly character.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Me too, even if she was a bit ditzy, her being an airhead helped offset Squall's overthinking everything.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

It didn't hurt that she was cute… 😉

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

She was such a cutie in her little spacesuit…lol

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Ha I was going to post about Rinoa too. Too late.

She is a cutey.

aaronisbla
aaronisbla
10 years ago

kinda hurt when they showed the glass on her space suit helmet cracking, looked kinda morbid back then at first look

Vitron
Vitron
10 years ago

Rinoa wasn't my favorite but she is cute 🙂

johnld
johnld
10 years ago

i kinda liked the fact that she didnt have a rack as big as tifa. the advent children tifa is great though.

SolidFantasy
SolidFantasy
10 years ago

Rinoa and Squall? I guess opposites attract.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

They should ALL have a rack as big as Tifa, and that leather vest that restricted her in Advent Children was a ripoff to fans of that rack!

shadowscorpio
shadowscorpio
10 years ago

Lulu from FF 10 had mighy fine bossoms as well.

FullmetalX10
FullmetalX10
10 years ago

Stating it like that got me wondering as well, seeing as I had the same argument with one of my xbots who was saying halo(or gears of war, can't remember exactly which one) was sort of an rpg, because you could level up certain weapons and whatnot, so of course I went like, hell no, halo isn't an rpg, that obviously an fps. "But then are those leveling up parts rpg elements" asked the clever xbot. And you know, I can't tell you, you do get xp and use that to level up your character's attributes, but does this make it an rpg?
I don't know. To me an rpg still holds that image of a Japanese game like Final Fantasy or Kingdom Hearts, always relying on awesome stories and great gameplay.

Also, shoutout to Karosso for helping me fix my pc, since most of my internet related things didn't work and the whole thing was overrun by viruses, now it's as good as back to normal again.

Karosso
Karosso
10 years ago

Was glad it worked, some of this virus can ruin your Windows Operating System and nothing short of a clean install can fix it.
I feel the same way about this so called Third Person RPGs, it just feels wrong to call them RPGs even thou I loved Oblivion… Hope I'm not turning into a Roger Ebert LOL

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

I think the only way to answer the question these days is by saying "It feels like an RPG" and that's about as close as one can get to a definition.

However I won't accept that turn based on consoles is dead, I have faith that if a Suikoden VI and/or a Persona 5 show up, they will hold to their respective styles.

Alienange
Alienange
10 years ago

And don't forget Dragon Quest. The day Dragon Quest is no longer turn based is the day I shed a tear… on the inside.

kraygen
kraygen
10 years ago

If only dragon quest hadn't been crapped out onto the ds, should have been a ps3 game.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

I do wonder if DQ will ever return to consoles though. World hits slime. -2 Slime.

shadowscorpio
shadowscorpio
10 years ago

Well Trinity Universe is turned based and it just came out for PS3 only. Its yet again a new fresh way of implementing the turn base style so I don't believe its dead either.

Just need a game dev to start leading the way again. Like Metal Gear Solid creator was saying, Japanese Devs have somehow lost their motivation and innovation.

shadowscorpio
shadowscorpio
10 years ago

Well Trinity Universe is turned based and it just came out for PS3 only. Its yet again a new fresh way of implementing the turn base style so I don't believe its dead either.

Just need a game dev to start leading the way again. Like Metal Gear Solid creator was saying, Japanese Devs have somehow lost their motivation and innovation.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

I think we're back to that old discussion about RPGs. Is it sufficient to call a game an RPG, or does there need to be a sub-genre classification?

For example, JRPGs, SRPGs, RTRPGs, and so on.

Perhaps the trick here is to accept the wider definition of RPG and instead to look at the genre within the overall RPG classification. I've aregued long and hard that SE is making a mistake by lumping all gamers together and trying to serve them as one market. We gamers are obviously not a single group. So why do we talk of RPG games in that way? Should we not also recognize that there are different genre of RPG within the overall RPG classification?

Let's take turn based JRPG games for example. The traditional turn based JRPG is alive and well, in Japan on the hand held consoles. the fact that it's not made much of an appearance on the home consoles yet is a pity, but the genre isn't dead. If we talk of RPGs as if all are now real time and turn based is no more, we ignore so many games, even games on the PS3 and 360. So I don't think we can do that. But I do think we can define those sub-genre better.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

I think the sub-genre issue is mostly for deciding on a purchase. I know to stay away from SRPGs because I hate 99% of them, but am intrigued by all JRPGs.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
10 years ago

@World,

Trust me there are some really great SRPGs, starting with Valkyria Chronicles

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

So far Valkyria Chronicles is the only SRPG I have been able to stomach since the SNES days. That's why I said 99%. VC is awesome no matter what.

aaronisbla
aaronisbla
10 years ago

wouldn't FF Tactics count as an SRPG? if so its one of the best ones

Vitron
Vitron
10 years ago

How bout disgaea? Well if you can't stomach it, its okay, its just amatter of opinion anyway.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

I did rent Disgaea 3, but it was so tedious it was either return the game or shoot myself in the brain. I returned the game.

frostface
frostface
10 years ago

I loved Dragons Age Origins. It was the first RPG I played that I really enjoyed. Everything from building my charactor and allocating stats to them, very cool. But I never expected it to open up my world to games like Nier, Resonance of Fate or to go back to the store and pick up Fallout 3 after returning it prior to having DA:O. Glad I did re-purchase that game.
Nothing ever braced me for Demon's Souls though. It's ruined me that game. I can't play other games for very long now without feeling the urge to farm up some souls and grind myself through Boletaria. I would of said DA:O was my favourite RPG after clearing it, but I have to say Demon's Souls is my favourite game of any genre.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

You better gear up for the strip of New Vegas, it's gonna be a blast.

frostface
frostface
10 years ago

Combined with me outta work, with all that time on my hands makes having that game, a bad bad (but oh hell yeah good), combo.

Alistair
Alistair
10 years ago

My favorite so far is Dragon Age Origins, altough I love White Knight Chronicles, and Demon's Souks, and like FFXIII and the series. I for one am psyched about Dragon Age 2, I'm definitely picking it the day it comes out, long live Dragon Age Origins 😀

BigBoss4ever
BigBoss4ever
10 years ago

there is literally still no "CLASSIC" textbook sample of JRPGs this gen on PS3, the only one that is close to that "CLASSIC" feeling is Lost Odyssey, but unfortunately only on xbox360.

many times, I am just wondering why cant they just inherit all what is great in the PS2 area for JRPGs? — deep music, big world map, turn based magic and battle system and customization, mini games …. you know, the only change needed from the PS2 JRPG from this gen JRPG is the HD graphics — so I just wonder why cant they just do that.

Sadly enough, there is even not one single developer willing to do that or thought about that simple method; instead, everybody is talking about revolution, revolution of what??? revolution to go backwards, revolution to lose the great recipe. that's all I have seen this gen so far — they have gone too far, so far that you don't even know what great things they have lost.

nothing more to say


Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 7/9/2010 10:19:39 PM

Temjin001
Temjin001
10 years ago

One of the funniest moments I've experienced in gaming happened with FFVIII. It was hilarious when Squall asked the students in their cafeteria to hide all the hot dogs from the invaders. "Don't let them get any of 'em!"

hehehe Good stuff.