After BioWare admitted that the lines between role-playing games and other genres are blurrier than ever, I had to ask myself: does anyone really have a definition that's accurate and accepted by all RPG fans?

Nope. Not possible. You could discuss and argue for days and just when you think you've settled on an agreeable definition, someone tosses a wrench into the works. There's simply too much to consider. I do remember a time when RPGs were plainly RPGs. Granted, even then, the "purists" would say that only D&D is actually "role-playing" so something like Final Fantasy doesn't count.

But for the most part, it wasn't hard to spot. Oh look, Legend of Legaia …yup, RPG. And there's Fighting Force …not an RPG. That's an obvious example but you get my drift, I'm sure. These days, with developers seeking to provide gamers with more complete experiences, regardless of genre, boundaries are crossed all the time. The result is a series of mixed breeds that confuse our classifications.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is obviously an RPG. But many will claim that something like Bioshock is more RPG than FPS, and in truth, there are plenty of RPG elements in many action/adventure games these days. Assassin's Creed is a great example. You can't just go, "oh, you level up; it must be an RPG," anymore. Dead Island will let you level up; is that an RPG? Well, maybe.

Side bar: We spoke to Techland yesterday about their zombie project, but all that information is embargoed until Thursday.

Being a long-time fan of RPGs, I will freely admit that I don't have the answer. I'm plenty confused. But I guess I don't mind; I've just reached the point where I know if I enjoy a game, and that's all that matters.

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LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

I've stopped trying to label what a "true" RPG is and just zero in on what I consider an enjoyable RPG.

-towns
-turn based gameplay
-magic/spells
-no 1st person view
-lots of item management
-made by a Japanese company
-level up system
-60+hrs of gameplay

I have yet to find this combination during this generation of gaming and it makes me sad, really really sad.

cLoudou
cLoudou
9 years ago

I agree with this man….or alien thingy.

ZettaiSeigi
ZettaiSeigi
9 years ago

Persona 5 is confirmed to be in the works. I hope they could answer this question for all of us. 🙂

Ignitus
Ignitus
9 years ago

LV,
I remeber one of your replies. In it you told Temjim (I think it was him) what a RPG is, and I think you got it perfect then.

Claire C
Claire C
9 years ago

Mr. Salad Alien, I would love to see you explain to the developers at Bethesda that their game isn't an RPG. Better yet I'd love to see the look on their faces as you try.


Last edited by Claire C on 8/30/2011 11:16:48 PM

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

@Ignitus

Thanks, both lists were off the top of my head. I imagine if I sat down and really thought about it the list would include some rather insane things, lol.

SnipeySnake
SnipeySnake
9 years ago

And a great story. But 100% agree with you there!

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

Claire C,

I would simply tell them they make large games with lots of bugs, as in glitches. Fallout3 on the PC (which was the most stable version out there) still gave me black screens, freezeups, and clipping glitches 6months after the release of the damn game.

Hopefully Skyrim has a decent 3rd person view otherwise I'm not getting it.

Ignitus
Ignitus
9 years ago

LV,

Well, think about it. I would love to see what those insane things are. Lol.

shadowscorpio
shadowscorpio
9 years ago

You got it LV.

All these other games that boast RPG elements, like BIOshock, Assassin's Creed, Mass Effect, Fallout. Do they even come close to giving us 60 hours of pure story?

I know Xenogears did. I know the Suikoden games did. I know the Tales of games did as well as Final Fantasy and the star ocean games. Notice how these games have precisley what you listed off LV minus the turn-base with Tales and Star ocean of course.


Last edited by shadowscorpio on 8/30/2011 11:43:34 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Bethesda will be implementing a system that allows automatic updating as glitches are found. The system will be akin to sports stats updates on sports games.

BigBoss4ever
BigBoss4ever
9 years ago

@LV – Lost Odyssey answer all in your list, sad part is it is on 360 with graphical choppiness.


Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 8/30/2011 11:57:48 PM

Claire C
Claire C
9 years ago

Glitches, nice dodge. :/

We both know you would have been laughed out the building. XD

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

Claire,

…and I'd get laughed at and thrown out of a KKK meeting if I attempted to inform all of them that Blacks are equal to Whites. Big surprise!?

What point are you trying to make? You concoct an absurd scenario where I'm at the headquarters of a game developer insulting their game and you use this as a counter to my personal opinion of what makes a good RPG.

Claire C
Claire C
9 years ago

I guess I'm suggesting that not all RPGs have to or should conform to your 'limited' list. Don't you think your list would insult them??

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

There's a reason it's MY LIST and not EVERYONE's list. Since when does a person make a personal list about what they like in their favorite genre and get attacked for it?

I simply wrote down what I like in my RPGs. I didn't make the list then say anything other than this is pure $hit and I was mailing it to every game developer out there.

Claire C
Claire C
9 years ago

Lol, I didn't know I was attacking. ROAR!! =)

I just thought my first comment was sort of funny and warranted, and then responded to your responses. Converstation, Wah Hoo!


Last edited by Claire C on 8/31/2011 12:32:08 AM

NoSmokingBandit
NoSmokingBandit
9 years ago

So if a game is made in the US with all the the criteria met you won't enjoy it?

Thats an incredibly narrow list of requirements. It seems like you just want to go back to the SNES days, which is fine, but no other genre has stayed stagnant for that long, why should rpgs?

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
9 years ago

Well, thank God that the industry doesn't think that way anymore Vertigo.

Not into turn based gameplay.

At all.

Nas Is Like
Nas Is Like
9 years ago

I agree with you, except for these 2 points:

– Made by a Japanese company
– 60+ hrs of gameplay

While the best RPG games were made in Japan (and they traditionally were), it doesn't mean they can't be made in other countries, as long as they're done right it can be good.

The 60+ hrs of gameplay would be good, but I don't consider it a requirement. If it has all other factors that you mentioned but around 40 hours, for example, it's an RPG (to me).

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

Well, I thought Claire was attacking…

just saying.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

@Bandit

No, I'd be fine with a game being made on Mars if it had everything on that list. I do however feel that it's the Japanese developers that tend to create media I enjoy and they certainly have proven to use the formula I've given. I can't think of a single Western developer that would make what I've listed which is why I put the whole made in japan.

Nas,
This is my list! LOL, make your own and let's discuss.

Underdog,

He was riding me, brau.


Last edited by LimitedVertigo on 8/31/2011 11:32:36 AM

Claire C
Claire C
9 years ago

You mean the wittle girl was picking on the big bad vegetable alien? :_(

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Well done on answering, all I could do is rant.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

Well, at least we know the girl routine is good for a couple lonely upvotes. XD

Claire C
Claire C
9 years ago

It's my insight they enjoyed. =)

Nas Is Like
Nas Is Like
9 years ago

I know it's your list. That's why I offered you my opinion on it.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

U sure you don't mean, "inseam"? XD

Jakintosh
Jakintosh
9 years ago

I'm pretty sure Pokemon fits your description. Thats a current-gen RPG… Black and White were even pretty good.

TheAgingHipster
TheAgingHipster
9 years ago

@Ben, Highlander and I just had an interesting dialogue about this very topic. You been reading our comments or something? 😉

I don't care much for the distinction "RPG" anymore (though admittedly I still use the term to describe certain games). The genre has been blending with others for some time now, so I now look for the genre's qualities in the games I play. Deus Ex is a great example–freedom of gameplay style, multiple paths, exploration, character leveling, etc. But, I would hesitate to call it a true RPG. I recently heard the term RPS (role-playing shooter), which I think fits DX quite well and sort of exemplifies the direction of gaming. Sure, we're losing the true RPG, but deveopers are incorporating its components into other games to create a Frankenstein's RPG-Shooter-Action-Strategy hybrid.

Sounds a little bit like Valkyria Chronicles, actually.


Last edited by TheAgingHipster on 8/30/2011 10:08:57 PM

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

I've viewed what developers are doing as watering down the RPG elements rather than incorporating them. I'm all for something new but honestly the traditional RPG doesn't need to be dissected and diluted to be fun in 2011.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

To quote the back of the Deus Ex box: "A perfect mix of action and role play."

cLoudou
cLoudou
9 years ago

@world

you can put that on the back of any game.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

No, I wasn't reading them, but since when is it surprising that you and Highlander would talk about RPGs? 😉

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

They don't put these things on willy-nilly. It's meant to say "This game has role playing elements" and it does.

SnipeySnake
SnipeySnake
9 years ago

Watch them start to make fps's turn based….

shadowscorpio
shadowscorpio
9 years ago

Snipey, I got a feeling that if that ever happened , we would start seeing turn base come back to "RPG's". Assuming we're on the same page of what an "RPG" is.;)

Ludakriss
Ludakriss
9 years ago

Yo, Aging Hipster! Your nickname is groovy.

I agree with the change. Don't approve of it however because as you may notice most of them still lack in that Chemical X – the component being, a solid understanding of how the RPG components are fitting to the game, gameplay, story, feel of the game.

What I'm trying to say is that these RPS titles. It's like they're in the beta testing of the actual GENRE itself rather than the by-product of the genre. Because they probably start with a "simplistic" story in mind(not much RPG oriented) and they try to "duplicate" or add the RPG components to the game but the components not matching the ORIGINAL game idea. Yeah? Make sense? A lil?

Teddie9
Teddie9
9 years ago

cloudou that's not the point…. *sigh*

TheAgingHipster
TheAgingHipster
9 years ago

@Snipey, we're getting closer to that. The more developers incorporate firearms into their games, the more varied gunplay mechanics we're going to see. And I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing (e.g., Resonance of Fate, Parasite Eve, Valkyria Chronicles [which I haven't played]).

@Ludakriss, that's a big key there. Incorporating RPG elements into other genres can give them new depth or character, but the elements need to really contribute and feel as though they belong. And thanks for the compliment!

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Here's the problem. I don't mind other genres borrowing from RPGs to make their otherwise simple and piddly-ass experiences better. However, what seems to have happened is that they killed RPGs, stripped them of their flesh, cannibalized it, and then infected the dead RPG corpse with action elements and left it to rot in the hands of frowny-faced gamers like me.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 8/30/2011 10:36:11 PM

Ludakriss
Ludakriss
9 years ago

Strong words. Real frustration there, buddy.

Miserable five!

Claire C
Claire C
9 years ago

Ben nailed it in the last sentence. Your enjoyment of the game at hand is what's most important.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

Yes and no. I may enjoy some of these action/adventure games with RPG elements but not nearly as much as I have with RPG games back in the SNES/PS1/PS2 days.

Claire C
Claire C
9 years ago

I enjoy some games more. *shrug*

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

I think you're missing my point. It's like getting served a hot dog that I agree is rather tasty but it's nothing like the Prime Rib I've been having for years. It sounds like you're just content with accepting the way things are just because you don't hate the end product.

Claire C
Claire C
9 years ago

Nope, I don't hate the end product.

There's actually quite a bit of hot dogs and prime rib on both sides. However, eating too much of either is extremely unhealthy so be careful!!!

*This has been a public service announcement brought to you by Claire C* =)


Last edited by Claire C on 8/30/2011 11:58:52 PM

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

I do for the most part hate the end product which is why I'm so passionate on the matter of RPGs. You can continue to accept whatever they throw at you, I'll continue to remember what I used to be served and ask for that.

Claire C
Claire C
9 years ago

I'm sorry you can't appreciate this gen's games. That must suck. :_(

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

Not really, I've had plenty of fun with Star Craft 2, The Uncharted Series, RDR, The Saints Row series, The Witcher series, RPGs on the PSP, and many more games.

Again you're being narrow minded to assume just because I haven't enjoyed a particular genre of gaming this generation must mean I don't appreciate this generation's games.