Why do you play RPG's? 38 replies

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123Gamer

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#1 10 years ago

Why do you play RPG's?

Once one of the most popular genres on the market, RPGs have seemed to see a steady decline since their peak during the 32-bit era. Thanks to Final Fantasy VII, which shook up the industry and changed the idea of what an RPG (and most games) should be, RPGs exploded on the PSOne and markets outside of Japan were finally lucky to see many of the gems that we had previously been deprived.

Final Fantasy VII was my first RPG and I know I'm not alone in that assessment. And I admit being wowed by the scope of the game. The characters, the epic story, the graphics, the emotional cutscenes. It was like nothing I'd previously experienced. And it made me interested to play MORE games in this once foreign genre. I'd pick up almost anything else that came along... FFVIII and IX, Lunar, Grandia, Valkyrie Profile, Chrono Cross, etc (you get the point). I also got to play some of the greats from the past like the sublime Chrono Trigger and FFIV-VI.

But then I became supremely bored by the genre. Was it overload? Was it that most games on the market became FFVII clones? Was it that Square seemed to lose their sparkle and became the "Final Fantasy" company? Or that most RPGs seemed to jump into a different direction than the games that I loved? Maybe a combination of all of them.

Yet on this board, RPGs seem to continue their long-standing popularity and I'm kind of curious as to what makes this so. Why do you guys play RPGs? I've found the genre can usually be defined by a few major things.

Gameplay We all know the basics of an RPG at this point. Travel around the world to different towns and visit dungeons/castles/caves/etc. to continue the story. While doing so, you level up your characters by fighting monsters through some sort of combat system. Some games are enthralling, some are tedious. Some are straightforward and linear, while others have you solve puzzles and have you try to think about what to do next. When I first played FFVII, this was the least important aspect of the game to me. I wanted to get to the next point and continue the story, combat was a chore.

But then I played more games. Chrono Trigger's combat was fun, its battle system was a great part of the game. FFV, one of my favorites in the series, was great BECAUSE of its battle system. The story is flimsy, but the job system is fantastic. I find myself wanting to fight to improve my characters.

Setting Do you prefer futuristic games or games with a more medieval flavor? How about a mix of the two? This has been one of my biggest problems with the FF series. The series has taken a decidedly more futuristic approach and has turned me off big time. I'm looking forward to the Dragon Quest DS games for just this reason. The settings and worlds look fanastic.

Characters In my opinion, one of the most imporant aspects of an RPG. If you don't care about your characters, how could you possibly care about the game? Since FFVII, most main characters have followed the Cloud emo approach. And some casts just make me almost laugh (or cry), I particularly hated FFVIII's and FFX's group of misfits. Then there are the likes of Chrono Trigger, Lunar, FFIV and VI (and I'm particularly partial to the cast of FFIX myself.)

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Fyurii

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#2 10 years ago

My first RPG was Baldur's Gate. Loved it. Loved Baldur's GateII, loved Neverwinter Nights and Neverwinter Nights2.

Afterward, I played the Fallout games. Again, I loved them. (Heck, I'll probably love Fallout3 when it comes along.)

I just love a good RPG, which for me, is one that I play and consider a good RPG.

Personally, the setting itself doesn't matter, though there are nowhere near as many Sci-Fi/Futuristic RPGs as there are Fantasy setting ones.

However, the characters and story are of primary concern above gameplay mechanics, with graphics coming in last. Like you said, if I can't feel something for the characters, then what's the point?

A good RPG has to have a good story, and interesting side quests that can be linked to the main plot, or not linked at all, but so long as they're interesting enough to want to do them beyond the XP gains.

The actual gameplay and abilities of characters doesn't need to be fancy, it just needs to fit right. If it doesn't fit right, then it was a waste of time developing it.

Graphics...... Well, I'm one of those people that doesn't place graphics above gameplay and story, and honestly couldn't care if it looked like it was from 1999, so long as the game itself plays well, and the story's a good one with good characters. Sacrificing content for looks is never a good trade off. (Mind you, the same can be said for any kind of game.)

Ultimately, it comes down to how each person responds to a game. One of the best examples would be TES:Oblivion. Some like it, some didn't. Some still prefer its predecessor in terms of gameplay and immersion.

Ultimately, the question at hand is, why do I play RPGs? Simple. I enjoy them. That's truly all that needs to be said imo.




Mr. Matt VIP Member

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#3 10 years ago

I play RPGs for the same reason I play other genres - I want to escape from the real world, I want to be entertained. But each genre offers a different form of entertainment that appeals to me. Shooters give you that adrenaline rush and keep you on the edge of your seat; strategy games keep your brain active and give you the satisfaction of knowing that you've outwitted your opponent; while RPG games are like interactive novels, with strong characters you can get attached to and a deep story that you can actually influence through your actions.

Seeing the story unfold and knowing that you've had a part in its direction is always a good feeling, if it's a good story at least, while getting attached to the characters and learning about their histories can often present you with difficult decisions regarding your fate. Compared to the other genres, RPGs are really the ultimate form of escapism in my opinion. I don't care about experience points or acquiring virtual items, but becoming a hero, taking part in the world and affecting its future.

Knights of the Old Republic is one of my favourite CRPGs of all time - just playing that game had a remarkable effect on my mood the following day.




Badha1rday

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#4 10 years ago

It hasn't declined as much as you think.

Mass Effect, Oblivion, KOTOR, Diablo 3, KOTOR 2, Fallout 3, there's a lot that are fairly new and some that still have to come out.




jedi_zorg

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#5 10 years ago

I have no rpgs so i play made rpgs on battlefront II multiplayer :banghead:




Mr. Matt VIP Member

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#6 10 years ago

BadHairDay;4555013It hasn't declined as much as you think.

Mass Effect, Oblivion, KOTOR, Diablo 3, KOTOR 2, Fallout 3, there's a lot that are fairly new and some that still have to come out.

As I said, there are occasional diamonds in the rough, Mass Effect being one of them (KotOR 2 not being one of them, and KotOR 1 being made in 2003 anyway).




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#7 10 years ago

love RPGs because i could be lovely or beautiful as i want to be...hahah..




Mr. Matt VIP Member

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#8 10 years ago
Mr. Matt;4556514As I said, there are occasional diamonds in the rough, Mass Effect being one of them (KotOR 2 not being one of them, and KotOR 1 being made in 2003 anyway).

For the record I thought I was in a completely different thread when I posted that, so just ignore me!




Sovereign002 VIP Member

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#9 10 years ago

Mr. Matt;4554878I play RPGs for the same reason I play other genres - I want to escape from the real world, I want to be entertained. But each genre offers a different form of entertainment that appeals to me. Shooters give you that adrenaline rush and keep you on the edge of your seat; strategy games keep your brain active and give you the satisfaction of knowing that you've outwitted your opponent; while RPG games are like interactive novels, with strong characters you can get attached to and a deep story that you can actually influence through your actions.

Seeing the story unfold and knowing that you've had a part in its direction is always a good feeling, if it's a good story at least, while getting attached to the characters and learning about their histories can often present you with difficult decisions regarding your fate. Compared to the other genres, RPGs are really the ultimate form of escapism in my opinion. I don't care about experience points or acquiring virtual items, but becoming a hero, taking part in the world and affecting its future.

Knights of the Old Republic is one of my favourite CRPGs of all time - just playing that game had a remarkable effect on my mood the following day.

You know, I doubt I would have been able to say it any better. You hit the nail right there. RPG's let you live a different life, in a different environment (unless they start releasing "Your neighbourhood RPG's"...knowing the industry they probably will within the next ten years :rolleyes:) and in a different time. RPG's allow you to be someone else for a while, which is what makes it so nice. You can be whatever class you want to be, and usually do whatever you want to do. Killing bad guys, being a bad guy yourself, roaming around, trading goods, etc. And that's what makes an RPG so great.


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#10 10 years ago

"You must spread some reputation around before giving it to Mr. Matt again."

Life just wants to piss me off.

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