Role-Playing Games

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Yahtzee, your opinion is so similar to mine that it is scary. I sometimes wonder if you are in fact my future self in a host body mimicing a British accent.

Here is something I wrote earlier:

The Youth Counselor:
I belong to an extremist philosophy that believes that the level up system should be kept out of video games period.

Experience points and stats are something that came out of Pen and Paper RPGs. Since everything was imaginary there was no other way to give elements of danger and variables that happen with those games.

But in the video game, we can simulate everything, regardless of the level up system. We increase our stats as the player gets adjusted to the game through the real experience of playing it! After carefully aiming a shaky sniper rifle to strike a target in the head, why would the bleeding target fly backwards bleed and show a zero over his head to denote a miss? It doesn't make a shred of sense. Experience should come with experience.

I understand the game designer desire to reward the player and not overpower the player character from the beginning. Under powering Batman in Arkham Asylum definitely made the game more challenging. It still doesn't make sense. Although it is one of my favorite games of the year, the developers couldn't seem to make up their minds on how the game worked. In some parts of the game items are unlocked through picking them up in sections of the story. In others you simply unlock them through experience points.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas came up with an innovative method of handling player character progression. Every single action would eventually add up to their physical look and power. Run around, swim, and ride a bike a lot and Carl Johnson becomes slimmer and faster. Drive everywhere, eat a lot of fast food and sitting alot makes him grow fatter. Exercising makes hand to hand combat easier, and fighting regularly in general makes it better. Instead of assigning a stat through experience as a whole, the game took into account every individual action and assigned it to the appropriate place.

Kazedarkwind:

lordlee:

Kazedarkwind:

lordlee:

Kazedarkwind:
i would like to think ive grown up and out of the childish style of anime

I'll just set aside the bit where you imply FF8 is good while 9 and 12 are not and focus on this.

YOU CANNOT OUTGROW AN ENTIRE MEDIUM OF FICTION. Anime is not a genre, it's just cartoons made in Japan. They can be horror, action, romance, comedy, ANYTHING.

They can even be this: http://www.hulu.com/baccano

heh, its my personal opinion buddy :)

ff8 had a good story and bad gameplay and i kept falling asleep during 9 and 12 had the whiniest main character of them all, my opinion

im not saying all anime falls into this category but most do and they all have very, VERY similar plots. (not all but most can be even formulated) regardless of content in the actual story

...When did Zidane or Asche (and it is Asche, not Vaan) whine?

But putting that aside... yeah there's plenty of formulaic anime, BUT THERE'S PLENTY OF FORMULAIC EVERYTHING. It's the derivative cash-ins in any medium or genre that make the truly worthwhile stuff stand out. Take that show I linked to. It's creative, fast pasted, well written, has loads of unique characters, a gorgeous jazz soundtrack, and AN AMAZING DUB (for once).

Vaahn is the main character in my mind, but i would of had basche (pirate guy however you spell his name) be the main if i wrote the story :P

The creator stated Asche is the main character, and that Vaan is just the viewpoint character. Basche is the knight. You are thinking of Balthier.

Tiamat666:
To me, a Role Playing Game is a game where you can play any or at least multiple different roles and practically choose your own adventure, as in the old pen and paper RPGs. Bethesdas games like Oblivion and Fallout are RPGs in this sense. In Oblivion there is a main storyline and sidequests, but the game engine doesn't limit you to that. You can spend the whole game running in the forests and being a hunter if you desire. Or you can be a thief, an explorer, a tomb raider, a merchant etc. I can have fun and -roleplay- my own adventures in Oblivion without completing a single official quest.

Dragon Age: Origins is NOT a RPG in this sense. The engine doesn't allow the freedom and flexibility to choose your own adventures. In Dragon Age you are tied to the plot and your possibilities are limited to what the designers envisioned for the plot to make sense.

Diablo is even less an RPG as your options in Diablo are severly limited. All you can do in Diablo is kill stuff and sell loot. The GTA games are more RPG than Diablo is. In GTA you can be a racecar driver, a taxi driver, a policeman, a thug (naturally), a casino player, an assassin...

A few of the best RPGs in this sense are Ultima 7 and Morrowind. In these games you have a free, open world were you could go almost anywhere right from the start and completely ignore the main storyline to just enjoy the game in a custom -roleplayed- experience to your liking.

Um no....the more actiony stuff you can do in a game dose not make it more RPG.......
THo both are clearly action RPG or action adventure titles.

if you think that RPG's need redefined then how about mech games which could be a FPS or TPS with the option to change load out and stats before a mission which by convenshnal standers would make it a FPS or TPS with a RPG element.

i have found a "new" way of classifying games "good" and "shit"

Games usually have a focus, and this is what defines their genre. Then comes some qualifier, like the camera or its world type. For instance, a "Steampunk third person shooter" is pretty clear to me: The focus is "Shooting stuff", and it has an external camera.

Some of these focus are indeed ill named though, like "RPG", which should be "CDG": Character Development Game. (Think of it, this is the only point that ALL RPGs have in common).

Other ill named "focus": action (which are always about combat situation) and adventure (which are about exploration/progression in the story).

As for "simulation" games, it doesn't mean anything anymore. Some say GTA is a simulation game, while others say that Roller Coaster Tycoon is a simulation game... It's just something people say about a game when they don't know how to describe it. Also, strategy games should be renamed "management", as this is their real focus. There is as much strategy implied in Team Fortress as there is in Warcraft 3.

On the other hand, the term "video game" itself doesn't represent at all the medium, and "virtual experience" would fit better if we wanted them to be seen as a mean of expression rather than just toys for kids and immature adults.

I think games are just getting to a place where the genre label is meaningless because all of them blend so many elements.
Back with the nes your games were primarily platformer, shooters (of the R-type type), rpgs, sports, puzzles, but even those sometimes blended elements (Simon's Quest, Blades of Steel). Now every game has rpg, or shooter, or strategy elements. I even hesitated to call Burnout games racing games until recently: now that it seems like they want their games to be like any other racing game.

We shouldn't be too surprised, much music hasn't been easily categorized for as long as I can remember: can you think of a type of music Tom Waits can be categorized as; the question gets even harder when you want to describe his whole catalog.

What's the solution? Ditch them except in those rare cases where it fits: usually just sports and puzzle games.

I hope he does get a chance to review Borderlands. I love it when he tears apart games I enjoy.

ZippyDSMlee:

Um no....the more actiony stuff you can do in a game dose not make it more RPG.......
THo both are clearly action RPG or action adventure titles.

To me it does. The more possibilities I have to play "my own game", the more RPG a game is.
The "ultimate RPG" in this sense it to close your eyes and let your imagination do everything.

LordSphinx:
Games usually have a focus, and this is what defines their genre. Then comes some qualifier, like the camera or its world type. For instance, a "Steampunk third person shooter" is pretty clear to me: The focus is "Shooting stuff", and it has an external camera.

Some of these focus are indeed ill named though, like "RPG", which should be "CDG": Character Development Game. (Think of it, this is the only point that ALL RPGs have in common).

Other ill named "focus": action (which are always about combat situation) and adventure (which are about exploration/progression in the story).

As for "simulation" games, it doesn't mean anything anymore. Some say GTA is a simulation game, while others say that Roller Coaster Tycoon is a simulation game... It's just something people say about a game when they don't know how to describe it. Also, strategy games should be renamed "management", as this is their real focus. There is as much strategy implied in Team Fortress as there is in Warcraft 3.

On the other hand, the term "video game" itself doesn't represent at all the medium, and "virtual experience" would fit better if we wanted them to be seen as a mean of expression rather than just toys for kids and immature adults.

Meh boil it down an RPG is about alot of interchangeable equipment, huge item inventory, slow skill progression.

the whole role play aspect of it has been blured due to games slwoly having better writing and interaction with the game world.

I've actually come to decide that JRPGs aren't RPGs at all. For starters, the player rarely, if ever has an impact on the story or the characters choices. The one JRPG I've seen that has a degree of that is the Shin Megami Tensei games. JRPGs rail-road you down one and only one possible story path. Western RPGs like Jade Empire, Knights of the Old Republic, and Dragon Age let you choose how your character acts and what they do; role-playing. JRPGs only real RPG element is the party building and stat building. And again, western RPGs let you customize how your character looks, acts, etc etc, versus JRPGs where you are forced to play a stupid idiot like Neku from TWEWY (Don't get me wrong, TWEWY is fun, but it's still overall a traditional JRPG, story wise)

Tiamat666:

ZippyDSMlee:

Um no....the more actiony stuff you can do in a game dose not make it more RPG.......
THo both are clearly action RPG or action adventure titles.

To me it does. The more possibilities I have to play "my own game", the more RPG a game is.
The "ultimate RPG" in this sense it to close your eyes and let your imagination do everything.

Mmmmmmmmm but that dose not fit into what RPG games are :P

I don't know why, but I love seeing someone else who actually knows about and/or played Vampire: Bloodlines. That was probably the last game I played that really felt like a real RPG, with some decent choice thrown in. Even TES4: Oblivion, with all its free roaming and exploration, was very limited in choice and the dialogue was like a bad joke.

Zaydin:
I've actually come to decide that JRPGs aren't RPGs at all. For starters, the player rarely, if ever has an impact on the story or the characters choices. The one JRPG I've seen that has a degree of that is the Shin Megami Tensei games. JRPGs rail-road you down one and only one possible story path. Western RPGs like Jade Empire, Knights of the Old Republic, and Dragon Age let you choose how your character acts and what they do; role-playing. JRPGs only real RPG element is the party building and stat building. And again, western RPGs let you customize how your character looks, acts, etc etc, versus JRPGs where you are forced to play a stupid idiot like Neku from TWEWY (Don't get me wrong, TWEWY is fun, but it's still overall a traditional JRPG, story wise)

Ya but WRPGs tend to be short,small and screwy...then again Jrpgs are blaoted grind fests LOL

Yes I am not a happy camper :P

DaxStrife:
I don't know why, but I love seeing someone else who actually knows about and/or played Vampire: Bloodlines. That was probably the last game I played that really felt like a real RPG, with some decent choice thrown in. Even TES4: Oblivion, with all its free roaming and exploration, was very limited in choice and the dialogue was like a bad joke.

Vampire: Bloodlines is mroe a adventure action RPG and a pretty good one at that bugs aside, Oblivoin is a simple action RPG liek FO3 is >>

I've found this, and the Torchlight review quite lacking.

The only good thing is that I found out why Borderlands hasn't been reviewed. Oh well, hope it's a bit better next week.

I play your mom's 'rolls'.

RPG genres are well definied, you just forgot to do some research.

RPG - Thats the classic Pen and Paper.

CRPG - thats the "hardcore" RPG PC game usually with strong emphasis on actuall role playing, stats, numbers and die rolls. Examples would be, Baldurs Gate, Neverwinter Nights or recent Dragon Age.

JRPG - Self explanatory.

Action RPG - More dynamic (usually combat-wise) game but still about talking with things, killing things, doing quests, collecting gear and what not. Vampire Masquerade Redemption,
Mass Effect or Gothic series are examples of this (sub)genre.

Role Playing Shooter - sub sub (!) gerne of Action RPG, focusing on shooting things (duh) usually from first person, while leveling, learning skillz and other RPG stuff (thou its more shallow then Action RPG). Like in Borderlands, Bioshock, System Shock and such.

Hack and Slash - Yep Torchlight is a HnS. And these kind of games are about, as we all know, clicking a lot, killing a lot, looting a lot. Theres not much "RP" in HnS games, but the core mechanics like leveling or skills are the same.

These are major genres (or sub geners, who gives a sh*t anyway). Hope that helps and you wont be so confused anymore !

Fuhjem:
Hmm, renaming the genres could be hard. The only one I can think of would be to replace RPGs and JRPGs.

Avatar Development Game (ADG or Avment Game) - Takes the place of Role-Playing Games. Describes how you develop your avatar by choosing your actions.

Tactical Cinematic Game (TCG or CineTac) - Takes the place of JRPGs. Describes a game in which main story progression comes from cinematics and combat is more tactical such as selecting and combining combat moves with other characters.

Meh, those ideas kinda suck, but it's worth a try.

No, I like your ideas. It is a worthy endeavor, one I wholly support.

BlueInkAlchemist:
Thank you for mentioning Bloodlines. Despite some graphical and gameplay issues, it's a highly underrated RPG.

Yes. Thank you Yahtzee. That was the last great RPG in my opinion. With choice in my opinion. It's a crying shame Troika closed, and it's even more of a shame I gave Activision money for the game for they fired the developers! That's one of the few examples in which pirating is in the right.

Tiamat666:

Diablo is even less an RPG as your options in Diablo are severly limited. All you can do in Diablo is kill stuff and sell loot. The GTA games are more RPG than Diablo is. In GTA you can be a racecar driver, a taxi driver, a policeman, a thug (naturally), a casino player, an assassin...

Seriously, I don't even know how Diablo is classified as such. I guess it's because it uses the level up system carried over from pen and paper RPGs, so it carries the monkier. But there are no choices! You do all the same quests and besides the order of enemies you kill, you only choose your occupation, item selection, and name.

The made up name I gave for the Doomguy and the inventory I amassed for him is just as deep. But it's choice of camera disqualifies it from the RPG category.

RyVal:

DarkSaber:
Also funny to be called a "kid" for liking Borderlands when I'm older than him, but ah well I only follow his work for the humour (which is missing in this article), he's not exactly a Pullitzer contender.

Feel free to go onto TV Tropes' "Dethroning Moments of Suck" section and join in with all the other jilted fanboys whining that Yahtzee mocked their favourite game.

It's not my favorite game though. And since my favorite game is System Shock 2, and going from his references Yahtzee likes it too, this seems unlikely to occur.

The whole time I was reading your article with every single phrase I thought "The fans are going to get very angry in the comments". Turns out I was right. In terms of pets in games that goes back to the old Text-graphic (Environments, NPCs and items all represented by the alphabet) games on the early home computers. I suppose their thinking is that all people who will play a true blue Role Playing Game will be honest and play their close to home role of a toned adventurer who slays dragons by day and sleeps with elven women by night as opposed to the acne-riddled nerds seeking escapism who dominate the RPG crowd, and with that role they're going to need a little sidekick to make their muscle-bound hero have power over some creature (Or person) smaller and weaker than them, giving the player a sense of power.

And thus all problems with RPGs you constantly mention (Such as yappy sidekicks, ridiculous character customization and/or character progression) can be traced back to the dweebs so un-satisfied with their life they feel the need to dismiss their existence in favour of pumping hours into the latest role-playing game just to obtain the slim sense of satisfaction they can gather after THEIR musclebound magic warrior with the mighty sword of Trog-bollocks has just defeated the evil Ice dragon who was keeping the sick orphans hostage in his ice lair. And when you have the choice to either rescue the orphans, cure all their diseases and find them some care-takers or cut their stomachs open and take a shower in their half-digested meals (Like in ALL rpgs nowadays which give you some form of moral choice) the devlopers have succeeded in pandering to the players depraved fantasies...Oh, I'm a player...

Oh, boy, complaints about nomenclature. That's really important. How are game makers going to make good games if they don't know what short phrases to use to describe them?

The Youth Counselor:
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas came up with an innovative method of handling player character progression. Every single action would eventually add up to their physical look and power. Run around, swim, and ride a bike a lot and Carl Johnson becomes slimmer and faster. Drive everywhere, eat a lot of fast food and sitting alot makes him grow fatter. Exercising makes hand to hand combat easier, and fighting regularly in general makes it better. Instead of assigning a stat through experience as a whole, the game took into account every individual action and assigned it to the appropriate place.

But doesn't that require the player to work too hard to improve their character? Too much like real life?

Opinions are opinions, and I like JRPGs, or whatever you feel like calling them. Hell, I don't hate whole genres of anything. Even the genres I like less that others, such as Strategy and Fighting, have some games that I like.

It's impossible to dislike an entire genre. You may have less games that you like from that genre, or just not the way it plays, but every genre must have something that you enjoy. If there isn't, you either haven't found it yet or have your mind set on brutal, irrational, hatred.

Slycne:

AceInTheHole16:
What is the name of this Bar and/or Book going to be?

Mana Bar and Mogworld.

I would just love it if the bar was in the uncanny valley instead of fortitude valley...

I'll ask my uncle to check it out sometime, then!

Fronzel:
Oh, boy, complaints about nomenclature. That's really important. How are game makers going to make good games if they don't know what short phrases to use to describe them?

The Youth Counselor:
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas came up with an innovative method of handling player character progression. Every single action would eventually add up to their physical look and power. Run around, swim, and ride a bike a lot and Carl Johnson becomes slimmer and faster. Drive everywhere, eat a lot of fast food and sitting alot makes him grow fatter. Exercising makes hand to hand combat easier, and fighting regularly in general makes it better. Instead of assigning a stat through experience as a whole, the game took into account every individual action and assigned it to the appropriate place.

But doesn't that require the player to work too hard to improve their character? Too much like real life?

But don't we play games partially because of the challenge? It's no more harder than clicking random animals and burying their bones over to gain a level up. But it does add a piece of immersion and realism, when instead of a random stat chosen after the action, it levels up what the player was doing.

Mertruve:

Yes, this was the gist of quite a lot of the Torchlight feedback. Yes, you can certainly hold the mouse button down to keep attacking an enemy, but my concern was about needless energy loss, and keeping the mouse button depressed is still a far worse solution than just clicking once to keep attacking an enemy until they die.

Uh, I didn't hear any complaints about constantly clicking on enemies in Modern Warfare 2 (holding the mouse down button is also required if you have an MG!).

This. I mean seriously, one of his major complaints about a PC video game was it required too much clicking? I'm sorry, did the pain from all that terrible duress of holding down a button with a tenth-pound of force get to you?
He also claims that he'd never change his mind after attacking a certain enemy, but certain attacks have debuffs attached, or perhaps you have an area spell you want to use. There are a variety of reasons why you might not want to continue attacking the same enemy continuously, and there is an easy system to do it if you did.
In the review he even complained about how the game had too many hotkeys you could set.

I'm finding again and again that Yahtzee is popular not because he makes meaningful reviews, but because he is "hilariously" negative about everything, warranted or not.
He wants games to be new and fresh. When they are, he complains about how they're different. When they aren't he complains about how they're the same.

Sorry all this free entertainment doesn't meet your exacting standards.

Somebody can't take criticism anywhere near as well as they can dish it out.
If you're going to be an insulting prick, yet still be popular, you can't act like everybody who disagrees with you is just being whiny. Well... you CAN, but that goes back to the insulting prick part.

I've come to realize that many of your pedantic criticisms come from a need for content to fill your rapid-fire reviews combined with your obsessive compulsive need to nitpick everything that could possible be annoying in a game and magnify it to a different level.
This combines to produce a rating system that judges nearly all games in existence to be garbage. Seeing as your target audience is gamers, who play these games, and may *gasp* even like them, you might be surprised they have opinions of their own. But all odds against it, they do, and some of them might even complain that your judgment is lacking important facts! Given that you only have enough time to play these games for a few days before making your judgment, they may even be right!

I hardly think that disagreeing with you amounts to imposing "exacting standards." But I could be wrong.

JRPGs are still RPGs in my book.

If it has stats, its an RPG.

I thought about that when I saw someone call Zelda an RPG, I mean honestly - it could be called that if the definition is a game where you play a role.

Watch Torchlight get a "Yahtzee mod" where clicking once auto-attacks until you click something else. That and the millions of auto-identify mods (considering all you have to do for that is change one value to yes or true or whatever) might solve some of Yahtzee's basic problems. He does have a point that identifying is retarded if there's not cursed items and such.

About RPGs, if Strength is for melee and Dexterity/Agility is for ranged, its pretty much an rpg. I've never played a good game qualified as an rpg and gone "man I wish RPG had better classification," as its usually "can't someone come up with a better way to progress than leveling?" I don't mind leveling, but you'd figure Bioware or someone would mix things up a bit by now.

Yeah we need new classifications. 'RPG' crops up anytime a game has some stats.

Onyx Oblivion:
JRPGs are still RPGs in my book.

If it has stats, its an RPG.

Truth. Ye shall know them by their character sheets.

I think it's hilarious how everyone rags on JRPGs like a Dragon Warrior cartridge shot their dog back in the NES days. Why act so butt-hurt? It's funny because you don't get these conversations about any other bland product like mac 'n cheese... "baww its only one flavor!" "it's not very good for you!" "its for kids!!1"

Not much to talk about, indeed.

Anyway, I'm going to jump on the bandwagon and suggest a game I'd like you to review:
Monster Hunter
It's an incredibly addictive game that gives you a great sense of accomplishment when you manage to bring down a huge lizard.
MH Freedom Unite came out back on June for the PSP and MH 3 for the Wii (it uses the Classic Controller) will be out in April

Yahtzee, I feel obligated to point out that if they had gone with the one click combat, you would've bagged them out for that too, like you did for the developers of The Whitcher. Kinda puts 'em in a no win situation don't you think?
Also you seem to like to rag on JRPGs alot, but I have to wonder just how many you've actually played. Certainly your description of the androgynous teenage protagonists could apply to many Final Fantasy protagonists, but Final Fantasy games are only a small percentage of JRPGs.

Yea, easy solution to this. JRPGs aren't really RPGs. Look at it this way, it's all so very clear.

One game I wouldn't mind Yahtzee doing a review of, even if it's of an old game, is of Deus Ex. But, it's his 'show', so to speak. Of new games coming out, I wouldn't mind seeing his take on Bayonetta. I haven't got it yet myself (Can't afford it), just like I won't be able to afford Mass Effect 2.

what his email?

Arehexes:
snip

Final Fantasy games are RPGs they are JRPGs just because you don't think so doesn't not make them RPGs. Also thanks for nice pointless dig at the end that makes your arguement look so much better.

Skooterz:

JRPGs, for example, could be easily reclassified as 'Stupid Gay Rubbish'.

I could not agree with you more. How does anybody actually stay awake for the entire game? I tried playing one of the Final Fantasy games at a friends house- don't even remember which one, but my only reaction after about twenty minutes was 'bored bored bored'.

I agree that the classic genres are far too general for this day and age, where most titles have elements from several different types of game.

Thanks for proving the point that everyone who hates JRPGs on t his site has to announce it to everyone else.

CyberKnight:

Yahtzee Croshaw:
As I have mentioned before in this column I avoid online multiplayer because my brain still works.

Just as a nitpick, there's a big difference in "online multiplayer with random prepubescent apespawn" and "online multiplayer with respectable human beings". The former would match with the malfunctioning brain theory, but the latter, not so much.

While Yahtzee generally reviews games from the single-player view, he has made comments about playing games with people before (Guitar Hero/Rock Band, a couple Wii games), which makes me think he's not totally averse to playing with other people.

I wonder what might be his opinion on something like ODST*, where random matchmaking is not even available and online multiplayer must be assembled from people you actively invite in (which, one would hope, fall into the "respectable human beings" category).

*Note that I said something like ODST -- that game itself might not be the best example, considering the "Halo" name seems to prejudice him (and a not-insignificant number of commenters around here, I've noticed) with automatic hate, and that particular game doesn't seem to resonate with people who don't already like "Halo" in general.

For that matter, I wonder what his reviews might be like if he included the multiplayer side of things in general, even if he limited those reviews to just sessions played in private matches.

Yahtzee is a critic and not a reviewer he even calls himself such in his videos. Even still people more watch them for their comedic value.

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