Role-Playing Games

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Don't worry about Borderlands, it doesn't get any less boring. Not that the paid big reviewers seem to notice that, either they somehow got Borderlands: Good Edition or they are just easily amused.

The problem is that the term "role-playing" has come to be associated with managing statistics when it technically has nothing to do with them.

Dana22:
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 !

But examining these so "well defined" genres brings up our argument.

What makes a pen and paper RPG the classic RPG? Before pen and paper games, was there not theater improv?

Deus Ex is set in first person but it has just as much "hardcore" emphasis on changing the game as Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights.

Dragon Age is a so called "Hardcore" CRPG, but it follows a linear path in a set story and is as Hack and Slash as Diablo.

Diablo is a role playing game in the way you can change your stats, name and inventory but not so much more than say the inventory I have in Doom and the name I made up for the Doom guy.
Just a quick glance, destroys any semblance of sense in these definitions.

Yahtzee, I have the cure for your JRPG hate right here... in my collection.

Valkyrie Profile 1
Valkyrie Profile 2

If characters and story are really your hang up these should do the trick. However, you're too busy to play them.

I played [Borderlands] in single player for a bit and thought it was excrementally boring, but I'd heard it was best played multiplayer. As I have mentioned before in this column I avoid online multiplayer because my brain still works.

This.

I thought the game was incredibly bland, empty, repetitive, and boring (except for the things that wanted to kill me). I also don't buy into the excuse that multiplayer makes up for a shitty single player experience, and don't play games to listen to swearing 13 year olds or douchebags screaming racial slurs.

Don't get so pedantic about game genres, everyone knows what people actually mean when they chuck genre names around.

That said, I do agree that most RPGs do not meet the standards set by, say, Mass Effect or VTMBL.

Hehe, I can just imagine next Final Fantasy: One big cutscene (aka Movie) with random encounters:

"Don't worry, we're going to save him."
"I know. I just--
YOU HAVE BEEN AMBUSHED BY 2 DIRE RATS

One thing I really hate is how some JRPG fanboys complaining about other RPGs. Now of course other genre fanboys complain about JRPGs but lets put that aside for now.

In 2008 when GameSpot awarded Fallout 3, some people (IE The World Ends With You fanboys that lost) kept on saying "its not a RPG but a shooter"... despite the fact Fallout 3 had more RPG elements and by the logic of calling it a shooter I could call most JRPGs not RPGs but turn based tactical games.

But regardless I acknowledge both.

What I would like to see is a game with JRPG gameplay elements but not Japanese, basically an epic story with she boys, a western made game. Now what sub genre would you call that? WJRPG? The best Japanese made RPG I played in a while was Demon's Souls that was more of a WRPG.

On a side note, I liked Borderlands.

VioletZer0:
Your arrogant attitude came across particularly sour today. -_-

Sorry Yahtzee, but on this one I agree. I was the guy who joked about you having a "cold, shrivelled heart", but I think the snideness offset the humour here. It wasn't a fun article to read.

As for "free", what do you mean? I click on the banner ads that pay your wages like a good little robot...

ehh don't worry about Borderlands
I mean, it really can be fun when played with friends (or a friend)
but otherwise it'll get boring really fast...and currently I'm bored by even if my friend wants to play it
(don't get me wrong, it was a blast to play)
and since Yahtzee really appreciates a good storyline, then of course he'd hate it
(in fact, the first friend I asked to co-op it with my hated how it didn't have a story, and the second friend loved its action-based gameplay)

but catering to people who don't like other human beings (i.e. RPG players).

And here I always thought Yahtzee wasn't into RPGs *rimshot* So yeah. This was old and stale. "Pointing out the obvious that RPG doesn't really mean anything in computer games, also the sky is blue and the grass is green. Then I'll make fun of RPG players because they are nerds, and nerds are funny, the end."

Seriously man, I always thought you for a person who tries to steer away from these sorts of things and, ya know, go for fresh material. Shame on you.

V TheSystem V:
borderlands was amazing (like i stated in my self written review this weekend). but its opinion. yahtzee is an awsum reviewer, he is entitled to his views. anyone else who criticises the game however...

The ending's crap. What you got to say about that?

I've had my issues with this RPG label, too. Growing up on an unhealthy amount of JRPGs, I saw it as something with turnbased action and different characters with different stats, an unnecessary amount of dialogue, etc, but a lot of this doesn't hold up any more. Many Western RPGs use real-time combat, as well as a more-than-nominal percentage of JRPGs. Dialogue's also become more prominent in other genres, even if RPGs still have more, and the whole stats/skills thing is becoming common in everything, although different characters not so much. Quite frankly, I think the modern video game industry just keeps making it harder and harder to classify what genre a game belongs to. Giving up seems like the most sensible action to me.

I tried my hand at borderlands just yesterday. I just couldn't get into it. I've played this game 100 times before--that's what I kept thinking whilst killing random mutant dog/bandit and collecting random ammo/health kit from random debris pile/corpse. Where's the fun bit?

Non sequitir, and perhaps I'm behind the curve on this, but has Yahtzee had any inkling to review Machinarium? I love that little game.

'Games Where You Click On Things A Lot'

I thought this category was already named "action rpg's" ?

RPG's new definition--"Rabidly Persuant Game".

I have to say, this is the first time I've agreed with Yahtzee 100%. Well, I liked Borderlands, but it DID get tired really quickly and I never bothered to try and make a second character.

RPG's are stale and gimmicky and half the time they aren't RPG's they just shoehorn a leveling system to keep the OCD audience from chucking the game halfway through.

Also, I agree that JRPG's are utter crap. (Except for Dragon Quest 8, which was shockingly enjoyable) Even when all my weeaboo friends were gushing like little girls over Sepheroth, I thought Final Fantasy 7 was boring and incomprehensible.

PayJ567:
All JRPG's should be called "stupid gay rubbish" I must admit I did laugh at this.

I didn't. Even if he hates JRPGs, Yahtzee can come up with something more mature and clever than that. Those miserable retards that leave comments on GameTrailers that I keep complaining about? Yeah they use those three words every time they bitch about a game being on a console they don't own or like. So do the spammers on GameFAQs.

I'm starting to think Yahtzee is loosing his edge. Really, REALLY starting to loose his edge.

Oh BTW Yahtzee, hasn't Earthbound taught you anything? Not all JRPGs have the "androgynous angsty cunt" of a protagonist. Just a good chunk of them. I blame that factor on the creator of Naruto for creating Sasuke Uchiha: The poster boy for that character archetype.

Even when all my weeaboo friends were gushing like little girls over Sepheroth, I thought Final Fantasy 7 was boring and incomprehensible.

Oh yeah I forgot. He and the rest of the FF7 cast are also to blame for this archetype becoming popular.

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

I don't know how many times I have posted something along those lines in my rants.

What the heck is a Borderlands?

No, I'll look it up.

Lordofthesuplex:

Even when all my weeaboo friends were gushing like little girls over Sepheroth, I thought Final Fantasy 7 was boring and incomprehensible.

Oh yeah I forgot. He and the rest of the FF7 cast are also to blame for this archetype becoming popular.

Which is odd, because they... don't really fit the archetype too much. There's very little actual angst in FF7. FF6 had more actually, though in that case it was mostly centered on two girls (Terra and Celes). Technically Cyan, Locke, and ESPECIALLY Shadow had their share too.

lordlee:

Which is odd, because they... don't really fit the archetype too much. There's very little actual angst in FF7. FF6 had more actually, though in that case it was mostly centered on two girls (Terra and Celes). Technically Cyan, Locke, and ESPECIALLY Shadow had their share too.

Well is it any coincidence that we saw a surge in those types of characters shortly after FF7 came out? That or I'm thinking about the early to mid 2000's.

Don't get me wrong, I can enjoy something that goes the dark and edgy route. Provided that it's actually well written for starters. The problem is anything that GOES that route nowadays is well written. At least from what I've played/watched/whatever.

Lordofthesuplex:

lordlee:

Which is odd, because they... don't really fit the archetype too much. There's very little actual angst in FF7. FF6 had more actually, though in that case it was mostly centered on two girls (Terra and Celes). Technically Cyan, Locke, and ESPECIALLY Shadow had their share too.

Well is it any coincidence that we saw a surge in those types of characters shortly after FF7 came out? That or I'm thinking about the early to mid 2000's.

Don't get me wrong, I can enjoy something that goes the dark and edgy route. Provided that it's actually well written for starters. The problem is anything that GOES that route nowadays is well written. At least from what I've played/watched/whatever.

Oh it's no mistake, but FF7 itself actually isn't too immersed in it. Don't get me wrong though, the game is certainly pretty dark (/v/ consensus is that a remake would be rated M), but the cast isn't the "emofest" everyone thinks it is. It's the copies that really ran out of control. See for example:
image
Well at least Gilgamesh came back.

Rah! Yahtzee agrees with me. JRPG = Japanese Rail-Playing Game. Not ROLE playing. :)

Borderlands was a combination of a lot of better games thrown in together to create a very mediocre turd.

i lol'd at "stupid gay rubbish"

/comment

Wow, it certainly does take a grade-a asshole to flame people's memories of playing pen and paper RPG's when they were kids, for no apparent reason or comedic effect. Let's see, what else is there in this broken mess of an article? Oh great, more JRPG bashing, with the exact same phrasing that he used the previous 5 billion times. Excuse me while I quietly slip into a boredom-induced coma.

Legend of Mana.

The best one ever.

ZippyDSMlee:

An adventure game IMO is an action game that may or may not have RPG elements game that focuses more on exploring or progressing from A to B more slowly than a an action game(RE,Onimusha,Castelvina,Eternal darkness,Indigo prophesy,ect more adventure than action or RPG ).

A action RPG is an action game with RPG elements like Zelda ....or ME and dragon age :P.

Give me some titles and see if I can not slot them properly!! :P

While I mostly agree, just thought I'd point out that Zelda always has been classified as an adventure game (going waaaayyyy back to the days of the NES). Zelda has never been considered an ARPG.

Casltevania is an Action game. Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest MIGHT be considered adventure.

Phew... a little bitchy and judgemental today are we?

" Again, surely every game has you playing a role to a certain extent, but presumably it's intended to harken back to the old pen-and-paper role-playing games you used to play with your little friends around the kitchen table in your pathetic, idle youth (or pathetic, idle current existence). But those games were about literally taking on a role"

Perhaps this was meant to be ironic, or one of those "Don't mean this to be taken personally" (when the person clearly means to eviscerate your soul) moments of passive aggression.

Still, I think there were some good points made about the strange categorizations we throw on games...

KDR_11k:
Don't worry about Borderlands, it doesn't get any less boring. Not that the paid big reviewers seem to notice that, either they somehow got Borderlands: Good Edition or they are just easily amused.

Shall I send the ball of yarn to IGN, or wait for Reach to come around?

I loved Borderlands, over 200 gameplay hours. But 2k ruined it by adding drm.

Yeah, actually Yhatzee, I never played Borderlandsm but the way you described it already convinced me not to get it.

Wow. I think I actually felt my braincells dying as I read this article and the responses to it.

Much like beauty, genre really is in the eye of the beholder. This is not taxonomy, for fuck's sake. We're all smart enough to use the Internet, so theoretically, we should be smart enough to make some determinations about how a game is constructed from the blurbs on the back of the box without relying upon an arbitrary label placed upon it by some marketroid who thinks that "it'll be more popular if it's a ______ game".

Ignore the 'classifications', except to use them for a quick and arbitrary sorting, and if you're someone who uses quick and arbitrary classifications to make your purchasing decisions, well, I have some DLC of a bridge in New York I can pass on to you, dirt cheap.

EDIT: oh, and yeah, Borderlands is shit as a single-player game. Redundant and nothing particularly new or innovative. The story is occassionally entertaining, but not to the point where it actually merits the time investment.

Multiplayer, however? We had a pretty good time. I don't know if it was 4x $60 fun, but it was an enjoyable few hours with my friends.

In all honesty I've completely lost interest in this aged dialogue but what the hell. You summed it up pretty well yourself. Games that reach out to the traditional sense of what a "ROLE Playing Game" is are what is hopefully the future of RPG gaming. The genre is undergoing a transformation like many other genres before it. Platforming used to be a linear two-dimensional jump-a-thon that brought you from point A to point B. These days it is a three-dimensional, less-linear jump-a-thon that brings you from point A to point B, or C, or D, or even Z. RPGs were once an adventure of unlikely heroes that grouped together and took turns whacking old men with sticks... now we can choose how, when where and if we even want to hit the old man with the stick at all. Any game that falls behind better have a nostalgia or franchise factor to hold on to or else they won't have the ability to stand up among the big names like Mass Effect and Dragon Age... in western markets anyway.

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