Role-Playing Games

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13lackfriday:

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.

Meh, your terms are well-bolded, eloquently explained, and even come with ready-made colloquialisms.

I'll take 'em.

Henceforth, the aforementioned terms shall be entered into the lexicon of the Oxford English Dictionary: 2010 Gamer's Edition.

Ha ha, if this keeps up they might actually change it to those terms. :D

Fuhjem:

13lackfriday:

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.

Meh, your terms are well-bolded, eloquently explained, and even come with ready-made colloquialisms.

I'll take 'em.

Henceforth, the aforementioned terms shall be entered into the lexicon of the Oxford English Dictionary: 2010 Gamer's Edition.

Ha ha, if this keeps up they might actually change it to those terms. :D

Hope so...it'd definitely help clear up some of the confusion over exactly what kind of game you're getting in an ambiguously-titled "RPG."

Endless categorization and subgenres FTW :P

So this is what happens when an actual article writer trolls. To be fair I've seen bejeweled clones call themselves adventure games, and rpgs. But honestly theres so many sources of game reviews and footage the vagueness of some of these genre titles suffices to give you a idea of what sorta gameplay will be there. I doubt anyone would argue that Halo and Counterstrike are both FPS, but are highly unique games. Do they really both need thier own genre title that neatly wraps up all important elements of what to expect from them, If so how many other games could we use this title for.

This is the same psychology that leads to calling all 3d beat-em ups, God of War Clones, nevermind that God of War didn't launch the genre, nor can it claim responsibility for making the genre successful, granted It is a beatifully executed entry. In other words, let's stop naming genres after games in them. New MMOs are not WoW clones, new FPS are not Halo clones. One can only expect to get so much info about a game from its genre and I think for the most part current names suffice. I like Fuhjem's subgenre names for the RPG though, that way I could call a bad JRPG a CineTacs Error.

13lackfriday:
Hope so...it'd definitely help clear up some of the confusion over exactly what kind of game you're getting in an ambiguously-titled "RPG."

Endless categorization and subgenres FTW :P

Shooters are here to stay, but just because a game lets you use guns doesn't mean it's a shooter. It has to be one of the main focuses of gameplay. Mass Effect is a shooter, Mirrors Edge is not a shooter. First-Person Shooters would be like Halo, Half-Life, and Modern Warfare 2. Third-Person Shooters would be Gears of War, Mass Effect (yes i am aware that ME is a shooter/ADG hybrid, in fact it is my favorite game of all time), and Uncharted 2.

Heavy Rain is a bit of a mystery for game genres. It's not an action game, a shooter, or much of anything I've heard of before. Heavy Rain would be more tailored to standard movie and book genres. I'd substitute any game genre for this game with Drama or Thriller. A game whose main focus is emotion would be more suitable for these.

Puzzlers have to be the best named genre yet. It's a game in which you solve puzzles. Not that hard. But Portal is a first person game and you solve puzzles too! Which is why Portal is known as a First-Person Puzzler. Puzzlers don't need to be changed at all.

Well, that's the best I can come up with at the moment.

""FYI: you can just hold the mousebutton down instead of clickspamming to kill enemies"
- sag_ich_nicht, via email

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. If I start attacking someone, I am not going to change my mind half-way through. Maybe if they turned into kittens after taking a certain amount of damage, or if I wanted to break off the attack to block an attack coming from another angle, but Torchlight isn't that kind of game.

Yes, this is as inconsequential as fuck, but tell that to the people who email me."

Yahtzee, this is stupid. Yes, it is entirely necessary to stop attacking at points in Torchlight. The bosses require constant dodging of their telegraphed attacks. It's pretty often a good strategic decision to stop attacking a tougher enemy to kill the weaker enemies that pile up.

This is the last straw, for a long time now, you have completely forgone the actual criticism of your early reviews and giving good games due credit in favor of pointlessly making fun of good games. You're entirely ignoring the facts in favor of just throwing out the blanket statement that everything sucks.

Yeah, I know that's the appeal of your show, to hear high amounts of hate, constructed as original metaphors and strung together at high speed. But you've gone too far, it's not funny anymore. By now, you have simply become the personification of everything that is bad about the internet. It's like watching if /v/ had an official internet show.

this has acutally crossed my mind before

Jonesy911:
Jrpgs are brilliant, Yahtzee is plain wrong about them

SOME are brilliant. There's a lot of boring shit that comes out of Japan too. The term of RPG doesn't even really fit for most of these games because you've ceased to play any role other than jogging your character around a map. Final Fantasy is incredibly guilty of this, which is why I don't particularly like FF games that much. Persona 4 had the longest intro I've ever sat though, and I don't even think I got to the first dungeon until at least 5 hours into the game. I can't play through Baten Kaitos without thinking "SHUT THE FUCK UP ______" but that may be a symptom of awful voice acting. JRPGs are not a genre everyone likes, because you have to passively take in a lot of exposition that you may or may not even care about.

Instead, jRPGs should just be labeled Strategic Visual Novel Games, though sometimes they really do exude the aura of "Stupid Gay Shit". After all, you're just watching a story play out rather than having much of an effect on the events or the outcome, and some of the characters make you want to beat your forehead against a plank studded with rusty nails. And it's true that most main characters are effeminate emo whiners. The only series of jRPGs I can possibly think of that has some open-ended character building these days is Shin Megami Tensei and all its iterations (aside from Persona 3 and 4 where your stats are tied to whatever Persona you happen to have equipped), and although their characters resemble the emo whiners at least their mouths are fastened shut until it prompts you to contribute.

Sure was nice when we only had board games and the creators didn't give a shit about being "artists". At least we have fewer genres than todays Metal scene (or "hardcore" scene since they killed the metal aspect of it). Every band has to come up with some new genre for themselves. Unfortunately, most don't realize SHIT is the best title for what they are playing.

Fuhjem:

13lackfriday:
Hope so...it'd definitely help clear up some of the confusion over exactly what kind of game you're getting in an ambiguously-titled "RPG."

Endless categorization and subgenres FTW :P

Shooters are here to stay, but just because a game lets you use guns doesn't mean it's a shooter. It has to be one of the main focuses of gameplay. Mass Effect is a shooter, Mirrors Edge is not a shooter. First-Person Shooters would be like Halo, Half-Life, and Modern Warfare 2. Third-Person Shooters would be Gears of War, Mass Effect (yes i am aware that ME is a shooter/ADG hybrid, in fact it is my favorite game of all time), and Uncharted 2.

Heavy Rain is a bit of a mystery for game genres. It's not an action game, a shooter, or much of anything I've heard of before. Heavy Rain would be more tailored to standard movie and book genres. I'd substitute any game genre for this game with Drama or Thriller. A game whose main focus is emotion would be more suitable for these.

Puzzlers have to be the best named genre yet. It's a game in which you solve puzzles. Not that hard. But Portal is a first person game and you solve puzzles too! Which is why Portal is known as a First-Person Puzzler. Puzzlers don't need to be changed at all.

Well, that's the best I can come up with at the moment.

I think the great thing about games is that the new ones that totally revolutionize the industry and are endlessly "borrowed" from endlessly afterwards is that they oftentimes totally defy categorization.

Mirror's Edge had so little emphasis on shooting, it almost discouraged it. I think it was termed quite fittingly a "First-person Platformer," probably the legitimate first of its kind.
FPS and 3PS genre-splitting seems a bit unnecessary given the main difference is something as trivial as the perspective of the player, but cover systems definitely feature a whole lot more prominently in the latter (probably because staring at walls in FPS isn't particularly thrilling)...some reworking of the title there could be warranted.
Heavy Rain seems like a fresh new title, but it'd probably come down snugly as a TCG, seeing as how the majority of the game seems to play out as one big Quicktimed cinematic. You're definitely given chances to make important choices for your character, but they all seem to be to the same end, so the story's fairly linear to that degree.
Personally, I'd say Mass Effect was first and foremost an RPG since 3PS is just the approach it took to combat (and TCG a bit given the character-power-selection screen). The game centers on how you choose to act in given situations, and how this affects your character and your squadmates in the future. That's what gives it its ADG foundation.

I completely agree. All games do put you in a role of some sort lol I never thought of it like that before, and even though I like the Final Fantasy games I have played, I heavily agree on your cutscenes comment. If I wanted to watch a movie, I'd have bought a DVD. Good one Yahtzee.

Yeah yeah yeah, same goes for film, literature, music, etc etc. The fact you can't come up with a robust yet arbitrary system to catalogue and define a given media under a series of titles is mind meltingly, eye bleedingly, bed wettingly obvious. Genres are simply rough guides to point you in a general area-if you buy a game based soley on the fact its say, an FPS, your'e a prat who's likely to be happy with any conga of flashy lights and noises.
If you've got nothing to write about, don't write anything...
Oh and by the way, how is it any more or less 'pathetic and idle' to come up with games on pen and paper than it is on a computer (You know, like you half arsedly do...)- does a larger audience and some twatty publicity shots on a website somehow validate it? Or perhaps its the fact you're paid money? Christ your a nob-from the tone of your article I'm guessing all this book signing and bar opening your prattling on about hasn't improved you're sex life any; ah well, maybe you'll be able to get surgery to fix you're weird, tiny, off putting shrimp-eyes...

Genres are always misleading, or, better said, not completely definitive. This goes for movies, books and just about anything that has genders - actually, even sexual genders can be misleading nowadays.
Genres are just to give you a very wide idea of the content, not a full description.
In the other hand, some games are misclassified (sp?), action games with XP and levels beeing called RPGs and such.

RPG was used to describe the original Dragon Quest and what it means (though it is a misnomer) is that the game is governed by visible stats (HP, MP, Atk, Vit. etc.) and that your actions are chosen from a menu rather than real time skills determining the outcome of thing.

Therefore a game with RPG elements borrows the visible stats, but generally still contains actions are other elements that make it a hybrid.

Will you be reviewing FF13? I know you hate JRPGs, but this one has Australian voice acting!

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

PWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWNT oh god, the sheer amount of DISDAIN! the pure, unadulterated LOATHING! i don't think it's physically possible to kick someone in the nuts WITH a middle finger, but that single sentence is the literary embodiment of such an act, directed at every single whiny, pathetic little bitch on this site that feels that they have the RIGHT to complain and render judgement upon something they don't have to pay a dime for. wanting your money back for seeing Avatar in 3D is one thing, getting pissed off at Yahtzee for not reviewing a game not good enough or shitty enough to garner any serious attention is another thing.

this quote should be emblazoned across the top of the home page at all times.

Ragsnstitches:
Not so much funny as it is angry today. Was going to argue with you but considered it wasn't to be taking to heart. Good point on the RPG's applying to all games to an extent...

I don't think the dogs in rpg's is anything to do with co-op. You'll see it in western "RPG's" (for lack of a better acronym) where for the most part your playing solo. It's just a companion/pack mule/meat shield to make the game easier (however i think Biowares Dragon age was just pulling the piss to some extent).

It was a clever idea that the other develepors duplicated, sort of what every other developer does to some extent.

I think the original Fallout made the dog so popular with the "Dogmeat" character...

and on another topic I think that the RPG label for games got its belt widened to the last notch when Blizzard allowed themselves to call their action game "Diablo" an rpg. After that every developer putting out a game with "stats" has labelled their game rpg. The employee responsible at Blizzard should be flogged publicly and then we should never mention it again. The damage is done so we all just have to try to move on and accept that names are just names and they are not always sensible.

While writing it just occoured to me that Diablo wasn't even original. It totally ripped its gameplay off Fairy Tale (also called The Fairy Tale Adventure) that came out around 1986 for the Amiga. Back then it was labelled "adventure" and thus put into category with such insanely boring games as Police Quest and Kings Quest.

There was an unofficial genre in the Amiga days called Hack'n'Slash. It was used to describe games like Gauntlet as well as Golden Axe. I think this genre would be perfect to reinvent today and we could just dump 92% of all the games coming out into that gory pit of mindnumbing stupidity - which is exactly what these games were.

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

I fail to see the difference in what you call "arrogant" and what is generally the truth. Guess it hurts-- but from Yahtzee at least it hurts so good.

As I've personally said before, I roleplay in every game I play. I try to immerse myself in every game experience, put myself there, try to feel what I'd feel. For me, it's all part of the experience.

I do tend to prefer those games actually called Role Playing Games, because I just love fiddling with stats and inventory (for some of us do like to tinker and optimise) but I can immerse myself in any game - to some extent I have to in order to enjoy it.

It's not so hard to use the magic of imagination to put yourself in a place and enhance a game experience, I recall even putting myself into the mindset of the lone, nameless (and shall forever remain so) Marine of Doom way back in 1993, which was a little scary for a nine year old but it certainly improved my motivation within the game.

It does perhaps cripple my game-playing experience a little bit... for example, I can never go down the evil path in a game like Fable or Infamous. It just doesn't ring true with me and rings a genuinely sour note in my heart, but overall, I just plain like immersing myself in an experience. If I didn't, I don't think I could ever be bothered to read books.

Oh and as for the issue of game categorisation, I think that's probably a non-issue. A category or genre is just a label you slap on something so that someone knows roughly what to expect, which is usually based upon prior experiences. Yes the old labels we're so used to using for certain genres of game are looking a little dated as the medium develops, but the medium will always develop and any new system devised and forcible implemented would be just as obsolete before it was even off of the ground. It would probably give everyone something new to argue about whilst it was at it.

In short, the whole issue is a waste of time and energy as long as we still know roughly what a game is going to be like.

i agree with you on the fact that placing yourself in that situation is probably the best way to have fun with rpg's but there is a degree that if the game isnt immersing you in it with the plot or gameplay its kinda missed the point alittle dont you think?

I heard that Borderlands was rubbish on the PC anyways.
Too many glitches with multiplayer and such.

Haven't experienced any glitches, unless it being extremely boring is a glitch.

An RPG is any game where you can go get a sandwich at any point without having a negative effect on the gameplay.

I suppose that can be stretched a bit to apply to games like Magna Carta or Tales of Symponia (both of which suck) where you can't get a sandwich during the battles but you can at any other point.

If a game does not fit this criterion, it's an action game with RPG elements at best.

Here's the Borderlands review for you:

Diablo 2, with guns, first person. And useless vehicles that you will only ever use to get across the fucking huge maps.

While I do like JRPGs (a lot), I do agree that they don't fit in the RPG style and should get a different name (something that isn't disrespectful).

Also, while I bought Torchlight on steam I enjoyed the Xbox360 demo allot more because it didn't have all the inaccurate clicking.

You mention the games having an increase in pets...Really, I think it's just a resurgence. There have always been summoner classes with familiars in D&D, and in nethack you always start off with a pet. Plenty more examples...

Look at it this way, fans of Borderlands. If Yahtzee did review the game, he'd probably make it look bad, then you'd just be pissed off at him for not giving it a chance. And really, if you've gone this long demanding a review of it, you probably already know if you like it on a personal level.

We already have the terms to describe these games.... namely hack-n-slash and dungeon crawler. Diablo, Torchlight, Borderlands and Divinity 2 are all good example of hack-n-slash / dungeon crawler games.

Story:
Without an interesting story then the player won't really care what happens in the game world.

Choice:
The very thing that defines a human being is our capability to make choices. Without choices we will be unable to suspend our disbelief and the game world will feel as if it is somewhat shallow.

Consequence:
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. What I mean by this is that the choices we make in a game must have some sort of consequence. Fallout 3 and New Vegas are good examples of how choice and consequence can be applied to a game. Dragon Age 2 is a fantastic example of how nearly none of your choices have any tangible consequences.

Freedom:
Without the freedom to either help, slaughter, ignore or betray the npc's that are found in the game then there can be no immersion.

JRPG is a terrible term, and the games rarely have anything to do with roleplaying.

Well, yeah obviously.

As it is often discussed in other more dev directed media like Extra credits or Gamasutra, the classification of games for their mechanic structure is pointless (yahtzee barely touches on the significant points of the topic).

No other creative medium names GENRES after Functional mechanics of the experience. Movies are not, slow motion close ups, or wide lens steadycams. Instead they focus on the experiential interaction with the audience. The only game genre that we use that focuses on experience would probably be "Survival Horror", but that often looses meaning as well.

Portal and quantum conundrum are first person shooters, and Mass effect is a third person shooter... mechanically, this is true; but we all know that they are NOT really just their mechanics.

It seems that the classifications for the whole experiences are in order then, action epic, fantasy discovery, space opera, or even teenage angst romance. Nowadays the mechanics for games are so ubiquitous, and variable that the direct functional tagging seems pointless. (not that anyone will stop doing it).

Sofus:
We already have the terms to describe these games.... namely hack-n-slash and dungeon crawler. Diablo, Torchlight, Borderlands and Divinity 2 are all good example of hack-n-slash / dungeon crawler games.

Story:
Without an interesting story then the player won't really care what happens in the game world.

Choice:
The very thing that defines a human being is our capability to make choices. Without choices we will be unable to suspend our disbelief and the game world will feel as if it is somewhat shallow.

Consequence:
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. What I mean by this is that the choices we make in a game must have some sort of consequence. Fallout 3 and New Vegas are good examples of how choice and consequence can be applied to a game. Dragon Age 2 is a fantastic example of how nearly none of your choices have any tangible consequences.

Freedom:
Without the freedom to either help, slaughter, ignore or betray the npc's that are found in the game then there can be no immersion.

JRPG is a terrible term, and the games rarely have anything to do with roleplaying.

Ok I rarely go out of my way.. but this ^^ is all wrong. Way to generalize from your own extremely narrow view.
First Dungeon crawling and hack and slash are an extremely superficial way of looking at these games, some of these appeal to loot grinding, others to story amd character progression, and others to survival. The problem is that none of it really communicates what the whole game communicate to a player.

Second: No! story is only ONE of the elements that keeps players engaged. There are MANY other ways in which a game can make itself and its world interesting apart from story. Such as discovery, mystery, competition, player advancement, aestethic pleasure, just to name a few.

Third: Choice is an abstract term, it's not definitely what makes us human by a long shot, there is no philosophical conclusion as to what makes humans human, and the question has been asked through the ages. It is even debatable that there is choice at all. In any game no matter how linear there is an illusion of "choice", and as open ended as it may be, it is still an illusion. The player just strings together predefined options within the boundaries of the game, which cause a certain structured outcome.

Fourth: Everything action has consequences, wether it be measurable or not. Only in physics does "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction" apply. In the broad spectrum of experience, actions can have unexpected reactions much larger or smaller than the action itself. In fact to different people a same action can trigger different reactions. Fallout 3 and Dragon age 2 are very BLUNT and OBVIOUS examples of this, with a very clear a + b = c formulaic and largely foreseeable structure. Of course this is not bad, but it works for different types of players. I personally find both those games extremely forced into "choice" turning out blunt, plain and shallow. Other games before did much better, like Fallout 2, or the original deus-ex, where the narrative and the choices flow much better in a coherent continuum.

Fifth?: Freedom is another questionable token term that means nothing at all. It certainly has little to do directly with engagement, since you can read a book or look at a painting and feel profoundly engaged, even when you are not directly manipulating the form of the object. Again technically no freedom exists in Games, you are given a certain set of actions that you must piece together to complete scenarios in a certain way. Games like Silent hill (yeah 2 is the best), and Shadow of the colossus, don't really give you "freedom" they present you with an engaging circumstance and allow you to be part of it. They show you and allow you to feel what the action means without putting a ridiculous morality slider in your face.

I'll agree though that JRPG lacks of meaning. Not because they don't present role playing. Most have to do with the idea of empathizing with other characters and interacting with other characters, which is an important part of role playing. But because it simply means little when defining a game like Dark Souls, Persona 3, Final Fantasy or Pokemon.

On a side note, Let me play devil's advocate for a bit... I feel Yahtzee really should lay off JRPGs, I know its his style, and it is true a lot of Jgames seem silly but there are some great gems in there too. I personally don't know what I find silly-er, Final fantasy with it's ridiculous angsty soap opera dramas, or skyrim with it's meaningless power fantasy emotionally neutered power metal wet dreams.

Delcast:

On a side note, Let me play devil's advocate for a bit... I feel Yahtzee really should lay off JRPGs, I know its his style, and it is true a lot of Jgames seem silly but there are some great gems in there too. I personally don't know what I find silly-er, Final fantasy with it's ridiculous angsty soap opera dramas, or skyrim with it's meaningless power fantasy emotionally neutered power metal wet dreams.

Your average JRPG has a less teenage-wish-fullfillment-mary-sue storyline than Skyrim (I'm king of everything within half an hour of arrival, just like I would be if life weren't so unfair). OTOH, Japan has generally abandoned graphical and gameplay innovation in favor of seeking new ways to disguise prepackaged jackoff fantasies as something socially more acceptable. Man, if you could combine the two, though, no one would ever need to have any ambition ever again.

I want to see Yahtzee review Shin Megami Tensei III. They could have just quit making JRPGs with that one, I don't think anything's ever going to top it.

This thread is 2 years old, so i have no idea why im posting on it. Maybe its due to the 2nd bottle of wine im on, maybe the crippling loneliness...maybe both. Either way im doing it anyway.
Borderlands 1 and 2 is not that fun in 1 player...its actually worse for me on multiplayer, online, as all the bastards are racing to the next checkpoint, grabbing all the loot while im happy exploring all the landscape realising that there's not much to be found other than slightly better versions of what you had already. Often not even that. I was hoping for a new, exciting experience, but all i got was stat comparing guns and generic gameplay. Still...that seems to be what most the ppl like lately :o

Role-playing games definitely need to reinvent stat usage. Dark Souls did this well, but Dark Souls isn't exactly a role playing game because it has a lack of choices. I think the best type of "role playing" is an online game, because you can normally go anywhere and do anything, yet even still those can be quite linear.

A new genre definitely needs to be "invented" where you can customize your character to the fullest extent and then do what you want in the game. A mix of sandbox and "RPG" perhaps?

And yeah JRPGs and RPGs in general need to work on being less cleche. Maybe it's because I'm asexual, but I don't really enjoy seeing overly huge tits (Just looks strange). The main characters in those games seriously need work too...

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