Arr Pee Gee

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Toeys:
I thought games like Diablo and that awful game, Titan's Quest, already had the label "Dungeon crawler".

Bingo.

Diablo and everything like it -> dungeon crawler. That's all you do. Yes, you level up and get gear to become a progressively more badass dungeon crawler, but what does that amount to? More dungeon crawling in bigger badder dungeons. There's no playing of a role in this - these are not RPG's.

Unfortunately that's the only one of these subgenre listings that's easy to immediately identify off the top of my head. I don't know where to begin differentiating Mass Effect from Fallout. Maybe when I'm less tired.

A tapletop roleplaying game is a game where the in-game elements can be used in terms of what they are. That is, usually a game give each element one function, usually based on the real world function of that object, but not always. Roleplaying games do not do this. The player can use any in-game object the same way they could use a real object.

This is the defining feature of the hobby called roleplaying games. All else is extraneous.

I don't know what this means for computer RPGs as this feature is all but impossible in a computer game. It would require a good deal of programming and even then, it would be impossible to foresee every possible use of every object.

Even on tabletop RPG territory, there is a lot of variety beyond D&D. People who don't like number-crunching rulesets and instead prefer to focus on narrative and roleplaying may use something like Storyteller System from the World of Darkness games. Some people may even use rulesets without dice throwing, with "narrative resolution" instead (like the Amber Diceless RPG).

I think it's just a case of trying to determine if your tastes match with what the game tries to do instead of trying to find perfect definitions.

Shamus Young:
Experienced Points: Arr Pee Gee

What's another word for "RPG"?

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Silly Shamus. I already explained that story, choice etc have little to nothing to do with RPGs in "RPGs Defined". But it seems that you're already quite familiar with that thread.

It's so easy to get a reaction (and comments/replies) out of the BioWare fanboys on this site.

I would call them RPGs, just because I focus on one part more or entirely as opposed to others doesn't make it not an RPG. Now if you lack certain amounts (I would hardly consider DMC and RPG) then it is something else entirely, basically if I can get to the end of the game and have everything in one play through, it isn't an RPG.

I think that we could probably just remove the term "RPG" because it doesn't mean anything, instead we can redefine the games that were within that list based upon the actions of the characters within them (i.e. the main combat system). Merely being a game in which customizable stats are included does not make a game an RPG anymore, because too many games now have kinds of stats.

1. Row Game: Absolutely no control of movement in combat - which generally exists outside of the outer exploration system and world like its another dimension or something. The placement of the characters is completely or almost completely meaningless to the actions of the games. You could be placed in rows, or something else equally arbitrary. Combat is turn-based or semiturn-based. (Ex. every main Final Fantasy game except for the MMOs and XII, about a billion others).

2. Action-Adventure: Complete free-roaming combat with direct control of the playable characters. Usually no difference between out-of-combat gameplay and in-combat gameplay. (Ex. Zelda, Kingdom Hearts, God of War, FFXII)

3. Turn-Based Tactics/Strategy: Combat exists on a field with turn-based tactical control of all or most playable characters. Real gameplay beyond menus and cutscenes is limited only to the battlefield itself. (Ex. Final Fantasy Tactics, Disgaea, Fire Emblem)

4. "True" RPG: A game where the main point is literally to play a "role". You ARE the character, and the end-results of the storyline is entirely your choice. It isn't just a combat game with a storyline tacked-on, the game IS the storyline. Of course, as far as I know, no such game exists, so this category is pointless.

I haven't played that many other games that people call "RPGs", so honestly I can't think of anything that would be outside these categories. Any further suggestions?

BlueHighwind:
I think that we could probably just remove the term "RPG" because it doesn't mean anything, instead we can redefine the games that were within that list based upon the actions of the characters within them (i.e. the main combat system). Merely being a game in which customizable stats are included does not make a game an RPG anymore, because too many games now have kinds of stats.

1. Row Game: Absolutely no control of movement in combat - which generally exists outside of the main combat system like its another dimension or something. The placement of the characters is completely or almost completely meaningless to the actions of the games. You could be placed in rows, or something else equally arbitrary. Combat is turn-based or semiturn-based. (Ex. every main Final Fantasy game except for the MMOs and XII, about a billion others).

2. Action-Adventure: Complete free-roaming combat with direct control of the playable characters. Usually no difference between out-of-combat gameplay and in-combat gameplay. (Ex. Zelda, Kingdom Hearts, God of War, FFXII)

3. Turn-Based Tactics/Strategy: Combat exists on a field with turn-based tactical control of all or most playable characters. Real gameplay beyond menus and cutscenes is limited only to the battlefield itself. (Ex. Final Fantasy Tactics, Disgaea, Fire Emblem)

I haven't played that many other games that people call "RPGs", so honestly I can't think of anything that would be outside these three categories. Any further suggestions?

TTS (Tabletop Sim): Fairly open world with the ability to do what one wants, but with an overarching story and all that means: Beginning, Middle, and End still have to happen, but anything in between those points is up to you.

Personally, when I hear 'RPG', I think of Fable and Dragon Age. I think 'RPG' should be limited to that typical western levelling up/customising gear/fantasy world sort of game.

Maurice sounds good.

SuperChurl:
Cool. But then couldn't all games with storylines be considered RPGs?

Not really, besides my idea is that an RPG is an RPG if it allows you to choose how you want to finish the story. Conquer the Galaxy or save it, like in Knights of the Old Republic.

BlueHighwind:

4. "True" RPG: A game where the main point is literally to play a "role". You ARE the character, and the end-results of the storyline is entirely your choice. It isn't just a combat game with a storyline tacked-on, the game IS the storyline. Of course, as far as I know, no such game exists, so this category is pointless.

I'd suggest you try playing some of the great '90s-era PC RPGs, but for modern day examples of this, I'd suggest The Witcher (every quest you complete and everything you do has a consequence, some smaller than others, also a pretty cool battle gimmick) and the pretty decent GeneForge series. I don't know of any good console RPGs, as I try to stick to PC gaming (easier for me to get a monitor than a TV) and particularly roleplaying on a PC, where it's a little "bigger" of a thing.

Anything I missed? Misrepresented? Feel free to back me up/tear me down.

whats the big deal? why are people getting so worked up about it? does it matter what genre a game fits into? if you have fun playing it i dont care if its empire: total war or chuffing sims 2

if you ask me, an rpg is any game that involves building a distinct character the way you want the character to work (i.e. choice), and you people seem to have trouble with the term 'hybrid', bioshock is an fps rpg hybrid, why take it further than that? it might not do rpg as well as baldurs gate but who cares? its fun thats all that matters...

to the guy who said diablo was not an rpg...stfu...

just because you cant customize every part of your god damn face doesnt mean you cant get immersed in a character...

I think the running theme that distinguishes RPGs from other gaming genres--whether table top or computer--is the ability to empower your character with abilities and gear as you like, such that different players can develop their character in different ways and still overcome the challenges the game delivers. Poor development of your character leads to a long and painful game, whereas wise development leads to easy pwnage, massive destruction, and pure domination over your fantasy realm.

Story telling and strategy aren't really specific to RPGs. It is important to strategize your abilities and gear in an RPG, but all games will hopefully have strategy and story telling to some degree.

If there is no sigificant material choice in how you develop and outfit your character, like FFXIII, I think it is fair to call into question whether it is actually an RPG. No doubt there is a lot of story there, silly as it may be.

Freedom to explore and tackle the gaming world when and how you see fit is another important element, without which the RPG distinction comes into question. As high costs of cutscenes and voice acting herd players down more narrow and focused pathways, this becomes a worsening problem for RPGs in particular.

Interactivity with the NPCs, I can see that as a common theme of the genre, but not essential. Without a human dungeon master or game master, having to rely on computer algorithms gets a little wierd. It's nice when it's done well, adding flavor to the game world, but not an essential pillar to the gameplay.

BlueHighwind:

4. "True" RPG: A game where the main point is literally to play a "role". You ARE the character, and the end-results of the storyline is entirely your choice. It isn't just a combat game with a storyline tacked-on, the game IS the storyline. Of course, as far as I know, no such game exists, so this category is pointless.

They will exist as soon as we invent a robot dungeon masters. From what I've seen, 4th edition is attempting to make this easier.

I agree with the author, but trying to express complex ideas in short phrases is usually doomed to failure. Just keep the term RPG with all it's haphazard association and slap anybody who complains about jrpgs.

008Zulu:
Not really, besides my idea is that an RPG is an RPG if it allows you to choose how you want to finish the story. Conquer the Galaxy or save it, like in Knights of the Old Republic.

Ah, I'm sorry. I thought you were suggesting that Diablo could be considered a full-on RGP if we imagined it had a backstory with player decisions involved.

But yeah; I'd agree with you that choice is an important aspect of the genre.

Last quick thought: There is a contradiction between a game telling a story and a game letting you freely interact with the gaming world.

TitsMcGee1804:
whats the big deal? why are people getting so worked up about it? does it matter what genre a game fits into? if you have fun playing it i dont care if its empire: total war or chuffing sims 2

We're gamers, ofcourse it matters :). Besides, i don't like buying games promising to be something that in my opinion they're not. I think it would be great if we could have better labling on games. FPS games are FPS games. RPGs are Bioware games, or Square Enix games, or....

TetsuoKaneda:

BlueHighwind:

4. "True" RPG: A game where the main point is literally to play a "role". You ARE the character, and the end-results of the storyline is entirely your choice. It isn't just a combat game with a storyline tacked-on, the game IS the storyline. Of course, as far as I know, no such game exists, so this category is pointless.

I'd suggest you try playing some of the great '90s-era PC RPGs, but for modern day examples of this, I'd suggest The Witcher (every quest you complete and everything you do has a consequence, some smaller than others, also a pretty cool battle gimmick) and the pretty decent GeneForge series. I don't know of any good console RPGs, as I try to stick to PC gaming (easier for me to get a monitor than a TV) and particularly roleplaying on a PC, where it's a little "bigger" of a thing.

Anything I missed? Misrepresented? Feel free to back me up/tear me down.

Of course, I'd rather never play another video game again than deal with the manmade Hell of PC gaming.

BlueHighwind:

Of course, I'd rather never play another video game again than deal with the manmade Hell of PC gaming.

This site has a very high number of PC fanboys. I suggest equipping your Flame Resistant Shield +1.

What makes an RPG- choice. And NO, I do not mean if your choice affects the story, though that counts, too. I mean if you can decide how your character evolves throughout the course of the game (whether by skill points, new weapons and armor, making story-based decisions) then it is an RPG.

To this regard, EVERY game like Diablo, every Final fantasy (though I haven't played 13, so I dunno about that one), every game made by Blizzard, BioWare, Black Isle, Obsidian, etc, etc. They can ALL be called RPGs.

There. I think that's as good a definition as we're going to get. Disagree if you want, but that will forever be MY definition of an RPG.

EDIT- I just realised that also makes games like Devil May Cry RPGs. I accept that. In a way, they kinda are. You "level up" by getting orbs throughout the game, your constantly changing weapons, and your deciding what skills you level up with your orbs. I'm still satisfied with my definition of an RPG.

TitsMcGee1804:
to the guy who said diablo was not an rpg...stfu...

just because you cant customize every part of your god damn face doesnt mean you cant get immersed in a character...

Better read the post again, there, sonny Jim. That wasn't even a point that was brought up.

BlueHighwind:

TetsuoKaneda:

BlueHighwind:

4. "True" RPG: A game where the main point is literally to play a "role". You ARE the character, and the end-results of the storyline is entirely your choice. It isn't just a combat game with a storyline tacked-on, the game IS the storyline. Of course, as far as I know, no such game exists, so this category is pointless.

I'd suggest you try playing some of the great '90s-era PC RPGs, but for modern day examples of this, I'd suggest The Witcher (every quest you complete and everything you do has a consequence, some smaller than others, also a pretty cool battle gimmick) and the pretty decent GeneForge series. I don't know of any good console RPGs, as I try to stick to PC gaming (easier for me to get a monitor than a TV) and particularly roleplaying on a PC, where it's a little "bigger" of a thing.

Anything I missed? Misrepresented? Feel free to back me up/tear me down.

Of course, I'd rather never play another video game again than deal with the manmade Hell of PC gaming.

Well, you know the old quote. Better to reign and luxuriate in Hell (even a man-made one) than suffer and serve in heaven, lol.

Now I'm a little curious...why do you say man-made Hell? DRM? Sysreqs? Just can't be arsed, also you have a TV readily available to you? All three?

TetsuoKaneda:

TitsMcGee1804:
to the guy who said diablo was not an rpg...stfu...

just because you cant customize every part of your god damn face doesnt mean you cant get immersed in a character...

Better read the post again, there, sonny Jim. That wasn't even a point that was brought up.

BlueHighwind:

TetsuoKaneda:

BlueHighwind:

4. "True" RPG: A game where the main point is literally to play a "role". You ARE the character, and the end-results of the storyline is entirely your choice. It isn't just a combat game with a storyline tacked-on, the game IS the storyline. Of course, as far as I know, no such game exists, so this category is pointless.

I'd suggest you try playing some of the great '90s-era PC RPGs, but for modern day examples of this, I'd suggest The Witcher (every quest you complete and everything you do has a consequence, some smaller than others, also a pretty cool battle gimmick) and the pretty decent GeneForge series. I don't know of any good console RPGs, as I try to stick to PC gaming (easier for me to get a monitor than a TV) and particularly roleplaying on a PC, where it's a little "bigger" of a thing.

Anything I missed? Misrepresented? Feel free to back me up/tear me down.

Of course, I'd rather never play another video game again than deal with the manmade Hell of PC gaming.

Well, you know the old quote. Better to reign and luxuriate in Hell (even a man-made one) than suffer and serve in heaven, lol.

Now I'm a little curious...why do you say man-made Hell? DRM? Sysreqs? Just can't be arsed, also you have a TV readily available to you? All three?

Mostly the fact that I don't like the endless digital protection codes you have to go through in order to play the game. When I buy a game, I should OWN the game, not have to find some kind of one-use-only code to get through and install it. Plus, I really can't be bothered to put in all the effort that is required to play a game on the PC. I could get Civilization 5, and download half-a-billion things... or I could get Super Mario Galaxy, which takes five minutes from the moment I put it into my Wii until I'm jumping on Gombas.

Plus, there are no PC games that are anything near the type of games I play. I like bright, colorful games without buckets of blood or moral ambiguity (though GTA is a guilty pleasure).

BlueHighwind:

TetsuoKaneda:

TitsMcGee1804:
to the guy who said diablo was not an rpg...stfu...

just because you cant customize every part of your god damn face doesnt mean you cant get immersed in a character...

Better read the post again, there, sonny Jim. That wasn't even a point that was brought up.

BlueHighwind:

TetsuoKaneda:

BlueHighwind:

4. "True" RPG: A game where the main point is literally to play a "role". You ARE the character, and the end-results of the storyline is entirely your choice. It isn't just a combat game with a storyline tacked-on, the game IS the storyline. Of course, as far as I know, no such game exists, so this category is pointless.

I'd suggest you try playing some of the great '90s-era PC RPGs, but for modern day examples of this, I'd suggest The Witcher (every quest you complete and everything you do has a consequence, some smaller than others, also a pretty cool battle gimmick) and the pretty decent GeneForge series. I don't know of any good console RPGs, as I try to stick to PC gaming (easier for me to get a monitor than a TV) and particularly roleplaying on a PC, where it's a little "bigger" of a thing.

Anything I missed? Misrepresented? Feel free to back me up/tear me down.

Of course, I'd rather never play another video game again than deal with the manmade Hell of PC gaming.

Well, you know the old quote. Better to reign and luxuriate in Hell (even a man-made one) than suffer and serve in heaven, lol.

Now I'm a little curious...why do you say man-made Hell? DRM? Sysreqs? Just can't be arsed, also you have a TV readily available to you? All three?

Mostly the fact that I don't like the endless digital protection codes you have to go through in order to play the game. When I buy a game, I should OWN the game, not have to find some kind of one-use-only code to get through and install it. Plus, I really can't be bothered to put in all the effort that is required to play a game on the PC. I could get Civilization 5, and download half-a-billion things... or I could get Super Mario Galaxy, which takes five minutes from the moment I put it into my Wii until I'm jumping on Gombas.

Plus, there are no PC games that are anything near the type of games I play. I like bright, colorful games without buckets of blood or moral ambiguity (though GTA is a guilty pleasure).

I think you're playing in to a few too many horror stories there...think of it more as an ongoing siege: Some games have ridiculously bad DRM, others have only a CD check and then you own it for good. Gained ground and lost ground. I can understand being cowed by the thought of having to google-search each game you want to buy, though. I just can't stand getting motion-sick when I play FPSes (it happens a lot on consoles to me), and I like using a mouse to play strategy games and Sims. To each their own, though. I like PC, you like consoles, and here we are, two rational people having a conversation. Nothing wrong with any of this.

Tell me, have you ever played Elder Scrolls III or IV? It's a little tightly-railed, but that's more the direction I'm driving towards with my "true" RPG argument: Big open world, lots of choice (even if NONE of it has consequences), and eventually you have to complete the main story, but it's only ever "eventually".

Still not as great as the classics, but closer, and it's on consoles.

Doesn't really bug me. Even "RPGs" that are fundamentally different still have a certain "stats" based combat going on, even if the details vary. I think that's the main hallmark of an RPG.

Also, this is going into my "Awesome Quotes of Gratuitous Awesomeness" open office file:

"The English language is open source, but submitting your changes is problematic."

I for one am fine with calling anything that falls into any of those categories RPGs, as long as there is some semblance of character development (levels, ability points that improve from use or experience, etc), and a storytelling component. Giving a game slight perks, or access to different weapons doesn't make it an RPG. It has to be a development of the character from the beginning as a 90lb weakling until the end when they become the Hulkamania. Modern Warfare 2 is NOT an RPG. Bioshock, honestly, is just on the edge. Mass Effect IS an RPG.

Now, you can apply additional labels if you want, but what defines an RPG, to me (and that's the crux of the problem, but I digress), is incremental character improvement. It's the one thread that ties them all together. Without that, you're just playing an action game, a shooter, a puzzle game.

Grey_Focks:

BlueHighwind:

Of course, I'd rather never play another video game again than deal with the manmade Hell of PC gaming.

This site has a very high number of PC fanboys. I suggest equipping your Flame Resistant Shield +1.

What makes an RPG- choice. And NO, I do not mean if your choice affects the story, though that counts, too. I mean if you can decide how your character evolves throughout the course of the game (whether by skill points, new weapons and armor, making story-based decisions) then it is an RPG.

To this regard, EVERY game like Diablo, every Final fantasy (though I haven't played 13, so I dunno about that one), every game made by Blizzard, BioWare, Black Isle, Obsidian, etc, etc. They can ALL be called RPGs.

There. I think that's as good a definition as we're going to get. Disagree if you want, but that will forever be MY definition of an RPG.

EDIT- I just realised that also makes games like Devil May Cry RPGs. I accept that. In a way, they kinda are. You "level up" by getting orbs throughout the game, your constantly changing weapons, and your deciding what skills you level up with your orbs. I'm still satisfied with my definition of an RPG.

FINALLY SOMEONE GETS IT! RPGS =/= choice effecting story games...

Korten12:

Grey_Focks:

BlueHighwind:

Of course, I'd rather never play another video game again than deal with the manmade Hell of PC gaming.

This site has a very high number of PC fanboys. I suggest equipping your Flame Resistant Shield +1.

What makes an RPG- choice. And NO, I do not mean if your choice affects the story, though that counts, too. I mean if you can decide how your character evolves throughout the course of the game (whether by skill points, new weapons and armor, making story-based decisions) then it is an RPG.

To this regard, EVERY game like Diablo, every Final fantasy (though I haven't played 13, so I dunno about that one), every game made by Blizzard, BioWare, Black Isle, Obsidian, etc, etc. They can ALL be called RPGs.

There. I think that's as good a definition as we're going to get. Disagree if you want, but that will forever be MY definition of an RPG.

EDIT- I just realised that also makes games like Devil May Cry RPGs. I accept that. In a way, they kinda are. You "level up" by getting orbs throughout the game, your constantly changing weapons, and your deciding what skills you level up with your orbs. I'm still satisfied with my definition of an RPG.

FINALLY SOMEONE GETS IT! RPGS =/= choice effecting story games...

Someone quoting one of my posts...to agree with me?! This hasn't happened in ages. I...I'm so happy.

But yea, people saying only games where you have control over the story are the only "real" RPGs need to widen their perspective. Final fantasy (#) is just as much of an RPG as Mass Effect.

And just to give a bit of perspective, I actually detest most JRPGs, especially the FF series. Doesn't mean I'm going to say something dumb like "they aren't REAL RPGs!"

Who cares what they're called just so long as they're good.

Grey_Focks:

BlueHighwind:

Of course, I'd rather never play another video game again than deal with the manmade Hell of PC gaming.

This site has a very high number of PC fanboys. I suggest equipping your Flame Resistant Shield +1.

Hey, we're outside of a ZP comments section. Stranger things have happened than PC gamers not flaming someone.

Korten12:

FINALLY SOMEONE GETS IT! RPGS =/= choice effecting story games...

Not quite. Rather they do equal that, but are not exclusively that. It's more like "RPGs ~=", or "RPGs =_" (stupid math equations and post format not allowing me to use them properly...)

Personally, I take issue with the definition to begin with, if only because that means damn near every game coming out is an RPG. Just because they allow you to upgrade and change your weapons does not an RPG make. Or just because they have loads of items and skills, but you're pretty much a blank aside from that. I kind of feel like to distinguish "RPG" from "RPG elements", there needs to be more of an investment to something in there...story, characters...something. Some je ne sais quois.

I think FF is an RPG, but Diablo is where I get lost. Maybe the difference is that I played something that seemed to hard-line me into solving all my problems with smacking things around and not allowing me much freedom to do what I wished. Oh, and that my Amazon (again, not really an evolution of character so much as a fenced path) found tons of Paladin equipment, so I really didn't get to advance that.

My standards are tighter than a nun during a discussion on when to hold a black mass, but my issue and argument are my opinion based on my experiences as a roleplaying gamer. I would hope I'd have dissenters, as otherwise it gets boring and freaky that there are people so much like me.

I would say all it means to be a role playing game these days is to have character advancement. If a character can gain levels, skills, etc. then it can be called an RPG. If the only improvement the character ever gets is better items (e.g. new weapons or power-ups) then it cannot be called a RPG. Final Fantasy and Deus Ex both fall into the RPG category because they both follow this rule. Thief and Half-Life are not RPG's because your only improvement is the stuff you find. The character you start the game with is identical to the character you end the game with (only his stuff changes). In a RPG the character himself is fundamentally improved even if you took his stuff away.

The restrictive nature that gaming has taken on is the reason I play D&D with the rule of awesome in effect. I always think of odd but fun ways to solve a problem but in a video game you can't do whatever you want. It's usually 3 options for example: You need to get into the dungeon to free a prisoner you can
1. Fight your way in
2. Negotiate/bribe the guards
3. Sneak in another way

In D&D you can combine abilities people have to blow a hole in the ceiling causing it to collapse and crush a guard while someone else sneaks in a back door smuggling out the prisoner while someone else robs the armory of anything useful.

Maybe games could qualify as "true" RPGs if they achieve a level of immersion that satisfies some minimum requirement: the ability to make you feel like you're the protagonist, and that you are sufficiently fooled through suspension of belief that you have choice in how you conduct yourself or resolve the story at hand (such that even if you don't have a lot of choices, the game nonetheless makes you think you do, or at least feel that the path(s) available to you are the most sensible).

I feel this would qualify games like Mass Effect, most of the Final Fantasy series, Fallout series and others as RPGs. Games that failed this test would include Diablo (where your only possible solution is extermination of the enemy) and its like, and possibly even Borderlands (which does grant you freedom of action but fails at story immersion since your protagonist remains about as developed as your average FPS "man behind the gun"...or woman if you're playing Lilith). I'm kind of torn on Borderlands, though. I do feel it meets the requirements of immersion and freedom of action for the most part....it just does little to convey sense of purpose (yeah, outside of finding the vault) to your character.

I do not think an RPG should be defined by leveling/advancement/loot acquisition. These are all features that can be in an RPG, yes, but they are not required. You can have any or all of these features in games that have no role-based immersion-driven processes.

Okay, just my definition to add to the pile of pennies.

Maurice sounds like a pretty good game. I don't really care how the games are classified as long as they're fun.

As far as names go, MMOG should be replaces with MMEG, and stand for Massively Multiplayer Endless Grindfests.

That should at least give an early warning to unsuspecting players (and draw in the stat-crunching, loot hoarding addicts).

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