It is time for the term RPG to go...

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by StickyGreenGamer, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. StickyGreenGamer

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    It is time for the term RPG to go. For those unaware (though I don't know how) RPG stands for role playing game. Pretty self explanatory, right? You are given a role to play for the duration of a game. Simple enough. I'd like to explain where the term originated from, but that seems to be in some distant and hidden dusty tome that I don't currently have access to.

    Perhaps the most well known game when referring to an RPG is Dungeons and Dragons. Odds are that you have played it, know someone who has played, or have at least heard somebody mention it in passing. If not, here is some prerequisite reading.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dungeons_and_Dragons

    RPG is a term meant for an immerse experience, one where players have a high amount of control as far as content and actions. The role you are playing is mostly unscripted, and as such you may feel a higher amount of connection towards the character, by extension, yourself. This is fine, what the term was meant for and its proper format. Where is my beef you ask?

    With the term being used in video games. While it served its tour of duty commendably in throughout the early years, it has lately fallen into a bit of haze. Nowadays, what really defines a game as an RPG?

    Is it the narration and expansive stories? No, both of those are easily found in other titles, from many different genres.

    Is it the leveling system, character advancement and specializations? Once again, no. Leveling systems are found in many games nowadays, regardless of genre, as is advancement and specializations. Everything from fighting games, strategy games, and racing games now have these features.

    Is it an open world, being impacted by choices you make? While a tad closer than most other options, even this one has begun to wane in the past years. Open worlds are becoming par for the course, and if your actions are not being taken into account by the host world you start to lose the sense of connection.

    Or is it ultimately a combination of these and other options that make a RPG? Once again, I decline to say that makes the case. Take for example any of the Grand Theft Auto or Assassin's Creed titles released over the past decade. Huge open worlds often with far reaching expansive stories. They offer varying degrees of customization and freedom. Nobody will call these games an RPG though, even if they do have several of the features.

    What about games that have received critical acclaim as RPGs? Mass Effect and Dragon Age. Both brilliant games, aiming near the RPG crown. They offer open worlds, they offer narration and expansive stories, they offer customization and freedom of choices. Your actions have direct impact on the worlds you play in. Yet still, you aren't quite free. You are drummed along, ultimately to a conclusion, and while you may be able to go back into the world after, you can no longer have the same impact on it you once did.

    And that is it. Once you are at that point you realize that it wasn't quite an RPG, as much as it was a good action or adventure story. The features may be there, but the soul isn't. You can punch it in its gut, it will react, but it will always react the same, and it will never give you back more than you put in. It is no tabletop.

    On the tabletop, choices are unlimited. It doesn't end till somebodies' mom calls them home. And that, simply, is not an option that can be given in a video game. The term RPG is far too broad to be allotted onto any game, and in my opinion, no longer has a place as a genre. The features can all stay, but the title must go.
     
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  2. tinymhg

    tinymhg Rookie

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    tl;dr :p

    An RPG is you playing the role of a person in a game, tabletop or video game, yet isn’t that a what most video games are? Look at Mario in Super Mario Brothers 3 you are in essence playing the role of Mario, you are controlling his movements and making the choices as to where to go, what to do, and what to avoid, in a way it is a role playing game. I have always thought that RPG was not a very good description of what these game are, being to broad in scope, and yet I could never think of a better term that would be accepted by anyone. So I say RPG will stay whether or not you like it.
     
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  3. Longo_2_guns

    Longo_2_guns Forum Moderator
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    I really don't want to write out a long, detailed essay as to why you're wrong, but you are.

    And really, a big part of it comes down to the stats portion of it. Sure this exists in most every game, but in RPG's you see it all. And while there's RPG elements in a lot of games, they're just that. Elements. There's platformer elements in a lot of games too.
     
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  4. StickyGreenGamer

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    So instead you are just going to say I'm wrong and expect me to take your word at it? Get outta here...

    I fail to see the difference in fine tuning your characters stats and equipment from the tuning of a car and changing equipment on a racing game. I'm not saying the current generation of "RPG" is wrong, that it shouldn't exist. I'm saying the true definition is undeliverable on consoles, perhaps a bit more realistic on a PC, and as such, they need a new term.

    The broad term needs to go.
     
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  5. De-Ting

    De-Ting Rookie

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    Rocket Propelled Grenade

    Noobs...
     
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  6. Wes

    Wes Rookie

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    An RPG is a game where a character builds experience points and levels up so he can increase his stats and continue on to harder enemies. The idea of "role-playing" is that you are building your character as you wish, such as choosing to increase attack/agility/defense/magic, etc

    THE MORE YOU KNOW

    Super Mario is not an RPG... unless it's Super Mario RPG! It is the only one just for me! When I play the game I get lost... sorry... what was I saying? Oh yeah Super Mario Bros is not an RPG because you are not levelling up a character in order to fight harder foes.

    There are many different types of RPG's. From hack and slash to turn based to whatever crazy battle system FF is thinking up next. But if the game requires you to level up then it is an RPG.
     
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  7. Longo_2_guns

    Longo_2_guns Forum Moderator
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    More or less, yeah. And before you say "Well there's leveling up and experience in modern shooters" and all of that, the two are not the same.

    Leveling up in an RPG increases the character's abilities. How hard they hit, how well they converse, etc. A level 10 character will always be more powerful than a level 1 character. Leveling up in most shooters is different. Someone who just started playing and is still level 1 can easily be as good as someone who's the max level. The levels are a byproduct and an indicator of power and skill rather than power and skill itself, as it would be in an RPG.
     
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  8. tinymhg

    tinymhg Rookie

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    Wes I never said Super Mario Brothers 3 was an RPG, I said:
    I meant that you are playing the role of Mario in this game. And my point was that the term RPG (Role Playing Game) is too broad and could include games that are not RPG’s. I’m not arguing the definition of RPG as it is generally accepted, but I think the term RPG (Role Playing Game) is not specific enough to properly describe the games we call RPG’s.

    I still say that the term RPG will remain in use whether or not Sticky likes it or not.
     
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  9. LinksOcarina

    LinksOcarina Rookie

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    Except actual games where you Role Play in a specific role. Like in the early Final Fantasies, dragon Quests, and Ultima games.

    There is a lot of discussion I can go into on this entire topic...but for now...and RPG as a term is fine, as long as you avoid JRPG, Western-RPG, and Console RPG as terms for it...
     
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  10. cyberjim2000

    cyberjim2000 Veteran

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    ^What about cRPG and SRPG?

    I see where you're coming from, SGG. I know a couple of people who loves the pen and paper form of D&D and won't consider the computer and console RPGs as true RPGs. But I don't know, maybe in a decade or so RPGs will go the way of "Adventure" games.
     
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  11. StickyGreenGamer

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    I won't disagree with you on the shooters. I had that thought myself before even posting and disqualified it.

    To quote Tiny for effect though
    My point, however far it got lost in the jumble, is essentially in line with the above statement. The term is far too broad. At times it is meeting the term perfectly, at others it is failing it entirely.

    There is just entirely too many aspects for a game to meet the broad qualification that makes a game an actual RPG.

    Personally, I think the entire genre system needs to be overhauled. But it won't happen. This is, after all, just an opinion, not a call to action.
     
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  12. Lien

    Lien Rookie

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    I still rest my case and i'll say it again: the best role play games i ever played was cop and robbers. Damn i was so into that game at the times. With my wooden stick going pew pew pew at my bros!

    ...oh wait... you meant VIDEO GAME rpg. Yeah these sucks.
    unless you play like this author's children in number 3 of this crack.com article
     
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  13. WickedLiquid

    WickedLiquid Regular

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    Anyone else find it ironic how much we're talking about RPG's now that the RPG forum is gone?
     
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  14. used44

    used44 Forum Moderator
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    It's like rain on your wedding day
     
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  15. MattAY

    MattAY Forum Moderator
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    I love RPGs, thus we keep the term RPG you gussets! Unless we do the whole WRPG-JRPG thing.

    I only care about JRPGs.
     
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  16. tinymhg

    tinymhg Rookie

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    Skyrim? :?
     
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  17. MattAY

    MattAY Forum Moderator
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    .....Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaay JRPGs and Skyrim.....and Oblivion...and Fallout.

    But that's IT! .....<'.<.....>.'>....
     
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  18. Longo_2_guns

    Longo_2_guns Forum Moderator
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    So you don't like good RPG's then.

    BA DUM TISH!
     
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  19. WickedLiquid

    WickedLiquid Regular

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    I have a dream where all RPG's are created equal.
     
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  20. NickKmet

    NickKmet Regular

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    MattAY: The GR Forums' resident Japanophile, who also happens to have a secret, embarrassing fetish for Bethesda games.
     
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