Thursday, April 7th, 2011
Roleplaying is probably my favourite genre of gaming. Classically, the RPG has been based around “save the world” stories, sword-and-sorcery themes, and variations on turn-based combat. In addition, there have also been action-RPGs (where combat is in realtime), strategy-RPGs (where combat is a glorified game of chess), and dating sims (wherein combat is usually absent).
As time marches on, the RPG has become more and more poorly defined by its makeup. Developers have grown the genre out to such extremities that it’s really hard to pin down just what qualifies as an RPG. Many fans would argue that Zelda is an RPG series, while others peg it as an Adventure game. This kind of classic debate has brought up a lot of suggestions as to an RPG’s major foundations. Experience points, level building, focus on characterization, focus on plot, having numeric statistics, and so on. But in all of the arguments I’ve either made or seen made in the past, there’s always one major logical flaw that bothers me: The idea that RPGs have unique foundations.