Japanese RPGs aren't RPGs

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by cenotaph, Nov 8, 2007.

Nov 8, 2007

Japanese RPGs aren't RPGs by cenotaph at 6:57 PM (2,102 Views / 0 Likes) 22 replies

  1. cenotaph
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    Member cenotaph GBAtemp Fan

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    I'm of the opinion that japanese RPGs shouldn't be called RPGs as they lack the most basic fundamental property of a role-playing game - the ability to role-play. Your character is essentially static, save for combat stats and equipment, but there's no way for you to influence the character development and/or interaction with the world you've been placed in.

    Agree? Disagree? Post your thoughts.
     


  2. Ace Gunman

    Former Staff Ace Gunman ~••Lucky҉Shot••~

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    I agree and disagree on multiple fronts. I agree from the perspective that "RPG video games" aren't RPGs in the original sense of the term. As in the Dungeons & Dragons be anything you want to be sense. But I disagree as I consider that that meaning no longer holds weight, and that the term "RPG" has come to mean something different since the advent of console RPGs. Also, from a third perspective all games are "role playing games" in the strictest sense of the words, as when you're playing as a character, you're always "playing a role".

    In conclusion: 1) Console RPGs aren't RPGs in the old school sense of the term. 2) The term RPG has been given new meaning since the days of NES. 3) The term "Role playing game" technically applies to all video games if we were to get into semantics.
     
  3. xcalibur

    Member xcalibur Gbatemp's Chocolate Bear

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    dude, your playing a role... in a game....
    you get to discover a story as you play that role


    thats enough of a roleplayer for me

    what is a roleplayer then?

    you make your own character and world and then youdo what you want?

    thats not a roleplayer since your playing something you defined for yourself
     
  4. cenotaph
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    Member cenotaph GBAtemp Fan

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    But when the character is scripted, isn't the game technically playing the role of the character rather than me? Consider a game that places you in a hostage situation where you're the one who determines the outcome somehow. A JRPG (or whatever) would most likely not let me choose how to handle the situation but force me to take certain actions, thereby playing the role of my character as the good-willed hero or whatever; whereas an RPG per my definition would allow me to play the role and choose what action to take.
     
  5. Ace Gunman

    Former Staff Ace Gunman ~••Lucky҉Shot••~

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    Hmm not really, for it's not the game that's playing itself. It's you playing the game, and thus the role. In that sense it's similar to when an actor goes on stage and plays a character. While the character is often-times pre-set, it is you controlling this character, rather than the other way around. No matter how linear a game might be, unless it physically plays itself (which would be a game, but rather a movie), you are the one in control of the "role".
     
  6. Elrinth

    Member Elrinth :Master beyond your imagination:

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    it's the same with pen and paper.. one dude, the dungeon master, makes the adventures and decide what u can do and what u can't.
    same as in games.. the developers made the adventures and throw in loads of random elements and they decide what u can do and what u can't. what's the problem, seriously?
    even so, why point out japanese? that's too much generalizing.

    you are the one who decides where to move the character and what you do in the game.. however the game has certain rules and you'll have to go by those.
     
  7. cenotaph
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    Member cenotaph GBAtemp Fan

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    Yes, there are rules in a table-top RPG, but I doubt you're limited to a single choice your dungeon master picks out for you in any of them.

    Also, I pointed out japanese as the majority of "RPGs" with static characters are developed in Japan and are usually referred to as JRPGs. I had to outline the concept somehow, I hold no racial bias whatsoever.
     
  8. Man18

    Member Man18 GBAtemp Maniac

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    RP means you take the position of a character. In this vague definition almost every game is an RPG. Deciding the characters fate adds another part to the game all together. The small choices you make changes the outcome of the final part in the game. For example, how many enemies you fight, what you spec in, your ending stats ect.

    Few games fit your description and most RPGs are Japanese.
     
  9. cenotaph
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    Member cenotaph GBAtemp Fan

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    I can't quite see what point you were trying to make here. Also, there are plenty of games that fit my definition of an RPG; most Bioware games prior to KOTOR for instance or Black Isle's games from back in the day (Fallout, Fallout 2, Icewind Dale etc.).
     
  10. Hiratai

    Banned Hiratai I'm like *tick* *tick*

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    If you play a character through out the game, it's an RPG.


    Derkity doo?
     
  11. Zaago

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    Have you ever play a Final Fantasy game with jobs (i.e. FF3 or FF5)?. Just ther are more rules in some games than in others, like in a table game the dungeon master decide how many rules he is going to put in the game.
     
  12. Osaka

    Member Osaka GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    No one ever said that when you are playing a role playing game that you have to be playing you as the role. you are playing the role as any character that you are controlling. (and since when in D&D did people play as them selves? people almost always make up characters when they play that.)
     
  13. cenotaph
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    Member cenotaph GBAtemp Fan

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  14. Zarcon

    Former Staff Zarcon .:~Enigmatic Wanderer~:.

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    To be fair, even those games aren't RPGs according to your definition. You can't decide NOT to go on the adventure for example. Eventually you're going to reach a predefined goal and beat the game.

    The CLOSEST thing to a true RPG is MMORPGs. You create a character and do whatever you want. Some do this better than others of course, allowing you to either go fight, quest, and beat dungeons, or literally do nothing else but farm (Like, farmland) or make goods and level up that way.

    But on to your initial point, a role-playing game is as such, as Ace Gunman said, you play a role. Whether this is a role you make or a pre-designed role does not change the fact that you are playing A role.

    Let's use FF7 as an example, if you decided to just sit Cloud at an inn and never leave, you're not playing his role anymore since it isn't in his character to do so.
    The same applies to custom made characters. If you designed a character who is fearless and laughs in the face of danger and then decide to run from a fight, you have failed to play his/her role.

    In this case, yes, every game could be considered an RPG. Alas, the video game definition is different. RPG simply means that there are levels and stats and such in the video game world. If you think this is silly, then consider that most games could also be classified as action games or puzzle games and so on.

    Anyway, that's my rant, and my opinion, feel free to think whatever of it.
     
  15. cenotaph
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    True, you cannot act freely, but that wasn't in my definition, now was it? Being able to role-play doesn't necessarily mean being able to do just about anything, but rather having the ability to affect the progression and outcome of the game. All RPGs, JRPGs or otherwise, will have certain predetermined plot points you will eventually reach, yes - but there are different ways of executing them. The game can still allow you to role-play if you can, by the choices you make, can spin them and affect the outcome, whereas something like FF7 won't allow you to do anything but progress along a linear, predetermined path.
     
  16. Zarcon

    Former Staff Zarcon .:~Enigmatic Wanderer~:.

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    Even then, the closest games without being MMORPGs don't allow you to properly role-play. They give you a set of options that most, but not all, people will be able to find a choice they agree with. Still, even those choices often make no real difference in the long run.

    I have yet to see a game properly allow a character's action to make a meaningful difference in the game. Sure, you can do a huge side quest that makes a certain group like you and/or another group hate you or something of the sort, but it doesn't radically change what you'll eventually do. Often, these games will have 2 or 3 endings at most and if they have more they're often just slight alterations.

    And about the FF7 linear thing, it's not entirely linear. Only so much as most others anyway, there are sidequests you can choose to do or ignore. There are other things to do such as breed chocobos. You also don't necessarily have to go where you need to go. You can backtrack if you wish for the most part, you can take detours, and other things. The game isn't linear, the main plot is. It's the same with most RPGs, Western or Japanese in nature, with maybe a fork right before the end.
     
  17. Lacrimosa

    Member Lacrimosa GBAtemp Regular

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    When I hear a video game that falls in the category of "RPG", I always think that I have absolute freedom. The most basic thing is to communicate with the rest NPCs and be able to choose what to say. Anyone remembers Gabriel Knight when you had multiple choices in a conversation?

    At least for me, video game RPG, is all about freedom of your character: I control the flow of the story; not the opposite.
     
  18. matter

    Newcomer matter Newbie

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    Perhaps you're looking for a Japanese dating sim, where you choose what to say.
     
  19. legendofphil

    Member legendofphil Phil no Densetsu

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    This is all based on your perception of what an RPG is, I have always thought of Zelda as being an action RPG but at a basic level most (if not all) games are RPGs you assume a role in that game.
     
  20. Gus122000

    Member Gus122000 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    You're wrong
     

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