What is RPG? [Gaming Definition, Meaning]

An RPG stands for Role Playing Game, a game in which the player can take on various roles and use an array of tools to defeat enemies, solve puzzles, and much more. Role Playing Games can take on many forms, from a the linear yet enthralling JRPG perspective such as the Tales series, to a more robust and free roaming universe such as Xenoblade Chronicles. Whatever your preference, RPGs encourage you to take on many challenging tasks while discovering new elements to help strengthen your character along with your team.

The defining factor of role playing games is that it provides a sense of depth and adventure, constantly guiding you in various directions and throwing surprises at you whenever it can. By average, most RPGs can last up to around 60+ hours, while the more full scale titles can have a long lasting effect going well over 300+ if you’re a completionist. Because of this sheer variety in how you can play these titles, role playing games have certainly played a major role in the evolution of gaming today. Let us take a closer look at what this all means, while dissecting some familiar titles that truly define the genre and breathe life into the industry.

An Immersive Experience

Immersive is certainly one way you can sum up the experience you’ll have when investing into a RPG game, because once you dive into it all you’ll be whisked away into a world unlike no other. When we say immersive we mean a game that completely takes you out of reality and pulls you into a world totally unfamiliar to you. This unfamiliarity is what makes the experience so thrilling because everything is so foreign to you, a lot like packing your bags and moving to a new country to start anew. That euphoria is what you get while running through various areas on the map, as you scour for new items, battle verocious enemies, or randomly run into someone who will help you along the way. All of these come together to create a unified ecosystem where there’s an abundance of life everywhere you go, and each section plays a major role in how you progress through the game.


Final Fantasy XV

One great example of this is Square Enix and their recent blockbuster title Final Fantasy XV, which takes all of what you love about the Final Fantasy series and spreads it out across a rapidly evolving world, with environments that feel and look real everywhere you turn. You star as Noctis, a young man set out to save the kingdom after it had been taken over by an evil regime. Now you along with your band of friends must scour the world for clues to help bring down the enemy, and restore peace to the minds and hearts of the people. What’s thrilling about Final Fantasy XV is that, you’re never really sure what you’ll encounter most of the time, and so emotions are always racing everywhere you go. You feel like a tourist in a new country as you ride around in the Regalia, soaking in everything around you while still trying to focus on the task at hand.

One minute you’re grabbing a bite to eat and snapping photos to share with friends, then you’re suddenly entrenched in battle with mystical creatures coming at you from all different angles. This climatic type of gameplay is what makes Final Fantasy XV such a wild ride because you’re always challenged, but never to the point where things feel overwhelming. The Chocobo races are still a nice way to pass the time, while the ample amount of side missions you can partake in eat away at the time so quickly. For these reasons, Final Fantasy XV isn’t just for FF fans it’s a game made for just about anyone looking to seek adventure, roam around a new world, and take a glimpse of the enormous amount of possibilities that you have at your disposal.

Final Fantasy TGS 2016 Trailer


Open Worlds

Open World games, also known by gaming aficionados as Sandbox titles, give the player an incredible amount of freedom with very little restriction as to where you can travel in the game. Loading times are few and so you can travel anywhere without having to wait for another part of the map to show up. Everything feels extensive and limitless in a way because there are no invisible walls to prevent you from let's say traversing up a mountain side, or running across the grassy green fields and encountering all types of creatures. The developers have given the player the steering wheel in a sense, and allows you to drive wherever you desire and seek out new territory without being held back. One incredible example of this open world experience is none other than Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls: Skyrim title, which literally feels like a world on its own and you’re a part of it each step of the way.


The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

In spite of Bethesda’s title not really conforming to an anime style like we’re used to, Elder Scrolls: Skyrim is the definitive title when it comes to truly describing an open world. RPGs are known to allow the player more versatility than other games, which tend to carry the player along on a linear path towards the end goal. In Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, all of those rules are thrown out the window and give you all the freedom you’ve ever desired in a video game universe. There’s a main plot that you can certainly devote yourself to along with a plethora of sub quests, but the true beauty of Skyrim is that just about anything is possible and can be completed when you want to, and not when the game tells you to.

If you wanted to just spend your time running around collecting goods to take back to the shop for more money, or gather materials to make stronger clothing, Skyrim allows you to do all of that at no cost.Skyrim isn’t a graphic powerhouse when compared to other more well known RPGs, and that’s totally fine because we’re not playing the game for pretty images but rather for the mind blowing experiences we’ll have. We simply can’t detail just how many things you can do in Skyrim because it would certainly take a booklet to go through everything, so we highly recommend that if you haven’t dived into this open world now would be a great time to do so.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Official Trailer


Full of Discovery and Surprises

RPG games always come with a variety of surprises in store for the player, and perhaps one of the greater aspects about immersing yourself in them. These sudden encounters make the journey so enriching because there may be times when you’re looking for something, but then come across something more valuable that you actually need in the moment. Or you’re fending off one enemy and then out of nowhere an entire clan of enemies come rushing your way, and now you’ll need a new course of action to ensure you don’t succumb to a pitiful death. All of these and more that are thrown at you randomly, help to shape the RPG landscape and they help to truly breathe life into the fantasy world.

It’s not just the surprises that tantalize you on your incredible journey, but the discoveries along the way that also evoke more emotion out of you. One great example of all this is Monolith Soft’s Xenoblade Chronicles X, which takes place in this futuristic world where an evil enemy is destined for the planet you’re on and will do whatever it takes to destroy humanity. You must now wander around this vast and breathtaking world in order to scour for items, and build a strong enough team to ensure the world doesn’t suffer from anymore enemy invasions. Let’s go into more detail about Xenoblade Chronicles X and why we feel it truly defines what an RPG should feel and play like.


Xenoblade Chronicles X

Xenoblade Chronicles X came out for the Nintendo Wii U back in April of 2015, and many people were wondering whether it would turn out to be the epic sequel they were expecting. To our surprise it wasn’t necessarily a sequel but rather a new take on things, which introduced us to an entirely new world filled with mystery, depth and adventure. The minute you’re thrown into the game you’re totally immersed in this lifelike universe, with dinosaurs and other creatures living among you naturally in their habitat. You’d often come across jaw dropping landscapes and strange yet intriguing species that you could only find in this game. This whole feeling of being foreign in a massive world is the euphoria that we loved, because every moment felt new and came with a fresh experience along the way.

Once you dived further into the game and more features have been unlocked, the amount of exploration and discovery you can do is almost limitless, especially when you finally get to command your very own mecha. Early on in the game most of your traveling was usually on foot which took quite a while, especially when you needed to head back to homebase to upgrade weapons, etc. Mind you doing so was incredibly worthwhile because it gave you a closer look at just what was out there, and you could come face to face with some very surprising enemies. However it was the mecha that took everything to the next level because you could pretty much go wherever you pleased without any load times, and discover new areas that you otherwise couldn’t if the mecha wasn’t available. You could soar to the skies and search mountains for rare items, while soaking in all of the scenery as you flew over the entire map and saw the many terrains that exist in the game. None of this could’ve been done without the power of the Wii U, and we certainly look forward to the next Xenoblade Chronicles installment for Nintendo’s Switch.

Wii U - Xenoblade Chronicles X E3 2015 Trailer


Final Thoughts

The RPG genre is by far one of our favorites because it takes you on adventures that no other genre could ever accomplish, while still providing an enjoyable experience for hours on end. Whether you’re fighting off enemies in Final Fantasy, rummaging for items in Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, or soaring to new heights in Xenoblade Chronicles X, there’s an enormous amount of options to choose from so you’ll never feel bored at any time. Let us know which RPG title you love the most and why in the comments below, and be sure to follow us on social media by clicking on the links to the right. Share your favorite articles with your peers and be sure to keep the Honey’s community running strong!

As always for all things sweet, with all the buzzing news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.

Rob

Editor/Writer

Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

100% Vegan. A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and join me on Discord! Take care!

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