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The Required RPG Transition

Fellow veteran role-playing fans, we need to adapt to the changing times. We need to accept the fact that our beloved RPGs of yesteryear will never exist again, and we have to embrace the brave new world of freedom and "open-endedness."

It's clearly the choice of the new generation, and as most of us have already realized, the true turn-based gameplay mechanic has all but died (Lost Odyssey may be the very last console title to ever have it). What we have now are either all-out real-time or real-time/turn-based hybrids that continue to lean more towards the real-time end of the spectrum. Then there's the concept of freedom, which some enjoy and others don't. For my part, I don't really consider wandering around a huge area as "freedom;" you don't really ever change the direction of the core storyline (no matter what you do), and although you can make plot-changing decisions, they're never what I would call momentous. In many ways, I see the advent of open-ended RPGs as more of a dodge: the developers have no need to generate an engaging and well-written storyline, nor do they need interesting and nicely developed characters. You can bypass all of that just by letting the player explore just about anywhere they wish under the guise of "freedom." But at the same time, there are plenty of inherent benefits to the idea, and we have to recognize those.

They're best used with this kind of highly advanced hardware, and the possibilities are almost limitless. So although the face of the RPG has changed considerably, we fans are just going to have to learn to adapt...or stop playing entirely. Perhaps the real downside is that games like Fallout 3 and Fable II - as good as they are - can only nab the new, younger next-gen gamers who don't remember the PlayStation days of Final Fantasy, Suikoden and Wild ARMs. Perhaps they will lose those old-school RPG fans, like myself. I can play both, even though I certainly prefer traditional turn-based for a variety of reasons, but I don't like this trend of completely eliminating one style and just focusing on real-time. Essentially, the lines between genres are getting very blurred...it's tough to distinguish what constitutes an RPG these days.

All I know is we had no difficulty ten years ago. And they were very different experiences. That's all I'm saying.

1/1/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (44 posts)

SerendipityDeus
Thursday, January 01, 2009 @ 11:10:23 PM
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So true I hear u ben, personally I prefer turn-based then real-time too, if they don't do it right it usually ruins the game, thus the experience, lets hope they release more of the old ps1 classics on the psn then we can all be happy for a little while longer :)

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eLLeJuss
Thursday, January 01, 2009 @ 11:13:20 PM
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i like turn-based rpg's better than real-time. like ffX and FFXII.. :D i liked ffX better

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crapreviews
Thursday, January 01, 2009 @ 11:17:50 PM
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I was around for turn based rpg's and i guess im one of the few that actually dont mind real time rpg's.

thing is though it seems finding a true RPG is hard and most times the games just dont feel like full RPG elements.

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GoldenShadow
Thursday, January 01, 2009 @ 11:31:25 PM
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I enjoy both types but I prefer the turn-based RPG's. I don't think that I will ever fully have to adapt thanks to the wonders of replaying old games.

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King James
Thursday, January 01, 2009 @ 11:34:15 PM
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I don't care how they make the RPGs now. As long as they are:
a)fun
b)stop using those damn guns so much!! God, I get enough gunplay from the shooters. Use something else RPG developers! PLEASE!


BTW good point, Ben, about the "open-endedness" hiding the lack of good story. Fallout 3's story is par AT BEST. I was disappointed.

Last edited by King James on 1/1/2009 11:45:58 PM

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FallenClyro
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 5:55:18 AM

The story in Fallout is a bit weedy, but I sort of ignored it because I had so much fun just playing through the game anyway. Although the story should be quite compelling as well as the ending.

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King James
Saturday, January 03, 2009 @ 1:18:44 AM

I had fun with the gameplay too. But why not have both (story & gameplay).

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LightShow
Thursday, January 01, 2009 @ 11:40:59 PM
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i see turn based rpgs relegated to handhelds, while consoles will get the "open" rpgs because they're more powerful, and the devs can get a little crazier with a console game vs a handheld.

I only ever use my psp to play the above-mentioned Wild ARMs and MHF2, and I'd like a better reason than the anniversary remake of FFII to try something new. I wonder if L5 will visit the psp...

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Advent Child
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 12:19:46 AM
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I am playing Wild Arms and Suikoden off the PSN right now!!! WOOHOO!!!

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kreate
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 3:48:37 AM

is there any games u dont play? =)

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Advent Child
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 6:09:11 AM

Actually I don't play sports games ^_^

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Joe_III
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 12:34:29 AM
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Leave for the most part...

RPGs haven't been good on any platform aside from Nintendo Handhelds for at least a decade now.

Games like Mass Effect, KOTOR, Fable, Oblivion, etc aren't really RPGs. They're more action-adventure.

Give me good old turn-based, isometric mapped, anime-haired classic RPGs with all the grind involved.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 10:38:53 AM

Amen.

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Arkhon
Wednesday, January 21, 2009 @ 4:08:12 PM

Try playing Dungeons and Dragons once. It is a true RPG and I think you will find that Mass Effect, Oblivion, Fallout 3, and Fable 2 are closer to the decision making of the REAL RPG, despite being real-time. Most JRPGs are not what I consider to be RPGs, because you don't actually role-play. They do not offer the freedom to choose your alignment or class, but rather to run around as a guy with a ten foot sword on a quest for revenge while surrounded by women with boobs large enough that their gravity wells would actually affect the motions of the planets.

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attack88
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 12:42:54 AM
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i would have to say since i have never really got into ff then i like the real time rpgs better but thats my opinion.

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Vivi_Gamer
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 1:50:09 AM
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I like Fallout 3, its kept me busy since it came out. but thats realy an exception from the games of that type, i had Oblivon, and got bored after i got a house to live in. i had no more motivation to play it.I've found F3 alot more involving, i care more about my character and im interested in the enviroment.but then i also liked the classic FF games, FFX was the last one i really enjoyed X-2 & XII didnt do it for me. but FF7-9 in my opinion havent been matched in sheer quality. i've never got tired of them 3.

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Scarecrow
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 3:29:52 AM
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So sad but I agree...
We'll probably have to move on and forget 'bout the new rpgs altogether.

I will always love traditional jrpgs way more than western realtime rpgs.

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DIsmael85
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 3:39:16 AM
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I want my Turn-based Rpg's wahhh!! Haha, seriously though I love Turn-based way more than I do the action RPG's, I mean the more action they get, I might as well just play an "Action" game. It's sad how developers have to cater towards the attention deficit crowd and not those that actually appreciate what they do. Lost Odyssey is and still will be a true gem, and all games like that(i.e. Final Fantasy).

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Vivi_Gamer
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 4:51:02 AM
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Good point, they might awell play action games. whats also quite interesting is that since RE4 Horror games have adapted the Action gameplay style too manybe the problem is that the games developers are trying to make there title so exspansive that they all just turn out simular, I'm waiting for FFXII and FFvXIII to decide the fate of RPGS.

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Joe_III
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 7:19:04 AM
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Oof, I wouldn't say that FF has really been the lead in RPGs since VII.

But really, there are a game must have most of the following to be considered a real RPG.

Turn-based fights
Way too frequent random enemy encounters
At least 6 different character classes
At least 2 stupid love interests
One Wise Old Man who teaches you everything
Chests/Boxes/Bookshelves to search for loot
A new/used weapon armor system that's even more unfair than Gamestop

If an RPG doesn't have at least half of those, then its not really an RPG to me.

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Zorigo
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 7:25:55 AM

lol.

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Arkhon
Wednesday, January 21, 2009 @ 4:15:23 PM

You forgot the guy with a ten-foot sword. Seriously, what is the deal with Japanese and monstrous swords? I would say it's overcompensation if I were a racist bastard. A switchblade would be more effective in combat than Cloud's sword.

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Zorigo
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 7:25:18 AM
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turn based dying. what about last remnant, coming out soon, for ps3. that has a sort f turn based thing. but as too changing rgps, i don't care, i've never played an old rgp.

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CH1N00K
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 8:45:25 AM
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I remember when I was playing the final fantasy games on PS1 and thinking how cool it would be if you could have a huge game and world like that and stream it with Mortal Kombat/Tekken/Soul Caliber style fights. (even do team combos with your party) Instead of turn based, have actual fights. Then Grand Theft Auto 3 came out...lol and instead of an RPG it was now called a "sandbox" style game. I always wondered what it would be like if they redid FFVII with that style. With the ability to run,duck/cover, jump while playing 100+ hours of gameplay/storyline. Although casting DOOM on people to steal their Chocobos might be going a bit too far. :D

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shreevin
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 9:12:07 AM
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I think the video game categorizing convention is too vague and confusing as it is. I mean let's take a literal look at RPG. Role Playing Game. You take the role of the main character. Aren't you pretty much doing that with all games?

So IMO, let "RPG" die. We have no problem with FPS and to be honest Fallout 3 could have been an FPS if you so desired. You don't have to use the VATS.

To revisit my first thought, game categorizing is flawed. Example, let's compare Resident Evil and Parasite Eve. Both are similar in the fact that they're Horror/Survival, but RE is classifed as Horror while PE is a RPG just because of the battle system.

And what's even more silly is this Action/Adventure category...well DUH! EVERY game has action for christ sake! I have yet to see the "Let's watch paint dry!" game.

So to wrap up this rant, I say we need a revamping of the whole classification system anyway!

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MetalHead09
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 4:54:08 PM

VERY good point man.

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Kiengo
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 10:06:11 AM
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The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Turn-based is what I love the most, and I'm gonna keep asking for it.

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cegmp
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 10:38:06 AM
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I'm enjoying so far the "hybrids" but ammm... I'll hold on for a bit. It doesn't hurt to hold on a little bit longer.

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Dante399
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 12:13:33 PM
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Sad this world without "real" RPGs like Final Fantasy7-8-X, DragonQuest and Legend of the Dragoon.
I wish they do a sequel to FinalFantasy Tactics on PS3.
I played Oblivion and I still can't see why it's called an RPG! It's plain action game with alot of side missions.

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djduke316
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 1:15:35 PM
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Am I the only one that didn't like Fallout 3?

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MetalHead09
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 4:55:00 PM

im sure when i get it ill like it to man.

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Arvis
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 1:35:15 PM
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No one has mentioned Eternal Sonata. It's turn- based in the same way all the old school RPGs are turn-based. Only difference is that, when it is your turn, instead of choosing one command, you have a time limit to choose as many commands as possible. So it really is a perfect balance of old school and new school.

Games like Oblivion and Fallout, while fun, are barely RPGs at all.

-Arvis

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Joe_III
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 3:48:01 PM
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@duke.
Probably not. I didn't even bothering picking it up because everyone said is was oblivion with guns and i hated oblivion. It was more like a boring fps with swords than it was an rpg...

@arvis
Haven't tried eternal sonata...it sounded weird...is it any good?

Last edited by Joe_III on 1/2/2009 3:48:35 PM

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MetalHead09
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 4:58:25 PM
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i havent played an rpg in a long time. the only real time rpg i ever played was star ocean till the end of time for the ps2 and i HATED it. i really do not like real time stuff, gimme the tried and true turn based rpg. rpgs should be catogorized by that right there, (turn based) thats what made the fights in the old rpgs so engageing.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 8:38:12 PM
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I think each series should stick with what's best for it. Final Fantasy XII farked up big time by leaving behind the turn based action. Listen, turn based works for FF, DQ, Suikoden, and real time works for Star Ocean and Tales of... So why can't they just stick to what works for that series and stop trying to modernize for people with no attention span.

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Scarecrow
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 9:08:55 PM

Not really, FFXII was a GREAT advancement in FF.

Aside from FFX it had the best fighting system in any FF.

It was actually the same fighting system as in FFX just with the fact that monsters appeared in real time and that you could actually walk around.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 11:09:51 PM

I have to disagree, while gambits and technicks were very useful they essentially put the battle on auto-pilot, the dramatic camera angles in battle had to be dropped so the battle could take place on the field, and the ability to run around didn't actually accomplish anything but give the illusion of more freedom since doing things such as sneaking around to the enemies back didn't make you any safer from an attack. No, the field screen switching to a battle screen was far more effective in eliciting epic and memorable fights.

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BigBoss4ever
Saturday, January 03, 2009 @ 9:54:51 PM

@WorldEnds
I am with you fully on this. Actually, as far as I can see, I am with you fully on all your views on RPGs. :D

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robinhood2010
Saturday, January 03, 2009 @ 6:53:25 AM
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The only solution I can see is this: if you want turn-based RPGs, don't buy real-time action hybrids.

Of course, if you want that game, then buy it. Enjoy it? Can't complain.

I for one don't buy non turn based RPGs. If there is a game I want, I tend to get it from a mate, or second hand.

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homer23
Saturday, January 03, 2009 @ 10:18:34 AM
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WHERE'S FFVII REMAKE?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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br0d1n
Saturday, January 03, 2009 @ 4:13:13 PM
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I've always considered character building and customization the most important aspect of RPGs. That isn't to say story and gameplay don't matter, because who wants to play a boring game? But I've always liked new, mentally engaging systems of character building...ff7's materia and ff8's draw system were some of my favorites. I didn't play 10 much but the sphere grid looked cool, and 12 was alright. I like fallout 3's combination of skills, stats, and perks. and i much prefer the standard xp to lvl system to elder scrolls practice makes perfect system, which bores me to tears hopping around the map casting crap to gain levels. Give me mobs!

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BigBoss4ever
Saturday, January 03, 2009 @ 9:53:16 PM
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I am with you fully Ben for your view on RPGs, thats exactly the thing I have been missing and the exact thing why I loved so much for RPGs, turn based epic classic RPGs with story, CGs (not cut scene) and Musics are wut got me into the game 20 years ago and also wut I am dying for today. Lost Odyssey was the only one I really enjoyed for the RPG world this generation and the next one has to be FF13 and v13. All the modernization, westernization and localization of the classic turn based RPGs are all to certain degree a failture and will never match up to the greatness of the turn based classic RPGs, thats wut RPG gots its reputation for at the first place. If they change the turn based mechanism, they better create a new genre of games and not calling these types of games RPG any more, to not turn away the TRUE RPG gamers.

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Arkhon
Wednesday, January 21, 2009 @ 4:12:03 PM

DnD and Chainmail got their reputations not for being turn-based but for allowing players to create a character and actually ROLE-PLAY.

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Arkhon
Wednesday, January 21, 2009 @ 4:59:13 PM
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After reading these comments, it seems to me that many of you do not know what an RPG is, so here is a history lesson for you:

I will start by defining the acronym RPG. RPG stands for Role-Playing Game, meaning one where a player adopts the role of a character. Many comments here display ignorance of that fact.

The first RPG was called Chainmail, a tabletop game made by the recently deceased Gary Gygax focusing on player choice, as opposed to tabletop strategy games, which focused on combat and strategy. The first commercially available RPG was called Dungeons and Dragons, and remains the most popular of its ilk. DnD did not even have a set storyline, but rather relied on the creativity of Dungeon Masters to invent campaigns and adventures for the players to run.

The first electronic RPGs were text-based adventure games, focusing more on decision-making than character statistics.

What most people here refer to as "RPGs" really involve no role-playing or decision-making at all. Games like Final Fantasy, which have a set story line, set characters, and no choice outside of battle and travel are more accurately described as stat-based strategy games than role-playing. Mass Effect, Fallout 3, Fable 2, The Elder Scrolls series, Neverwinter Nights, etc. are far closer to real RPGs than any JRPG, despite combat happening in real-time.

@BigBoss4ever, RPGs cannot westernize because they originated in the United States. Chainmail had a western-style medieval setting. True RPG gamers play tabletop RPGs, not the stifled medium of JRPGs.

Last edited by Arkhon on 1/21/2009 5:02:20 PM

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