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Old-school RPGs? New RPGs? What's the difference?

by Nyoro, Frog of Darkness

"Final Fantasy 6 is better than Final Fantasy 7 and 8 because it is an old-school RPG and has a better storyline!"
"No way! Final Fantasy 7 is better, because it has a better storyline and doesn't have crappy graphics!"

These are statements that seem to be made by some RPGamers. Practically everytime you go and look at the Editorial section of RPGamer, you will see at least one editorial discussing why old-school RPGs are better/worse than more recent releases. Now before, I get further in my editorial, could someone please tell me the difference between these two "types" of RPGs? Huh? What's that? You can't? I didn't think so.

RPG is an acronym for Role Playing Game. A Role Playing Game is a videogame genre. An "old-school" RPG is NOT a videogame genre. Why? I'll tell you. All RPGs do is tell a story. They do this differently than books or movies, by letting you take control of the characters. They let YOU, the player, make actions and choices. They let YOU, the player, take part in telling the story. RPGs may have different ways of doing this, by having battle systems and the like, but they are still stories.

An RPG is an RPG people. There is NO difference between games like Final Fantasy 6 and Final Fantasy 8, except for the obvious like the have different plots, etc. Graphics, do not make an RPG "old-school" or "new." Magic systems, such as materia and junctioning to not make an RPG "old-school" or "new." Just because it might have strayed from it's predeccesors does not make it a different kind of game. Think about that when you play your next RPG.

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