Why Rpgs are so fun.
by Matthew Mao
What makes a Rpg tick? I don't mean what it is, but what makes it different
from the rest of the genres? Rpgs tend to have a luster not present in many
other games. This site shows just how much of an effect they do have on
gamers. To consider every single rpg and find the answer is impossible for
me, but I can guess. Before even considering this mystery however, one must
dissect what a generalized rpg has. Of course this is very general since
there is no simple way to consider all of the rpgs ever made and make an
Graphics- Usually brimming w/ detail. Especially character detail.
Characters are drawn to appeal as much to a certain emotion as possible.
The environments are usually bustling and very complex. They usually boast
a large environment to explore and full of detail. However, the graphics
overall are never the best. They tend not to be as "intense" as other games
and have usually taken an alternative to 3d large-scale graphics such as
anime. However as more and more rpgs become more advanced they are blurring
this distinction. (FF8 :]) Design is usually also a major element within
rpg stages and levels.
Sound Effects: Good, but not great. Compared to most games rpgs do pretty
well within sound effects. However sound effects are often underused, with
them barely noticeable, except for those ambient sounds. Voice acting is
often horrid, but once in a while shines through though. SO2 is a great
example of this. IMHO, the voice acting was almost out of place and very
annoying at times throughout the battle.
Music: What can you say. Some of the best game music is from rpgs and has
never failed to dissapoint be in terms of quality. Music in Rpgs is
inspiring and appeals to your emotions, making you immersed into the game.
Good Music------>More Immersed-------->Happy Rpgamer--------->Cannot stop
Story: The stories are unbelievable in many cases. They are perhaps one of
the greatest strengths. They can make you sad, happy, inspired, furious,
etc. It brings the game to life and the characters also. Character
development is outstanding. You feel belief that the characters are real
and as if you really know them.
Gameplay: Solid. Hasn't really changed but only improved. If you look at
dragon quest 1 and then look at FF8 or Grandia, its much like an improved
system. Its not a bad thing and there are several exceptions to, but the
gameplay is usually solid and addictive. Not something to gawk at but to
Replay Value: Rpgs are very, very long compared to some other games, but
also very different. The replay value if very low in most cases, as it is
like reading a book again. You feel like it after a while but not right
after you beat the game. Several games are bridging this gap though w/
features that boost the replay value, but for the mainstream, one very long
time is enough.
Control: Not much, very good control, not the best, but I see no way of
improving it w/o changing the controller. Simple functions most of the
time: accept, cancel, menu, pause.
With all these factors in mind what truly makes rpgs so fun? There is no
way for me to bring a definitive answer to this, but I believe it is all of
these factors together to create one thing: depth. Depth allows the player
to be more immersed into that fantasy world, in which it seems real things
are happening. How would you like a Rpg had everything great, except
nothing seemed to fit in the right place. Everything, the graphics, music,
story all fit to immerse you into the world of that rpg. What if a rpg took
place in your living room and the purpose was to fight the tv and your main
character was a frog? It would be funny, but not much else. That is what I
think the rpgs forte is.