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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 accurate conclusion.

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 playing game

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 enjoy.

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.

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