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1 definition by Jarel Jones

An acronym for "role playing game" (the following definition is for the console-specific version). Originally known for their overhead views, they've since expanded into three dimensions and have taken on more forms. RPG's consist of players taking on the personas of in-game fictional characters. The games feature adventure elements (talking to people in towns) with diverse storylines. RPG's also include battles with enemies in different fashions as well as a point system for increasing your characters' abilities. They may or may not contain magic. There are generally three main types of categories most RPG's fall in, though some games use a mix of these or completely unique elements instead.

The Action RPG usually consists of talking to people and battling enemies. Enemy battling is different however. Like an action game you hit the attack button and hit the enemy in real time; no complex battle systems involved (usually). These games also tend to not include a point system for the most part, but at the very least, it's there for Health Points, though they may not be called Health Points and Magic Points. Examples include the Secret of Mana series, the Mystical Ninja series, Brave Fencer Musashi, and the .hack series. The Legend of Zelda could also be called an Action RPG, although many people argue that it's not an RPG at all. Most PC, online RPG's, and MMORPG's are Action RPG's.

Even though the Action RPG's were the first RPG's, they're not considered the traditional style. The Traditional RPG is known for its complex battle systems, most especially the turn based system. The battle systems also use menus in some form or fashion. Traditional RPG's also make massive use of the Point system and magic. Examples include Chrono Trigger, the Final Fantasy series, Skies of Arcadia, the Grandia series, and the Golden Sun series. Panzer Dragoon Saga, the Mario RPG series, and the Mega Man Battle Networks series are also traditional, though they are a bit more interactive than standard traditional (PDS and MMBN are practically Action RPG's in a Traditional skin).

Strategy RPG's are the last main type. Not many games exist in this format. It's a traditional RPG with a strategy-type game's battle system; you must position your characters and attack depending on how close you are to the enemy, what kind of weapon you have (short or long range), and the layout of the land you're fighting on. Examples include the Shining Force series and Final Fantasy Tactics (Original and Advanced).
"Panzer Dragoon Saga is better than Chrono Trigger? You're jackin' me, Steve!"
by Jarel Jones December 27, 2003