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Thursday, July 25, 2024

A dive into the world of role-playing games

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Role-Playing Games are some of the most satisfying games you can play. Yes, they are a slow burn, but they almost always deliver spectacular endings. If you aren’t familiar with the genre, this is where you want to start.

Pokemon Yellow

Pokémon Yellow, released in 1999, closely mirrors the original Pokémon anime. You start with Pikachu, who follows you on-screen. Familiar characters like Team Rocket’s Jessie and James make appearances, and you can get all three starter Pokémon (Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur) without trading. The classic turn-based combat system lets you strategically choose the best Pokémon for each battle. The game’s nostalgic charm and engaging mechanics make it a standout role-playing game. Plus, if you have a pristine Gameboy cartridge of this, it can sell for a lot — upwards of $3,000!

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

This is a rich, open-world RPG where you play as Geralt of Rivia, a mutant monster hunter. The game combines deep narrative with vast exploration, driven by Central European folklore and Western RPG traditions. You’re on a quest to find Ciri, a young swordswoman while navigating complex political and personal storylines. The detailed world of Temeria is filled with side quests, monster hunts, and moral dilemmas, making it one of the best role-playing games around.

Baldur’s Gate Series

The game has been a big deal since its release in 1998. It revolutionised the RPG genre with its mix of real-time and turn-based gameplay and captivating storytelling. Set in the Dungeons & Dragons’ Forgotten Realms, you follow a young orphan on a quest full of political intrigue and personal discovery. Its success led to expansions and sequels, with Baldur’s Gate II and III being fan favourites.

Fallout 1 & 2

Before it became a first-person RPG, Fallout was a turn-based game with a deep, engaging story. You’re a bunker dweller trying to survive the outside world. The beginning can be challenging, but once you leave the bunker, the game transforms into an entertaining ride. Fallout 2 is recommended for its expanded gameplay and story. These games are known for their dark humour, rich world-building, and deep role-playing elements.

Secret of Mana

Secret of Mana, a Squaresoft gem from the early ’90s, is known for its unique active-time battle system. Unlike traditional turn-based games, you fill an action gauge before performing actions. It also features a multiplayer mode, letting up to three players join the adventure. You control the Hero Boy, the Girl, and the Sprite, each with distinct roles. Levelling up weapons adds another layer of depth. The game’s cooperative gameplay and rich world make it a timeless classic. Gather a few friends, as this game shines in multiplayer mode.

Final Fantasy VI and VII

Final Fantasy VI and VII are two of the best in the series, with VI often considered the superior game. VI offers a rich narrative with multiple characters and an iconic villain, Kefka. The attention to detail and character depth make it stand out. VII is known for its compelling story and recent remake, making it highly accessible. The blend of superb production values, great story, and memorable music make these games legendary. 

Deus Ex

Deus Ex is a first-person shooter RPG with complex branching storylines and character development. Set in a dystopian future, you play as a nano-augmented agent, uncovering global conspiracies. It offers a mix of stealth and direct combat, with player choice determining your approach, weapons, and story progression. Features like hacking systems, stealth mechanics, and dialogue choices make it a highly interactive experience. Despite its age, Deus Ex still holds up as a standout title, offering deep gameplay and a compelling story.

Chrono Trigger

Released in 1995 for the Super Nintendo, it is a timeless masterpiece known for its innovative time-travel mechanics, unique battle system, and rich replayability. You follow Chrono, a silent protagonist, on a quest to save his friend Marle. Each character has unique abilities and side quests that enhance the narrative. Plus, it introduced the New Game + feature, encouraging multiple playthroughs to unlock various endings. Here’s a fun fact for anime fans: The late Akira Toriyama was the character artist for this game.

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Ni no Kuni combines Studio Ghibli’s animation with RPG elements. You follow Oliver, a young boy on a quest to save those with broken hearts. The real-time battle system involves using captured creatures called Familiars. Rich side quests add depth and emotional engagement. The exceptional soundtrack by Joe Hisaishi and its visuals make it a must-play.

Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim offers a vast, open-world RPG experience set in the frozen nation of Skyrim. You start amid a civil war and the sudden reappearance of dragons. The game’s strength lies in its freedom and variety, with a practice-based skill system and dynamic quests. Skyrim’s immersive world and breathtaking environments make it a standout in the genre. With roughly 40 square kilometres of diverse landscapes, from ice caverns to coniferous forests, there’s always something new to discover. The game’s endless modding possibilities add to its longevity and replay value.


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