I consider III-San Andreas to be
No. Not really.
They’re actually not even as close to being RPGs as many of the other games that people mistaken to be RPGs (like Mega Man or Zelda).
People have mistaken Mega Man games to be RPGs? I men, there’s Command Mission and the Battle Network series… But damn.
free roaming world, at times non linear, money, health increasments, a huge story, ect.
that surely is about as far from an RPG as you can get
Except… you do that in just about every game.
I’d say that you could possibly make a case for San Andreas since it has all of those stats, but not 3 or Vice City.
Yeah, San Andreas is the only one you could even come close to making an argument for. The others are purely action games.
(San Andreas is also the only one with incrementing health. In GTA3 your health was always 100, and in VC it really only increases twice (150 for doing Pizza Boy, and 200 if you get 100% completion). I’m not counting the bonus temporary 25 health for hookering, cause it goes away real quick.)
Not at all. That would be like calling the MGS games RPGs.
Here’s the thing; a lot of games these days have RPG elements in them. Hell, one can say that most games these days have RPG elements in them. That does not make these games RPGs. Devil May Cry is not an RPG, despite incrementing health, item collection, weapon upgrades, and story. Devil May Cry is an action game. At the farthest reach, Devil May Cry is an Action-Adventure game. Metroid is not an RPG, despite having incrementing health, weapon and armor upgrades, item collection, and story. It is, however, a hair’s breath away from being an Action-RPG (like modern Castlevania games). The Legend of Zelda is an Adventure game. Secret of Mana is an Adventure-RPG.
If you gained experience in Grand Theft Auto from killing people or completing tasks, then it’d be an RPG. Also, it’d be dumb.
So would you say, by definition, RPGs must involve earning experience points and leveling up?
Not necessarily, but it’s a major part of the standard RPG engine. What makes an RPG an RPG could be debated from now until hell freezes and Satan breaks into the sno-cone business. Essentially a game doesn’t HAVE to have experience and levelling but if it doesn’t have it then it’ll have to have enough RPG elements. ‘Epic’ storyline, character development (and not the kind where your character gets stronger throughout the game as thats not character development), vast amounts of weapons and equipment, items, lots of enemies…and so on and so forth.
The GTA games simply aren’t RPGS, even thinking they are is a moronic concept. I can see why some people would think the Megaman Legend games were RPGs what with the whole items, equipment and weapons shit but they’re just not. And we’re idiots of having a shrine on MML1.
I apologize, I wasn’t trying to make it look like EXP was the litmus test for an RPG. There are RPGs without experience points. Take the SaGa games for instance. However, leveling and gaining experience has been an important part of the RPG experience since D&D, and thus carries a bit of weight. If a game features level gaining through experience, I’d at least consider it a hybrid-RPG (like Gauntlet Legends is an Action-RPG).
The qualifier most people use for ‘console rpgs’ is a menu-based battle system. The only confusion about that are games where the character levels up, and you can save, but have real-time battle systems. For instance, the Zelda games, or Illusion of Gaia, or Vagrant Story(?), etc. These games used to be called ‘adventure’ games, separate from rpgs. But now I think no one makes a distinction between the two.
You can also get some games that many classify as RPGs without any of the normal RPG elements. The Harvest Moon series is a great example of this. Some try to classify Harvest Moon under some made up genre like Farming Sim, but if you avoid any imaginary genres (and the catch-all “Simulation”), there’s no choice but to classify the series as an RPG. A very different kind of RPG series, but an RPG nonetheless.
The same goes with games like Shenmue and Shenmue 2. They’re technically F.R.E.E. games, but those are the only two games in the genre. I’ve seen some RPG “purists” (read: EXP is everything) try to classify the games as something like Action-Adventure because the game doesn’t make use of heavy numbers and stats. Mr. Saturn may not like the games, but I’m sure he’d agree it’s best to classify them as RPGs.
As for Zelda, well, it’s not an RPG. However, so many people think of it as an RPG (oh wow fantasy! swords! RPG!) and Nintendo has marketed it as an RPG before (I believe that was their strategy for TOoT) that it’s just better for RPGC to cover the games. Doesn’t hurt to make an exception for that one series.
As for MM64, that was just stupid.
Yes, I agree about Shenmue. Maybe Adventure-RPG, but probably just RPG. I’d call Harvest Moon a Simulation, though, and I don’t think that Simulation is much of a catch-all. I save “Simulation” for realistic flight games, Maxis titles, and Harvest Moon. There are others (Yoot Saito’s “The Tower” for example), but that’s pretty much everything.
Yeah, but even with some simulation games (HM for example), there’s a very strong case to be made that they’re RPGs. Just not the typical “kill monsters” RPG. Hell, they’re making an HM MMO. >.>
The letter O in MMO is superfluous!