JRPG, Japanese role-playing game, or simply RPG games are a subgenre of role-playing games. Despite sharing similar names, the RPG subgenre tends to favor strong elements of exploration with action-oriented fight mechanics. They make for interesting multiplayer games due to their typical large and open worlds. They also typically have a distinctive Japanese inspired style. Although the origins of RPG games were influenced by Japan, the genre has become world-famous. Both, 2D art with a top-down perspective is popular along with 3D RPG games that were once only possible with PC gaming and consoles.
As a rule, RPG characters have developed storylines with eventful elements like unexpected twists leading to new adventures. At the same time, dialogs are usually linear and the player won't have much influence on the story development. RPGs may or may not have custom characters that can be developed. In some cases, each character has set skills and abilities. RPGs often involve completing quests that require numerous combat situations. Fighting may be turn-based or hack and slash seen in action RPG games. Many RPGs tailer to the fantasy realms or medieval times. However, newer RPGs may also include post-apocalyptic or steampunk universes.
Role-Playing vs RPG
Role-playing is a broad genre encompassing playing as a character while RPG video games have more exploration elements present. Both can have similar features, plot presentation, can share game mechanics, and technically share the same name. As there appears to be a distinct yet confusing difference between live-action role-playing and the video game varients, we have separated the two for clarity.
Brief History of JRPG Games
Dragon Slayer (1984) is considered to be the first game of this subgenre. Some modern inspirations include popular game series like Final Fantasy, Tales, Persona, and many others. The Pokemon games for the portable game console Gameboy helped popularize the RPG genre. The Pokemon game series started in the year 1996 and was inspired by the popularity of trading card games and TV series.