What Makes An RPG & Why I Love Them

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

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Opinions stated are my own and do not represent oprainfall as a whole.

RPGs are my preferred game genre and what I tend to stick to, aside from a select few non RPG faves. What makes them so appealing? How can I play so many different RPG games, one after another? Don’t I get tired of them, tired of the same cliché stories and character types? Hopefully I can answer those questions and show you why these are my go to games and why I enjoy them so much.

Nocturne | Gameplay

Most RPGs have interesting and complicated stories. And even if a game perhaps, doesn’t have a huge open world, it still could have a wonderful story for you to get lost in. SMT Nocturne being one such example, where the characters’ world is remade and everyone has their reasons for fighting and ways they want to remake the world for themselves. Yes, a lot of games have repeating and/or similar stories, saving the world from destruction, stopping some psychotic villain, or one of a few other concepts. For instance, in Dragon Quest VIII, where the main people want to stop Dhoulmagus from causing anymore destruction, or killing more people. I don’t find myself the type to get bored by that.

 In my eyes, as long as a game entertains me and is fun, I don’t care how overdone the story concept is.

By no means does that mean every writer should completely rip their stories off of another game, that they all might as well be 100% identical or that I would find that okay. Evenso, I don’t mind if a lot of them have the same general idea of saving the world from evil. I merely find it very enjoyable to keep going and get lost in the story, be shocked by the surprise twist, and hopefully by the end, be happy and satisfied with an awesome ending.

While an expansive story could be seen as essential to making an RPG that isn’t horrendous, not all of them have one. There are dungeon crawlers and similar grind heavy games that don’t have huge stories, they possibly receive subtle ones and that doesn’t automatically make them bad. Games like Etrian Odyssey IV, Legend of Legacy and various roguelike games such as the Mystery Dungeon franchise, are more about the exploration than the story. Now how could I possibly like a game without any strong story to follow along? Because without immersive gameplay, you don’t have an enjoyable distraction from the real world, you would pretty much be left with a seemingly boring & pointless game. Dungeon crawlers and roguelikes can be enjoyable if done right, with interesting dungeon designs, the perfect music to set the mood, and lots of things to collect and places to go.

Speaking of music, that’s another thing I love about RPGs. They all have these varying soundtracks that make the battles worthwhile, make a boss fight feel like a boss fight, as well as sometimes setting the mood in the story. One reason why I love Etrian Odyssey so much and can get lost in a dungeon crawler like that, is on account of the amazing music. Game soundtracks are even another way to relive games after the fact, when you’re not playing it anymore or you’ve already recently finished a game.

Part of what makes our adored childhood games so memorable, RPG or not, is the music included in the experience while playing.

Basically, I see RPGs as these immense, long lasting, pleasurable entries into the gaming universe. They’re a way to take a break from reality for the numerous hours it takes to get through a lot of them. The ones with immersive stories have charming characters that you grow to love, or possibly realize are similar to yourself. You want to know where the game takes them, where their story takes them. Games are a fun pastime and without having found my love of RPGs, I’m certain they would’ve been left behind in my childhood.

About Jenae R

Jenae is an RPG enthusiast who also enjoys cats, humidity-free warm weather, Dean Koontz books and a select handful of non RPG series and games. Two of her all-time favorite games are the original Shadow Hearts and Final Fantasy IX. She loves to ramble on about her numerous gaming opinions and is fortunate enough to be able to do it here at oprainfall.