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  What makes a Good RPG? Your thoughts/opinion.  (Read 13146 times)
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Offline antelopeDJ

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« Posted 2012-02-13 18:04:44 »

What aspects must an RPG have to be seen as 'Good' by you? Or what are some standard features of RPGs?

For me it would be:
  • Strong, Well Thought-Out Storyline
  • A Wide Range of Weapons/Items to collect and trade
  • Workable Combat System
  • Fun Skilling (not grafting ala Runescape)
  • Other unique features like trade, online-play etc.

Any input appreciated!
Offline UprightPath
« Reply #1 - Posted 2012-02-13 18:12:35 »

I think it really ends up depending on what sort of RPG it is. However, I've always had a thing for Item Collecting/Crafting type games, a la Atelier Iris/Mana Khemia.

My list would be:
  • Serious Storylines (Not always serious, but if I can't suspend my disbelief because it's too silly, I don't enjoy it)
  • Crafting/Item Collection (Give a reason for a 100% completion).
  • A balanced Item crafting system: Material Cost <= Result Resale Price
  • A balanced Skill system (Had too many times where there's a game breaker that saps the fun).

Offline sproingie

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« Reply #2 - Posted 2012-02-13 18:14:17 »

Single player?  Story, hands down.  Planescape Torment was a cakewalk, game-wise but there were parts of the story that actually had me in tears, and those parts were in plain text.
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Offline aazimon
« Reply #3 - Posted 2012-02-13 20:50:31 »

 - Story is a big part of any RPG.
 - Second is game play. You can't have a good RPG, if the game play sucks. The game play depends on what kind of game your making. Is it to defeat enemies, build crafts, or something else?
 - Art work. No one wants to play a game that looks like crap.
Offline elamre

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« Reply #4 - Posted 2012-02-13 21:08:05 »

Variety. I think this is one of the core elements of any good rpg's.
If your rpg doesnt have enough variety, then chances are that it will be boring and repetitive.
Also with variety i mean the variety of items, maps (really important, you dont want to be walking on the same map over and over and over again) and mobs.

Also i think that customization can be a fun part, but this is depending on the type of rpg you are talking about.

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Offline evilfrenchguy

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« Reply #5 - Posted 2012-02-13 22:13:04 »

Story, obviously. I love stories where things that happen to one character impact another character later on, and every (main/supporting) character needs a past, a goal, and a motive.

Replay value is important to me as well. That can be designed as simple as having a certain number of skill points to spend in the game. That's why I don't care for Fable. My character shouldn't be able to become God. I should be able to become godly with, say, daggers, but not everything. That's boring.
Online EgonOlsen
« Reply #6 - Posted 2012-02-13 22:40:11 »

Story...but there are different kinds of stories. There are games like Skyrim, where the main story actually leaves much to be desired, the characters are flat and rather boring...but it's so packed with other quests, the little stories behind them and details that you "write" your own story while playing it.
On the other hand, there are games like Witcher 2, where the story is very dense, interesting (especially when you've read the novels) and well written and the quests are unique and complex. But in comparison to Skyrim, it lacks the freedom of an open world.
And then (to mention a negative example), there are games like Earth and Legend (a 3D rpg for Android), which looks nice for a mobile game but it's story (if you can call it like that) is so dumb and pointless and the quests are so stupid that it hurts.

Edit: Good book about how to write a good story: http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Guide-Video-Writing-Design/dp/158065066X

Offline ReBirth
« Reply #7 - Posted 2012-02-13 23:50:25 »

Or if these wasn't enough, go play about 2-5 great titles of JRPG. You'll receive something.

Offline evilfrenchguy

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« Reply #8 - Posted 2012-02-14 00:38:13 »

Edit: Good book about how to write a good story: http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Guide-Video-Writing-Design/dp/158065066X

Thanks a lot for the book suggestion.
Offline Christopher

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« Reply #9 - Posted 2012-02-14 00:49:44 »

Tsk Tsk,

No one even hinted at soundtrack yet.

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Offline princec

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« Reply #10 - Posted 2012-02-14 00:57:43 »

Should give you a hint as to how important a soundtrack is then Smiley But then, you'd only notice if there wasn't one.

Cas Smiley

Online Roquen
« Reply #11 - Posted 2012-02-14 05:18:13 »

- Art work. No one wants to play a game that looks like crap.
That depends.  I think a person or two play roguelikes and the last time I looked there are MUDs running.
Offline sproingie

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« Reply #12 - Posted 2012-02-14 05:32:55 »

MUDs and most roguelikes are nonrepresentational.  Once you have representational graphics, where what you put on the screen really intends to describe the object, even hardcore mudders will be put off by ugly characters and environments.  Maybe not enough to stay away from the game, but they won't ignore it.

Offline UprightPath
« Reply #13 - Posted 2012-02-14 05:58:35 »

Hmmm, though if there's at least a stylistic theme in the artwork, even "bad" artwork can be palatable.

However, it's when the artwork doesn't have a theme to fit together that it starts to go really off for me. Like pixel art characters in a 3D world never did it for me. It just looks too off. Sort of like 'Cartoons' in real life, but even worse than that.

I've always had a preference for simplistic sprite games, in fact I'm still playing NES and SNES games because of it. And many games that are graphically beautiful today seem to be rather blah otherwise.

Offline Christopher

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« Reply #14 - Posted 2012-02-14 09:38:55 »

Should give you a hint as to how important a soundtrack is then Smiley But then, you'd only notice if there wasn't one.

Cas Smiley

 Shocked

Cas, I swear I saw you preaching about the importance of sound in game in another topic...

Especially in RPG's. Take the Final Fantasies for instance, those scores are passed around the internet completely removed form their original medium. Perhaps cause im a sound guy I pay attention more than others but I know full well that all my favorites have great scores.

Offline Christopher

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« Reply #15 - Posted 2012-02-14 09:49:19 »

Also another important one for me is characters with strong division between their strengths and weaknesses.

If i pick up an RPG and I am some fantastico spell casting fighter I will put your game down faster than your NPC can give an introduction. Perhaps because I am a D&D players from way back I enjoy character weaknesses and strategically finding a work-around.

Offline theagentd
« Reply #16 - Posted 2012-02-14 10:39:40 »

Also another important one for me is characters with strong division between their strengths and weaknesses.

If i pick up an RPG and I am some fantastico spell casting fighter I will put your game down faster than your NPC can give an introduction. Perhaps because I am a D&D players from way back I enjoy character weaknesses and strategically finding a work-around.
+1, though I don't think it's a 100% necessity for RPGs...

- Story is a big part of any RPG.
 - Second is game play. You can't have a good RPG, if the game play sucks. The game play depends on what kind of game your making. Is it to defeat enemies, build crafts, or something else?
 - Art work. No one wants to play a game that looks like crap.
I'm thinking of Final Fantasy 10. That game had really boring game play in my opinion and I just played through everything to make the story continue. It was like a movie with an insane amount of commercial breaks...

Myomyomyo.
Offline Christopher

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« Reply #17 - Posted 2012-02-14 12:01:00 »

- Story is a big part of any RPG.
 - Second is game play. You can't have a good RPG, if the game play sucks. The game play depends on what kind of game your making. Is it to defeat enemies, build crafts, or something else?
 - Art work. No one wants to play a game that looks like crap.
I'm thinking of Final Fantasy 10. That game had really boring game play in my opinion and I just played through everything to make the story continue. It was like a movie with an insane amount of commercial breaks...
[/quote]

Keep clicking and you will get more story!

That game lives off Story + Art + Score imo.

Offline princec

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« Reply #18 - Posted 2012-02-14 13:38:42 »

Cas, I swear I saw you preaching about the importance of sound in game in another topic...
Sound effects, not music. I almost always turn the music off in games I play because frankly it's usually not too good and it grates after a short while. Notable exceptions being... er... Quake. Which I listen to. And recently Pineapple Smash Crew, of which I just simply wish there was more music.

Cas Smiley

Offline Cero
« Reply #19 - Posted 2012-02-14 13:53:04 »

yes. story, characters, level design and look, music
and of course freedom - what can you do ?

Edit: Good book about how to write a good story: http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Guide-Video-Writing-Design/dp/158065066X
I have bought and read this a couple of months ago, I can recommend it aswell

- Story is a big part of any RPG.
 - Second is game play. You can't have a good RPG, if the game play sucks. The game play depends on what kind of game your making. Is it to defeat enemies, build crafts, or something else?
 - Art work. No one wants to play a game that looks like crap.
I'm thinking of Final Fantasy 10. That game had really boring game play in my opinion and I just played through everything to make the story continue. It was like a movie with an insane amount of commercial breaks...

I guess you dont like Metal Gear either. I love Final fantasy (7 and 10 in particular) and the Metal Gear Series.
A great thought-out story is just so emerging.
I also likes Heavy Rains gameplay, but unfortunately I thought the story was dull.

And I think FF X had the best gameplay of all - but thats just me. Being able to strategize without timelimit. Maybe FF 7 is better, but I think FF 13 is too frantic for you to come up with unique tactics amidst a battle.

Also note for FF X: most people play of course long after the end, getting all the special stuff, and as everybody knows, gameplay-wise a JRPG only really begins after the main story is done; because only then you try optional dungeon, reach insane levels and stuff - Most FF games are like this and also for example the star ocean games, which I also love

talking about RPGs, I would call Mass Effect 2 a RPG, and since its easily one of my top 5 games, its a good example for a great RPG too

Offline evilfrenchguy

Junior Member


Medals: 3



« Reply #20 - Posted 2012-02-14 14:34:16 »

I freakin' love Metal Gear/Solid series. It has one the best stories I know of.

I don't find graphics to be important because I see past those things personally, but good artwork makes an already-good-game better. Presentation is good to attract people to play your game, which I assume is the goal for most people.  Grin
Offline theagentd
« Reply #21 - Posted 2012-02-14 14:40:30 »

I freakin' love Metal Gear/Solid series. It has one the best stories I know of.
I've never played Metal Gear Solid, but maybe I'll give it a try some day...

I don't find graphics to be important because I see past those things personally, but good artwork makes an already-good-game better. Presentation is good to attract people to play your game, which I assume is the goal for most people.  Grin
Meh. Graphics aren't everything, but if I'm gonna play FFX I don't do it on a PS2. I prefer 3840x2160 with 8x MSAA. I couldn't use FXAA at the same time though. Stupid laptop...

Myomyomyo.
Offline kappa
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« Reply #22 - Posted 2012-02-14 14:53:25 »

The core of FFX was decent however its biggest problem was that it was too linear (no world map, etc). FF7 is still the best of the lot (had really great tunes too), its materia system was really nice and simple (unlike some of the magic/levelling up systems used in later FF games).
Offline theagentd
« Reply #23 - Posted 2012-02-14 15:11:44 »

The core of FFX was decent however its biggest problem was that it was too linear (no world map, etc). FF7 is still the best of the lot (had really great tunes too), its materia system was really nice and simple (unlike some of the magic/levelling up systems used in later FF games).
God yes. Why did they ever change the materia system?

Myomyomyo.
Offline Cero
« Reply #24 - Posted 2012-02-14 15:26:36 »

I freakin' love Metal Gear/Solid series. It has one the best stories I know of.
I've never played Metal Gear Solid, but maybe I'll give it a try some day...

There are literally 2 hour long cutscenes in MGS4, and many of them. Still great, most of them are so awesome.
Hideo Kojima is a great movie maker who actually makes games, and he says this himself.
I dont have an idol, but one person I look up to, and thats him.
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Quote
materia system
Yeah absolutely best system, and everything just got more linear after that.
In FF 13 of course many people complain about the linear level design, but the crystalis whatever its called leveling system is course a pure fraud.
there is no choice whatsoever
at least in FF X  I could move Wakka to be an mage , if I really wanted to
but in 13 nothing matters anymore

Offline Christopher

Senior Member


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« Reply #25 - Posted 2012-02-14 15:52:58 »

Notable exceptions being... er... Quake.

Yes anything Trent Reznor touches does seem to turn to gold.

There are literally 2 hour long cutscenes in MGS4

So many times I would sit down to play some mgs4, I load my file, watch an hour of cut scenes without pressing a button, save, go to work. I loved it.


Offline kappa
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« Reply #26 - Posted 2012-02-14 16:01:16 »

Generally though for RPG's the core mechanic (source of addictiveness?) is the old grind and reward system. The reward usually being gradual character growth (level up) and various cool items. The rest story, music, graphics, fighting system, etc are just various presentation mediums that help enhance the experience.
Offline antelopeDJ

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« Reply #27 - Posted 2012-02-14 17:32:17 »

Thanks for all this great input guys! This community is awesome for user interaction.
Offline evilfrenchguy

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« Reply #28 - Posted 2012-02-15 01:16:18 »

If the right kind of grinding mechanic like kappa brought up is coupled with a combat system that by itself is fun, you have the best RPG ever.

I was thinking a lot about this thread today and I remembered something a lot of good RPGs share. Someone else mentioned it too and that is side activities. The thing that I remember in particular is FF VIII's Research Center. It so far off the beaten path it isn't funny; it's just sitting in the ocean in the extreme bottom-left corner of the map. However, Bahamut is in there. And after him is several descending floors with high level enemies culminating into an optional boss battle with Ultima Weapon who has goodies of his own...

Just a thought.
Offline WGUJavaMan

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« Reply #29 - Posted 2012-02-15 01:36:58 »

One thing that really makes an RPG addictive in my opinion is character development. Being able to have lots of control over the way your character grows is big factor for me. How physically strong will he be? How fast? How intelligent for magic? An RPG that gives a lot of freedom for this, when combined with a great story and gameplay (as already mentioned numerous times), makes a lasting impression.
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