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GibWorld Features - Best of the Best: RPGs
Best of the Best: RPGs
Author - D4n73

Section 1 - Introduction

     This is the first in what may eventually become a series of features here at GibWorld, in which we will discuss one specific genre of games, and produce a top five (or, in some cases, top ten) list of games in that genre to aid the gamer looking for the best quality software available. All of the games featured are in some way excellent examples of the genre, or stand out from the crowd in a particularly notable or original way. There will be further information on this in the short reviews of each game, so don't worry if this is a bit too high-concept ;) 

What makes an RPG?
     The first question we have to ask when judging an entire category of games, is “how do we define the genre?” In this category, it's often hard to say whether a game is truly an RPG, or some kind of hybrid type of game, such as an action/adventure. To try and make it more clear, I'll try and define some specific points that classify a game as an RPG. First and foremost, it must fit the name of the genre itself; you must be able to play a role in the game, and to be able to dictate your character's fate to a much greater extent than whether he or she lives or dies. Thus, while Half-Life has adventure-type aspects such as conversation and object interaction, it is by no stretch of the imagination an RPG. But this does not mean that a game cannot be action-oriented and still be classed as an RPG; System Shock 2 is a fine example, featuring a complex plot and many paths to character development. In conclusion, its sometimes a hard call to classify games - if you feel that any of the games in this feature have been unfairly classified, or you disagree with anything else you see here, feel free to let us know - your opinions count!

What makes a good RPG?
     Perhaps more important to this feature, this question is vital to a game's success or failure. However, as RPG's are traditionally focused on storyline and gameplay elements rather than graphics or sound, it is unfair to rate a role-playing game poorly if it lacks perfection in these areas. Having said that, a game which is unpleasant to look at or has very irritating music is deserving of a lower mark for those facts. Additionally, for the purposes of this feature, all the games included are currently available either in the high street or via mail order, although I have attempted to include a fair balance between newer and older titles.

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So you've opted to be a beta tester and get games ahead of all your friends, but is it all that is cracked up to be? In this article we discuss the job itself, and the work it entails.

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