Guest Writer: Why I Love RPGs

Not Rocket Propelled Grenades.

If you’ve spent much time around TSA you’re probably very familiar with our resident lunatic, SolidSteven. He’s decided to grace us with another of his guest articles, this time looking at his love for RPGs.

My love of the RPG genre probably earns me a place in the “geeky” class of gamers. The fact that I split gamers into classes probably shows that I spend too much time with the genre, and invest far too many hours in a single RPG. The question is though why exactly do I love them so much? Well that’s what I’m here to tell you.

Back in my PS2 days I had a rubbish taste in games, my purchases ranging from movie tie-ins to any old FPS. I would play anything except RPGs. The only RPG I had even heard of back then was Final Fantasy, and I didn’t actually know it was an RPG.

This ignorance continued until, one day, I picked up Lord Of The Rings: The Third Age; a game I happened to enjoy. That was the first time I had played an RPG and I didn’t even know it until many years later.

[drop]When I had matured and broadened my horizons I purchased Final Fantasy 7 (FF7) and enjoyed it, losing many hours to it. That was when I became interested in the RPG genre as a whole, rather than individual games. Slowly I started to get more and more RPG games until they’d become the majority of my collection, probably investing 1000+ hours in the genre. So that’s how I got into it.

That’s not why I love them though, which is the point of this. The reason I adore them is simple, it’s the long and engaging stories that seem to be a staple of the genre. Final Fantasy has become well known for the quality of its stories (with the exception X-2 which seems pretty awful), and I’m a sucker for them.

Beyond that, I like being able to customise my character and have them specialise in a certain area, as well as being able to control what my character says. At one point I spent 3 months playing nothing but Fallout 3. Before that, I hadn’t heard of the Fallout series, and thus didn’t notice many of the issues that Fallout 3’s critics complain of. This was where I was really introduced to the levelling system that many RPGs use. You put points into a skill, that skills becomes more effective etc…, it was another tool to draw me into the genre.

After a period of focussing on FF7 and Fallout 3, as they were the only ones I owned at the time, I purchased Dragon Age: Origins (DA:O). That was when I really got into RPGs, when my love become a solid thing. The story was excellent and it allowed me to pick a race, customise my character and have a origin as well as choosing what style to use. From the classic sword and shield to the duel wielding style, I’ve experienced it all.

[drop2]It was also the first game that I had played which introduced me to moral choices that weren’t always obvious. For example do I give the throne to Lord Harrowmont King of Orzammer, who is kind, was the previous king’s advisor and generally would be well respected king, or do I choose the power hungry Bhelen, son of the previous king. I chose Harrowmont as it seemed like the best choice at the time, but I was surprised by the ending, when it told me what he had done as king (I won’t spoil it for you). There were plenty of similar choices that I had made where the outcome wasn’t what I was expecting. The result? I started a new game and played it differently.

After DA:O, I had become the geeky gamer that I am today. I now generally plan out my characters when I play games like DA:O, Mass Effect 2 and Fallout: New Vegas. For some reason though I never try to create myself in those games, I really don’t know why.

So, am I the only one who is a geeky gamer? And what is your favourite genre? Feel free to tell me below in the comments, or to berate me if that’s more your speed. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to play Fallout New Vegas as a character whose combat style is unarmed.

27 Comments

  1. Exactly like you the first RPG I played was Lord of the Rings The Third Age. I really enjoyed the levelling up and the customization for each of the playable characters but I didn’t like the turn based fighting. From the PS1 I have built up a love for…to me I call them sword based games. Im talking about Prince of Persia and Dark/Demons Souls. They have always been the type of games I love. Throw in the RPG element to Demons Souls and you have my favourite game this gen.
    I only went into Fallout games as they were FPS’s, same with Skyrim in a way. So even though some of my favourite games are RPG’s it is not because of the RPG element.

    • Skyrim is FPS???

      Did not know that! :)

      • First person I meant, why I said in a way after.

      • Doesn’t have to be first person, you can play it in the third if you prefer, simple click of r3..

      • Same with fallout, with L2. Much prefer it in first person, everything is more accurate.

      • skyrim is like fallout. well other way round tbh. both made by same company

  2. TL:DR. :P

    I’m not kidding when i say 75% of my collection are RPGs. I plan on getting the original Fallouts out when i get a desktop PC capable of running games from the past two years as well as classic RPGs. Such as KOTR, The witcher 2, The first 3 Elder Scrolls game and maybe Oblivion or Skyrim for modding purposes,basically a lot of RPGs and definitly the classic ones. I think Steam may end up loving me for it.

  3. Nice article Steven
    My first RPG was Champions of Norrath. God knows how many times I have completed that game solo and co-op on PS2. I even enjoyed hell, hell I loved it but, the games these days seem to take up alot of my time such as racing and First Person shooter (also 3rd Person)
    I have a few RPG games collecting dust and has not been completed or even started yet.
    Skyrim is still in package. Dragon Age I have no idea why I stopped. I did not enjoy Neir. I also forgot to mention the RPG I spent most of the time that had 4 discs on the Xbox 360 – Lost Odyssey Brilliant game that was.
    Oh there’s more I have not even completed Fallout 3 and Las Vegas. RPG requires alot of time to play but I get distracted on other games such as Assassin’s Creed, Battlefield multiplayer, Mortal Kombat and so many more…..
    But having said that and reading Steven’s article. I have decided to start playing Skyrim as soon as (Next weekend)
    Here’s hoping I will enjoy Skyrim and watch multiple updates go by might be ready to be played on the following day of the weekend lol.

    Great article Steven ;)

  4. I actually can’t remember what the first RPG I ever played was, I’ll try and think back now. Ummm…

  5. Nice stuff. It doesn’t seem like you’ve been playing RPGs for many years though (not that I’m having a go) as playing ff7 and fallout 3 together seem like an odd combo! My first rpg was also final fantasy 7 too and I adored DA origins buying every DLC for it. I also recently bought all the final fantasys with the ps+ sale and I’m loving final fantasy IX. I also have no interest in creating myself in the games and normally go for a hero type guy and then replay them as an evil one to see the outcomes. Right back to Zidane and Vivi!

    • I’ve only been playing the genre for the past 3 years. :) I did the same with DAO. But i’m going to get the UE as it’s a pain downloading all of it. Plus, i think my copy won’t last longer.

  6. Great article. Thinking back, my first RPG *should* have been FF7. My Uncle bought a PS1, which came with Tomb Raider 2 and FF7. He loved TR2 but couldn’t stand FF7 so gave it to me. Instead of firing the game up I went into town with my Dad that weekend and traded it in (probably to pay for some rubbish movie game lol).

    It wasn’t until a fair few years later that I played my first RPG (assuming we aren’t counting Pokemon Red/Blue), in the form of Final Fantasy X. My girlfriend at the time was heavily into that game so I checked it out and soon bought a copy myself.
    Since then I’ve only really got into a few RPGS (Fallout: NV, Dragon Age, Mass Effect 2 and Skyrim) but those have been excellent, offering tonnes of value for money. Hopefully FFXIII-2 and The Last Story prove just as enjoyable :)

  7. I must admit that I have only really played Final Fantasy games by way of RPG (or if I have played others I didn’t realise) starting with FF7. Also it is beneficial to me now that I don’t get much time on a home console that I can have pretty much every (up to 9) Final Fantasy on my PSP.

    Currently going through FF6 after owning it for 3 years+!

  8. good read, my first rpg was…errrr does Premier Manager on the amiga count? :P i think my first was one of the Ultima games actually either IV or V either way i hated it, just didnt get along with it at all, in fact, it wasnt until System Shock 2 and the original Deus Ex that i played another RPG which then led to the final fantasies, the elder scrolls series….. god i love me some RPGS :D

  9. My name is Sarah and I’m an… Oops, wait. Wrong meeting. I love RPGs though, and don’t really play anything else. We’ll honestly need to buy another PS3 when Game of Thrones comes out, otherwise I’ll be fighting the other half (and Skyrim) for control of the console.

  10. I think the LotR: The Third Age, was the first RPG I played, and I picked up FFVII in the PSN sale, although I haven’t properly got stuck into it yet, I’m currently just trying to keep plodding away at it. I often like the stories of RPG’s, and the concepts of them, however I just don’t seem to get along with the length of them – I always get bored quickly.

    • Weirdly enough, it took me a while to get into FF7 as well. :O The first few hours(or midgar section) is fairly linear. But seems natural as it doesn’t force you to go from point a to point b. Imo. Once it opens you, i imagine you would enjoy it. :) Unless you hate the turn based combat systems of JRPGs and some RPGs then you may not like the 60+ hours of it. ;)

      Have you tried playing RPGs in small to large parts? for example, sink 30 hours into a RPG then leave it for a while to avoid getting bored by it.

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