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January 20, 2019 1 min read
Role-playing games are one of the most flexible genres because unlike shooters or platformers or sports games, they are less identified by what the player does and more by how the player does it. RPG elements have become commonplace in dozens of non-RPG franchises, but to classify the genre we use pretty much one rule: “You play as a character (or a party of characters) who gains ‘experience’ that raises their level and stats by doing normal gameplay, and these stats affect most of that gameplay.” Even RPGs that intentionally subvert this convention still follow it to a lesser extent. Everything else is tentative, including what kind of gameplay the user plays with.
Traditionally, RPGs use turn-based gameplay to emulate the tabletop nature of the games that inspired them. But even as far back as Link’s Adventure on the NES, games have challenged the notion that these character progression and stat-based mechanics need to follow a turn-based structure. Real-time action RPGs have continued to grow more prominent relative to their turn-based counterparts.
So on a curious whim, I asked which of those two styles the Destructoid community prefers in a Quickpost. Most replies sat on a situational “it depends” or otherwise expressed a lack of strong preference, which I should have expected as I don’t believe either is objectively better than the other. But out of the fraction of replies that leaned one way or the other, most preferred turn-based. As someone who leans towards action RPGs myself, that piqued my curiosity to dive deeper into the differences between them.
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