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"With RPG Elements!"
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Speren
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Often when I'm on Kongregate, browsing for the rare game that actually piques my interest enough to play it (such as the way MARDEK did), I often come across games with a connotation in their description of "With RPG Elements!" It seems like people can turn any genre of game into a partial RPG now. What thinketh you? And how would you feel if there were an RPG that advertised, say, "Shooter Elements," or elements of any other genre?

I personally think that label often screams "I'm a marketing gimmick! Come and succumb to me!" And I am VERY selective when it comes to playing a game for any amount of time, or even loading a game to begin with, so a "gimmick" like that will generally turn me off of a game because I think it will sacrifice elements of its main genre or use the RPG elements poorly.

But I think breaking the (JRPG/Tactical RPG/Action RPG/Western-style RPG/Monster-catching RPG) mold is something that developers should try more often. Don't get me wrong, I love MARDEK and am anticipating the release of Miasmon with every fiber of my anticipation, but another thing I would like to see is a more original style of RPG, or an RPG that's more than an RPG. When I say "More than an RPG," all I mean is that it might have elements that are not of an RPG, but some other genre, while keeping the core aspects of an RPG.
newstomper
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newstomper 21 United States MelancholicCholeric INTJ 514 421C
RPG games are an awesome genre, and there are some elements (i.e. customization) that are very welcome in some games. However, there are others (i.e. deep story) that are not always positive. If the game itself is and RPG, and all the elements are done right, than there is nothing wrong. However, if there are only certain elements of an RPG in a non-RPG game, it can sometimes ruin it. For instance, you normally don't want a deep, multi-part story in a platformer, because that's not what platformers are about. You wouldn't put onions in a fruit salad, right?
Speren
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Speren 20 United States CholericMelancholic INTP 123C
Yes, agreed in full.
But some genres (less action-based ones, mostly), such as "Civilization games," make me interested as far as: "How could elements of say, "Rebuild", be mixed into an RPG so the "Rebuild" part was more engaging, and the "RPG" part added depth?"
yeroc
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I've been bothered for the same thing for quite some time. When these games say they have RPG elements, they often just mean they have an upgrade system. This wouldn't necessarily be bad... if every game wasn't doing it and the developers executed it right.

See, here are the pitfalls:

1) Upgrades are boring.
Get this upgrade, and your weapon does more damage. And hold on! This upgrade makes you shoot faster! What? You want more? Okay, we'll increase your health bar. This is how about 80%-90% of the "RPG" features of the game function. If there were any depth to this, it might add something to the game. But...

2) Upgrades ruin the difficulty of a game
A lot of these games have created a way for you to get all of the upgrades. Not only does this mean there's no strategy to the upgrades (what upgrade do I want? All of them?), but it ruins the difficulty of the game. Very often, the final level is easy once you've acquired every upgrade. Take the game Pixelvader. It's quite difficult... until you have all the upgrades.

And that's basically what bothers me. I like the upgrade system in Red Fluxion since that doesn't fall for either of these pitfalls. I honestly can't think of any other part-rpg game on kongregate where I liked the upgrades.

So I agree, it is just a cheap marketing gimmick. There are plenty of games that would be fine without an upgrade system, possibly even better. To me, it just seems like a way of making your game more "mainstream".