What defines a Roleplaying Game? This is actually a rather common, and quite interesting question that serves as an easy starting point to the discussion of what exactly defines a genre. Yet, it's a question that has been discussed many times, and one that I find is rather all too easy. Instead the question that's been bopping around in my head for a while has been about what defines the Strategy Roleplaying Game. In a genre that seems adverse to any sort of roleplaying and immersion, the genre that gave us turn based games such as Final Fantasy Tactics, Disgaea, and Fire Emblem, what exactly gives us the right to consider these games RPGs? What can we do in order to enhance SRPGs, and perhaps make them live up a bit more to their name? Well, let's take a look.
(Each of Dual Strike's COs have their own distinct visual design and abilities)
In the end, have we actually learned anything new about how to make a good videogame? I believe we have. Instead of simply taking the basics of two genres and melding them together in a contrived way, Advanced Wars: Dual Strike has taught us that the best way to mesh genres is to take elements from both that compliment eachother as much as possible. But I believe the more important lesson in this comes from the fact that by looking at the basic types of engagement offered by different genres, we can design our mechanics around them and be innovative while catering to specific niches. This very same principle is what saved the dying genre of the SRPG, and remain at the core of game design. The SRPG genre is definitely full of innovation just as much as stagnation, but there's always room for improvement if you just, take a closer look.
Addendum: Observation is never definite, nor is game design. Have different examples or arguments? Go ahead, comment and share it! This week's post has also been edited by one of Destructoid's very own writers, Liam Fisher! Thanks for the help Liam!
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