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In 2015, the role-playing genre has exploded, with highly sought after anticipated releases like the ground breaking Bloodborne, and the steampunk inspired Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. It’s never been a better time to be a fan of role-playing games.

The origin of the role-playing game

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A lot of people associate a role-playing game with the Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest series of games. Did you know that the role-playing game genre started out as a table top, pen and paper game called Dungeons & Dragons? That tabletop game heavily influenced the development of the video game role-playing genre. Today, role-playing games, commonly abbreviated as RPG, are one of the most popular genre of games.

What are role-playing games?

Generally, RPG’s stick to a well-defined set of rules, and include basic elements such as leveling up your character, a story based on a majestic quest, and a deep strategic combat system. The role-playing genre has evolved over time, and now there is a massive selection of RPGs for you to choose from. Last year alone saw the release of notable RPGs like the fast-paced action RPG Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, strategic RPGs like Fire Emblem: Awakening, and online RPGs like The Elder Scrolls Online, where thousands of players can band together and complete quests.

Top 3 favourite RPGs of 2015 to date

Here are my top 3 role-playing games of 2015 to date, plus one upcoming RPG that I am really excited for, and finally, my all-time favourite RPG.

3. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. (Read Review) Nintendo 3DS 

One of my favourite developers, Intelligent Systems, known for the critically acclaimed Advance Wars and the innovative Fire Emblem series, brings us a brand new steampunk inspired, comic book style, strategy RPG. You must defend the Earth against an alien invasion, with the aid of a team of off-the-wall characters assembled by former American President Abraham Lincoln. Using the power of steam you can cleverly scout, sneak up to surprise, and annihilate the enemies.

Why this is one of my top RPGs of 2015 to date

This game is filled with deep rich strategic gameplay, which involves secret ambushes, unleashing utterly devastating counterattacks, and breath taking crossfires; all on a beautiful fully 3D rendered battlefield. Use your steam power wisely as it controls everything you do from moving around the map to launching an attack against the aliens.

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. supports the highly popular Fire Emblem amiibo series of figures. On the Wii U GamePad just tap Marth, Ike, Lucina, or Robin, and instantly add them as a playable character to your team. You can use each characters’ weapons to perform devastating attacks against the invading aliens in battle. With the recently released update, you can fast-forward through the enemy’s turn, speeding the gameplay up considerably.  

This game features many different battle modes, both local and online, and you can even take your team online against others in an online tournament for exhilarating multiplayer fun. There is a free playable demo on the Nintendo e-Shop for you to try out.

2. Xenoblade Chronicles 3D only for the New Nintendo 3DS

This is a must have game for fans of open-world RPGs. Xenoblade Chronicles 3D is a recently released gorgeous hand-held remake of the highly praised Wii role-playing game, which you can only experience on the New Nintendo 3DS. In this game we learn the origin of Shulk, and uncover the secrets behind his mysterious bladed called the Monado.

Why this is one of my top RPGs of 2015 to date

If you are looking for a game to show off your sleek New Nintendo 3DS, this is the game. The new C-Stick makes it easy to see the world around you, and the added ZL and ZR buttons are used to enhance gameplay by allowing you to zoom in on the action, and easily access the map. With eye-popping face-tracked 3D graphics, an incredible, finely orchestrated soundtrack, and character dialogue using real voices, Xenoblade Chronicles 3D is one of the best RPGs on a Nintendo console to date.

This game uses a deep, yet intuitive battle system, similar to Final Fantasy XII, where you control the main hero in real-time, and your team members will auto-attack the enemies when they are close by. Special abilities known as “Arts” are upgradable and customizable to match your character’s fighting style. Chain these abilities together for truly earth-shattering attacks against your enemies.

1. Bloodborne (Read Preview) PlayStation 4 

Bloodborne impressed showgoers at E3, and the Tokyo Game Show this past year, living up to and surpassing all the hype. Shipping one million units worldwide in just under two weeks, and achieving a 93% on Metacrictic, Bloodborne is currently the highest rated original game ever released on the PlayStation 4. Wow!  

Why this is one of my top RPGs of 2015 to date

There is no wonder why critics have been clamouring over this game, it has gorgeous medieval-style graphics, a groundbreaking gameplay system, and an immersive story that pulls you in and never lets go. Bloodborne takes place in Yharnam, a sought after gothic city well known for its use of blood to cure afflictions. When you arrive to the city in search of a potent blood known as Paleblood, you discover that an epidemic has plagued the city and turned most of its inhabitants to beastly creatures.

Monster design in this game is awe-inspiring. These massive beasts tower over your character with intimidation, making you quiver in your boots. Yharnam’s underground ruins,Chalice Dungeons, present a new experience every time you enter them. Each underground ruin layout can be shared with your friends or the entire world.

Bloodborne has both co-operative and competitive multiplayer modes. The goal, in co-operative mode, is to defeat the boss using the help of two additional online players, whom you can summon. Competitive multiplayer, also known as Invasion, originates in select areas of the game, and sees up to two people invading another person in a battle to the death.

Upcoming Role-playing game in 2015 to watch out for

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Release Date: May 19th, 2015

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox OnePC

Rated: M (Mature)

Genre: Action role-playing

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, an upcoming role-playing game, is my most anticipated upcoming role-playing game for the year. The game takes place following the events of The Witcher 2 where The Wild Hunt, a vicious army, are invading the Northern Kingdoms leaving a path of destruction. The Witcher, Geralt, sets out on a new and now personal mission to stop the onslaught.

Why should you be on the lookout for this?

Developer CD Projekt RED says that the open world environment of The Witcher 3 is a mind-blowing 30 times larger than previous games in the series, and 20 percent larger than 2011’s epic action role-playing game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and contains up to 100 hours of gameplay.

The fighting system has been entirely overhauled from the ground up with new mechanics, including witcher-sense, and combat on a horse. Touting non-linear gameplay, the choices you make in-game have serious effects on the game’s story experience, ensuring your time in this lush, lively open world will not be linear.

My Favourite RPG of all time

In my 30 years of gaming, there is one role-playing game that has a special place in my heart, and that game is Phantasy Star 2 for the Sega Genesis.

The story takes place 1,000 years after the first game, and has you following the journey of Rolf. Together with his friends, Rolf sets out on an adventure to discovery why Mother Brain, the protector of the planet, has gone haywire. Phantasy Star 2 has the right mix of story and relatable characters. The moment where Nei, a sister-like friend of Rolf, died was heartbreaking.

It was the first time that I had a connection with a character in a video game. The story was a departure from other RPGs, where earth people are portrayed as the invading enemies, instead of the typical alien invasion scenario.

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Do you agree with my list? What RPGs are you looking forward to in 2015? What’s your favourite RPG of all time? Let me know in the comments section below!

2 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t RPG much, but in this generation, Bravely Default for 3DS was amazing and far and away my favorite of the last 10+ years.  It’s in my top 3 alltime with Secret of Mana and the original Wild Arms. 

  2. @paliontology those are all great RPGs. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and Final Fantasy Type-0 HD were contenders that just fell short on my list. I  really excited for The Witcher 3.

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