Fantasy Role-Playing Games
Do you enjoy a good dungeon crawl? Get a thrill out of rescuing the damsel in distress? Feel a great sense of satisfaction from trouncing monsters and raising your experience level? If you answered yes to these questions, it’s likely you are a fantasy RPGer.
Fantasy RPGs are among the oldest computer games, having been translated from traditional tabletop pen and paper gaming like Dungeons and Dragons, to the epic cinematic experiences we have come to expect from the genre on today’s video game consoles.
Although argued that fantasy RPGs haven’t had as great success in Western society as in Japan, a look at the latest offerings from the big names in fantasy RPGs will perhaps demonstrate that the genre still has a great following in the Western world.
Square Enix is probably the most well known game software development company that specialises in fantasy RPGs. They are most famous for their Final Fantasy series, as well as other popular titles like Kingdom Hearts and Dragon Quest.
The game to look for from Square Enix is most definitely Final Fantasy XIII – just do a Google search on the title to see the level of hype generated by this game. It is already out in Japan, but here in Australia, we’ll have to wait until March. However, it will no doubt be worth the wait.
Yes, these are three companies, but they often work together. There is even a Facebook group dedicated to this “holy trinity”. The three companies have dominated the fantasy RPG market, initially in the PC arena, with strong Dungeons & Dragons influences. Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, Diablo, Fallout, Neverwinter Nights are some of the best known titles. And let’s not forget World of Warcraft. Dragon Age: Origins is a recent console release with high acclaim.
Nintendo alone is a huge developer that covers the breadth of videogames generally, however, their classic entry into the fantasy RPG market is the hugely successful Zelda franchise. The latest adventure (Spirit Tracks) was released on DS and the upcoming Wii title is confirmed to be out later this year. The Zelda series is reported to have sold in excess of 50 million copies worldwide.
As you can see, there are some huge games coming out to strengthen the fantasy RPG market in the Western world. With console and graphics power ever-increasing, it will be exciting to see what the future holds for this very enjoyable gaming genre.