Let me start this off by saying I have a love and appreciation for every genre of gaming out there. Even to my least favorite being life simulators, I’m looking at you The Sims, I still see their appeal. But there’s one genre in particular that I keep coming back to even through its constant abuse and nuisances.

First off, what is an RPG? The premise of a Role Playing Game (RPG) is to essentially take on the role of nameless characters, adding to the immersion that it is indeed YOU who are partaking on this adventure. Typically in an RPG, the gameplay requires a bit more strategy than lets say a platformer or a racing game. This usually involves equipping party members with specific items, leveling up and random enemy encounters.

Now this isn’t the same for all RPG’s, but this tends to be the basic premise. To go ahead and get the bad out of the way. Here are some reasons for why I tend to dislike RPG’s. Again, I cant stress enough that these are just my opinions on the RPG genre and vary from person to person.


That sink in? We good? Let’s do this!


So we know what an RPG is, but what about turn based RPG’s? When encountering an enemy, players are taken to a battle screen where they can plan out their next move. Will I heal this turn? Do any of my party members need more magic? These are questions that tend to come up before inputing commands. If there’s one thing I love about this gameplay style, is it requires you to “look before you leap” and there’s a great sense of satisfaction when a plan comes together. You feel strategic, accomplished and ready for the next challenge! However, this rush tends to die quickly after the fifth enemy encounter.

The constant repetition of “Oh look! The same group of enemies that I just fought.” sinks in for me rather quickly, especially when it happens after taking two steps on the world map. Whenever I’m playing Final Fantasy 3 (6 in the US), I constantly let out a sigh of annoyance when I’m trying to progress to a major part in the story only to be interrupted by another random encounter of enemies that aren’t even worth my time. Now there are some games that do a good job eliminating this frustration. Earthbound will have enemies walking across the map and at times, will run away from you if your level is high enough. Even modern games like Bravely Default give players the option to turn down the likeliness of a random encounter. It’s the little things like this that makes RPG’s more manageable.

Another problem I have is level grinding. Oh me oh my, do I have some mixed feelings in this regard. I cant recall an RPG that didn’t require me to deviate away from the main plot to level grind for a few hours in order to defeat the next obstacle. Don’t get me wrong, this element is fantastic in giving the player a feeling of growth and strength. It’s rewarding when a boss that previously gave you a hard time, is nothing more than a push over at your new godly level, or as I like to call “I AM TRISTAN HEAR ME ROAR”! It’s fantastic and it fills you with confidence…until the game decides to throw some enemies that will mop the floor with you. Now my battle cry has changed to “I AM TRISTAN HEAR ME…mew like a kitten”.

While this is a valuable game element that prevents you from just breezing through everything, I would at least like to have my time in the spotlight last for a while before I’m metaphorically knocked off my pedestal.

Throughout my gripes about RPG’s, you may have noticed that at times, I had some genuinely nice things to say about certain elements.

If there’s one thing that can make me completely look past all of my mentioned issues, it’s the games story. One in particular is a familiar RPG that for some, sits as their personal favorite. Chrono Trigger has a story that constantly evolves the further you explore its world. What starts off as an experiment gone wrong, turns into time travel, which turns into breaking out of prison and then. Well I don’t want to give away the whole story. The point is, the plot keeps me so invested that I forget about the random encounters and concentrate more about the well being of the characters. I feel like I’m on this world saving journey and I don’t want to stop until the job is finished.

Speaking of favorite RPG’s, mine in particular is Super Mario RPG The Legend of The Seven Stars. In fact this is my favorite game of all time which is weird considering it’s an RPG and this article is about my love/hate relationship with RPG’s. Allow me to explain. Legend of The Seven Stars taught me in the simplest way how to properly play and understand an RPG. It taught me the value of equipable gear, the idea that I had to put more thought in my actions and that there was more to gaming than what I was accustomed to at the time.

Now those are some minor points, but again, why would an RPG be my favorite game of all time? What about all those random encounters and monotonous gameplay? As I mentioned near the beginning of this editorial, each RPG is unique and different. This one in particular has no random encounters, as each foe walks on the same field as you, and can be fought at your own leisure. This gave me a sense of control, as it was up to me if I was up for a battle or not and if I wasn’t at a high enough level for the next encounter, it was my fault for not engaging previous battles. But by far the biggest selling point was the battle system. In most RPG’s, you select your command, watch the executed command, rinse and repeat. However, in Mario RPG, if you time the attack button whilst attacking, you have the opportunity to land extra damage, essentially keeping you engaged in the action, instead of choosing attacks and watching them happen. The only one that was keeping you from dishing out more damage or lowering the damage taken was you.

Perhaps it’s that sense of control that I have in the an RPG that plays a large impact on my reception of the game. These fascinating, deep and colorful characters are off to take charge of their fate/destiny, so why not let the player take charge as well?

In the grand scheme of things, do I ultimately despise RPG’s? No, not at all. For me, they’re a refreshing break from other genres and a nice way to keep my mind sharp. It’s just at times, things do get a bit redundant a lot quicker than other games. RPG’s will always be a double edged sword for me when it comes to gaming. But a double edged sword also contains balance, that keeps the wielder strong. Either way you look at it, it’s all just Purely Opinion.