Okay we all understand that RPGs are great right? Of course we do. What I want to know is what makes each person buy an RPG? I mean so many things go into the making of each RPG that it makes you wonder what people are buying it for. Personally I feel that the story and characters make or break an RPG, but that is my opinion and I’m going to go through different options of why people would buy them.
Graphics... do you care if the game looks like it was made on the NES? As we grow and grow technologically, games become better looking. Graphics are perhaps why most average gamers buy games. You look at the back of the CD case, you see the good looking graphics, you think great game right? Most gamers today probably do this, and sadly that is not the case. If you pick an RPG up for its graphics I don't think you understand the point of an RPG. Don't get me wrong, graphics are important, but in RPGs, graphics aren't what the game is all about. If you want good graphics, look for another genre of games. I think this category is too over rated.
Sound and Music... do you want to be involved in your surroundings and enchanted by the music of the game? Sound and music can have a major effect on games. If you're walking through a haunted town or forest, you don't want the music to be happy and cheerful. You want
the sound to be dark and frightful and most RPGs do this extremely well. Most RPGs today have magnificent scores of music, such as Xenogears and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. I can see why some people would want to buy a game for its music, but if that’s the only thing good about the game, I would just go buy the soundtrack instead. Luckily that is rare and most games with good soundtracks are also excellent games. Hmmm, maybe because of the great soundtrack...
Control... do you want a character to take an hour to turn to the right or start running? Considering I don't think this category deals with RPGs that much, I'll be brief on this topic. Control really isn't that much of a problem in RPGs. Sure, you get upset if you can't turn the right way in a certain amount of time, but it affects other genres a lot more than RPGs. If you buy an RPG for great control purposes, I don't know what to say other than you're going to be buying A LOT of them. Hope you're rich. This is a pretty congested area so have a lot of money lying around somewhere, although I do feel that control is important combined with some of the other categories.
Storyline... do you care about what happens in the game, or do you just want to beat the game and continue on with your life? Now I think we're talking RPGs! A good storyline is something that I think most gamers look for in an RPG. A good storyline is what makes an RPG worth playing. Without a good storyline, a gamer is wondering why he should bother getting to the next level. You could be on the edge of your seat thinking, 'Is the plot going to take a turn for the worse?', but if the storyline sucks, who cares? This problem can sometimes be fixed with a good battle system but mostly this only occurs in strategy/RPGs. I mean, if you're going to pick between Xenogears and Shadow Madness, which one are you going to choose? (P.S. - For the love of all that is good and holy please say that you would pick Xenogears)
Gameplay... do you want to have fun when playing an RPG? This is another factor that makes a good RPG. Is the game just fun to play? Do you mind wasting countless hours in a battle system if its the best of its kind? Of course you wouldn’t mind. You would be having too much fun to realize that the hours have gone by. This category makes even the worst RPGs worth playing.
Characters... do you want characters who barely speak, and you have no idea about who they are, or do you want characters that you actually care about and when something unfortunate happens to them you feel bad too? Characters are another big reason of why I buy a game. Of course I do think this depends on the RPG as well. If it is centering around a good storyline, then I think it is only natural that you have a strong cast of characters to back that story up.
Replayability... do you want an RPG that after you beat, you are going to put it in your closet to collect dust? Any RPG is going to take awhile to complete, but a good RPG will want you to play it again. With this comes a problem though. Some games offer you maybe two characters to play with, each with their own path and destiny. Good, right? For me, this can be bad if the game takes 70 hours to complete just once. Sure the game was great, but do I feel like starting another RPG, or do I want to play this game with the second character over game? I would prefer to start a game with a completely different mood and setting. However, I do like the extras that some RPG companies put into their games most of the time after playing through the game once you really don’t have time to take that game on again.
Each of these categories is an explanation on why or other gamers might consider buying an RPG. If you read the whole thing, good for you, because it probably wasn’t easy. If you find yourself in one of these categories and realize that maybe your missing out on some games because you're only looking for one thing in a game, then I have done my job. If I have made just a difference in one person’s life then I feel as though... ah forget it, I just hoped you liked reading my thoughts.