Is FFXIII really an RPG?

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#1 Posted by thuiscool (107 posts) -

 I've played about 20 hrs into this game and started to think.

Is this really an RPG?

I've always considered an RPG to be, quite frankly, a game where I play a role, but FFXIII feels more like I'm watching a 30+ hr movie. Granted, it's a great 30+ hr movie with great looking CG. But, I'm not really playing the role of Lightning. I'm watching "The Adventures of Lightning and Friends". The battle system also feels really automated and the only thing I need to do is Libra then change paradigms when necessary. It's enjoyable and really intense with some of the boss fights, but I feel like I'm just trying to get to the end of the game. It's just doesn't have any parts that stand out as an RPG to me. It's more like an Action/Adventure game. Once you think of it like that, the whole thing makes sense.

RPGs are ROLE PLAYING games, which require me to play a ROLE. Mass Effect, Dragon Age, hell, I'd even consider Yakuza 3, to be RPGs because they actually let me play that role. I choose what I want to do, whether through dialogue or actions. THAT is my definition of an RPG. Maybe that's why some people don't like FFXIII. You go in expecting an RPG, but clearly, it's not.

I was excited for FFXIII, but it's not what I expected going into the game. I still find it enjoyable and will probably play it a second time, but in my mind, it's not an RPG.

Do you consider this to be an RPG?

#2 Edited by Meowayne (6084 posts) -

Look, its this thread again.

#3 Posted by Hunkulese (2786 posts) -

Can you take down a helicopter with it?
 
Then no it isn't an RPG.

#4 Posted by thuiscool (107 posts) -
@Meowayne: I'm sorry. I posted this because I haven't seen it anywhere else. Link?
#5 Posted by thuiscool (107 posts) -
@Hunkulese:  This game would be SOO much better if it could take down a helicopter.
#6 Posted by Burns098356GX (1366 posts) -

They did go a different direction when they put in this paradigm thing, and the combat is more focused on which roles make-ups you have. If you haven't played the game, or got very far it can defiantly get boring just doing the auto-select options, but once your well into the game, your always flicking paradigms because the boss encounters really force you to swap roles frequently. I wouldn't comment on the cutscenes though, this games frequency and length of cutscenes dont hold a candle to MGS4.

#7 Posted by Fallen189 (5033 posts) -

Yes, of course it is, stop trying to stir up shit.

Online
#8 Posted by InfiniteGeass (2056 posts) -

Can you earn experience to improve your character? Yes
Do you pick up stuff after battles? Yes.
 
Sounds like an RPG to me.

#9 Posted by Shinri (534 posts) -
@Meowayne said:
"Look, its this thread again."

This. 
 
It's an RPG.
#10 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19371 posts) -

It's an RPG.  Done.

#11 Posted by PufferFiz (1379 posts) -

Is it a rpg? sure
is it what I consider it a FF game that I actually want to play? no

#12 Posted by tranquilchaos (575 posts) -

No.

#13 Posted by super_machine (1931 posts) -

To be technical no. By definition RPGs are games where you literally role play as the character. LARP and MMORPG would be considered the true forms of role playing because it requires the player to act the part when interacting with other players. Since games like FF13 are single player experiences, can you really say you are acting out the role of the character any more than you would be if you were playing Gears of War or Uncharted? Its more of an interactive statistical experience game.

#14 Posted by CL60 (16906 posts) -

Yes.

#15 Edited by EpicSteve (6492 posts) -

I don't know if you've been playing RPGs for the last twenty years, but they're all focused on story elements and micro-managing stats.

#16 Edited by xyzygy (10030 posts) -

What's up with this question now? Why do games need to follow set standards like this? First it was "Is Mass Effect 2 and RPG?" now this.  
 
Yes, it's an RPG. Did you even open up the Crystarium?

#17 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -
@Hunkulese said:
" Can you take down a helicopter with it?  Then no it isn't an RPG. "
winner
#18 Posted by illmatic19 (964 posts) -

Its an RPG, just not a good one.
 
OH SNAP.

#19 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

It has combat dicerolls so yep.

#20 Posted by nickhimself (71 posts) -

FFXIII is not a roleplaying game. It's a sports title.

#21 Posted by Meowayne (6084 posts) -

FFXIII is not a roleplaying game. It's a corridor shooter.

#22 Posted by Kombat (2205 posts) -

Seriously? First Mass Effect 2 isn't an RPG because it's had all the fat removed from the genre's traditional mechanics while still sporting all the iconic BioWare dialogue options and narrative branches, and now FFXIII isn't an RPG because while it has all of the genre mechanics, it features a linear story. 
 
I think I'll just pull in the generic idea that if "playing a role" is what makes an RPG, then every game is an RPG.  Using that mentality, you're just making things too broad.  The story and it's impact aren't what make an RPG a part of its respective genre.  It's the mechanics.  That's not to say story isn't important, but it's just not what determines the genre.  The term "Role-Playing Game" is very abstract in the gaming industry, and I present every RPG ever made as my evidence. 
 
Final Fantasy is an RPG, but so are Mass Effect and Baldur's Gate.  So is Oblivion.  All of those examples play very differently, regardless of the plot.

#23 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

They all have dice rolls, though. All JRPGs and WRPGs until ME2 had dice rolls. Its not that abstract, there is a connective tissue. That's why there are WRPGs and ARPGs. One has dice rolls and the other doesnt. Basically the only difference there. We seem to be further abstracting the term to include games we want to include because it feels right or whatever, and if that continues, one day games like Hexen 2 will magically turn into RPGs.

#24 Posted by frankfartmouth (1018 posts) -


RPGs are in a significant transitional phase right now, as are many genres, so it's a natural question. It used to be very easy to distinguish RPG from non-RPG, and it all had to do with how closely a game resembled a pen and paper RPG like D&D. Phantasy Star, Dragon Warrior, Final Fantasy 1, and AD&D (obviously) were all essentially d20-based, graphical versions of their P&P counterparts. Clear RPGs. But why wasn't Zelda considered an RPG? It was longer, had a complete economy, and in many ways had a more detailed, intricate, and open world to explore than many RPGs of the day, where you kind of just went in a straight line from town to dungeon to town to dungeon.  
 
The simple answer is that it had no equivalent of a stat sheet; the main character was essentially static, and augmentation was based on accumulating items, not die-rolling and accumulating experience to strengthen a list of attributes. May seem like a fine line, but it really is a significant difference, insofar as how it feels to play the game.  
 
I don't think story has nearly as much to do with it. Super Mario Bros had about as much of a story as the first Final Fantasy. And today, stories are about as sophisticated in balls out action games as they are in many RPGs. It's also certainly not about just getting items off of defeated enemies, like someone on this thread said. In that case, every shooter ever made would qualify.

 

There's a lot fo things that go into it, but the customizable, upgradable stat sheet is the main thing. I haven't played 13 yet, but if it still has that (as ME2 does, although it's a bit paltry), then I'd say it still qualifies. Although it does sound strange to play an RPG with no towns, shops, or exploration involved.    

#25 Posted by Meowayne (6084 posts) -

There is about as much exploration as there is in VII - X, if you turn off the minimap. And you "unlock" a set of shops during the first five hours which you can then access on every save point.

#26 Posted by Atomasist (2818 posts) -

It's a RPG. Controversy!

#27 Edited by vidiot (2737 posts) -

Question: This _Insert new Japanese RPG title_ has a bunch of cut-scenes. The manner of how it tell it's story is quite linear, and all dialog is scripted in movie format. I _hate/don't mind_ this style of storytelling, is it an RPG?
 
Person #1: "Yes, there are stats and character building, concepts that have been a part of roleplaying games since they're inception."
Person #2: -insert unintelligible response about how all games from Japan suck. Something about how the guys look like girls-
Person #3: -insert unintelligible rebuttal to previous statement. Person #2 and Person #3 will now be fighting sporadically back and forth for the remainder of this thread.-
Person #4: "They're not roleplaying games! -Notice, at this point a specific definition of what a roleplaying game is to a certain individual will be established. Be on the look out for the use of caps on the word "ROLE", as if there is something the matter with your reading comprehension. As if though you can open a dictionary, and you will find said terminology written in stone.-
Person #5: -insert Person #1's valid argument again. Also states that game uses dice-rolls for just about every action in combat- 
Person #6: -Rebukes all opinions of people defending it being an RPG, because said user's avatars are all anime characters.-
-Rinse and repeat for a few pages. Debate either get's more volatile, or more understandable.-

#28 Posted by Meowayne (6084 posts) -

+1

#29 Posted by Bobby_The_Great (1008 posts) -

Isn't every videogame technically an RPG? 
You always play the role of another in games.
 
I like FFXIII.

#30 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -
@vidiot said:
" Question: This _Insert new Japanese RPG title_ has a bunch of cut-scenes. The manner of how it tell it's story is quite linear, and all dialog is scripted in movie format. I _hate/don't mind_ this style of storytelling, is it an RPG?
 
Person #1: "Yes, there are stats and character building, concepts that have been a part of roleplaying games since they're inception."
Person #2: -insert unintelligible response about how all games from Japan suck. Something about how the guys look like girls-
Person #3: -insert unintelligible rebuttal to previous statement. Person #2 and Person #3 will now be fighting sporadically back and forth for the remainder of this thread.-
Person #4: "They're not roleplaying games! -Notice, at this point a specific definition of what a roleplaying game is to a certain individual will be established. Be on the look out for the use of caps on the word "ROLE", as if there is something the matter with your reading comprehension. As if though you can open a dictionary, and you will find said terminology written in stone.-
Person #5: -insert Person #1's valid argument again. Also states that game uses dice-rolls for just about every action in combat- 
Person #6: -Rebukes all opinions of people defending it being an RPG, because said user's avatars are all anime characters.-
-Rinse and repeat for a few pages. Debate either get's more volatile, or more understandable.- "
Are you scripting Internet the RPG?
#31 Posted by Skald (4369 posts) -

For the last time, RPGs have nothing to do with playing a role, they're about tabletop mechanics, because tabletop games did feature role-playing. That's what today's games take away from the old RPGs.

#32 Posted by vidiot (2737 posts) -
@ryanwho said:
" @vidiot said:
" Question: This _Insert new Japanese RPG title_ has a bunch of cut-scenes. The manner of how it tell it's story is quite linear, and all dialog is scripted in movie format. I _hate/don't mind_ this style of storytelling, is it an RPG?
 
Person #1: "Yes, there are stats and character building, concepts that have been a part of roleplaying games since they're inception."
Person #2: -insert unintelligible response about how all games from Japan suck. Something about how the guys look like girls-
Person #3: -insert unintelligible rebuttal to previous statement. Person #2 and Person #3 will now be fighting sporadically back and forth for the remainder of this thread.-
Person #4: "They're not roleplaying games! -Notice, at this point a specific definition of what a roleplaying game is to a certain individual will be established. Be on the look out for the use of caps on the word "ROLE", as if there is something the matter with your reading comprehension. As if though you can open a dictionary, and you will find said terminology written in stone.-
Person #5: -insert Person #1's valid argument again. Also states that game uses dice-rolls for just about every action in combat- 
Person #6: -Rebukes all opinions of people defending it being an RPG, because said user's avatars are all anime characters.-
-Rinse and repeat for a few pages. Debate either get's more volatile, or more understandable.- "
Are you scripting Internet the RPG? "
Something like that. This question/debate has been done to death, it's not like it would be hard to do.
#33 Posted by sopranosfan (1935 posts) -

yes it is.

#34 Posted by atomic_dumpling (2474 posts) -

We need a "Fuck genre labels" movement ASAP.

#35 Posted by Shadow (4981 posts) -

.....role playing game

#36 Posted by pause422 (6201 posts) -

This is a really dumb question.

#37 Posted by OllyOxenFree (4976 posts) -

No shit it is.

#38 Posted by Whisperkill (2969 posts) -

People's perception of what an RPG is, is kind of wrong. 
 
In pretty much every game, you are playing a role

#39 Posted by Semition (731 posts) -

There's two definitions of RPG. Yes for the traditional one. No for the role playing one.

#40 Posted by PenguinDust (12554 posts) -

The definition of an RPG is changing and perhaps the term should be discarded entirely.  Lots of games have RPG elements these days and some cross genres with equal capability, so how to define these games becomes problematic.  I wonder if they even need to be categorized.  When a game doesn't fit into established (maybe archaic) definitions, then it's better not to classify them as anything more than a gaming experience.  In FFXIII's case, a game with a story experience.

#41 Posted by Lambert (404 posts) -

Nope, and it sure is crap.
 
I laugh in the face of those who said Mass Effect 2 wasn't an rpg and say that this linear piece of shit is. 
 
Pressing X for the first 20 minutes of the game. Wow, I 'm really role playing now /sarcasm.

#42 Posted by nail1080 (1975 posts) -
@Hunkulese said:
" Can you take down a helicopter with it?  Then no it isn't an RPG. "
ha this!
#43 Posted by eclipsesis (1242 posts) -
@Meowayne:
Snap
#44 Posted by LiquidPrince (16009 posts) -

Action RPG, yes.

#45 Posted by Vorbis (2750 posts) -

Mass Effect 2 was just a third person shooter with dialogue that let you pick the levels.
 
See, I can be an ass too.

#46 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -
@Vorbis said:
" Mass Effect 2 was just a third person shooter with dialogue that let you pick the levels.  See, I can be an ass too. "
But what happens when Gears of War 3 has that?
#47 Posted by JCrothers--defunct (43 posts) -

you choose what role to develop in the crystarium... i dont know how much more role-playing you can get than that.

#48 Edited by Gre (154 posts) -
@ryanwho said:

" It has combat dicerolls so yep. "

For better or for worse, this is what "RPG" means in computer game terms.  It's got nothing to do with whether or not the game lets you "play a role", despite what the letters stand for.
Here's how I see it breaking down (of course this is all open to debate):
Shooters (whether first person or third) are built around an aiming mechanic, and if you put the crosshair on or near the target (depending on the degree of auto-aim), it will hit.
Action games are built around button-press attacks that you can string into combos.
RPG's are based on "dice rolls" that take into account the character's "stats", which can improve over time.  Mass Effect and Fallout 3 are "RPG Shooters" because you aim your weapons, and whether you hit or not is based on a combination of how close the crosshairs are to the target and a dice roll based on your character's skills.  Final Fantasy XIII (as far as I can tell, I haven't played it) is an "Action RPG" because you press buttons to make attacks whose outcome is based on a dice roll, your character's skills, and how well you time your button presses.
In a "pure" RPG, player skill - as opposed to character skill - (how well you aim or how good your timing is on button presses) should have no impact the outcome of your action.
#49 Posted by mspainhour (27 posts) -

 
Well, by definition, is an RPG not a Role Playing Game?  As far as I can see, I'm not playing as someone else, I'm just along for the ride. And don't get me wrong, I love this game. A lot. 
This thread is now about possible definitions for the abbreviation RPG. I'll start. 
 
Rapist Piano Gator 
 
Go.

#50 Posted by demontium (4710 posts) -

Mass Effect 2 really an RPG?

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