The right game for the right time part 3: RPG

Let’s resume our journey to find the perfect game for the right time. In my first blog about this topic I asked all of you to vote for your favorite gaming category (you’ll find it here). Not with the intention of pointing you to those kind of games when you are bored, but to get a feel for what most of my readers like best. In the second blog (here) I shared definitions for the gaming genres, because choosing favorite game category can be awfully tricky. But now that we’ve all agreed on that, I’d say we are ready to tackle the first gaming genre. The poll was in clear favor of Role Playing Games, or RPG, so let’s do that one first in Part 3 of finding the right game for the right time.

Dragon Quest, quest, map, RPG

Back to the couch, let’s say you’ve got a full evening ahead of you and you want to play a game. Not sure which one you’re in the mood for. Well, see if you can answer all these questions with a yes:
– Are you in the mood for the long haul?
– Do you want to painstakingly build up your hero from level 0?
– You will need battle after battle ( after battle) to level up, is that okay?
– Do you want lots of hours of gaming time ahead?

A yes to all four questions is a clear sign that you are in for an RPG, but that’s not all we need to find out. There are so many different sorts of RPG! I’ve got another set of questions for you which will point you to the right sort of RPG:
1. Do you want action, real time battles? You know that you need to pay close attention, otherwise you will most probably lose. Go for an Action RPG.
2. Do you want to think carefully on your moves, with no need to rush? If so, go for a Turn Based RPG.
3. Not only do you want to think carefully about your own moves, you want to decide the best position of your troops, think of the best combinations to make, choose everyone’s best armor and weapons. A Strategy RPG is what you want.
4. But what if you like the battles, and you feel like a combination with some other gaming elements to pursue would be great. Maybe you should look at a Simulation RPG.

Now for some good games in each kind of RPG. If you’ve followed my blogs, you’ll see many return that I’ve mentioned before. The games I mention are mostly for the DS or 3DS. If not, then I’ll add it.

Action RPG
Immediately I’ve hit a snag: I hardly ever play Action RPG as I’m not good at real time battles. So I’m very hesitant about what to advise you. I’ve heard good things about Monster Hunter 4 (3DS), a lot of people really love it. I didn’t take to it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good game. A game that I really wanted to love was Kingdom Hearts (Playstation, 3Ds and DS) I tried it, but I couldn’t handle the fast button actions. I did play Avalon Code, a DS game that isn’t well known, but well worth playing. It’s different from others, in that it allows you to change the world and characters around you by changing their essence. For instance, if you find that you can’t beat the Boss you are fighting, you can first make him vulnerable to ice to vanquish him with your frost attacks. Sounds like an easy battle, but let me assure you it isn’t. Another one I liked for the great visuals and story is Luigi’s Mansion, but I was never able to get very far, let’s say I was bested by the ghosts.

Avalon_Code, Yumil, Tia, rune factory

Turn Based RPG
Here I am more in my element! Because almost all of my RPG are turn based! I feel I have control over the outcome, and I like digging in and understanding the workings behind the stats and such. The Pokémon games come to mind, leveling up, putting the Pokémon in your team that you like most. Yokai Watch is great, but not released West yet, but I think it will be just as big here soon as Pokémon is over here. I want to mention Dragon Quest IX, I’ve had much fun with customizing my team, and finding the best jobs to put in my team. The FF: 4 Heroes of Light was another great entry, as is Bravely Default. That one has a battling system that’s a bit different from others, allowing you to stock up on your attacks. Although I’m not much of a Mario fan, the Mario & Luigi games like Bowsers Inside Story are great RPG, happy, colorful and very resourceful. Talking about colorful I want to mention DenpaMen too, downloadable for the eShop and real value for money. Plus I like the way you can find all kinds of special DenpaMen riding on the wifi waves all around you. Last but not least: if you enjoy dungeon crawling and making your own maps on the go, Etrian Odyssey is a very good series. And let’s not forget Persona Q, which resembles EO, but is a bit stranger and takes place in modern day world.

Etrian Oddysey-3DS-RPG-Ladiesgaming-Etrian

Strategy RPG
At first I thought this wasn’t for me, but Fire Emblem Awakening changed my perspective. Thinking carefully in the placement of your troops before attacking, and on top of that, a good story and interaction between the characters. A game that resembles it in iOS is a Princess and Knight, not as good though as FE, but still nice and a lot cheaper. In a couple of weeks Lord of Magna will be released in the West, and from playing it in Japanese I can tell you it’s a great Strategy RPG, well worth giving it a try.

fire_emblem_awakening, chrom, marth, strategy RPG

Simulation RPG
One of my absolute favorite genres because I like RPG and I like simulation games. The combination is just perfect. My game of the year 2014, Fantasy Life, comes to mind. Crafting, decorating your house and questing, you can’t find a better combination out there. Unless it’s Rune Factory, they do a great job too in combining the farming with questing and battling. Oh, and let’s not forget the Atelier games, I recently played Atelier Rorona on my Vita, and had hours and hours of fun crafting, gathering and questing. The last one I want to mention is Disney Magical World. I know it’s not for everyone and the cutesy stuff can sometimes get annoying (never was a fan of Mickey Mouse himself) but they do a good job of including quest with battles that get harder very quickly.

FantasyLife, Paladin, Blacksmith, Jobs, Review, RPG, Nintendo, 3DS, Pam, Miner, Angler

Wow, this has become a very long blog, I warned you I can ramble on about games! And there are so many more I haven’t mentioned that deserve a place! In the next blog in this series I’ll tell you all about Simulation Games, so keep an eye out!


  1. I liked Monster Hunter but was never very good at it. My friend however was really good! And for a little while, here in central London, there was a two storey high building that gamers could come along and play co-op. They even had one of the creators from japan come for an interview. Such a shame they don’t do more things like this.

  2. Awesome read!

    Out of the subgenres you have listed, turn-based RPGs are certainly my least favorite, and they seem to be the ones you like the most. I can only truly get into them when the battle system has some action-based gimmick, like the Paper Mario, and Mario and Luigi series or Ubisoft’s Child of Light. The addition of elements like that seems to be a modern tendency, though, so turn-based RPGs are getting progressively better to me. The ones that are too traditional, however, are definitely not my cup of tea.

    1. Thanks! I loved making the blog, though it was a very lengthy one by my standard! I had the most trouble with the action RPG, because I’m really not good at them. And as it often is, when you’re not good at it, you tend to not like to play it. At least, that’s how it was for me!

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