Category Archives: RPG Reload

RPG Reload Glossary: Cloudy with a Chance of Angst, or JRPGs in the Late 1990s

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where we always bring a party. To be specific, welcome to the RPG Reload Glossary, where we sift through the piles of historical debris and messy semantics to try to make some sense of it all. This time around, we're continuing our look at the history of the JRPG sub-genre. In the last part, we followed the progress of the genre through the 16-bit period of console gaming. Enix's Dragon Quest series had finally found some competition in Square's Final Fantasy, while continued attempts to help the sub-genre break out in the West were largely rebuffed. Meanwhile, as technology moved forward, JRPGs were starting to attempt more sophisticated stories and characters. By the end of the 1990s, all of this conflict would be settled, one way or the other...

RPG Reload Glossary: 16-bit Paradise, or JRPGs in the early 1990s

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where we always bring a party. To be specific, welcome to the RPG Reload Glossary, where we sift through the piles of historical debris and messy semantics to try to make some sense of it all. This time around, we're continuing our look at the history of the JRPG sub-genre. In the last part, we went through the origins of this popular sub-genre through the 1980s. By the close of the decade, JRPGs were by far the most popular kinds of games in Japan, but had yet to make much of a dent in other regions. The 1990s would change all of that, and it largely came down to two games in particular. The lead-up to that ultimate breakthrough held plenty of great games, many of which were deliberate attempts to appeal to the Western market...




The RPG Reload Play-Along: 'Icewind Dale'

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload Play-Along. Each month, we'll be playing an iOS RPG together, sharing laughs and tears in equal measures. The post on the front page (like this one!) is basically here to announce the game in question and give a few tips on getting started. The real action will be happening in the TouchArcade forums, where you'll find a thread dedicated to each month's featured game. Sign up if you haven't already, post your screenshots, ask for advice, or just chat about your misadventures with others. We've got a great community of RPG fans here at TouchArcade, so let's make the most of it!..

RPG Reload File 103 - 'Warhammer Quest'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where even our finest apparel reeks of goblin blood. In each installment, we take a look at a game from the App Store's past to see how it stands up in the here and now. It's a chance to revisit old favorites, reflect on their position in the overall iOS library, or simply to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow for. I try to cover a variety of games in these articles, but if you feel like I'm missing something very important, by all means let me know. You can offer up suggestions in the comments below, and while I can't promise I'll get to them soon, they will be added to the master list for future consideration...

The RPG Reload Play-Along Bonus Edition: 'Solomon's Boneyard'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to a special bonus edition of the RPG Reload Play-Along. Each month, we'll be playing an iOS RPG together, sharing laughs and tears in equal measures. The post on the front page (like this one!) is basically here to announce the game in question and give a few tips on getting started. The real action will be happening in the TouchArcade forums, where you'll find a thread dedicated to each month's featured game. Sign up if you haven't already, post your screenshots, ask for advice, or just chat about your misadventures with others. We've got a great community of RPG fans here at TouchArcade, so let's make the most of it!..

RPG Reload Glossary - The Origins of JRPGs

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where we sometimes hold down the confirm button because we are lazy. To be specific, welcome to the RPG Reload Glossary, where we get all up in fussy semantics, history, and other things that polite society will shun us for. Having covered social RPGs, tactical RPGs, and action RPGs in previous installments, we now turn our attention to another one of the big dogs of the RPG category: the JRPG. As messy as trying to define action RPGs was, JRPGs are in some way even more difficult to nail down. As with the last couple of Glossary features, you can expect this one to span multiple columns, with roughly one for each decade. In today's installment, we'll be looking at the origins and early years of the genre, loosely covering the 1980s...

The Best Action RPGs for iPhone and iPad - An RPG Reload Ranking

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where our battles to the death sometimes involve QTEs. In each of these columns, we take a look at some aspect of RPG gaming on iOS. Often, it's in the form of a replay or a retrospective, but today we're doing something a little different. In the last couple of months, we went through the history of action RPGs, from Dragon Slayer to Dark Souls. These trips through history present us with an opportunity to do something that is often requested of us here at TouchArcade: lists of the best examples of each gaming genre. Consider this, then, your starter set for action RPGs on iOS. Are there other excellent ones? You bet! This is just my opinion, after all. But this gives you a place to get started in the genre with some assurance of reasonable quality...

RPG Reload Glossary: The Dark Souls of This Series, or Action-RPGs in the 2010s

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where we always do it by torchlight. This week, we're concluding our look at the history of the action-RPG sub-genre. Last time, we took a look at the games of the late 2000s, a period where more and more action games were incorporating RPG mechanics, but few traditional action-RPGs made many waves. With Square Enix's Kingdom Hearts series somewhat lost in the spin-off woods and Blizzard busy rolling around in stacks of World of Warcraft money, the sub-genre found itself lacking in high-profile hits. While a new Diablo would arrive soon enough, the new flag-bearer for the genre came from a somewhat unlikely source...

The RPG Reload Play-Along: 'Final Fantasy Tactics'

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload Play-Along. Each month, we'll be playing an iOS RPG together, sharing laughs and tears in equal measures. The post on the front page (like this one!) is basically here to announce the game in question and give a few tips on getting started. The real action will be happening in the TouchArcade forums, where you'll find a thread dedicated to each month's featured game. Sign up if you haven't already, post your screenshots, ask for advice, or just chat about your misadventures with others. We've got a great community of RPG fans here at TouchArcade, so let's make the most of it!..

RPG Reload Glossary: An Inability to Count to Three, or Action-RPGs in the Late 00s

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where spin-offs are never out of season. This week, we're continuing our look at the history of the action-RPG sub-genre. Last time, we checked in on the early 00s, a period where Diablo's massive success spawned a number of imitators and Square Enix hooked up with Disney to make some real money with a fantasy cross-over. Steam was just beginning what would eventually be a near takeover of the PC market, while Nintendo was about to lob a couple of Hail Mary passes that may have saved the company. Oh, and Apple was only a year or two away from launching the product that would come to define them in the new millennium. Somehow, the action-RPG genre was still a slippery one, but developers had more or less figured out that to be a big success with them, you had to make them easy to play...

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload Play-Along. Each month, we'll be playing an iOS RPG together, sharing laughs and tears in equal measures. The post on the front page (like this one!) is basically here to announce the game in question and give a few tips on getting started. The real action will be happening in the TouchArcade forums, where you'll find a thread dedicated to each month's featured game. Sign up if you haven't already, post your screenshots, ask for advice, or just chat about your misadventures with others. We've got a great community of RPG fans here at TouchArcade, so let's make the most of it!..

RPG Reload Glossary - Send in the Clones, or Action-RPGs in the Early 00s

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where everything goes better with a good loot system. This week, we're continuing our slow but steady crawl through the history of the action-RPG sub-genre. The last time we looked at this topic, we covered the late 1990s, perhaps one of the more significant periods thanks to the debut of Blizzard's Diablo. Just how influential was it? Read on, friends. If you don't already know, I have a feeling you will soon. Keeping in mind the general explosion of game releases from here on out, I'm only going to be covering a five-year span, and only the games I think are noteworthy. If I leave out your favorite, it might have just slipped my mind. Hold on to that hope!..

RPG Reload Special Edition - 'The RPG Reload 3rd Anniversary Special'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where we sometimes take a moment to check our status screens and admire our stats. While I had originally planned for this week's installment to continue our dive into the history of action-RPGs, it was brought to my attention that we passed another milestone this week. Our humble little corner of TouchArcade is now officially three years old, so I'd like to dedicate this week's column to a little navel-gazing in honor of that accomplishment. Put on your mystic caps of self-indulgence, friends, because we're going on a magic carpet ride of RPG Reload history! If you're here for the action-RPG series, we'll be returning to that next week...

RPG Reload Glossary - Giving the Devil His Due, or Action-RPGs in the Late 90s

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where the real monster was us all along. This week, we're heading into the next chapter of our RPG Reload Glossary covering the history of action-RPGs. The genre remains somewhat difficult to nail down to this day, but the 1990s would prove to whittle down the general perception of the genre to two or three basic forms. Like with any other genre, this more solid form came about due to some very popular tentpole releases that set a template for others to follow. In the last installment, we saw how the more Japan-focused console side of the industry settled in on two basic templates for the genre. This time around, we're covering the second half of the 1990s, where the Western-focused PC market finally found its genre-maker...

RPG Reload Play-Along: 'Chrono Trigger'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload Play-Along. Each month, we'll be playing an iOS RPG together, sharing laughs and tears in equal measures. The post on the front page (like this one!) is basically here to announce the game in question and give a few tips on getting started. The real action will be happening in the TouchArcade forums, where you'll find a thread dedicated to each month's featured game. Sign up if you haven't already, post your screenshots, ask for advice, or just chat about your misadventures with others. We've got a great community of RPG fans here at TouchArcade, so let's make the most of it!..

RPG Reload Glossary - Smells Like Ys Spirit, or Action-RPGs in the Early 90s

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where we're either playing gods or slaying gods. This week, we're filling in the next chapter in our RPG Reload Glossary look at the history of action-RPGs. One of the messier and less-satisfying genre labels around, the action-RPG had already taken many forms by the end of the 1980s. In the next decade, some of the most successful examples of the genre would arrive on the scene. While you would think that might simplify matters, the 1990s closed with the genre being harder to nail down than ever. While I had intended to cover the entire decade in this installment, it became apparent halfway through that it was beyond the scope of a single article. So instead, we're going to look at the first half of this formative decade and pick out some of the genre highlights along the way...

RPG Reload Glossary - The Origins of Action-RPGs

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where we fight by slamming our bodies into things. To be specific, welcome to the RPG Reload Glossary, where we get all up in fussy semantics, history, and other things that polite society will shun us for. Having covered both social RPGs and tactical RPGs in previous installments, we now turn our attention to perhaps the most popular and hard-to-define sub-genre of RPGs: the action-RPG. You can expect this one to be another three- or four-parter, as trying to do it all at once would require some keen editing, and that is not a thing that I am good at. In today's installment, we'll be looking at the origins and early years of the genre, loosely covering the 1980s. Let's get ready to rumble!..

The Best Tactical RPGs for iPhone and iPad - An RPG Reload Ranking

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where our battles to the death are usually turn-based. In each of these columns, we take a look at some aspect of RPG gaming on iOS. Often, it's in the form of a replay or a retrospective, but today I want to try out something new. In the last couple of months, we went through the history of tactical RPGs, from Dungeons & Dragons to Fire Emblem Echoes. Although I felt that was finished with the end of the historical line, so to speak, I got to thinking this week that these trips through history present us with an opportunity to do something that is often requested of us here at TouchArcade: lists of the best examples of each gaming genre. Consider this, then, your starter set for tactical RPGs on iOS. Are there other excellent ones? You bet! This is just my opinion, after all. But this gives you a place to get started in the genre with some assurance of reasonable quality...

RPG Reload Glossary - The Unexpected Modern Awakening of TRPGs

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where we're all just trying to S-rank our relationships. Last month, we continued our look at the history of turn-based tactical RPGs with a look at the years from 2000 to 2010. The genre came into the decade blazing, but by the time it wound down, things were looking pretty bleak. As it turned out, hope was right around the corner. This month, we'll be wrapping things up by taking a look at the notable games in the genre from the last several years. At least at the moment, it feels like TRPGs are more popular than ever. The various things that had to happen for that to come about were so unlikely that it makes for quite a story...

The RPG Reload Play-Along: 'Final Fantasy 5'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload Play-Along. Each month, we'll be playing an iOS RPG together, sharing laughs and tears in equal measures. The post on the front page (like this one!) is basically here to announce the game in question and give a few tips on getting started. The real action will be happening in the TouchArcade forums, where you'll find a thread dedicated to each month's featured game. Sign up if you haven't already, post your screenshots, ask for advice, or just chat about your misadventures with others. We've got a great community of RPG fans here at TouchArcade, so let's make the most of it! As a little incentive, at the end of each month, I will randomly pick one of the participants and send them something small and silly from here in Japan. All you have to do to be eligible is, well, play along with the Play-Along!..

Copyright 2014, TouchArcade.com, LLC.