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Difference between Action-Adventure and Action RPGs

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Hey guys, I'm just wondering on your thoughts on the differences between Action-Adventure games (like Zelda) and Action RPGs (Mass Effect, Kingdom Hearts).

I initially thought of Zelda games to be action RPG games because of the ability to buy or recieve items, and upgrading items but now people are telling me its more of an "action adventure" game. Mass Effect is definately an Action RPG but shares a similar item system to Zelda since you can upgrade weapons, get new weapons, etc. Now the genre's seem to me the one and the same.

I just need some clarification reguarding both genres and I appreciate any responses. Thanks.

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Obviously, definitions depend on the person you're talking to. But generally it seems the term RPG is used when the game has [i]character[/i] advancement (leveling). Adventure games usually only have [i]item[/i] advancement (hearts in Zelda count as items by this definition). So if the game has XP, it's an RPG.

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Well the main difference between the two from what I can see (along with what Suspense said) is that Action Adventure games involve a large amount of (often complex) puzzle solving when compared to Action RPGs.

Zelda specifically is a bit of a sticky one. It does have a RPG bent, but those features aren't dominant (which tends to happen a lot come to think of it).

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I believe that Zelda is centered on roaming while Kingdom Hearts has leveling features. Zelda has tons of side quests and a large world whereas Kingdom Hearts is packed together and focuses on character leveling instead.

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I don't see a reason to get caught up in the terms. I believe they are largely interchangeable. Zelda has character progression to some extent (gaining hearts for example), so that isn't a strict rule.

Something like Diablo has more action and RPG elements, so if anything that comes to mind as being an Action RPG, but adventuring is certainly part of the game too...

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Genre is not determined by the features a game has, but by why people play it.

Even though CoD has a leveling system, it is a fps. Also, even though Mass Effect can play like an action game, it is considered an rpg.

You play Zelda to go on an adventure to solve puzzles and stuff, and the game giving you hearts is just awarding you for doing so.

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This topic is 2030 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

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