What is a CRPG? The debate rages on to this day as fans of the computer role-playing game bicker over the minutiae of what does and does not make a CRPG. For my purposes, I want to be as inclusive as possible but still feel the need to limit it to three key factors that should be present in any game in the genre.
Every year is the year I’m going to quit video games and then every year I get sucked back into the hobby. For good or ill, there remains a constant stream of games that keep me coming back for more. This last year continues the trend as I took an early break only to find myself quickly returning to the hobby with some early notable releases. The summer months were a bit of a drag, but then things picked back up again and then I looked back at the year and realized how many titles I missed that I would have played given infinite amounts of time and money.
Possessed by a desire to finish out the Batman video game trilogy, I decided to play the release of Batman: Arkham Knight released for free for a limited time on the Epic Store. I heard that there were problems, mostly involving the batmobile and performance issues, but within a few hours the game had me coming face to face with a question about my favorite childhood comic book hero: Is Batman fascist?
Spelunky is the game I play when I’m feeling down. Spelunky is the game I think about when I think about great game design. Spelunky is the game I want to see ported to the Switch the most. It checks so many boxes for me: endlessly playable, difficulty but fair, a game I can play to decompress, it lets me rescue dogs to gain health, and a game that continues to surprise me even after 100+ hours of play. Few things in this world exist mean as much to me as this game does. It’s the greatest.
What can change the nature of a man? It’s the question that drives forward this classic RPG in what many consider to be the best story told in all of gaming. And this is a game you’ll want to play for the story. The combat isn’t terrible, but it’s the wisdom/charisma builds that unlock all the fascinating conversations that keep Planescape: Torment the high bar by which many still judge any video game story.