Error Machine Podcast - What Makes an RPG?

What exactly makes an RPG an RPG? Game Informer‘s most recent issue had an idea, but to be perfectly honest, my co-host and I disagreed with their suggestions very strongly. That’s the main topic of this episode of the Error Machine Podcast. We look over their list of the top 100 RPG games of all-time and break it down a little bit. Their criteria for the list was very broad, and we felt some games on the list don’t fall under the RPG genre. So that leads back to the initial question: What makes an RPG an RPG?

If a game gives you a character that levels up, is that enough to make it a role-playing game? What about new gear? New weapons? What about turn-based combat? Does an RPG have to have all of these to be considered for the genre? What if a game doesn’t have any of them? What about the tone or setting? We get into all of that in the latter half of the show.

We also discuss some smaller independent titles like Has Been Heroes, a rogue-like RPG with possibly the worst tutorial in video game history, and Little Nightmares, a really neat little game that can best be described as a 2D platformer that feels as if it were made by Tim Burton.

I also talk a little bit about Prey. To be perfectly honest, this game has become one of the bigger surprises of the year for me. I didn’t have a great deal of interest in the game before firing it up, but it is a surprisingly interesting game with a lot of cool ideas.

Episode 111 time marks below.  Listen here!

0.50 Error Machine Origins
2.20 Dustin is a college student…again
7.00 Single dad
11.20 Video games for testing
25.30 Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
27.00 La Mulana
29.50 Little Nightmares
33.00 Has Been Heroes
40.15 Prey
46.45 Adventure Time: The Nameless Kingdom
48.30 New releases
53.15 Twintelle’s giant booty
55.00 Inkling Girl’s obscene gesture
57.00 Game Informer’s Top 100 RPGs list
1.10.00 Outro/Plugs



And since we’re a little behind, we’re going to go ahead and throw in episode 112 for you just so you can get caught up. This episode I talk about my new love/hate relationship with Prey, how amazing Horizon Zero Dawn is, as well as some E3 rumors.

Luke has the dilemma of having an excess of Nintendo eShop credit and not knowing what to do with it. And in our news section, we talk about what Platinum’s “interesting” Nintendo Switch game could be, as well as the lost Mario anime being found.

Also, Ultra Street Fighter II makes Luke very angry.

Episode 112 time marks below. Listen here!

1.10 The oldest man in history
3.10 FAFSA sucks
6.45 Unspent eShop credit
13.00 Bayou Billy 2: Revenge of the Gator
15.30 Flat earthers
17.00 Dustin finished Prey
23.50 Horizon Zero Dawn
26.30 Luke stopped playing Has Been Heroes/La Mulana
30.10 Project X Zone 2
36.15 Resident Evil 4 is our next retrospective
37.45 Friday the 13th: The Game
41.00 The rest of the new releases
45.00 Ultra Street Fighter II
47.45 Breath of the Wild timeline confirmation
49.30 Platinum working on an “interesting” Switch title
51.00 Lost Mario anime found!
55.30 E3 rumors
1.00.15 Outro/Plugs

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