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A Role Playing Game mixed with Action Adventure.

While these games retain many RPG Elements such as experience, levels, statistics, giant inventories, and sometimes even random battles, the gameplay is primarily that of action. You run up to an enemy and hit it with your sword, rather than selecting the "Attack" action from a menu.

Often this means seamless interaction between you and the enemies, rather than thinking of two different parts of gameplay (the exploration and the battles). Think Zelda but with more statistics, experience, depth, and people to talk to.

Battle menus can still exist, but generally need to be manually brought up rather than an integral part of the battle process.

This genre is essentially a subset of Eastern RPG; it attained massive popularity in Japan in the mid-1980s. While many Western RPGs have mixtures of battle and action, this is much more built into the definition of a Western RPG, and hence less of a separate genre. Eastern games, on the other hand, tend to be more firmly in either the "traditional RPG" or "action RPG" camp. There are some games that blur the line between the two, though, featuring a separate battle system which nevertheless is action-based (so you may wander the world and get into a random battle, in which case you suddenly have to be on your toes).

Compare Beat Em Ups, in which Action RPGs derive their basic gameplay, but do not contain the RPG Elements.

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