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Author Topic: Genre & Subgenre Guide  (Read 75991 times)
Nintender Tape
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« Reply #240 on: August 22, 2018, 10:24:45 PM »

I think light guns fall under the Classic heading as light gun games and the tech are classic, not the games themselves per se.

DB Reviewer
Posts: 1100


Champion of
« Reply #241 on: August 27, 2018, 10:23:52 AM »

Going back to the Rail Shooters shouldn't be Classic Shooters question, there's a bit of vagueness to be addressed.

There's a lot of vagueness.  The vagueness seems to come from where the turning point is between the mechanics that define the "Classic Shooter" and the "[modern] Shooter".  I've generally used the concept of free movement to differentiate the two (which itself isn't perfect, as there are some old school arcade games with full movement).  From that perspective, I don't have qualms about having on-rail light gun games as "Classic Shooters", as they are essentially shooting galleries that move from time to time. 

I think leaving light gun games out of Classic would be the least messiest option. I know Duck Hunt is classic by all means but we're going to have to draw lines somewhere.

It's not just Duck Hunt-- you'd be pretty much taking out most of the Shooting Gallery games out of the Classic Shooter genre.  Personally, I think that any game with "Light Gun" listed as a subgenre must be accompanied with another subgenre (usually "On-Rails" or "Shooting Gallery").  For example:

House of the Dead = On-Rails Light Gun
Point Blank = Shooting Gallery Light Gun
Vampire Night 2= On-Rails

I think light guns fall under the Classic heading as light gun games and the tech are classic, not the games themselves per se.

Definitely agree that light gun games need to remain classic, as they are one of the earliest examples of a video game genre. 
DB Editor
United Kingdom
Posts: 901

« Reply #242 on: September 11, 2018, 05:46:48 AM »

Ok. Iíll look to getting rid of the demo genre on all entries currently using it. Then it can be deleted as a genre.

Might take a while though. Bit of a long term goal

Just to bring this one up again, I think if we are going to phase out Demo as a genre then the guide at the start of this thread should reflect that. E.g. state it is a legacy genre no longer to be used. And then refer to using the following genres:
- Compilation if a mix of games
- A standard genre if 1 game or all games are the same genre
- Non-game if video only

Section would probably then be removed in the future when all use of the "Demo" genre is gone and the genre removed from the list
Nintender Tape
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« Reply #243 on: September 11, 2018, 02:48:14 PM »

Those edits will need to be made to the wiki. I'd like to move away from using forum posts for policies and standards because they are not (easily) searchable.

DB Editor
United Kingdom
Posts: 901

« Reply #244 on: September 11, 2018, 03:37:02 PM »

Those edits will need to be made to the wiki. I'd like to move away from using forum posts for policies and standards because they are not (easily) searchable.

Is this genre guide on the wiki? Couldnít see it there
Super NES
DB Reviewer
United States
Posts: 1401

« Reply #245 on: May 24, 2019, 02:28:30 PM »

I know we're already in the middle of changing stuff but just putting this out there: "Alternative Sports" as a genre. We can group extreme sports, pro wrestling, futuristic and games of skill that are debatively sports into this genre. I think it would be for the best.
Nintender Tape
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« Reply #246 on: July 25, 2019, 06:40:24 PM »

Yeesh, I've seemed to miss things. If we added Alternative Sports as a genre and started moving some of these things around, I think it may be confusing to users with not much upside. Pro Wrestling is already under the fighting genre, and in my mind it fits better there than under something called alternative sports. That's my two cents.

Super NES
DB Reviewer
United States
Posts: 1401

« Reply #247 on: July 25, 2019, 11:56:46 PM »

Alright, I was going to suggest promoting certain subgenres to genres, since we can't search subgenres, but I guess that's off the table.
DB Editor
United Kingdom
Posts: 901

« Reply #248 on: July 14, 2020, 10:18:05 AM »

I'm not sure that Hack n Slash is under the right genre. For reference, this is the current entry, and the entry for beat em up, which sit under Action.

Beat 'Em Up - The gameplay consists of advancing through stages while primarily using hand to hand/foot combat. - Streets of Rage, Turtles In Time, Final Fight, Simpsons Arcade, Etc.
Hack 'N Slash - The gameplay consists of advancing through stages while primarily using blades to fight off hordes of enemies. - Golden Axe, Gauntlet, Etc.

I would say Golden Axe and gauntlet fits under Beat em Up (not so sure the split between the two subgenres is just weapons vs no weapons). For me I think of hack n slash being newer stuff like devil may cry, bayonetta and dynasty warriors. And I would classify those as Action/Adventure. This seems to be how the majority of these games are classified in the database at the moment too.

Take maybe the best known of the hack n slash games, Devil May Cry. Theres much stronger story that you would often see in a lot of Action games. A decent amount of exploration and some puzzle solving. So for me that definitely falls in the Action/Adventure category.

Theres a lot of grey areas in genres and a lot is opinion based. So happy to hear other people's opinions on this.
Tiger Gizmondo

Posts: 1

« Reply #249 on: June 21, 2022, 06:06:58 AM »

Please refer to this post when adding Genres and Subgenres to entries.

Genres are in bold. This categorizes the entry in a broad way that makes lists on the site organized. Beyond that, a game's Genre describes the gameplay of a title which is important for listing the actual content of games.

Subgenres are underlined. This is where you get into the specifics of the gameplay. The aim is to elaborate further on the title's gameplay. This is typically where confusion tends to arise so please use your judgement; especially on games that blur categorization. Use of multiple Subgenres is encouraged when applicable and should be separated by a " / " for consistency and clarity. Remember: almost every entry has at least one Subgenre.

Please make sure to read the notes in italics. You'll see them set off by "*". They'll tell you about more in depth categorizing rules.

NOT subgenres:
"arcade" - Gaming establishments have existed for decades and housed a wide range of electronic games. To use it as a descriptive term is too vague.
"space shooter" - Whether or not it takes place in space is irrelevant to the gameplay.

Pure action games have gameplay based on real-time interactions that challenge the reflexes. There can be some text, story, or NPCs but they are never the main focus. For example, a game like Bayonetta is actually Action/Adventure because while Beat Em Up mechanics are at it's core, the game is much more complex and story driven. The primary appeal and challenge of the action genre is to test the playerís physical skills, such as timing, precision, or reaction speed. This can be done by aide of an onscreen character or object. In a nutshell, reaction time or reflex games, story elements are non-existent or there to provide context and not deepen the gameplay.

Beat 'Em Up - The gameplay consists of advancing through stages while primarily using hand to hand/foot combat. - Streets of Rage, Turtles In Time, Final Fight, Simpsons Arcade, Etc.
Hack 'N Slash - The gameplay consists of advancing through stages while primarily using blades to fight off hordes of enemies. - Golden Axe, Gauntlet, Etc.
Swipe 'N Slice - Use of touch screen is required as you slice things on screen. - Fruit Ninja
Snake - Variations of the classic game. - Centipede
Side-Scroller - Similar to platformer but less jumping and platforms. You're still getting from A to B though. -
Maze - The player must traverse maze-like levels. Gameplay  is varied in this section. While strategy is required to play, do not add these games to that Genre. - Pac-Man, Ecco The Dolphin, Devil World
Action Puzzle - You'll be running around or doing other actions to solve puzzles. - Katamari, World of Goo, deBlob, LIMBO
Trajectory - Sort of like a reverse Tower Defense. - Angry Birds
Breakout - The ball, the bricks, the paddle. - Arkanoid, Alleyway
Pong - Rudimentary table tennis. - Color TV Game 15, Pong Consoles, Video Olympics
Run 'N Gun - Combines platforming and shooting elements. May be listed under Platformer genre if shooting elements are very light. - Contra, Earthworm Jim, Alien Hominid, Jazz Jackrabbit, Metal Slug, Gunstar Heroes, Zombies Ate My Neighbors, Etc.

Adventure games have situational problems for the player to solve, with very little or no action. The gameplay typically involves gathering information and items as well as exploring to solve puzzles and advance the plot. If there is action, it is generally confined to isolated minigames. The gameplay revolves around the story elements. In a nutshell, games that require contextual problem solving.

Text Adventure - The most classic Adventure Subgenre. You are required to input text in these games to advance. Not to be confused with Visual Novels which has you primarily reading text. - Zork, Many early text-based PC games, Etc.
Puzzle - The problems presented to you are puzzles, which you solve to advance the plot. - Professor Layton
Visual Novel - A Japanese gaming tradition. A choose-your-own adventure novel brought to life with branching paths, sprites, items, backgrounds and music. "Dating sims" belong here as "Visual Novel / Adult", not under Simulator. - Saya No Uta, Steins;Gate, Ace Attorney Series, Etc.
Point & Click - You primarily interact with your environment, using a cursor to complete these games. - Sam & Max, Monkey Island, Jurassic Park on Sega CD, X Files, Leisure Suit Larry, Etc.
Interactive Video - Games in this section utilize video to test the player in real time. - Night Trap, Space Ace, Time Gal, Dragon's Lair
Choose Your Own Adventure - If an adventure game doesn't fall into any other Adventure Subgenre, you should use this. - Plumbers Don't Wear Ties

Action Adventure games engage both reflexes and problem-solving, in both violent and non-violent situations.  They may require many of the same physical skills as action games, but also offer a storyline, numerous characters, an inventory system, dialogue, and other features of adventure games. Examples include Zelda, God of War, Tomb Raider, Beyond Good and Evil, Resident Evil, Hitman, GTA etc.
In a nutshell, the game should have actiony, reaction time based gameplay but also have adventure elements with problem solving, inventory, NPCs, text and stories that influence your gameplay experience.

No Subgenre - These game are pure Action/Adventure. - *The Legend Of Zelda
First Person
Third Person
Survival Horror - The gameplay focuses on surviving violent onsloughts of macabre enemies. - Resident Evil, DinoCrisis, Dead Rising, Alan Wake, Blue Stinger, Silent Hill, Etc.
Stealth - The main gameplay style has you sneaking around enemies. - Metal Gear, Splinter Cell, Mark of the Ninja
Metroidvania - Metroidvania games generally feature a large interconnected world map the player can explore, though access to parts of the world is often limited by doors or other obstacles that can only be passed once the player has acquired special items, tools, weapons or abilities within the game. - Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Wonderboy, Demon's Crest, Metroid, Steamworld Dig, etc.

*The only Zelda game that is not Act/Adv is Zelda II. That is categorized as Genre: RPG Subgenre: Action RPG. Western RPG elements are present in these games but at its core, the Zelda formula is Act/Adv. If you think one of the side games isn't Act/Adv please let us know.

Classic Shooter
In a Classic Shooter, the player character engages in a lone assault, often in a spacecraft or aircraft, shooting large numbers of enemies while dodging their attacks. Games may include player characters on foot and a variety of perspectives. Shoot 'em ups call for fast reactions and for the player to memorize levels and enemy attack patterns.

3D - StarFox, Wing Commander
Single Screen (AKA Fixed) - Space Invaders, Asteroids
Horizontal - Gradius, Parodius, Magical Chase
Vertical - Galaga
Rail/On-Rails - The game moves you through the stage and it's up to you to aim and shoot. - Sin & Punishment, Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles, House of the Dead, Dead Space Extraction
Light Gun - Games that utilize a Zapper, Menacer, Guncon, SuperScope, Etc. - Duck Hunt, Time Crisis, ActionMax games, T2
Bullet Hell - Touhou
Tube - Tempest
Shooting Gallery - Like a Rail Shooter but fixed.

For single titles that include multiple games of different genres. The only thing separating these games should be menus and not a whole other over-arching game. Let me make it clear that Party games are NOT Compilations. Party games have an overall competition connecting all the mini games and as such belongs under Game Simulator >> Party.

Misc. Genres & Subgenres - Please put all the Genres and Subgenres in the Subgenre field. If all the games are of the same Genre, the entry should not be in this section. Instead, Compilation can be included as a Subgenre in this case while the common Genre is used.
Demos - You can specify in the Subgenre that the title is a demo sampler. All rules in this guide apply just the same whether said title is a demo or not.

*These games mix gameplay with teaching. Most of these are Early Childhood rated games. Please don't put stuff like recipe guides or language coaches in here. Software with no gameplay goes in Genre: Non-Game Subgenre: (Insert Use Here).

Early Childhood - ABCs & 123s - Kid's shows liscenced games etc.
Health - Bronkie The Bronchiasaurus, Captain Novalin
Training - Brain Age, Big Brain Academy
Language - Talkman
Math, Language, Etc. - Lightspan PS1 games

*Games with environmental messages attached can have Edutainment as a Subgenre. - Awesome Possum, Captain Planet

Fighting games emphasize KOing your opponent- either human player or CPU. Use of 2D, 2.5D or 3D is reccomended when adding the Subgenre.

1V1 - These games are the typical 2 characters on screen per match type. - Mortal Kombat, Godzilla, Virtua Fighter, Tekken, Bloody Roar, Killer Instinct, Etc.
Tag Team - The matches can have you switch out multiple characters that you selected. - Marvel Vs. Capcom, Skullgirls
Pro Wrestling - Games based on Pro Wrestling sports entertainment. - WWE, M.U.S.C.L.E., Pro Wrestling on NES, Celebrity Death Match, Def Jam
Martial Arts - Certain martial arts are mainly simulated in the gameplay. - MMA, Bruce Lee
Party Brawler - 2 - 4 characters fight on the battlefield. These games take on much of Super Smash Bros.' elements. - Smash Brothers, Playstation Allstars, Dream Mix TV World Fighters

Games in this Genre are very much separate from simulations because they physically train your actual body. Please note, even though DDR has a calorie burning mode, that is not the main focus of the game and cannot be added here. The main selling point of the game should be getting fit.

Meditation - Deepak Chopra's Leela
Yoga - WiiFit
Cardio - Zumba, Anything with a pedometer accessory
Sports - NFL Training Camp, Kinect Sports
Health - "For your health." - Glucoboy

Game Creator
Games in this section fuction mostly as applications for creating your own games. The Genre of game you're creating should be in the Subgenre section, as the main focus is making the game.

Misc. Genres & Subgenres - Depends on what you're making. - RPG Maker, Fighter Maker, WarioWare DIY, Mario Maker

Game Simulator
The gameplay in these games are based off of other existing games of skill/chance that are usually not electronic.

Trivia - Seen It?, You Don't Know Jack
Board Game - Monopoly, Clue, Family Game Night with inshot para iphone
Card Game - UNO
Trading Card Game / Card Battle - Trading and Collecting Card Games - Pokemon Trading Card Game, Yu-Gi-Oh!
Gambling - Caesar's Palace
Game Show - Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Jeapordy! Etc.
Party - The game's main focus is playing with friends. Different from a mini-game compilation in that it must have an overarching game to connect them. - Mario Party, Sonic Shuffle, Rayman Raving Rabbids, B.U.T.T.O.N.
Pinball - Pinball on NES, Metroid Prime Pinball, Mario Pinball Land, Pokemon Pinball, Etc.

The player must input or perform a series of commands or movements to the rhythm of music.

No Subgenre - You're generally just hitting buttons to the beat. - Pop'n Music, Parappa the Rapper
Dance - DDR, Dance Central, Just Dance
Dance Simulator - No actual feet movement is required. - Space Channel 5
Karaoke - Karaoke Revolution, Singstar
Instrumental - The type of instrument used can also be added as a Subgenre. (ie Guitar, Drums, Band) - Wii Music, Donkey Konga, Guitar Hero, Guitar Freaks, Taiko Drum Master, Samba De Amigo
DJ - DJ Hero, Beatmania

There is no gameplay in these software entries. They have other uses but are not considered hardware. Due to sheer quantity, PC software will be held to higher standards for database approval.

Trailer(s) - Demo discs with just trailers. If there are playable demos, please add to their respective Genre.
Books - The King James Bible, 100 Classic Books, Story Books
Reference Books - Encyclopedias, Dictionaries
Cook Book - DS Cooking Guides
Info - Similar to an Encyclopedia but with info on only one subject.
Utility - Video Testing, Online Startup Discs, DSi Apps, PSP Media Manager, Notebooks, other tools/apps, Etc.
Movie/Video - PSP Movie UMDs, GBA VideoNow, CDi Movie Discs
Ambient Video - Software for background noise and video. - Aquarium HD, Fireplace
Programming - BASIC
Chatbot - A program that has AI converse with you. - Abuse
Interactive Tour - A digital tour, often of a museum or real-life place. There is no gameplay to speak of, except for moving to sections and listening/reading info. Not a point & click game.
Tech Demo - Software used to show off the technical capabilities of a platform.
Fortune Telling - Taboo The 6th Sense
Expansion - Software that exists to add content to an existing stand-alone title. Not playable by itself. No DLC please.
Slideshow - Not video, just a power point type slideshow. - Various 3DO software
Cheat - ActionReplay, GameShark

The player is primarily tasked with jumping and maneuvering around objects.

2D - Super Mario Bros., Gex, Bonk, Sonic, Donkey Kong Country, Etc.
2.5D - Mixes 2D and 3D - At the same time. Switching between them doesn't count. (That'd be 2D / 3D) - Kirby 64, Yoshi's Island, Tomba
3D - Super Mario Bros., Gex, Bonk, Sonic, Donkey Kong Country, Mirror's Edge

Games that test your mind. Include logical thinking and spacial interaction.

Word - Crosswords
Number - Sudoku
Matching/Pairing - Bejeweled, Lights Out
Action Puzzle (AKA Puzzle Platformer) - You'll be running around or doing other actions to solve puzzles. Please note, this Subgenre can be under Action or Puzzle; it depends on which elements take more priority in game. - Mario & Wario, Marble Madness, Spindizzy, Sokobon
Hidden Object - Where's Waldo, I Spy
Falling - Tetris, Dr.Mario, WildSnake, Tetris Attack, Wario's Woods, Panic Bomber
Upwards - Bust-a-Move
3D - Some puzzle games can only be described as 3D. Perhaps it's like a Rubik's Cube type game; that would go in here. - Tetrisphere

A game where a race against computers or human players is the main focus. Vehicles are typically used. Monster truck rally-like games are also included here due to driving being a central gameplay mechanic.

No Subgenre - Just classic car racing. - Gran Turismo, Forza
Misc. Vehicles - Insert vehicle as the Subgenre. - Motorcycle, Jet Ski, Etc.
F1/Grand Prix -
NASCAR - Indy 500
Street/Drag - TestDrive, Need for Speed, Fast and the Furious
Offroad - ATV, DiRT
Futuristic - Star Wars Episode 1 Racer, Venetica
Kart Racing - Characters in Go-Karts. Weapons are commonplace. - Mario Kart, Crash Team Racing, Diddy Kong Racing
Combat - Akin to a monster truck rally; fighting in cars. - Twisted Metal, Vigilante 8

This Genre has its roots in classic tabletop gaming. Battle systems are incorporated into the game that utilize numbers and sometimes chance. Common elements include character parties, leveling up, enemy encounter systems and extensive item lists. Please note, the name Role Playing Game is not a licence to call any game where you play as a character an RPG.

Dungeon Crawler - The game is based primarily on traversing dungeons, opening chests, etc. - Dungeon Master
MMORPG - RPGs with tons of human players playing alongside you. - WoW, LOTR Online
Rogue - Randomly generated dungeons are explored. - Rogue
Tactical (AKA Strategy RPG) - This RPG subgenre incorporates strategic gameplay such as tactical movement on an isometric grid. A distinct difference between tactical RPGs and traditional RPGs is the lack of exploration. Tactical RPGs instead emphasis on battle strategy. Usually the game will hop you from battle area to battle area with prep sequences in between. - Fire Emblem, Shining Series, Langrisser, Master of Monsters, Ogre Battle, Vandal Hearts, Guardian War, Final Fantasy Tactics, Sakura Wars, Disgaea, Project X Zone
Turn Based - The basic RPG Subgenre. Random encounters lead to taking turns fighting, leveling up, Etc. - Final Fantasy, Phantasy Star, .hack, MOTHER
Action RPG - Incorporate Action Genre elements into gameplay such as real time combat. - Ys, Dragon Slayer, Tales of Destiny, Zelda II, Project X Zone
Sandbox - Players are given a large amount of freedom and free-roaming environment. - Minecraft, The Elder Scrolls
Creature Collector - Caught monsters make up your party and you fight with them. - Pokemon, Digimon

The genre of shooting games commonly associated with the first person shooter. This genre extends to other non-classic shooting games and are usually more realistic in its gameplay.

First Person - Call of Duty, Battlefield, Medal of Honor
Third Person - Gears of War
Tactical - First person shooters that demand realistic coordinated tactics. - SOCOM, Ghost Recon
Arial Combat - Ace Combat, JASF
Naval - Shipwreckers, BattleStations
Mech - MechAssault, Gundam, Custom Robo

I think than Run 'N Gun is best play of action, i have played many hours and  never get bored.
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