Tyren's typical Intro
Before I begin, you should know that I've attempted and was guilty of running at least one game for all of these types. I don't want to get into a discussion of which is superior because that is a matter of choice and therefore a stupid debate. I just feel that there are four styles of Roleplay and each has advantages the others do not. It all depends on taste and as long as you have a tongue you have that ^_^.
The Levels of Roleplay
High Action, High Role Playing - "Kurosawa Rping" Typically, these campaigns feature a healthy mix between edge-of-the-seats action and exquisite drama which is such a mark of Kurosawa's samurai flicks. This is a very difficult balance to acheive however, one that I've been questing for forever. This is, imho the best example of Epic Roleplay possible and is the standard for Canon or Canon-influenced Exalted play. A good example of this in video games is Playstations Final Fantasy Tactics.
Low Action, High Role Playing - "Shawshank Redemption Rping" Quite simply these campaigns feature an intense level of role play that doesn't blend well with kick-the-doors style action. Typically, these campaigns require the characters to have a common goal as opposed to meeting In Media Res, a good example is the infamous Boy Band Campaign. Commonly this is associated with political campaigns but it lends itself well to Military Campaigning ala Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
High Action, Low Role Playing - "Schwarzenegger Rping" This style of campaign has a lot of mooks and warm bodies which the players make pin-cushions out of. I like these campaigns/adventures from time-to-time because it's a great way to blow steam during an intense campaign. Besides, there's always a certain thrill about kicking ass and taking names. A good example of this in video games would be mission based shooters such as Ghost Recon (After all who remembers anything but the objectives in media res).
Low Action, Low Role Playing - "Cave Dwellers Rping" If anyone remembers this Mystery Science Theatre 3000 episode you'll know what I refer to. This is the worst type of roleplay which involves sitting around waiting for things to happen, or when description takes up more than 20% of playtime. A good example of this would be a Changeling game I ran, where one player insisted on taking up time with descriptions of the many coats he made on his Hot Rod, and another player spent the entire game following a cop to annoy him.