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One minor issue I noticed is that the help text was not populated for all of the editing screens. In particular, I noticed that the help text at the bottom of a text entry screen said, "Default Help Text". Luckily, the text editing feature is not overly confusing and the text didn't seem to be needed, but simply displaying the default help text felt a little less polished than I would have preferred. The little things are easily overlooked -- and if the music in the editing mode gets too repetitive, you can simply turn it down and listen to something else. Overall, the game is excellent, taking a lot of the technical aspects of building an RPG out of the way and letting you concentrate on creating your own RPG world.
So, if you've always wanted to try making a game for the PS2, or are just interested in design at all, then you should consider checking this out. Otherwise it's probably not for you. It all comes down to desire and imagination.
RPG Maker is fun if you like to, or think you want to design games. It earns 4 GiN Gems for putting forward a unique concept, and opening up the world of game design to the masses.
Building a world map alone is something that could takes up days, regardless of the inherent simplicity of such an act. Creating characters, items, monsters, special attacks, and cities is fun, but tying them all together, knowing when and how to introduce them into what will become the finished product, well … it's hard. Making a game is hard! It's work! If you have the drive to make a game using RPG Maker 3 as a base, congratulations, your organizational skills are somehow better than mine. The game is a powerful and easy-to-use tool, and you'll no doubt use it many more times in the future, although you may not be impressed by the mediocre graphics. As for me, I'll just stick to writing screenplays.
Considering the extent to which one can create an interactive adventure on the PlayStation 2 console system, RPG Maker 3 is a stalwart adventure that does a fine job of not only putting creation tools in the hands of gamers, but making them easy to use.
RPG Maker 3 is the third installment of the series from Enterbrain, brought over to the United States by Agetec. While the previous two games (one on the Playstation and the other on the PS2) have been well-received by enthusiasts, they’ve generally been considered too difficult for average players to get into as well as being rather graphically deficient. This time the graphics have been bumped up to allow people to actually create PS2-level content as well as adding support for the hard drive. A six-hour RPG has been included in the game to give people something to play, and Agetec has stated that they’re looking at ways to connect players to share content as well.
While the graphics and animations definitely look several years old, the move into 3D works surprisingly well. Aspiring designers could do much worse than taking the time to try this out, but only if you head in with great patience and a willingness to learn.
It’s not perfect by any definition. It’s a little too restricting for the hardcore RPGer and a little too demanding for the lazy one. But, for the casual gamer, RPG Maker III presents a challenge without presenting a chore. It shortens the space between start and finish, lets you constantly interact with your work, makes a world that’s actually worth the trouble, and, because of that, it becomes something that RPG Maker 2 never was: Enjoyable.
Despite a lot of superficial complaints, however, RPG Maker 3 is the best way to put your imagination into a playable game. It might be ugly, but it's yours. My game was incredibly stupid, but for every minute of frustration, I'd later have a feeling of accomplishment any time I got something to work. Naturally, I'd recommend this to gamers interested in putting their ideas into virtual reality. If you're impatient, give it a try. You'll probably still spend hours on the game, even if you despise what is produced.
All silliness and hyperbole aside, I really do enjoy tinkering with RPG Maker 3. I like that the graphical improvements the series has made allow me to create characters that look more like what I imagine. I like that I can concentrate on creating a story, while the game takes care of a lot of the things I used to have to struggle through manually in older iterations of the game - things like changing the time of day, building an entire town from scratch, or creating a dramatic cutscene. And I definitely like how up-front everything has become - if I want a character there, I put a character there and that's that.
RPG Maker 3 holds a fair bit of potential, if you can stand to put in the many, many hours required to create a quality title. The actual engine and game mechanics aren't all that great, but if you're inventive you're certainly given the opportunity to create great characters and a lively back story through conversation and such.
Finally, RPG Maker III isn’t for everyone. Most would probably give up on their creations after 40-some-hours in the making. With that said, RPG game masters and RPG aficionados in general probably will fall in love with the incredible amount of customization available. There is plenty of space to create a decent RPG adventure and let your friends be entertained by your masterpiece.
Definitely a game for a very miniscule portion of the gaming community. You’re either going to love it or become amazingly exasperated with it and trade it in for something shinier and that gives you more immediate gratification. But if the idea of making something unique for friends sounds appealing to you, or you have a god complex, then it’s probably worth your time to pick this up. If you have a PS2 hard drive, Gamefly this sucker. RPG Maker 3 is going to survive only by active fan communities on the net, so start finding other people with the game and make contact NOW.
I cannot deny the sheer entertainment of this game as a hobby project: between the slew of characters, monsters, and items, there is enough here to keep you occupied for days. Furthermore, some people will undoubtedly appreciate the opportunity to "own" their gaming experience. So, if ownership is that important to you, then congratulations - you own garbage.
Overall RPG Maker 3 is an impressive achievement, especially since it is on a console system. Making a RPG is a huge time investment and it is not something that someone with only a casual interest will stick with to the end. But it is our belief that every RPGamer out there at one point thinks to themselves that they could make a great RPG if they tried. And there is currently no easier-to-use tool then RPG Maker 3 out there. If you think you’ve got what it takes, or just want to create something that you can show your friends. Give RPG Maker 3 a try.
All in all, if you're interested in making your own RPG, then RPG Maker3 may be the way to go. But be forewarned, making your own RPG will be about as time consuming as leveling up your World of Warcraft Paladin to level 50.