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   RPG Maker 3 - Staff Review  

Do you have what it takes?
by Christopher Beaupre

INTERACTION
CHARACTER EDITOR
MAP EDITOR
STORY EDITOR
MUSIC & SOUND
VISUALS
CHALLENGE
Challenging
LEARNING CURVE
5 Hours
OVERALL

3.0/5

Rating definitions 

   Yes everyone, RPG Maker is back again in Enterbrain’s third console iteration of the series. The franchise has come a long way since the first RPG Maker was released in 2000. We’ve seen the series evolve from the simple sprites of the first game, to the blocky 3D tile world of the second game, and now finally to the smooth detailed 3D worlds that we have been accustomed to seeing in modern RPG’s today. The character models do not rival what we’ve seen lately in today’s RPG’s, but they are respectable in their own right.

   Before we even start talking about the details of RPG Maker 3, here is some advice for potential RPG Makers among you: Come up with a game plan. Write a rough script of what you want your game to be. Jot down some notes on your heroes. And remember, RPG Maker 3 only has materials to create a pure medieval fantasy RPG. If you had the desire to make a Sci-Fi RPG, then you are out of luck.

   RPG Maker 3 is split into 4 sections; The World, Characters & Items, Story and Rules, and Data Management. This can seem overwhelming at first, but the learning curve is very fast. There is no enforced order in what the player has to build first. Since getting started is the hardest part of working with RPG Maker, it is recommended that you start with the bare basics, like what items are going to be in your RPG.

The Main Menu You'll be seeing this screen a lot.

   RPG Maker 3 allows the player a tremendous amount of detail. Of course, some people are more meticulous then others. Are you the type that wants to make every single item in your RPG from scratch and define all the attributes of the items? If you aren’t then don’t worry a bit, Enterbrain was kind enough to include basic templates for everything in the game; from item templates, monster templates, character templates, and even map templates. In theory you could use every template they had and just focus solely on making a great story and scripting the events. And do not worry; RPG Maker 3 fully supports USB keyboards. So you can avoid annoying controller typing.

   There is a lot of fun to be had in the character creation process, especially when you are creating your characters’ special abilities. Want to give a character a special attack called “Hyper Atomic Face Buster Zeta” which will hit multiple enemies and cause the earth to erupt from below your foes causing a chance of instant death? No problem, RPG Maker 3’s character creation tools will allow your imagination to run wild. Monsters also have their own special moves. The player will have the same flexibility in monster creation.

   The Story teller is one of the best parts of RPG Maker 3. It lets you create cut-scenes likes those seen in NISA’s Disgaea. It is very easy to use too. Simply select what character portraits will be on each frame, pick a background, insert text, music, sound effects, etc. The frames are numbered and go down in ascending order on the screen. This method of story telling can be put together a lot faster then more conventional cut-scenes and is a great way to control the flow of your RPG. These Story segments can be set to trigger in any number of ways, such as stepping on a certain part of the map, talking to a certain NPC, or fighting a monster.

Whats a RPG without side quests? Whats a RPG without side quests?

   RPG Maker is an incredibly powerful tool for creating RPG’s but it is not without its flaws. The biggest being a somewhat limited selection of character models and graphics. For example, the title limits what character models that can be selected based on what weapon they use. You don’t have the flexibility to say, create an 8 year old girl character that wields a great axe. Also, each character model will have its own portrait graphic which will be used in on screen dialog boxes as well as the “Story Teller.” Sometimes it can be hard to find a character portrait that matches up well with your character model. It seems like some were made to exactly resemble the character models, while some models they just didn’t bother creating portraits for. Sadly there is currently no legit way to put your created RPG online for the rest of the world to see. We hope that if there is a RPG Maker 4 on the next generation console systems they will take advantage of its online connectivity to let the RPG Makers among us share our work.

   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.

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