Review by Jibe222
"Bad for some, great for others."
Rpg Maker 3 is the third console based game maker from Agetec.
My point in writing this review is to provide information for those who might be thinking about buying the game, as such I'm going to give you straight facts about the aspects of this game, step by step.
WHAT IS RPG MAKER?
RPG stands for Role Playing Game, a game in which you play the role of a single or many characters. Rpg maker is a line of games created by Agetec that allows users an easy interface to create their own RPG games in. As such, Rpg Maker 3 is more of a tool then an actual game because your using the software to make your very own creations.
The graphics are decent and work together rather well. Everything is in a medieval style, so expect to see goblins, dragons, castles and the like. Animations on the other hand are slow and choppy and take some getting used to. In general the textures are pretty low quality and some are blurry, but not to the point of being hideous. The special effects for skill are again decent, but rather limited.
Overall, the graphics stand up to most first gen ps2 titles, they're not great but they're not bad enough to ruin your game.
The battle system is a pretty straightforward ATB (Active Time Battle) system. Up to 4 members stand on one side of the field facing the party of enemies and once their action bar fills up they get to take an action. You choose actions from a simple menu that pops up. You are able to set your party's formation using a 3x3 square grid; which effects damage taken/given.
The major drawback of this battle system is that it runs at a very slow speed. The menu takes time to pop up and down, the animations drag on and your characters think for a second before actually attacking. There is also a considerable delay when entering/leaving the battle.
Overall, it's a system that works decently for what you'll use it for.
The basic controls are very straight forward. Square opens the menu, X accepts, O cancels, triangle makes your character sprint.
The actual movement of your character is a major drawback. He/she moves with tank-like controls similar to most of the resident evil games. Meaning that when you push left or right on the analog stick your character will turn in place rather then actually going in that direction. You end up having to rotate your character until he's facing the direction you want to go then pushing the triangle button to run forward. This is made worse by the fact that there is next to no camera control; forcing you to turn your character around to look left or right. Pressing the right analog stick will pan/rotate the camera *very* slowly, making it close to useless.
Overall the controls are very lacking and could become frustrating for some.
You'll have 49 songs and weather effect tracks to choose from. They cover a decent range of emotions and are of decent quality. Included in this list are weather sounds like 'rain' and 'thunder' for such scenes that need them.
You'll also have a separate list of 21 short tunes called 'Melodies'. These include things like fanfares and inn sleeping music.
Overall the music tracks are nice and can cover a good range of emotions and scenes.
You'll have 75 sound effects to choose from and they are all pretty decent, all sounding like you'd expect them to. There's a lot of sounds you've probably heard before and they're not of super quality, but they'll get the job done.
Overall the sounds are decent in quality and number, and will get the job done.
The editor menus are done quite well this time around. They have crisp graphics and icons, the layout is excellent and the whole thing is streamlined very well. You probably won't have to look at the instruction manual very often since the in-editor menus are pretty self-explanatory. Thanks to the menu system work on your RPG will be pretty painless.
Overall the menu system has good layout, design and is easy to get around it.
In an attempt to make Rpg Maker 3 easier to use, many aspects of customization that were seen in the other Rpg Makers have been changed or removed for this version. For instance, each player model has a selection of 4 color schemes each, but that is the limit in which you can customize the appearance of your characters. Placeable buildings have pre-build interiors which you can't change beyond placing decorations inside and you can only make your towns within pre-set templates.
The scripting system suffers here as well. the commands have been reduced to about half a dozen and give you very limited control. The worse thing about this change is the removal of the random command and event movement. (Making it impossible to create random numbers or make NPCs that move from one place to another.)
Vehicles were also removed, forcing you to resort to teleportation or foot travel.
Listed below is the maximum number of each object you're allowed per game:
Monster Parties: 100
Overall Rpg Maker 3 is quite a bit more limited then any of the previous titles. It is possible to work around these limitations, but it will require you to make some sacrifices.
EASE OF USE:
From creating a town to fleshing out your characters, everything is very easy and quick to do. You could put together a dungeon complete with monsters, traps and chests in a couple hours, and have fun doing it. The town and dungeon creation system remind me of the dark cloud games, and is very fun to do.
Overall it is very easy, fun and efficient making your game with Rpg Maker 3.
PROS / CONS:
+Fun and easy to use.
+Nice menu system.
+Quick 2d drawing to 3d map making.
+Cool weather/environment effects.
+Night and day time system.
+Lots of face portraits to choose from.
-Slow and choppy animation.
-No event movement or random number generator.
-You'll have to get a special device to share games over the net.
-Awkward character controls.
-Slow battle system.
-No internal variable for gold.
-No different expressions for face portraits.
Rpg Maker 3 is a good maker for some people a bad maker for others.
Do you want to write a great story and see it come to life in game form? Then you'll probably like Rpg Maker 3.
Are you a great artist and want to share your art with the world in game format? Then another maker is probably better for you.
Do you hate limitations and feel at a loss when you can't create the exact image in your head? Then you should probably use another maker.
Are you willing to work with what tools you have or find it a challenge to work around limitations? Then you'd probably like Rpg Maker 3.
All in all Rpg Maker 3 sacrifices a lot of choices in lue of greater ease of use. You'll be able to make a RPG quickly and have fun doing it, but you won't be able to make every detail the way you'd like.
Thanks for reading my review, I hope it was helpful to you.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 09/30/05
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