Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 09/21/05 | Genre: RPG
Oh how the years go by... I remember my first E3 very fondly in Atlanta, Georgia during the year of 1997. The Nintendo 64 and PlayStation were battling it out for dominance and Sega was in the background licking its Saturn wounds. However, one game I was eagerly waiting for was not there. Agetec, then known as ASCII, had publicly refused to bring US audiences the RPG Maker game for the PlayStation. One of my goals at the show that year was to go cause a fuss about this. Ben, a former colleague, was with me and we could not get anywhere with the PR folks there. Why was the company content on showing some horrific fishing title? Since then, Agetec has "seen the light" and given players the RPG Maker Series. In this third installment, they improve upon the franchise. However, does it warrant a purchase?
Due to the complexities of making an RPG, I highly recommend that you have a USB keyboard handy when playing RPG Maker 3. While you can play without one, it is not a lot of fun. USB keyboards can be found for as little as ten bucks.
Visually RPG Maker 3 is a huge step up from the past installment. While you won't be building games that look as complex as some of the more recent Role Playing Games, you will be building in 3D. This is a dramatic change from RPG Maker 2 and makes the game feel like it belongs to this generation.
Players build their stories in sequences similar to the Fire Emblem series. For those of you not familiar with the excellent Strategy Role Playing Game, this has characters talking to each other to further the story. This is a far cry from what most modern Role Playing Games offer today but unless you want to learn how to program, this is going to be as complex as you can get.
Because the world is in 3D, you will create 3D environments for your characters to walk through. After drawing out the path, you go back and add in background items to give your environments more depth. This includes trees, water, caves, and more. It is really as simple as drawing the path you want to walk on and adding in the backgrounds. Practically anyone can have a relatively easy time in creating their own custom RPG because it is so easy to do.
One drawback to this title is that it will take a lot of time to create your game. The more you like to tweak and perfect your game, the longer it will take too. So if you are prepared for a time investment and don't mind having a dedicated memory card just for making your game, then this is just the title for you!
If you are a highly creative person and have a story you want to tell, RPG Maker 3 is the game for you. While you won't be creating a Final Fantasy 12 quality of game, telling your own story is a fun and rewarding experience. With the improvements seen in this series, I am also eager for the fourth installment. RPG Maker just keeps getting better and better.