If you are like me, then you have been excited about the new release of RPG Maker 3! And if you are familiar with this game, then I'm guessing you might have played the mediocre RPG Makers 1 and 2, but were left longing for something better. Well, you've got it in Agetec's latest installment, and it will keep your RPG makin' little heart warm on cold nights.
The first obvious improvement is the now friendlier and easier user interfaces, which RPGM2 suffered from the most. You can now design characters, create maps, and write dialogue all in record time. The learning curve is around 1-2 hours to really figure out most of the game's features, but it will honestly take you a lot longer to fully grasp all that it has to offer, not to mention quite a bit of manual reading too.
With any great game or movie, the music and sound can either help lift it toward greatness or push it face first into the dirt. RPGM3's in-game sound is good enough to not annoy you too quickly, but I really feel that it's one of the game's true weaknesses. I would really like to see more of a variety and to hear something that helps me fully experience a battle or location. On the other hand, the melody that continually plays when using the editor mode is quite annoying. In my opinion, a game's audio should be just as good if not better than the visuals. Since we are limited to only using two senses when playing a video game, why not make the best of them both.
As far as graphics go, RPGM3's graphics are an improvement over its prequels, but still leave something to be desired. It's the first time the series has made the move to 3D and it's about time. Its visuals can be on par with some PS1 games, but they are also smooth enough not to be distracting. Although the graphics are a little disappointing, they are by no means bad or unappealing. I do feel there is room for improvement.
You might be interested in the depth of character and layout creation. RPGM3 does allow you to choose from a wide variety of art styles and character images but if you are looking to make a particular character that you have drawn or thought up, you might be a little disappointed to find that at time your selection can be limited. I recommend keeping an open mind and kind of creating as you go.
RPG Maker 3 is worth at least a week rental and if you have a lot of free time on your hands and are interested in being creative, then this game has plenty of entertainment to offer you. It's unfortunate that game publishers don't make more of a variety of user design based games for all of us aspiring video game designers. But this game is as close as we can get for now.