Let’s start this “review” off with a story. Since I was a young strapping handsome boy I wanted to make video games. I wanted to be able to have people play video games that I worked on at some point in time. Over the years this goal evolved and has morphed completely as I understand my own limits, interests, and my own patience with certain things.
Game Developer Salman then wanted to become Game Designer Salman. Game Designer Salman then realized maybe working ON games isn’t his forte and maybe he just really likes the medium that he grew up with. Maybe he just likes talking about video games? Game Designer Salman is still in there but it takes a minute for him to show his disgusting malformed skull. The purpose of this story is to tell you that there are more people like me, people who grew up with the idea that they want to make video games for huge audiences to enjoy.
Those people can achieve that, they really can. It was my own change in interests and priorities that still has me working my hardest to break into the industry further while also working on other creative projects.
How does this all tie into a review for a video game? Well, we’re not reviewing a video game today fellas we’re reviewing a god damn engine. That’s right, a fully-fledged, fully-functional video game engine that lets the user create RPGs.
RPG Maker isn’t a foreign concept to a lot of gamers. It’s been around for quite a while and has allowed creators to produce phenomenal games such as the Witches House or To the Moon.
As someone who isn’t well versed with the development side of things. Getting a Switch code for an entire engine made it feel a lot less daunting. It’s an incredible thing to see that such a powerful tool is being put onto a handheld device used by millions.
The most “review” part of this review would have to be for the tutorial. A tutorial plays out when you first boot up the game and I recommend going through it if you know nothing about operating RPG Maker. It’s a helpful little, 4th wall breaking piece of gameplay that allows you to understand the very basics of this engine so you can get started on your game.
It limits your choices and options which makes you feel slightly crappy but when you see the sheer number of options in a single menu you’re going to be thanking that tutorial for not letting you go out into the woods alone.
As far as my understanding and tinkering with the engine after the tutorial, it’s a bit of a rough slope. I have trouble understanding software like these so it takes me a minute but I still have to say the language of video games itself really lends a hand in understanding how all of it works.
What I mean by this is that if you are interested in development, design, narrative building or you’re just a person who understands games to a certain degree. This will be a much easier thing to pick up than a lot of other things. RPG Maker for a very long time has been a stepping stone for young developers and designers to get their foot in the door. The very idea of it being on home consoles, let alone handhelds should probably tell you we are going to be seeing some very promising things in the coming months.
RPG Maker on the Switch lets you publish your game as well as see other people’s published games. As soon as this baby launches there’s hopefully going to be a sprawling community on home consoles as well!
I feel rather weird giving a score to a video game engine. If I had to give anything a score I guess I’d give the tutorial a 7 for being a decent tutorial. Instead, I will associate a feeling to this engine coming out on the Switch and that feeling is Hopefulness. I’m excited to see what people can do and learn from this being a lot more accessible now.
I give RPG Maker MV a Hopeful / 10