Developed By: Kadokawa Corporation 
Published By: Nippon Ichi Software America
Categories: RPG, Creator Tool
Release Date: 09.08.2020

It’s rather difficult to decide on how to review something like RPG Maker MV. It’s not really a game, but a tool. While you can always play the games you create, and RPG has been used to make some great titles like Lisa, Corpse Party, Yume Nikki, and Off, it at the end of the day is a set of tools to create them. As such, unless you take the idea of making a game seriously, I find it very hard to recommend. If you do take the idea seriously, you’ll be greeted to a quite robust creator.

RPG Maker MV first was released on PC in 2015 and in my honest opinion, the large amount of menus makes playing with buttons a bit of a chore at times, so I’d recommend that version above all, with the Switch version under it due to touch screen controls. On the Switch at least, menus are slow to load and there are often far too many steps to get where you are going without using the touch screen. All that aside, actually playing what you’ve made feels right at home on console with buttons, which makes the RPG Maker MV Player a very welcome addition. Unfortunately, at the time of review there was no manmade games to play as the Maker Forum was completely empty. This brings up another issue however. Connecting online gives a daily bonus. These include creation materials, which if you don’t go online at least once a day, you are locked out of over 100 items you could use.

So how about the actual toolset, how does that hold up? Overwhelming is a good word. There is just so much to work with with tilesets, character sprites, monsters, with options to even make your own if you have the time and ability. Even with all of those, with most sprites, you can mix around the preset options as well to make your own characters without drawing new sprites. The entire game can be a hodgepodge mess of unmatching sprites and I’m sure most will be. Stats for everything has to be put in. Say you want to just make a One Punch Man-esqe game where you just completely destroy everything in a single touch, that’s perfectly possible. But you can also create mindbreaking level difficulty for games, or just a standard even plain, it’s all available. Editing all of these is relatively simple, even if it’s a timely process. The harder stuff comes with creating events like dialogue, programming moving from a town, house, field, world map. It’s not too complex, but was step after step after step. As someone who did make small projects in the RPG Maker for the Playstation, this seemed a bit more of an effort to get things working properly, even after a painfully restrictive tutorial.

In regards to the game’s own premade assets, I think the sprites are all rather cute and would fit in nicely on a late SNES or early Sega Saturn/PSone game. Of course, it’s all rather customizable too, like mentioned earlier. I love the music that they have for you to use. Gracefully, the game has a music player, while it’s main use is to input songs in scenarios or areas, I found myself just going through the setlist and enjoying myself. I’d definitely listen to it outside of the game.

I think RPG Maker MV is great at what it sets out to do, but it’s obvious this was originally a PC release and in my opinion still feels like it’s meant to be on the PC with it’s menus and doesn’t quite have the accessibility that a handheld like the Switch would really require.

3/5

Buy Now: $49.99 (Digital) $59.99 (Physical)

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*Game Download Code supplied for review purposes