RPG Maker 3
PlayStation 2
Reviewed: 09/19/2005


Many gamers have often thought to themselves, “What if I could make a video game?” That’s just what the RPG Maker series is all about. In a console setting, it’s about the only player out on the field. However, like the rest of the series, this game has its definite ups and downs.

Being the most recent, this installment naturally has the best looking graphics of them all. The textures and models are both very nice to look at. The drawback to this, however, is that there aren’t really that many graphics to choose from. Even after a few minutes you’ll find that your great creative vision isn’t really coming together. Let’s say you want to make a bar. Sounds straightforward enough, doesn’t it? Well prepare for the fight of your life, because in RPG Maker 3 this should-be-simple task is anything but. People looking for some way to import their own models or the like will also be sadly disappointed as there is currently no way to do this.

Screen Shot
Out of the way, clown!

The sound suffers more than the graphics. In addition to being strictly limited in the songs you can use, they aren’t all that good to begin with. Don’t expect to make your game an auditory spectacle.

One thing the few-and-proud owners of Sony’s PS2 HDD unit may appreciate is RPG Maker 3‘s compatability with the unit. However, the most appealing aspect of this situation isn’t even used. All games must still be saved on memory cards. Though, the files are small enough that this isn’t that bad a thing, but some gamers have precious little memory card space as it is. The obvious solution, if you have a hard drive, is to copy the files on there for storage. But…why couldn’t we just do that directly and cut out the middleman?

Screen Shot
A look at the combat

The game runs on a turn based system that is pretty much set. You can’t really change the basic systems of the game. Now, this sounds fine enough, but they didn’t really do a good job. For starters the battle system is painfully slow. Not just the transitions, but the time between selecting an action and its execution. The transition part can be helped if you happen to have a PS2 hard drive. The game will install most of the vital files onto it to speed load times.

The controls are a little messed up too. “You can’t mess up RPG controls!” I hear you saying. Well I’m here to tell you that you can. You press triangle to move forward and left and right on the D-pad/control stick to turn relative to the character. It feels really awkward at first, and even after getting used to it the character will often fail to go where you want it to.

Screen Shot
You totally built this whole place

The game does excel at one point: it is very easy to make a game. Pretty much anyone can use this system, which you couldn’t say about previous versions. The ease of use obviously comes at the cost of customization in this case. However, if someone is serious about making a game this system will just frustrate them with what they can’t do.

(Note: Due to the nature of this game, the category of “Story” was replaced with “Interface” and “Replay Value” was changed to “Customization.” We thought about grading the demo-game’s story and Replay Value, but then decided that would be a stupid thing to do.)

-Orie House

Score Breakdown
Out of 10
See our Review Criteria
Gameplay Average
Story Very Good
Graphics Very Good
Sound/Music Bad
Replay Value Bad
The Verdict: 5