RPG Maker FES Review- Creating Adventures on the Go
Developer: Kadakowa Games
Publisher: NIS America
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: June 27th
Thank you NIS America for providing a review copy of this game.
RPG Maker FES is an entry in the long running series of RPG Maker games, and is the only entry to appear on the Nintendo 3DS. This will be an odd title to review, as RPG Maker itself isn’t really a game, but an engine to create RPGs. RPG Maker FES advertises itself as a simple pick up and play level editor in which you can share your created games with people around the world. So how does this new entry stand up to its past iterations?
RPG Maker uses a very simple level editor to build your potential adventure. In different menus you can create weapons, characters, items and events to use in your game from a selection of presets or (somewhat) from the ground up. From here all you need to do is go to the map editor and construct your levels and place the different events around your game. The process of doing this can be very simple once you get the full understanding of it, and the game offers quite a nice amount of presets to work with that you can fully customize to fit your games needs.
The game does offer online functionality as well. You have the ability to upload your games to a level selector similar to Mario Maker on Wii U, where you can sort through various creations to play. However, unlike Mario Maker, you don’t have to own RPG Maker FES to play these games. There will be a free app down the road that will allow you to download other players games for free, and help support creators by giving their games exposure to help in the rankings. It is the gift that keeps on giving. Sadly, there is no way to actually upload your creations to say PC to work on your game further, which is a bit unfortunate.
The only real problems I have with RPG Maker FES is that, well, it is a bit too simple at times, yet if you don’t know what you are doing, it is easy to get a bit lost. Yeah I know, two totally different ends of the spectrum, but let me explain. The game is very straightforward in what it allows you to do, but you are limited to what’s only available on the 3DS engine itself. You can only edit things in the presets and menus that you have available to you, which can prevent a lot more complex gameplay modes from appearing. The game also isn’t very newcomer friendly at times; it took me quite a bit of messing around with things to finally get a grasp on how things worked. If the game had included a short example game explaining things, it would have gone a long way in bridging the gap for people looking to get into this. That said, at the end of the day, once you get the hang of it, the complexity fades.
Overall, RPG Maker FES is a good tool for the 3DS for people who are looking into video game design, or wanting to make their dream RPG a reality on the go. While there is a bit of a learning curve, the engine’s approach to making games is so transparent that almost any person can get into if they put their mind to it. I can recommend this game to anyone who wants to give their hand at making their own video game. Also with the launch of the app for players to download your games whenever, you could easily make a name for yourself as a talented game maker in the 3DS world.