The RPG Maker series of software has always intrigued me, the idea that even I, with zero knowledge in anything game development related, could easily create my own RPG epic is an enticing one. What RPG Maker Fes has taught me, though, is even with a piece of software designed to remove the need for technical knowledge and know-how, making a game requires a tonne patience and creative vision.
RPG Maker Fes is an exciting piece of software for the Nintendo 3DS that offers the ability to create RPGs with ease while on the go. Except, it’s not that easy, at least not at first. Without any tutorial to help guide you through all the features, which can feel daunting at first, you’re left to learn by trial and error for the first couple of hours. Not exactly the start I was looking for when trying to put my epic vision to work.
After getting to grips with the system and learning what I can do, and the large number of things I couldn’t, it become quite clear you’re limited in what you can create. Attempting to create even the simplest of games, however, will try your patience and can easily see your frustration levels rise. Your main choice of textures and visual style is “fantasy”, though you can download other themed packs but these have a hefty priced tag. Honestly, I wouldn’t have considered them that hefty if the software itself wasn’t asking a premium entry price.
The price of entry for the software alone should carry with it a good selection of style packs but it doesn’t and it’s a real shame. The choices are so limited because of this and I think it’s unfair to ask more from people after they have already bought in. There are free packs to download but these give you barely anything to work with. I’m sure the more creative people in the world will find workarounds to the limited options of the software and create some really impressive games but patience will definitely be a key driving factor there.
One of the better features is the ability to download other people creations and while there isn’t the biggest or best selection to choose from so far I can only imagine what is possible. The caveat to this feature though is that people without the RPG Maker Fes software can also do this by downloading a free app from the Nintendo 3DS eShop called RPG Maker Player. It’s a great idea as it means you can share your creation with friends without them needs to purchase the software for themselves.
If you’re a fan of the old 16bit era RPGs then you’ll love the visuals you can use for your games, given you like fantasy or are willing to pay extra, not that you’d expect anything else. Complete games do look good though thanks to the quality of the stock images available to use within the software. The same can be said for the audio which you can choose from a limited but decent selection of themes and effects.
I feel like my expectations for RPG Maker Fes may have been too high as it certainly didn’t match up with what I thought I’d be getting. Of course, being on a portable console it would have fewer features than its PC counterparts but I think it’s been limited too much. Patience and a very creative mind are needed for this title and I know there will be plenty up to the task and I look forward to playing what those people come up with.