RPG Maker MV: The MV stands for Making Videogame
RPG Maker, my dear, sweet little Nauties (❤), has been around for quite some time. Why, I remember dabbling with RPG Maker 2000 back in the day, when I was unable to make a game and decided to stick with the abstract excellence of ZZT. The series has persisted, though, and now you can buy RPG Maker MV on your Nintendo Switch.
Now, thought I, this is a bit of a situation; the interface of game creation tools - regardless of effort to make it WYSIWYG - is often quite cumbersome when applied to consoles. Take a look at the Switch's (excellent, under-rated), Levelhead and even the mighty Super Mario Maker 2; valiant efforts, but even they felt a little awkward to me on the smaller screen, let alone plugged into a TV.
It's a fact that RPG Maker MV is no cakewalk to use, but it's worth remembering that we're dealing with the stat-heavy JRPG genre, here, not a simple hop n' bop platformer. Taking that into account, it's quite remarkable how well-suited to the Switch it really is - though entering dialogue really necessitates the use of a keyboard, which thankfully is supported.
It opens with a tutorial that gives you the very bare basics before disappearing forever, so the best way to get to grips with what you've got at your fingertips is to simply jump into other peoples' games. Thankfully, this is easily done via the in-game "RPG Maker forum", and much like the previously-covered Smilebit this use of the software is both valid and enjoyable.
Some will be dissuaded by the lack of customisable music and graphics, but this is a cut-down version of the software suitable for consoles and, frankly, these kinds of limitations often foster creativity. And there are limitations; the plugins that make the PC version easier to use are regrettably if understandably absent, and the aforementioned tutorial is only viewable once, bizarrely. The lifespan of the PC version has there's a large community of users whose content is basically essential for getting a game on its way, and once you have a handle on how it works you may find yourself jonesing for the accessibility of the PC version. Though, you can't take the PC version anywhere you go, now can you?
Oh, you can? Laptops exist, do they? Ah, dear.
But no, RPG Maker MV is a welcome expansion on the 3DS' RPG Maker FES, though it isn't the latest version of the software. There are plenty of pre-set creatures, characters, and general tiles to help you put together your dream stat-'em-up, and it's certainly a powerful tool. Impressive indeed, on a system that's surprisingly rich in game-making tools - but until there's a Switch port of Speedy Eggbert, my life is going to seem empty. Offering something unique on its chosen system, RPG Maker MV comes recommended providing you have the patience to figure it out. Hell, if you like RPGs, you're probably more patient than I am.
Stay tuned for Retronauts RPG.
A review copy of this title was provided by the publisher.