Haven Review: RPG Maker MV

First up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

RPG Maker MV is a software that has been used to make many great titles such as To the MoonA Bird’s Story and various others. It’s had a good run on Steam Greenlight as well, along with a lot of half-baked indie titles that many “designers” have put zero effort into making. You know who I’m talking about.carousel-logo-rpg-maker-mvBut despite all this, the software remains as versatile as ever with its newest iteration to replace RPG Maker VX Ace. The previous version has actually helped us start a project for our very first game called Chronicles: Heroes of the First Light and has been easy to learn. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s so simple a child could use it (as they advertise).

However RPG Maker VX Ace has been outdated for a while now, and has been limited by an old coding language called Ruby. A big issue is the platform. It’s strictly for Windows; no support for any other platform including mobile gaming. But as the times change so does the software, and the newest version comes forth.rpg-maker-mv-08-07-15-3

RPG Maker MV, now cleanly coded in Javascript, gives game developers a new level of versatility and a lot more stability. Games can be designed in glorious 1080p or higher resolution and ported not only to Windows, but also to Android and Apple products.  There is even a plugin written just for RPG Maker VX Ace, which will allow people to port their previous games into the new engine to help bring their titles to other platforms.

The learning curve for RPG Maker MV though is about the same as in previous versions, where you could load a person’s script and use it in your title. That hasn’t changed, except now it is just a more familiar coding language used by a lot of people. As always too, the RPG Maker community is incredibly helpful. With the new software being out only a few months, a wave of new plugins has already started to arrive; making game developing easier for newcomers and for those wanting to port their title.

Our own title has already been ported to the new engine and is progressing along smoothly. New features included in this iteration of RPG Maker now let players choose to include side battlers (as in Final Fantasy) or exclude them (as per Phantasy Star). This new setup eliminates the need for a lot of convoluted plugins and makes it easier for people to design a game they want.Screenshot 2015-11-09 04.39.59

Other new features include support for higher quality .ogg audio files. Although being honest here, I didn’t even realize MP3s were considered low quality until our composer questioned me about it. One of the new features I am trying to come to terms with is a plugin-enabled script. Back in the original software, each script we loaded had to have some degree of confusing instructions to follow which made things hard to understand. But in MV this is replaced with the Plugin command. Simply placing the desired effect into the Plugin command in the events section will enable the plugin.

All in all though, I simply love the new RPG Maker being able to use high quality images and audio. I can only hope the games we review down the line will be more gems to put into the chest of great works. Although I may not care for a lot of RPG Maker games (due to lack of designer effort), I know that someone out there will be making the next best titles with this software. I look forward to playing them.

-Daniel Clatworthy-