RPG Maker VX Ace is a piece of software to make your own old school role-playing games along the likes of the Super Nintendo, GameBoy Advance, and original NES days. This is the 5th generation of the RPG Maker series and there is none better, nor will there ever be. In fact I’ll tell you right now its worth the $70 and worth even $100. Now I’ll tell you why.
You make your own game, your own actors, your own armors, weapons, classes, skills and so on, but with RPG Maker VX Ace there is a much better handle of things that makes it far less tedious than previous versions. There is even more customization without making your head explode or needing plug and play scripts made by the community. You can give your actors weapons skills. It gets detailed from there, because you can make skills need weapons. Give armors stats.
From there, create enemies, put them in groups and make them use skills based on turns. You craft the enemy intelligence to what you want it to be. Either random chance, specific needs like if an enemy has 50% of its health, then attack, use a skill or run away.
The real difference between RPG Maker VX Ace and previous versions is the depth without using scripts made by the community. There is also a graphics generator like a paper doll maker that lets you get some real diversity in each character’s sprite and faces. Its all so easy now and I can’t stress that enough.
RPG Maker Ace is so easy to use and quick to map with. Just like painting with titles. Battles and stats are easy to manage in fact the program has a pre-made maps, stats, enemies, weapons and everything you need to quickly make your own game.
You can pour hundreds if not thousands of hours into this and have fun doing it. I know people that have quit their job to make RPGs using this program and have been doing it successfully for years now.
The only big catch is the program comes with stock art, stock music and so on that is quite lacking compared to previous years, but really that’s why you get someone to make it for you or you just import content into the game. Want to fight Zelda? Import her into the game.
With scripts the game can really be tailored to make it your own. If you don’t want to make a Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy style of game… get a script to make a Zelda game. I’ve even seen people make space shooters with this game. The Ruby scripting language offers some good versatility.
Now that I’ve said the good, its time for the bad. The engine itself is starting to feel dated. Not only is RPG Maker VX Ace the sequel to RPG Maker VX, but the engine as a whole feels a decade old. The maximum resolution is around 640 x 480, even when you program it to be changed, the compiler won’t allow it to be the size you want.
There needs to be a search feature. As an advanced user, I need this. My in game scripts, dialog and events become horrifyingly complex. There’s an easy find feature for scripting, but not the events, which is everything on a map or in the game. Its been over 15 years and RPG Makers still don’t have it. More complex things like lighting and even a lot of moving sprites at once become an issue and cause slow down when playing your games.
In all if you’re a creative person, this is a great outlet for you. In fact you can have a lot of fun playing your own RPG and adding to it as you progress. I’m usually the person that says wait for a sale to buy things, but $70 – $100 is well worth it, but since this is Steam wait for a $35 sale 🙂