I remember the first RPG Maker way back on the PS1 as a cool way for players to do their own thing. Today’s newest installment, MV, tries to expand on that original idea. Putting the power to craft a story in the player’s hands is amazing, in theory. However, in execution, this rendition’s managed to sorely over-complicate what should be an easy system to pick up and start making a game.

Now I’m sure others would disagree. That’s ok. Those people have most likely played many RPG  Maker versions up to this point, having familiarity with the mechanics. You get a brief, and I mean a brief tutorial. It gives the user at best vague and easily forgettable cliff notes on the most basic of features. Having limited prior experience is where things get confusing.

I don’t want to be excessively negative as I want to like this title. However, it’s frustrating when the devs give no detail or at least a help reference to look through. It took me three separate times just to figure out how to link a map so the characters can go to different areas. I had to go on YouTube and watch someone use the PC version, which is similar, but better. 

You can’t even go back to redo the introduction tutorial, leaving the user left to trial and error! There’s no obvious way to generate an encounter with an enemy. While I was finalizing this review, none of the few listed downloads have an enemy. They’re about as empty as my attempt. The highlight of my experience was figuring out how to put a treasure chest on the map! However, I put only one gold in it to vent my angst.

The cool feature that I thought would make this title stand out is sharing your RPG with others. But the system is very complicated to a beginner. It’s not intuitive, leaving the person, aka me, at this point frustrated beyond belief.

Again I want to be able to give a relative score. Still, with minimal instructions, I can’t even suggest RPG Maker MV to anyone but an experienced person who’s had exposure to several of the previous releases. As somebody who loves to pick things up and figure them out, this is way too complex to pick up and play. To me, the title is bordering on unplayable because there is little playability without a re-accessible tutorial and some form of a help section. I can’t even say it has potential, other than the potential to frustrate the new player unfamiliar with this type of simulator.

RPG Maker MV provides plenty of tools, but the least possible direction on how to use them. The tutorial is embarrassingly bad, and a help section is nonexistent. Unless you’re experienced with this series, skip this Switch port.