As most of our community knows, what we know as RPG Maker in the US is actually Japan's RPG Tsukuru 3 and our RPG Maker 2 is Japan's RPG Tsukuru 5. What happened to 4? Due to the time it was released, and localization already in-progress with RPG Tsukuru 3, along with the development team leaving Enterbrain soon, there would be no way for Agetec to localize this title as well - unless they wanted to go at it alone without any help from the title's creators, which would be one hell of a task considering the complex nature of the software. Run-on sentence.
Making things more annoying for US gamers, is that I have owned the software since it's release, and I have not shut up about it. I have constantly proclaimed it as my favorite console RPG Maker, and mentioned a few of it's features in the past. But I've never really gotten into the software with you before, which is going to change right now.
First off! Some basic info. RPG Tsukuru 4 is a 2 disc game. Disc 2 is essentially what we know as "anime maker". Why does it need two discs? Well, it doesnt. Just like RPG Tsukuru 3 before it, neither of the discs for this software come anywhere close to being filled. Of course, it is handy if you want to let someone borrow it so they can play the game you made, and you can keep working on it.
Okay, wall of text is getting kind of annoying, I bet. So let's have some more. What will I be focusing on in this part of the feature? Well, the first thing most RPG Maker users check out. The sample game.
This is the first screen you see after loading the sample game. It's either a back story, or a near-endless stream of vulgarities. This really isnt anything special, since RPG Maker 1 also supported near-endless streams of vulgarities... er, um... I mean darkening the screen and scrolling text around. Yeah.
Okay! Here we go. The backstory(?) finished, and this girl came out and is looking at herself in some water. We have our first look at reflections, and we really get to see how much the graphic engine itself has changed. there's a lot more detail, and things are just more interesting to look at in general.
Ooh. Message box. I like to imagine the girl is screaming "WHAT ARE YOU".
Insulted by the reflection's lack of response, she turns away and a bubble appears over her head. these were in RPG Maker 1 as well. I just wanted to show you that they were back. Don't look at me like that.
Ghost bunny thing!
Wait, what happened? The ghost bunny ran into the girl and the title screen popped up. And what a title screen it is. It has a subtitle. that's kinda cool. Everyone knows games with subtitles are awesome.
Who is this dork? I dunno. We get another type of message box (understand why I showed you that first one now?) that has a character portrait and a name field.
The soldier is talking, with his own portrait, but in a different location.
We're outside! the soldier from earlier is lodged in the rear end of the player character, that dork from before. Say "hi" to the snowman! You can say "hi" to the well too, if you want, but unlike the snowman, it will never answer you, or return your affections. Or is that the other way around?
People! This screenshot does a terrible job of showing it (being a screenshot and all) but some of these characters were moving a second ago - at the same time. No more of that "only one event can move at a time". And they don't have to pause between steps either. Also, that soldier is following the player character. He is in the party. You can also pass right through him. Another interesting thing, everyone in this shot is stopped. Why is that interesting? Look at the soldier. Look at the girl below him. They aren't lined up. What does that mean? the movement isnt grid-based anymore.
Several people here are motion at the same time, and we see a frozen fountain. Nothing really interesting going on, it's just a nice screenshot that shows off a lot of character models at once.
Just showing again that the movement isnt tile based. Also, an odd fencing choice.
Oh yeah, the menu. It's a menu.
Showing off a building design. The snow-covered roof is a vast improvement over what we saw in RPG Maker 1. Also, notice how far you can get from your party members. They arent always right on your tail.
Message boxes can go on the bottom too. Also, portraits can be used without name fields.
Nothing interesting going on here. Just another nice screenshot. Well, I should say something interesting, right? Pressing "X" makes your character run. Well, we've done everything we can for now in this town, so it's time to head out. One thing kinda odd about the sample game is that when you want to leave an area, you are given a menu of choices of where you can go. The options for leaving the town are a castle-type area, and a forest. we'll go to the castle place, just to see another indoor area first.
Fancy place. Check out the chin on that guy at the bottom. Very impressive.
Just showing off more character models. Okay, this has gotten kinda boring. Lets go outside!
Ah, a tree. It has snow on it. Well, this is the forest area. Why come here? Well, being a forest in an RPG, there are enemies here!
BATTLE. See? Says so right there. This is what a lot of people have been wanting to see. It's an ATB battle system. You got the typical timer bars too. There's four options at first, which are: Battle, Escape, AI, and uh... I forgot the other one. The options you get after that are: Attack, Guard, Magic, Special, Extra, and an option to change their AI battle type. You can be attacked while making selections, and you can make selections while other party members are carrying out their orders. Going over the combat options though, there are some amazing possibilities built right into RPG Tsukuru 4. Characters can be given the option to steal (items set in enemy editor), mug, learn enemy magic, throw money to inflict damage, mime (repeat last attack done in battle) and something really cool, the ability to capture enemies. Once captured, you can release them to attack your enemies, like pokemon. That's not all either, there's a lot of options I don't even remotely understand, so I can't really go into them.
Wham! Death! The characters leap across the battlefield to strike the enemies. This soldier guy often attacks twice in a row.
Oh, one quick thing, the item menu. As you can see, there are icons for different item types and stuff. Just more little touches that make your creations feel like a real game.
Okay, heading past that first area, we see this pretty place. there's snow falling too, which is a great effect.
Here we have the first boss encounter. He asks if you want to fight. Choose "yes" and the battle is on.
Here's the boss battle. You got mages to fight, and they can be pretty tough. They have quite a few special tricks that complicate things.
Casting defensive magic. Of course, that's not too impressive. No, this battle is special for a different reason.
That blob of water or ice or whatever rises up and hits your characters. The summon spells are all FMV, but their effects and power can all be edited. In the sample game, this one slows it's targets down and inflicts a bit of damage, although it's accuracy sucks. Pressing "X" skips the sequences. Let's see some more.
This one deals a crapload of damage.
The timing on the screenshot was off a bit, but he fires a beam out of his forehead that you can see starting to materialize. This one hits you with random status effects. Confusion and Sleep were the ones I kept getting hit with.
See? Sleep. oh, I beat the black mage guy between screenshots.
And then I beat the girl. Everyone cheers and jumps around! After the battle, your enemies congratulate you, heal you, and then refuse to get out of your way. That's pretty much it for the sample game.