RPG Maker Fes (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Josh Di Falco 26.06.2017

Review for RPG Maker Fes on Nintendo 3DS

RPG Maker dates all the way back to the late 80's, and has seen plenty of substantial evolutionary phases. RPG Maker Fes continues this phase by making the leap to 3DS handhelds, from its predecessor. RPG purists willing to dig their heels into the sand and get right into the grittiness of creating their own top-down RPG game will find plenty of tools at their disposal to bring to life their imaginations. Alternatively, for those not wanting to boggle themselves in the creation aspect can download other users' games for a never-ending selection of RPG games.

RPG Maker Fes delivers plenty of tools to be able to form together an RPG of the top-down variety. With the entire main base programming and coding already done, this is a simplified version for newcomers to enter the field and try their hand at creating stages and the like. However, do not be fooled. Though simplified, this is still a pretty deep and investing experience that does not pay off immediately, if at all. If making an RPG game sounds interesting, then definitely check out this title.

The game does not feature any form of tutorial, and instead opts for the player to manipulate the tools and learn how everything is supposed to work at their own leisure. While this may be extremely intimidating at first, it will eventually come together. The downside to this is that it may take a couple of hours, and even then, there is still much more to learn. After all, Rome was not built overnight, and as such, making an RPG game with these preset tools will take time.

This is largely a menu-driven game, where assigning variables and numbers help to create the parameters around which the created game is played. While RPG Maker Fes already has its own set of rules and boundaries that cannot be broken, player-controlled characters can have their levels and attributes assigned from the start, as well as how those points change as they level up. Professions, weapons and special abilities can be created and assigned. Turning the tables, enemies and enemy groups can also be created, and their random encounter rates adjusted also.

While these things sound great and all, the game is still pretty limited when it comes to actually "creating" the look of these elements. There are preset characters, with four different portrait stances that denote different emotions: happy, sad, angry and shocked. However, apart from these, brand new portraits or character sprites cannot be actually created. The same goes for the enemies, where only the premade sprites are on offer, and there is no way to create brand new enemies to play out certain roles. This is disappointing, as having this creative freedom would allow for much more flexibility in the game creations. Many of the user-created games contain the same enemies and character sprites, which prevent any of the fan-made RPGs to truly have their own flavour and uniqueness to them. In saying that though, there are a wide assortment of presets to choose from.

Screenshot for RPG Maker Fes on Nintendo 3DS

Creating the map exists on different levels and forms. There is the "world" map, or the overview, where neighbouring towns and cities are placed, as well as the different elements that make up the region. Then there are three sub-maps that can be created and implemented in the game: the dungeon, city and interior. Creating these maps, and then linking them to the world map, or conversely interconnecting them through a series of the sub-maps is the most creative aspect of world building in RPG Maker Fes, and is truly where this game and its full potential comes to life.

Learning how best to lay out all these maps, and what NPCs to incorporate in each of them is at the full mercy of the creators. There are 99 map slots per game, allowing for plenty of room for creative freedom and for large-scale worlds to be made. The maps come in three sizes, though even the smallest size has plenty of room for movement. The main downside to creating the maps is the lack of a zoom out feature on the 3DS. Many times, trying to place down environmental tiles is problematic due to not being able to zoom out the map, in order to better see the neighbouring areas around the newly placed element. It should not have been that hard to implement in the game, and it definitely causes areas of tunnel vision and confinement when the game is trying to allow the creative juices to fly freely.

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However, where RPG Maker Fes will truly shine as the ultimate RPG game is in its online functionality. Once an RPG game has been made, they can then be uploaded online, where other users can then download the game onto their own device and play around in. Working both ways, this means there can be an unlimited amount of RPGs to play, provided that plenty of users are creating and uploading them. There is also a ratings feature, where the highest-rated games can be filtered to appear at the very top, which will be an extremely handy feature in the future.

This online feature allows for users who don't wish to create the games, to still be able to access other users games. Thinking this way, RPG Maker Fes is effectively an RPG game with thousands of RPG possibilities within. There are plenty of ideas out there just waiting to be discovered by creatively minded people, and the tools provided in this game are plentiful to be able to develop some wicked things. Being able to view other people's games, and see just what they have accomplished is astounding, and the ideas gleamed and lessons learnt from how they have orchestrated their game can in turn help users from bettering their own future games. The potential for a wide variety of great games in many different genres is so far-reaching, that the next 12 months of this games online life cycle will be fascinating to watch and participate in.

In saying all that, learning the fundamentals of how to put all of these creative tools to use without the input of an in-game tutorial is a daunting task. As such, only those who are willing to seek this out to the end will get to make the most of this game and all that it has to offer. Some of the poorly worded "help" boxes seem to confuse more than help, thus it makes trying to learn how to do things doubly harder. Perhaps a proper tutorial that explained all the basic fundamentals with a hands-on approach for the creator would've been a great way to introduce newcomers to the series as well.

Screenshot for RPG Maker Fes on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

While RPG Maker Fes is not perfect, it is a fantastic leap into RPG game creation for newcomers. With its simplified toolset that does away with most of the programming features in order to allow for a streamlined system of creation, the simple act of building a world will still require patience and time. Fans of the series will find plenty to salivate over in this new game, and the thought of sharing their creations with users around the world, and in turn playing around in other created worlds, is what is going to give this game plenty of legs for many years. Though it does lack the ability to actually create original sprites and character or enemy portraits, it still provides enough presets to make some truly unique worlds and adventures. The only limitation is the creator's imagination.


Kadokawa Shoten


NIS America


Turn Based RPG



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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