Well, here it is. Your chance to finally make the RPG of your dreams and impress everyone while simultaneously breaking into the business. Well, maybe not, but it's still a lot of kicks just to play around with a design tool of any sort. There are various levels of game design out there. There's bare bones writing an engine from the ground up and then there are the pre-built engines you can buy and design around. Now, one thing is almost universally true: most “build your own adventure” tools don't have a lot to offer. However, RPG Maker 3 does a pretty good job of making a fairly powerful program that isn't too hard to use, though you will wish you had a mouse.
First, let's talk about the program itself. RPG Maker 3 is the...third game in the series, and the improvements are quite notable. We finally get to mess around in a real 3D environment. On top of that, the design element has become more streamlined so it's much easier to pump out content in a quick fashion. Of course with streamlining you lose a certain amount of control, but the more control you get over a title, the more it seems like work and less like a creative experience.
One thing that anyone who gets RPG Maker 3 should consider is purchasing a USB keyboard. Trust me on this one, get the keyboard. If you're wondering why, try typing a term paper using the PS2 analog sticks and a virtual keyboard. Get the idea? One other purchase you may want to consider if you don't have a PS2 HDD is a memory card. As can easily be imagined, you can go through a few memory cards pretty quickly with this game.
As mentioned before, the graphics are much improved and really aren't too far off of current PS2 RPGs. The sound is a different story altogether, as in it's about middle of the road. You can't really screw around with the sound effects that much except for a couple of small choices here and there. The background music selection is pretty decent overall though.
Other than just the design aspect of RPG Maker 3, it also comes with a demo game of sorts. Within this game, you can get an idea of what RPG Maker 3 is capable of, and it also kills a little time in the process. It's a funny little title that does serve as more of a tech demo than a game.
It's kind of hard to point out bad things about a game that allows you to do whatever you want within reason. I mean, you can complain about a lack of features or what have you, but you get what you pay for. In fact, the biggest problem this title will have is a very, VERY niche market. That market will love this game to no end, but it's not going to reach the general public.
So, if you've always wanted to try making a game for the PS2, or are just interested in design at all, then you should consider checking this out. Otherwise it's probably not for you. It all comes down to desire and imagination.