It’s been a long time since I’ve taken a look at RPG Maker… I remember being informed of the first release of the game in a “hey, that’s kindof cool” way, but as an editor for making one’s RPGs… it seemed overly difficult. Fast forward a decade and RPG Maker 2003 seems to have been the latest edition. I’ve never heard of it and I’ve never known of what it can do… But Aethis in vgmusic‘s IRC channel posted the following video and to my eyes… it certainly looks just as good or better than half the RPGs that ever graced the Super Nintendo game system. Now if I start comparing it to the “best” in console RPG sub-genre… I might find things that the editor can’t do that a real programmer can… but for a single product (and the RPG content displayed below), this is fairly impressive.
On the other hand, many of the sprites and graphics are “borrowed” from Final Fantasy IV… and it’s difficult to know how good this same video would look using the… uh… let’s say art talents of a single independent fan. Still, I respect that the design is possible.
Just thought I’d also note that “RPG Maker” may not be fully covered on Mobygames since only the versions which come with a pre-assembled game world as a demonstration (in other words, a game) are eligible into the database. MG does not cover standalone programming tools and editors.