Having experimented with both RMVX and RMXP for a while now, I have to say that ultimately I still prefer RMXP. There are a number of reasons for this and most of these are because many features available in RMXP were omitted in RMVX. This doesn’t really detract from the game-making capability of the program, it’s more of an annoyance and inconvenience.
Omissions in RMVX
Following is the list of some of the event commands removed from RMVX. Most (if not all) of these can be reproduced via scripts.
- Change Text Options – This one has been integrated in the Show Text command in RMVX, along with another option, “Batch Entry”, which allows multiple text entries. It automatically splits the text into further text boxes if the 4 default line limit is reached.
- Button Input Processing – This was one of those commands carried over from RM2K/3, which wasn’t really necessary since most keypress processing can be done with scripts.
- Change Windowskin – This useful command was omitted in RMVX. While windowskins can be changed in RGSS2 by changing the “Window” default skin, I found this command useful as part of the options for changing themes. The disadvantage of its removal (without scripting it into the game) is that only the default windowskin can be changed in Window_Base.
- Change Map Settings – This command enabled controls for the Panorama (Parallax), Fog and Battle Background graphics, all of which have been omitted in RMVX. These commands can still be emulated with scripts, but it’s a major inconvenience.
- Change Fog Color Tone and Change Fog Opacity – These were additional options for manipulating the Fog effects. Again, scripts can be used to emulate these effects, but it’s inconvenient.
- Wait For Move’s Completion – In my opinion, this was a useless command, since it’s an option in the Set Move Route command.
- Prepare for Transition and Execute Transition – I never used these commands, but their purpose was to change the way the screen transitioned between battles. Since it has been omitted in RMVX, it only has one default named “BattleStart” in the Graphics/System folder. A new one can be imported and used, provided its name is “BattleStart”, which supersedes the default. It can also be changed via script using the Graphics.transition command.
- Memorize BGM/BGS and Restore BGM/BGS – These were two more commands imported from RM2K/3. Again I never used them in RMXP (but did in RM2K3), but their purpose was to remember certain background musics and sounds and recall them later. There’s really no need for them, so omitting them in RMVX isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
- Deal Damage – This command allowed a specific amount of damage to be inflicted on enemies, used particularly in cut scenes. Again, it can be emulated with scripts, but it’s annoying nevertheless that it’s missing in RMVX.
Some of the other omissions/changes are:
- Map Tilesets – Map tilesets are fixed in RMVX, divided into Tiles. There are no options to change them or add additional tilesets or autotiles, as there was in RMXP. There are now basically 5 tiles, including TileE, which is kept blank for “user tiles”. These default tilesets are very limiting when making maps and don’t allow many options. I think I’ve seen a script somewhere that enables tileset changing, using complete user-created tilesets completely replacing the default ones (they are named the same, i.e. TileA1, TileA2, etc. through TileE), but haven’t ever tried it, let alone create my own.
- Multiple Icons – Instead of having separate icons for each item, RMVX uses a single iconset capable of “storing” 256 icons. While this has its advantages and disadvantages, again the default Iconset is limiting. The main advantage is that a single sheet can be smaller than 256 individual icons and the major drawback is that only the default Iconset must be used (or replaced with a new one named “IconSet”). It is possible to use multiple Iconsets using RGSS2, but I’ll have to go into that in a future entry.
Additional Features in RMVX
Not only has the Ruby script (RGSS2) been improved, but there are some additional commands and features lacking in RMXP.
- Set Vehicle Location and Get on/off Vehicle – This command is an import from RM2K/3 that seems to have been omitted in RMXP, but has returned in RMVX. Vehicles in RMXP were controlled using events instead.
- Show Balloon Icon – Balloon Icons are animations above characters’ heads designed to simulate their emotions. I like this feature, as previously they had to be created manually and used as Battle Animations.
- Fadeout Screen and Fadein Screen – Useful for effects between cut scenes or map transitions, these commands fade the screen to and from black.
- Change Vehicle Graphic – This command simply allows the vehicle graphics to be changed into something else, lacking in RMXP except through events using Set Move Route. As an example of its use, a vehicle can be changed if it has been upgraded (think Final Fantasy III where the boat changes to a submarine and airship).
- Facesets – The reimplementation of Facesets, lacking in RMXP, is a welcome one. Facesets in RMXP were still possible, but using script methods.
In RGSS2, some additional features have been added, such as text shadows, which is quite a useful effect for emphasis or titles. Some of these I’ll cover in a future entry.