I tried a system called "RPG Maker 2000" back in the day. My goal was to make a simple SNES-styled JRPG. Young Jake very quickly discovered that you could download additional assets for this system, and a hundred hours later I finished making my first town-- a masterpiece-- then never booted up the system again. There had been so much temptation to make everything just right that I had ran out of steam before ever getting the plot of the game underway.
One good thing about the experience was that in making that town I had grown an appreciation for how detail oriented game designers have to be. While I would always appreciate the lessons learned from that experience, I was dubious about reviewing the latest iteration of the RPG Maker franchise.
Nearly twenty years later I could only imagine that the level of detail would have gotten out of hand. If "RPG Maker 2000" was a time sink, then "RPG Maker MV" was doomed to be a platform with so many variables that you'd never actually finish a project.
8 bit Jake is pleasantly surprised!
Lots of new features were added to the game making system, but almost everything has been designed to go quicker. For example, while you still can import new sprites there is no longer a need to. You can build entirely unique NPCs directly in the system. Advanced scripts can also be imported from the Steam Workshop now, doing away with the need to brush up on C++ just to add something like a day/night cycle to your game.
This is a good time to mention that I did buy this as part of the Steam winter sale. There is probalby not going to be a better time to get game making software if that is an interest of yours. If you're wondering what software to choose I would say that there is nothing at this point that is better for classic RPGs than "RPG Maker MV."
For more advanced games you'll have to look toward other systems, such as "Unity" or "Unreal." "RPG Maker MV" delivers on what it says it can, however, and these days that is an underappreciated virtue. If old school RPGs are your thing I highly recommend giving it a try!
Easy to learn
Games are more customizable with plugins
Games can be made quickly
Restricted to 2D RPGs