This is your friendly neighborhood Jet here. Nick asked me to write up an article for a comparison between some popular CBS (Custom Battle Systems) scripts for RPG Maker VX.
Melody by far has the most features and configuration, but is sorely lacking in ease of use, and compatibility. Melody is definitely for those who want EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE and know how to use all the tools it offers.
Tankentai has many features as well. While it is even worse in compatibility than Melody, it is easier to use and configure. Due to its “age” it has accrued the most tutorials on its use. There is also some stigma against it in the RM community due to it being commonly used with poor or no customization beyond the defaults. Used correctly though, it can produce some extravagant results.
Ziifee’s wait gauge is lacking in any visual representation of players on screen, but does give the battle a whole different style. It is more geared towards creating an ATB (Action Time Battle) system, in which actions are taken as soon as it is the character’s turn, not all chosen then done in a sequence. (This style was popularized by the Final Fantasy series, and was used in FFIV-FFIX.)
Reedo and Jet’s SBS are pretty simple, and if it weren’t for dynamic sprites in Jet’s they would have been tied in usefulness. Both Jet and Reedo’s are more for simpler folks who want a retro Final Fantasy type of feel to it, without all the complication Tankentai and Melody have. Jet and Reedo’s are both compatible with multiple other CBS though, and they are usually used with another CBS. Ziifee’s wait gauge for example, can be used with either to have both the sprites and ATB. RIBS, another CBS not mentioned here, can also be used with them, along with many others.
There are many other battle systems, these are just a few of the more popular traditional RPG battle systems. There are many other CBS scripts from the communities including several other styles such as:
- ABS (Action Battle System), which allows battles on the map similar to old school Zelda
- TBS (Tactical Battle System) which emulates Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy Tactics grid-based battles.
Of course, you can also just stick with the default front view Dragon Quest-esque system. While simple and not as graphically impressive, there is a lot that can be done with it alone.
Have some questions? Ask them in the comments section below.
Jet is an omnipresent member of several of the online RM communities and prolific scripter. He is also an F-16 Fighting Falcon. We haven’t figured out yet how he types with no hands…