Triangle Strategy Review
Publisher: Square Enix, Nintendo
Genre(s): Strategic RPG
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI12
Release Date: 04/03/2022
A code was provided for review purposes
Triangle Strategy may be a bit of a weird name but it’s another role-playing game from the mind behind Bravely Default and Octopath Traveller, so everyone knows roughly what to expect. Lovely warm pixel-art, a tightly-woven narrative and a rewarding combat system are what I want, so let’s dig into it.
I love strategic RPGs; I adored Final Fantasy Tactics but my favourites in the genre are the Disgaea titles. They are weird, don’t get me wrong but the never-ending gameplay and the strange mix of gameplay systems really stand out and talk to my inner gaming mind. I remember playing one of the Disgaea games so much on my PlayStation Vita, yeah, remember those? Then I got thumbstick drift. Anyway, on to Triangle Strategy, which is still a weird name for a game.
Precious, Precious Resources
Thirty years after the ‘Saltiron’ war, three large continents that previously fought over precious resources are plunged into another tense conflict over a newly discovered mine and some other flim-flam. Along with this comes its accompanying politics, conflict and backstabbing. What ensues is a multi-threaded narrative that on the whole, I found very run-of-the-mill. It was the characters and choices that kept me entertained but more on that stuff later.
You play Serenoa Wolffort and along with your bride to be, Princess Frederica Aesfrost, and a rag-tag group of uncanny characters, you must navigate tricky waters and reunite the areas of Norzella. As this is a strategic RPG a good gamut of character types and classes is vital and seeing them respond to various story choices was also enjoyable, even if the narrative was well-trodden at times and most of the characters were quite bland.
At various parts of the story you will be posed with various options, a bit like the choose-your-own adventure books of my youth. I am old though so many of you may not remember such trivial, analogue, childhood escapes. These choices are not just for show either, like a lot of games, but they do lead you towards branching game outcomes and characters do act differently towards you depending on your actions. The big decisions you make in a court-like setting with your party have massive ramifications for the game but I will not spoil too much about that. I will say that I always thought what I was doing, no matter how big or small, had some sort of effect on the overall narrative.
Before we get to the punchy-punchy good stuff, I need to discuss the game’s map. You can select what you want to tackle next, whether it be a major plot point or some side content. Triangle Strategy is a bit weird in this regard, as I found myself wanting to control the characters a bit more rather than just selecting various scenes from a map. In the end, I took it in my stride and started enjoying myself.
Chess But Fun, With Added Spells and Swords
Let’s get to the real meat on the bone, the thing I like most about these games, the chess-like strategic battles. In between story beats and various side-content you are thrust onto a grid-based battle system and must remove all the enemy units on the battlefield using your attacks, abilities and items. It’s a bit like chess, but more enjoyable and with added spells and swords.
Each battle has an order that units will attack in; this is governed by each character’s speed stat and can be modified with various abilities and effects. Each character has a different archetype and all the jazzy abilities that come with it. From healers to fire mages and from warriors to characters that buff or debuff other units. It’s all rather normal so far for games of this ilk.
Positioning is Everything!
In games like this, there are other things to take into account and Triangle Strategy is no different. Attacking from behind is a guaranteed critical hit, striking from above makes your attacks more powerful and my personal favourite is the pincer manoeuvre. I don’t think that’s actually what it is called but that’s what I am calling it. If you attack a unit and you have another unit on the opposite side of the said enemy, they both attack and therefore, double your damage output. This system alone makes positioning your units quite vital, on both the offensive and defensive sides of the battle. You do not want to get caught in the middle of an enemy pain sandwich.
On the whole, I enjoyed Triangle Strategy’s battle system but in comparison to the above mentioned similar games of the genre, it does feel simplistic. In Final Fantasy Tactics or Disgaea, I spent hours upon hours creating new units, customizing my team and min-maxing stats to make an all crushing team of devastation. In Triangle Strategy it’s a bit thinner on the ground in these departments but I am sure newcomers to the genre will find this more welcoming and that could be a good thing.
On the presentation front, I loved Triangle’s visuals and sounds. The lovely retro pixel art is both beautiful and reminds me of RPGs of old. I am sure a section of the gaming community will frown on such things but I really like the art style and the way the character sprites move around the pixellated, warm environments. It’s the same story with the soundtrack, Triangle Strategy is full of strong musical tracks that perfectly accompany what is happening on the screen.
Triangle Strategy, While Not Being The Pinnacle, Is Definitely Worth Your Time
Triangle Strategy is an enjoyable video game, especially if you are a fan of the genre. What it lacks in team-building and customization it makes up for in approachability. The player choices are enjoyable as are watching them affect your day to day play. There is enough content to get stuck into, especially if you move onto new game plus after the 30-40 hour campaign. While it may not be the pinnacle of the genre, there are not a lot of these types of games about and this is a pleasing romp to get stuck into.
Rapid Reviews Rating
4 out of 5
If you would like to buy Triangle Strategy, you can on the Nintendo eShop, here.
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