i have been playing triangle strategy Now forever. In fact, Nintendo is one of those publishers that is usually very good at giving us a lot of time to review games before they launch. However, it’s still weeks away from its release, and I haven’t written about it for the iGamesNews. It’s not a reflection of the quality of the game, it’s excellent – but it’s a testament to the type of game it is.
Specifically, as the title says, the triangle strategy is a slow burn. The start of the game is particularly slow, but even though the story actually kicks in and starts scrolling at a natural pace, it still feels pretty icy. It’s a game that’s often a bit too dull and has been grinding its teeth for its own sake for so long – but it’s also compelling enough that I keep coming back to it, dicing it up here and there, Survive through compelling narratives and engage in thrilling, deeply tactical combat.
The biggest touchstone in the development of the triangle strategy is obviously Final Fantasy Tactics and its spiritual predecessor Tactical Ogre. These creations of Yasumi Matsuno (to be clear, he’s not involved in triangular strategy in any way) are also very eccentric and self-serious, although I also think it’s entirely fair to say that they executed their Shakespeare ambitions more strongly than triangular Strategy finally did it.
In this way, Square Enix’s latest attempt at HD-2D is very similar to its predecessor, Octopath Traveler – a game full of brilliant ideas inspired by time-honored classics, striving to weave them completely into something richer. than the sum of its parts. This is something the crew, led by producer Tomiya Asano, is still pursuing.
However…maybe it’s actually more than the sum of its parts, despite what I just said? Maybe that’s why I’m still playing it, still mucking around, even though it’s not the kind of game that fascinates me and keeps me totally glued to it. A big part of that is combat, a wonderfully streamlined yet enjoyable combat and character development system that leads to exciting and challenging encounters.
Compared to games like Wargaming or Fire Emblem, it’s definitely a simpler tactical RPG battle, swapping things like friendship mechanics or combat systems designed to build ridiculous, outsized damage numbers into more gradual and solid progress. It does have sophistication, and it’s implemented using clever and well-understood concepts, such as how magic interacts with terrain and distorts the state of the battlefield – like casting a lightning elemental spell on a body of water to carry the spell farther, or using Fire magic burns down wooden barricades.
As you prepare for battle, you’ll have to make tough choices about who to fight, and each character not only carries typical RPG character tropes, but also takes some unique twists based on who they are as a person. This is something satisfying.
All of this is good because the narrative that takes you into these combat encounters is a mixed experience. The overall story is full of political intrigue and shades of grey that typically don’t play well in games – but individual characters aren’t quite as compelling as in this title’s rivals, or even in Octopath Traveler. The dub work is all over the place in terms of quality, at least in English, which combined with an often lengthy story often takes away a little urgency.
But for all that, there’s brilliance hidden in the chaotic delivery. The game’s reflections on democracy are delivered through a series of votes in a dramatically named “Conviction Scale” system, in which the characters of Triangle Strategies vote on a key issue that often has significant character and story implications. As a player, you can not only vote yourself, but you can also try to influence the votes of NPCs. Doing so requires getting to know your allies, but some actions in exploration and even combat can affect how much you can influence the outcome of the vote.
The system is further enhanced by the fact that many of these options are far from easy. Some of them are cruel, while others may see you wanting to manipulate a group of people who do good deeds to do something morally reprehensible for the greater good. Each character is different and has a unique attitude and worldview, so you can choose your battles to carve out the story path you want. It’s an almost brilliantly interesting system that adds a lot to the narrative and makes it more engaging.
Of course, it also looks good. There’s a reason this HD-2D product from Square Enix is becoming a brand of its own – it’s a wonderful way to revive the look and feel of a classic RPG in a modern setting. This game is as gorgeous as Octopath, and has more powerful menus and more to boot.
So yes – I really like the triangle strategy. However, I haven’t finished it yet. I kept cutting it between Elden Ring and the new Street Fighter update, even going back to cyberpunk.
Soon, it might share my time with the Chrono Cross Remaster. It feels like that kind of game; something endearing and memorable and satisfying — but maybe not something that blows your mind. I’m fine with that; well worth the price of admission, and I’d really like to see ideas expressed in the scale of belief system explored in games other than this.