We play Triangle Strategy: strategy, RPG and the soul of a classic with the masterful touch of Square Enix
Morality, pragmatism and freedom. The three main gears of the triangle strategy. The triple paradigm. Three ideals that overlap in our game coexist and, with a little skill, can even complement each other. In Triangle Strategy, how we combine them is up to us. From our choices, of course, but above all from our skill with sword and magic when it comes to fighting for our nation, our beliefs and our own destiny.
Tomoya Asano leads Artdink Corporation to bring us the next classic tactics obsession to Nintendo Switch. A game that comes from the hands of Square Enix and draws directly from the rich role-playing heritage of 16 and 32-bit systems. There’s a lot of his art, storytelling, and characters. However, the development of the triangle strategy is different. And also his way of penetrating deep into the player.
Triangle Strategy lets the player constantly switch between the new and the already known during his games. Embracing the exquisite visual style of Octopath Traveler, the HD-2D, in which pixel art truly acquires a third dimension, transforming the environments into mesmerizing models with a multitude of details. But Triangle Strategy is neither a sequel to Octopath Traveler nor a new story following in its footsteps and formula. Aside from the much-appreciated artistic similarities, they’re two different games.
Square Enix has pulled a tactical strategy game out of a hat that constantly tries to push the boundaries of its own genre and introduce role-playing elements. Not just on an artistic level, for the record, but based on giving weight to the player’s own choices. To give him a voice through Serinoa Wolffort, the protagonist of Triangle Strategy, who presents us with dilemmas linked in one way or another to the three great ideals around which the game revolves.
Thus, Triangle Strategy breaks with the traditional schemes of classic JRPGs, offering us choices that have small impacts or big consequences in the development of the game. Both our disposition and a simple phrase before starting a battle will affect its course, gradually strengthening our alliances or creating avoidable friction. Another thing is that of course we want to avoid them. Our heroes gaining experience and a few extra potions will always come in handy.
At this point the question arises: What exactly is Triangle Strategy all about? In short, this is the classic tale of Made in Japan tactical strategy, in which delicate diplomacy between multiple nations comes to naught after years of relative peace. But, as Vegetius said. If you want peace, prepare for war.
The best tactical RPG with an exquisite touch of nostalgia
It has been 30 years since the Great Ferrosaline War broke out between the three great nations of Nordselia. The disputes and tensions over natural resources and their complicated division between the Archduchy of Frostforge, the Holy See of Dunalgid and the Kingdom of Glaucoburg grew into a global conflict that claimed countless lives.
This conflict resulted in ruin and devastation for the three nations to the point where the three kingdoms decided to sign a truce and delegate the management of salt and iron, the two vital resources between the nations, to a company that is committed to offering fair trade. Peace may have reigned in Norselia against all odds, but the mistrust between their kingdoms has not diminished with time.
Triangle Strategy is the story of Serinoa Wolffort, a nobleman whose house is loyal to the kingdom of Glaucoburg, the kingdom that has served as a trade link between the three nations. However, the agreement that is about to be formalized is truly unusual: the young man sets out to meet the noble young Frederica, who belongs to the Archduchy of Frostforge. The interesting thing is that their meeting has nothing to do with iron, but with an unexpected marriage contract that will unite both houses.
Under this premise, Triangle Strategy offers the player two types of gaming experiences. The former is very much in line with traditional JRPG games, where traveling through different conflict regions, small quests leading to big quests, recruiting allies with their own stories, and buying and selling all kinds of items solidifies a storyline that knows how to make them shine the character of its protagonists.
The other axis, perhaps the one that gives the game more of its own identity, is tactical combat. The scheme offered in Triangle Strategy does not invent gunpowder, nor does it need it: through a system of turns, positioning and management of our actions, we must clear scenarios more or less closed by enemies.
Although the scenarios are eye candy and offer HD 2D that fits the whole beautifully, the truth is that each battle’s design has a very well-planned balance of strategy and role. Knowing how to combine our positioning well is just as important as managing our skills, and both nuances are also affected by the choices we make throughout the story. Even the most subtle sentences.
Little by little, the story and the world to which we have access open up and the choices penetrate deeper into the game. We must consider not only our concerns and beliefs, but also the motivations of our allies and the potential side effects. for when the time comes, the fate of Norselia will depend on our ideals. About our actions and what we put more in the foreground: morality in uncertain times, pragmatism in the face of the most complicated situations or freedom as a purpose for a greater good.
Triangle Strategy: Strategy, role and soul of the classic
No company has pushed the boundaries of RPGs quite like Square Enix. Only this year, we will have a generous commitment of the company with strong proposals and eager to leave their own mark. From Babylon’s Fall (by PlatinumGames) to Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin (by Team Ninja) to the ambitious Forspoken.
Triangle Strategy’s pacing, presentation and gameplay philosophy is a stark contrast to anything that has happened before, successfully transporting the player back to the golden age of 16-bit JRPGs and Tactics. For many of us, those of us who grew up on the classics, that blessed oasis in the midst of so many blockbusters brimming with action for no reason and characters more or less cut from the same patterns. The game where your calm decisions have a bigger impact on the game than your button presses.
They say whoever hits first, hits twice. Something that applies to both fighting games and Japanese-style tactics. And Square Enix knows it very well. It seems that the whole world has agreed to release a powerful tactical strategy game for Switch in 2022. From the recently announced new Fire Emblem to the renewed alliance between Mario and the Rabbids, passing on the treatment the creators of XCOM will be giving to Marvel Heroes. It’s too early to tell if Triangle Strategy will be the best, but we have two things clear: it will be out sooner and you can start playing now.
The new version of Triangle Strategy that we had access to at VidaExtra introduces all sorts of changes and achievements compared to the first demo already released. Combat and gameplay are more dynamic, you have better opportunities to visualize and study your next move, and progression through the story becomes much smoother and more straightforward. You can even speed up both combat and dialogue, or have it run automatically with a simple button, which is a complete hit. That brings us to the third and final question: Is Triangle Strategy a game for everyone? You can now solve this question.
To coincide with the recent Nintendo Direct, Square Enix released a new Triangle Strategy Trial containing the first three chapters of the game. In fact, everything you play and your progress will carry over to the final version of the game, which will arrive on March 4th, 2022. A contact that will give you much more clarity about whether the game is for you. And I can already tell you that these three chapters are just an appetizer.
Perhaps Triangle Strategy isn’t the most ambitious and spectacular RPG that Square Enix is launching in 2022. Serinoa Wolffort’s adventure is definitely not in line with the kind of blockbusters that can eclipse their peers. But the new Tomoya Asano brings other types of equally important elements. A new classic? Well, we’ll find out soon enough. For now, it’s bouncing back in those sorts of sensations that seemed exclusive to the pixelated JRPGs that fascinated an entire generation. And that is an achievement in itself.
RRP at Xtralife €54.95 RRP at Fnac €54.99
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch
- Multiplayer: No
- Developer: Square Enix / Artdink
- Company: Square Enix
- Release Date: March 4, 2022
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