REVIEW: ‘Triangle Strategy’ is a Love Letter to Classic Tactical RPGs (Switch)

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Triangle Strategy - But Why Tho

Triangle Strategy is a tactical role-playing game developed by Artdink and published by Square Enix on the Nintendo Switch. The game is reminiscent of classic tactical role-playing games like Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre, some of my personal favorites of the genre. Triangle Strategy sets a new standard for tactical role-playing games going forward.

Triangle Strategy follows the story of Serenoa Wolffort in the world of Norzelia. He is the heir to one of the high houses in Glenbrook, one of three major nations in Norzelia. A great war ravaged the region thirty years before the start of the game, and the peace that followed is less-than-perfect, so Serenoa is being used to seal a marriage alliance with Aesfrost. Right off the bat, the marriage plans are interrupted when the king is killed and the world plunges into chaos. I love that the world, right on the brink of achieving a stronger peace, is completely flipped upside down right off the bat. It doesn’t feel like it was done for pure shock factor either, which I greatly appreciated.

Serenoa sets off with his best friend, Prince Roland, to save the kingdom. Political intrigue plays an important role throughout the story of Triangle Strategy, with plenty of depth to be found. Side characters have plenty of optional dialogue to help further expand the world of Norzelia, and I found myself often trying to learn as much as possible about the region. The story beats that occur throughout the game, like false flag invasions and old grudges coming to bear, make for an incredibly grounded story. While there are elements like magic that keep the fantasy feel alive, it is fair to say that it is much grittier than I expected.

While the story of Triangle Strategy is interesting and dense, the gameplay is what most people are looking forward to when playing a tactical role-playing game. Thankfully, the game delivers on that front. Battles take place on a grid, where you need to move Serenoa and friends around to optimize different attack strategies. There are a plethora of options when it comes to engaging in battle, with some working much better than others. There is a good bit of trial and error for players less familiar with the genre, but the learning curve is not too steep. It took me a little bit to get a hang of the battle system, but once I did I was winning much more easily.

My only real complaint when it comes to the gameplay is the lack of customization for the characters in your party. The progression for party members is linear, meaning that they can only play as the class their character is designated as. Sure, they can learn new skills and abilities that help as you progress, but the lack of choices when leveling up characters is disappointing. The marketing for the game tried to hammer home the idea that choices matter, so I was hoping those choices would extend past story beats into character setup. Still, the skills and classes are well designed and implemented. Choices would have improved the experience, but the lack of them does not mean that the gameplay as-is is not incredibly enjoyable.

Another highlight of Triangle Strategy is the beautiful art style. I am a huge fan of the HD-2D designs that have become more common in Japanese games lately, and Triangle Strategy delivers. The characters have very distinct looks to them, and the various locations do as well. I love the constant variety throughout. The attention to detail in even the smallest of areas, especially in the background of larger settings, is another massive positive for me. A key underrated highlight for me is the excellent battle animations. Special moves have different visual components to them that often blew me away by how detailed they are. I fell in love with the stylized visuals of Triangle Strategy almost immediately, and it only improved as I progressed further and further into the game.

Triangle Strategy feels like a love letter to classic tactical role-playing games in the best of ways. The story is compelling and detailed, and the characters you interact with really feel like they each matter. Artdink knocked it out of the park aesthetically as well, bringing the complex world of Norzelia to life in an incredible way. I loved every second of my time with Triangle Strategy, and I am looking forward to future playthroughs to explore the different branch options as well. If you are a fan of tactical games with an enticing story, Triangle Strategy checks off all the boxes and is an absolute must-play.

Triangle Strategy is out now on Nintendo Switch.


Triangle Strategy
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Triangle Strategy feels like a love letter to classic tactical role-playing games in the best of ways. The story is compelling and detailed, and the characters you interact with really feel like they each matter. Artdink knocked it out of the park aesthetically as well, bringing the complex world of Norzelia to life in an incredible way. I loved every second of my time with Triangle Strategy, and I am looking forward to future playthroughs to explore the different branch options as well. If you are a fan of tactical games with an enticing story, Triangle Strategy checks off all the boxes and is an absolute must-play.