Back in February 2021, I tried out the first Project Triangle Strategy Demo on the Nintendo Switch. I didn’t get very far, the game and battle system were a bit too complicated for me back then.
Last week, we received a brand new Triangle Strategy Prologue Demo during the Nintendo Direct. I immediately downloaded it as I do with any big demo announcement. Since I was stuck at the auto shop waiting for my car to be repaired the next day, I decided to give this new demo a shot.
Triangle Strategy is a turn-based strategic adventure RPG from Square Enix that features the same stunning HD-2D visual-style of Octopath Traveler. The game consists of multi-tiered battlefields where you control a team of warriors.
I want to love this game, but I don’t think I have the attention span for it. Sure, at the repair shop I had no outside distractions so I was really enjoying Triangle Strategy. However, when I got back home and attempted to play on the TV I found myself distracted by my phone and everything else going on in the world around me.
After spending about three to four hours with Triangle Strategy Prologue Demo, I wanted to share some of my thoughts. Still, my main fear is not having the time to put into the game when it’s fully released next month.
I really want to get lost in the lore and story of Triangle Strategy — and I did for those first two hours (at the repair shop). I want to learn all about these characters and explore the entire world around them. It’s hard to get lost in a game when you’re trying to play (handheld) while watching something on TV (The Curse of the Switch).
The story begins like a Guy Ritchie movie or an Improv Harold (which I used to be a part of weekly, before the pandemic). We meet our main characters separately, one by one, and see them slowly come together to form a group. This works way better than trying to become familiar with fifteen main characters all at once.
At times, I’m reminded of Game of Thrones with the different houses attempting to work together and form alliances through marriage. Of course, in the Game of Thrones there are more houses and more betrayal.
Another reason Game of Thrones comes to mind is that there are epic battles in this game, but the majority of gameplay is conversations between characters. Square Enix built this great big RPG with a cool battle system (which I’ll talk about later), but in order to make battles more memorable they spend a great deal of time on the story.
Although much of the dialogue and story is scripted, there are moments where you must choose what your character says. Your choices can influence major events, in the moment and further down the line. You can even coerce other character’s decisions with dialogue.
The game features full voice over, which adds to the story. It makes the world feel more dynamic and authentic. There are many JRPGs (and RPGs) that have small bits of dialogue recorded, but for the most part make you read as the character reacts emotionally (with a small laugh or sigh) as you read through the dialogue.
Visuals + Design
The HD-2D art style is another big reason why I want to love Triangle Strategy. I’m a huge fan of this art style. It’s like an up-res of classic RPGs. Many classic games that I missed out on, but wish I had always been a fan of.
I started off on handheld mode (on my Launch Edition Switch), and everything looked so beautiful. When I moved over to docked mode on a 4K TV, the details in the HD-2D world became more vivid and dynamic. I started to notice how the fire and water were alive and moving.
The in-game map is also beautifully designed with gorgeous miniatures like a modern board game. It’s nice to see where your characters are headed on the map, represented by colorful game pieces. The passage of time is shown by moving shadows from the sky above.
Battle + Systems
In recent years, I’ve found myself trying out more turn-based strategy games. I’ve really enjoyed them, up to a certain point. That point is where it becomes too hard for me. I get stuck on one battle and I can’t quite figure out how to win, so I quit instead.
I chose to play Triangle Strategy on Easy because my goal was to get familiar with the battle system. Perhaps if I play the actual game I may move up to Normal mode. I’ve enjoyed the gameplay so far, even though I haven’t come across too many battles.
I really enjoy that the turn-based combat is mixed and not team by team. With such large groups (usually six or more), it would be very boring to wait around for the whole enemy team to perform their actions.
It’s also nice to know the order of attack (initiative) to build your strategy. For instance, if there are two enemies you can eliminate on your next attack, you can choose the one who would come after you first. I feel like I’m getting a little better at spreading out my team and using different actions (heal, move, attack, defend).
I also completed the early friendly tournament battle in the story, which wasn’t as fun as a real battle. In a real battle the enemy is trash talking and the stakes are higher. There’s more to gain and more to lose.
So, here’s the main question: Do I plan on playing the full release of Triangle Strategy?
Let me start off by saying if you’re a fan of turn-based RPGs and this style of game, then you should definitely try it out. Download the Demo and give it a shot. You have nothing to lose. It’s FREE.
I would love to play this game but my main concerns are still not having enough time and the learning curve. The story, visuals and battle (topics I discussed) are very enticing and I really love them.
This is the type of game that you will have to put a significant amount of time into to fully enjoy. Lately, I feel like I’m back to my old ways of playing multiple games at a time and jumping around from game to game.
My other concern is the learning curve and hitting that point where I just don’t know what to do. There have been many recent games (in this style), where I was having a great time up until I got stuck. Next, I became frustrated and quit altogether.
I guess my plan will be to hope that my one friend (who buys every big Nintendo Switch game) will purchase the physical version of Triangle Strategy. Once he’s done playing then I can steal it from him and see how far I get. But who knows, I may find myself at Best Buy at some point and see the game on the shelf and end up buying it.
Triangle Strategy releases on the Nintendo Switch on March 4, 2022.
I have only played the Triangle Strategy Prologue Demo which is available free on the Nintendo Switch eShop.