Triangle Strategy Review

Four things I like about this game, and one I don't

Triangle Strategy on Nintendo Switch

By Paul Hunter

From Square Enix and the producer of Bravely Default and Octopath Traveler comes the next incredible role-playing game for Nintendo Switch, Triangle Strategy. As a huge fan of tactical JRPGs like Final Fantasy Tactics and Advance Wars, I've, of course, had my eye on Triangle Strategy ever since the big reveal at Nintendo's February 2021 Direct.

After playing the sumptuous Prologue Demo, which lets you play from the beginning up to Chapter 3, I walked away extremely impressed with the engaging mix of decision-led narrative, deep tactical combat and impressive world building. Now that I've had a chance to plunk more than 40 hours into the final retail game I'm even more elated at what Square Enix was able to produce here. So let's steel ourselves as we head to continent of Norzelia, here are four things I liked about the game...and one I didn't.

Liked: The Politically-Charged Narrative

Triangle Strategy places you into the role of Serenoa Wolffort, a talented swordsman and the heir to House Wolffort. The Wolffort dynasty is part of Glenbrook, one of three kingdoms of Norzelia that also includes the Holy State of Hyzante and the Grand Duchy of Aesfrost. In the aftermath of the great "Saltiron Wars", the political alliance of these three nations is fragile and as you'd expect, immediately starts to crumble just a few chapters in.

The twisting and turning campaign includes a deviously delightful amount of political drama filled with backstabs, changing allegiances, unexpected assaults and surprising romances. Anyone who loves Game of Thrones will be absolutely delighted by what's on offer here narratively. And yes that means wading through lengthy dialogue moments before and after each mission, but trust me, the time investments all pays off as you approach the end game. I was completely invested in each character and their outcomes, a testament to the exceptional storytelling.

Liked: Scales of Conviction

A lot of commotion about the game pre-release surrounded the unique "Scales of Conviction" choice-driven system to ultimately determines your story path. Now that I've had a chance to run through the lengthy 21-chapter campaign, I have say that the conviction system is a massive highlight of the game.

The way it works is at key moments in the narrative you'll be face with momentous decisions and can choose to influence members of your party to side with your desired outcome. One by one you'll chat with your teammates in attempt to sway them to your side before the vote is cast, but whether or not your successful will depends on the choices you've made earlier in the game. Every move you make will impact one of three scales of conviction—Utility, Morality, or Liberty—and ultimately the character Serenoa is to become. What's cool is that this conviction systems begs for you to replay the campaign multiple times using the New Game+ feature.

Liked: Intensely Strategy Combat

Triangle Strategy continues to deliver on the gameplay front with extremely strategic turn-based battles that take place on beautifully designed grid maps. Each of your party members have unique weapon preferences, upgradeable powers and abilities that you'll need to make full use of to defeat the enemy forces.

There are many clever mechanics that heighten the strategy during battles. For instance, by surrounding enemies your partners can execute follow-up attacks that often mean the difference between life or death. You can also take advantage of high ground to deal extra damage or to shield yourself from counterattacks. You've also got long-range attacks like bows or magic that can soften up enemies while your close-range allies run in for the final blow.

What's great, too, is battles are not just against generic soldiers but rather you'll face characters you've come to know over the journey, ratcheting up the intensity and interest. The stakes are usually incredibly high and it made me deeply invested in the on-screen combat.

Liked: Gorgeous HD-2D Graphics

Visually, Triangle Strategy is also a stunner with its gorgeous graphics reminiscent of the equally-beautiful Octopath Traveler. The game seamlessly blends an HD-2D visual style with 3D environments and modern special effects, all with pixel-art perfection. The three regions of Norzelia all have eye-catching visual differences, whether that's the icy peaks of Aesfrost, the elaborate castles of Glendbrook or the beautifully decorative cathedrals of Hyzante.

You'll afforded ample time to soak in the visuals between battles as you can explore the dioramas to speak with local townsfolks, purchase items or discover cleverly hidden item in the environment. The core gameplay loop of battles and exploration never gets tiring and keeps your interest high. While on the topic of presentation, the OST offers an exceptional mix of adrenaline-pumping battle music combined with evocative mellow notes during the more somber moments.

Didn't Like: Some Spotty Voice Acting

Impressively, all the main characters in Triangle Strategy are fully voice-acted and sound great. It's a nice touch especially when you consider just how many hours of dialogue you'll sit through over the beefy campaign. That said, there are some characters that have underwhelming performances or have slightly muffled voices, perhaps a result of file compression or limited storage capacity. Either way, it's worth noting that while the majority of characters sound great you'll likely think a few odds characters here and there don't have quite the same impact.

The Verdict

Triangle Strategy is the real deal for tactical RPG fans. A mesmerizing story, strategic combat, wonderful aesthetics, a lengthy campaign and plenty of replayability. Any fan of the genre absolutely needs to give this top-tier game a spin.

Final Score: 9/10 - Amazing

Triangle Strategy details

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Tactical Role-playing
Modes: Single-player
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

A key was provided by the publisher.