Turn-based tactical RPGs are a bit less plentiful these days than they were in the golden age of RPGs back on the PlayStation. But that doesn't mean there isn't any work being put in to revive the genre, which is great news for anyone who's still stuck on the days of Final Fantasy Tactics. With Square Enix's Triangle Strategy, we travel back to a familiar time where role-playing was simpler, the graphics were much more sprite-heavy, and narratives always relied on strong characters to push forward. This Switch-exclusive adventure is just what the doctor ordered: a sweeping, challenging tale chock full of familiar genre convention and exciting battles that'll keep you glued to your Switch for hours.
Jump into the role of Serenoa Wolffort, who's tangled up in an uneasy alliance between the three kingdoms of the world Norzelia: Glenbrook, Hyzante, and Aesfrost. The kingdoms have barely held on to any sort of peace following the conclusion of the Saltiron Wars, and things have gone awry, just as you'd imagine they might. But things are going well for young Serenoa, who's engaged to the half-sister of the archduke of Aesfrost, looking to solidify the alliance between the kingdoms. Of course, it isn't all sunshine and roses, as there's unrest even between those who want Serenoa to wed.
In fact, there's a wealth of political drama to soak up as you make your way through Triangle Strategy, so much so that it might seem like you're doing more reading than playing. It does take a bit to get started, but once you get through the initial tutorials and find yourself in the thick of things, you're invested in Norzelia's conflict and the dalliances of Serenoa and those who wish to form some sort of peaceful future. Suffice it to say, this is a narrative you'll want to pay attention to, even as it spends a bit too long on exposition. When you're on the other side, though, you'll want to advance through the game just so you can see what happens next. Trust me when I say it does occasionally keep you on the edge of your seat.
You'll spend much of your time in Triangle Strategy locked in combat, and that may very well strike one’s fancy, but if that isn't the type of thing you want to spend hours doing, this won't be the game for you. If you, like me, spent hundreds of hours in Final Fantasy Tactics when it debuted on PlayStation, you'll be delighted by what's in store. Combat is turn-based and ultimately depends on advancing your party through their eventual job upgrades to power them up.
You've probably seen a battle system exactly like this before: choose which spaces to advance, whether you want to attack or defend, use an item, switch characters, or pass your turn. It's the same thing in Triangle Strategy, but you need to keep up with how your party members are growing.
Your characters begin as one class, but can earn multiple levels to change into another. For example Serenoa begins the game as a Swordsman, but can transform into a Swordfighter. It's the same for other party members, which gives you the type of progression that makes it fun to look forward to new fights and scuffles that help you earn experience. Seeing what the team you eventually amass is capable of is exciting, from scoping out the abilities they gain to seeing how your squad comes together to vanquish your enemies and beyond.
Beyond combat, which is the bulk of the game, you'll also have to make important decisions throughout Triangle Strategy. For instance, as you make your way through the narrative, you'll have to make some important decisions as you progress. This is done by making decisions within your party after speaking to other characters and reading tidbits that fill in more of what's going on around you. You'll also need to keep Serenoa's Convictions in mind: Liberty, Morality, and Utility. Honing these traits will improve Serenoa as a character and make NPCs more easily swayed to his side. You may even be able to influence characters to join your party in this way.
All of these mechanics combine to craft an exciting adventure that anyone who’s ever loved this type of game will jump to take part in. It’s gorgeous, full of content, challenging, and a great throwback to a time when strategy games were simpler. If you’ve been waiting for a full-fledged Final Fantasy Tactics sequel, this isn’t it, but something new and great all its own. Triangle Strategy is what you’ve been looking for, and you’ll enjoy every moment.
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