Seven months after its Switch release, Triangle Strategy comes to PC. Developed in a collaboration between Square Enix’s Team Asano (Bravely series, Octopath Traveler) and studio ARTDINK, this retro-styled tactical RPG was the first of many quality SRPG releases we surprisingly had this year.
Years have passed since the Saltiron War threatened to engulf the continent in blood and despair. Now, all the superpower nations are working together to establish a mine as a symbol of unity and peace. But, unfortunately, a series of events will unfold, shatter this apparent normalcy, and reignite the flames of war.
Triangle Strategy tells the story of the young heir to Glenbrook Kingdom’s House Wolffort, Serenoa. His father’s efforts were crucial to ending the war and granting respite to the populace. As part of the peace negotiations, the boy becomes betrothed to Frederica, the half-sister of Aesfrost’s archduke.
Along with a cast from various backgrounds, Serenoa and Frederica seem themselves facing dire battles to keep House Wolffort safe and realize their ideals. Amidst chaotic events, they will often have to navigate tortuous politics and strike deals with people who want to use them as tools.
While narrative ramifications aren’t a novel concept, Triangle Strategy offers a unique take on it through the voting system. As circumstances present multiple options to House Wolffort, characters align themselves to a particular choice. If the player wishes to guide their fate, it will be necessary to convince people.
However, your words only have as much sway as your dialogues and actions have shown. Through choices throughout the game, Serenoa can be more inclined to one of three axes: Freedom, Utility, or Morality. Depending on how much you lean towards them, you may be unable to convince people of your cause. These alignments are invisible on the first run, but New Game Plus introduces a way to check them out and strategize your run.
Overall, the story is a high note of the title that sticks its landing when showing the nuanced nature of political and warfare choices. Dialogue scenes are also expertly directed to highlight subtle sprite movements and the voice tone of characters.
Besides the story, the gameplay in Triangle Strategy is a fantastic example of elegant tactical RPG design. First of all, magic and skills use a unique TP system that regenerates every turn. Like other Team Asano games, such as the Bravely series and Octopath Traveler, it bases the system on the concept of risk and reward. The TP pool is limited, so using a powerful ability may reduce your possible actions on the next turn.
The game also considers the environment a relevant strategical tool. Not only may it affect the units’ mobility and offer advantages to those in higher places, but elemental skills can also be reinforced by careful planning. For example, when there are various enemies in a water area, or it’s raining, you may use electrical discharges to inflict extra damage. Likewise, a fire that targets a flammable object will remain for a few turns, causing damage to all who pass through that tile.
Over time, players can improve their units by promoting their classes, fortifying their weapons, unlocking new passive abilities, and buying accessories. While each individual focuses on a specific set of skills, there are enough unit options to offer variety when playing. The same goes for the area design, thanks to their vertical aspects, environment interaction, and gimmicks.
Triangle Strategy never overcomplicates tricks and even explains some conditions in an overview option. In addition, multiple difficulty settings (from Very Easy to Hard) and mock battles are available on the encampment, and your characters can retain your experience even if you lose. These design choices make the game more accommodating for newcomers who want to get into the SRPG genre but do not reduce its value to those more well-versed.
This PC edition includes the basic graphic configuration we come to expect from these ports. It’s possible to adjust the window size and render resolution. There are also options for anti-aliasing, shadow quality, and post-processing effects. Players may use controllers, a keyboard, or a mouse. The port is nothing to write home about, but the game works well.
With a simple but efficient PC port, Triangle Strategy proves to be an excellent option for strategy RPG fans who may have missed its Switch release. With an engaging story and solid gameplay elements, the title remains one of the most notable releases for the genre this year.
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