Triangle Strategy Review
Strategy RPGs require patience, adaptability, and careful planning. You need to be able to see all the moves at once, in other words. I thought I knew what I was getting into with Triangle Strategy. I thought my experience with Disgaea and Final Fantasy Tactics would leave me well prepared. Not so much, it turns out. Neither of those franchises feature much in the way of spirited debate, you see. Yet even if you’ve no taste for weighty decisions and political intrigue, Triangle Strategy will still worm its way into your brain.
House Wolffort has a relic known as the Scales of Conviction. Rather than a sacred jewel or a golden scepter, this treasure’s more of a voting booth. Every major decision is reached by consensus. You can’t control the votes, however. All you can do is try and convince people to see things your way before said vote is cast. Not only does your kingdom’s fate lie in the balance, but you’re also stuck hoping for the right outcome in the end.
Somehow, these sections are more intense than most battles. If you pick wrong, maybe a lot of people lose their lives. Maybe a war starts, or it gets worse. Even if you do what feels like the right thing, it can drive a wedge between you and your allies. Even with the power to just save and reload, I preferred the weight of my actions as is. Tightropes are more thrilling without a safety net, it turns out.
Choose The Fate Of Your Kingdom
Triangle Strategy gives conversation and combat equal strategic value. I know this, based on how much time you spend talking to absolutely everyone. Don’t get me wrong! I was hooked by this epic tale right from the start. Squabbling High Houses and political gambits give every twist and turn a tantalizing sizzle. But the pacing is a shock at first. Expect to spend almost half the runtime chatting with locals, nobles, soldiers, and sycophants. If you bust out the Scales, you can talk to the locals while doing so. In fact, doing so can unlock critical data. So if you’re looking for a higher concentration of combat, you may end up disappointed. If nothing else, the battles you do fight are delightful.
Combat is a deliberate and satisfying affair. Everyone uses TP, a regenerating resource, for all their skills. Plus, you get more experience for using skills in battle. So every fight is a constant barrage of buffs, special strikes, and powerful spells. All of this is an excellent counterweight to the slow, thoughtful nature of Strategy RPG battles. You’re still moving one unit at a time, but every move feels more exciting. You can also adjust the battle speed, which makes a big difference.
Back To The Battles, Please
The strategy element builds slowly and steadily. You’ve got a lot of options for the style and selection of your fighters in every battle. You constantly accumulate more fighters, all of whom bring new skills to the field. There’s a delicate balance of healing, buffs, and pure damage to maintain. You also need to make changes with the ever-shifting unit placement limits. A 7-slot team has very different needs compared to a 12-slot squad. Each member of your team can also be upgraded! This opens a whole new branch of tough choices, as supplies are pretty limited.
My only big problem was one of pacing. If you find yourself getting stuck on a specific battle, adjust the difficulty. Level grinding is incredibly time consuming, and the rewards are minimal. Worse yet, the already gentle pace slows to a crawl. Losing a battle lets you keep the experience you earned, but you’re still better off making changes in the options menu. Victory is determined by strategy, not strength. Even if you’re below the recommended level, you can still win. You just have to be smart about it. Even so, the pace still suffers from time to time. After several long scenes in a row, you start itching for the next battle.
Every aspect of this game is steeped in strategy. The choice system, the combat, and the core narrative all reinforce this idea. Especially the story, which maintains a desperate intensity throughout. Your every move is carefully considered, and each response carries serious weight. Between this intensity and the measured pace, my focus occasionally suffered. My tendency to level grind also backfired on me, adding extra strain to the runtime. On the other hand, the battles were all addictive and compelling. So much so that you resent the other sections a little. While the pressures of running a High House may seem oppressive, don’t despair! Each struggle comes with its own rich rewards. If you’ve got the patience for it, Triangle Strategy will get its hooks deep in your brain.
***A Nintendo Switch code was provided by the publisher***
- Deep, compelling combat
- Rich narrative
- Intricate choice system
- Pacing sluggish at times
- A LOT of dialogue scenes
- Not enough combat, honestly