Triangle Strategy is the latest game to use Square-Enix’s “HD-2D” art style. Despite what the title may suggest, this is not a game where you play as an army of triangles in a war between geometric shapes. Instead, it is a turn-based strategy role-playing game. This style of game has only just recently started to see a decent amount of popularity in the west. Ever since the release of Fire Emblem: Three Houses in 2019, gamers have been thirsty for more of this type of game. Whether you’re familiar with the genre or not, Triangle Strategy is an epic game that’s hard to put down once you’ve picked it up.
Game of Thrones Meets Final Fantasy Tactics
The story of Triangle Strategy is nothing short of epic. It’s a Game of Thrones style epic with multiple kingdoms at war and major characters being killed left and right. The player takes on the role of Serenoa Wolffort as he aids his friend, Prince Roland, in a struggle to reclaim the occupied kingdom of Glenbrook. Even with the limitations of the graphical style, these characters still come to life, thanks in no small part to some very solid voice acting. Playing through this story feels like playing through an incredibly well-written political drama anime.
However, this story is incredibly long-winded. Even though each individual cutscene only lasts a few minutes, there are usually several between each story battle. It isn’t uncommon for there to be as much as forty-five minutes to an hour of story between each battle. This is especially true if you watch all the optional scenes, most of which feel very important to the plot. Luckily, there is plenty to do in between story scenes. Early on you will gain access to the encampment which will allow you to upgrade your units and participate in practice battles. In addition to that, you can sometimes explore town and gather information from the townsfolk.
The Path Forward
Triangle Strategy has a unique storytelling mechanic called The Scales of Conviction. Every once in a while, the party will come to a crossroads with a major decision that needs to be made. During these times, the characters will use The Scales of Conviction to vote on the way forward. Each character will naturally lean towards one decision over the other; however, it is possible to persuade them to change their minds. Sometimes the information you gain by talking to the townsfolk can help with these persuasions. The story can change a lot by the way the party votes. This means that two people can play the same game, and, based on their decisions, end up having very different experiences. It also adds a lot of replay for those who might want to go back and see how different decisions would have played out.
Strategy role-playing games can be difficult for some people to wrap their heads around. Most games like this also feature permadeath for playable characters, which can be intimidating to new players. Triangle Strategy is much more approachable than other games in this genre. There is no permadeath and a wide range of difficulty modes. So, if you just want to see the story without any real challenge, that option is there. If you do want the challenge, that option is also there, and there are some very challenging battles in this game. Triangle Strategy is a nearly perfect game for those who are just starting to get into the strategy role-playing genre.
Square’s New Retro-Style Standard
Triangle Strategy is the second game to use Square-Enix’s “HD-2D” art style. Both this game and its predecessor, Octopath Traveler, are gorgeous games and the art style is pure eye candy. The HD-2D art style combines old and new by putting 2D character sprites in 3D environments that are stylized to look like something from the 16-bit era. This is actually very similar to some old PS1 games like Dragon Warrior VII and Star Ocean: The Second Story. Those games had 2D sprites in 3D environments, but, due to the hardware limitations of the time, those environments look sort of bland by today’s standards. What really sets the HD-2D style apart from those old games are all the modern graphical effects. Having modern lighting effects, particle effects, and water physics really breathes life into the environments and makes them a stand out feature of the game.
VIBE Score 9/10
32, living in Arizona with a passion for video games, music and movies.