By Jenae R / February 24th, 2021
When Project TRIANGLE STRATEGY was shown off during the latest Nintendo Direct, I knew I had to try it out. Having already fallen in love with both the original Bravely Default and Octopath Traveler, I now look forward to any future traditional JRPGs created by the same people. Anyone familiar with Octopath would immediately be able to tell from the trailer that TRIANGLE STRATEGY is a new game in that same style. This time, however, we’re specifically getting a strategy RPG, and I couldn’t wait to dive into the demo when it came out.
As I just said above, Project TRIANGLE STRATEGY is an SRPG. The demo takes place in the middle of the story during Chapter VI. It’s explained that the continent of Norzelia contains three kingdoms: Glenbrook, Aesfrost and Hyzante. They all have their own resources, such as Aesfrost’s supply of iron and Hyzante’s salt from its lake. All three kingdoms were once at war with each other, but to avoid being destroyed completely, they came to a peace agreement. The demo begins right when that peace agreement is being destroyed by the Archduke of Aesfrost, Gustadolph. Gustadolph has had his cousin killed at the Grand Norzelian Mines and decides to pin it on the king of Glenbrook, thus validating his following invasion. The game puts in you control of Serenoa from House Wolffort, who ends up protecting Prince Roland after the prince’s father, King Regna, is forced to surrender and his brother, Crown Prince Frani, is killed.
After these events and the first battle stage where you escape with the prince and some allies, you can choose to hand Roland over to Gustadolph and keep the people of House Wolffort’s town safe from harm, or you can keep going as is and continue to protect him. The twist with TRIANGLE STRATEGY is that the game presents you with various difficult decisions, which affect the course of the story. There are even certain smaller decisions that may provide you with new characters to use in battle. I appreciate that the decisions in this game actually matter. Fire Emblem: Three Houses, a recent SPRG with similar decisions to make, very rarely gave you choices that mattered. Only a select few decisions altered the story. I think TRIANGLE STRATEGY will have significantly more replay value than FE3H, simply because of the sheer abundance of choices containing truly differing results.
Gameplay wise, TRIANGLE STRATEGY plays out like you would expect, including a few of its own quirks here and there. Battles occur on grid-based stages, and each character has their own special skills and attacks. The only thing I didn’t really like was how when it’s one of your characters’ turns, they immediately start off with a visible grid and you’re expected to move them right away. I prefer when the selection square is lit up showing you it’s that unit’s turn, but only then are you able to go ahead and move them. Or, prior to moving them, you can take a look at more of the stage and view the enemies’ locations and stats. I also didn’t see an option to review the stage’s requirements for success and failure mid-battle. These requirements often vary among each stage in an SRPG and sometimes I like to check them again, especially during any particularly long and hard battles.
One of the quirks I mentioned before are items. Rather than equip each character with a couple of items in addition to their equipment, it seems you have a single stock all characters pull from. Also, I wasn’t able to buy anyone new equipment. There was instead an NPC, referred to as the smithy, who can make your weapons better, but this feature was unavailable in the demo. Another feature that’s locked and unavailable in the demo is a barkeep who supposedly gives you errands. Now, I’m hoping this will be an opportunity to level up people on the side and that TRIANGLE STRATEGY won’t be one of those strategy RPGs with no way to grind and properly prepare for story battles. I found the demo to be quite tough and while the game does inform you the difficulty is upped specifically for the demo, I still prefer when games like this allow grinding on the side. I really hope that’s something they let you do in the full title.
In the end, I had a lot of fun with this Project TRIANGLE STRATEGY demo. I was not expecting a new game in an identical style to that of Octopath Traveler to already be in development. It’s loaded with that same exact charm and the atmosphere is fantastic. I can only hope it turns out to be a grand SRPG with a ton of story to enjoy. At the very least, we know it will certainly have some replay value. What about you all? Let us know in the comments what you think of the game so far. Personally, I very much look forward to its official release in 2022.
ImpressionsNintendonintendo switchProject TRIANGLE STRATEGYSquare EnixSRPG