Triangle Strategy is a little pearl | Review

Triangle Strategy is a little pearl | Review

Triangle Strategy is a peculiar production, able to collect the spirit of video games "of the good old days" and combine it with the needs of current users. A strategic role-playing game designed to be, first of all, an excellent exponent of its genre, avoiding modeling itself around the trends of the moment to convince the public but unleashing some strengths that will not leave those who trust him impassive.

As we have said in the past, it is a huge mistake to consider Triangle Strategy a sequel to Octopath Traveler. The two productions, in fact, despite both having Tomoya Asano and Masashi Takahashi at the helm, were developed by two different studios: Octopath Traveler from Acquire, and Triangle Strategy from ArtDink.

It is obvious, however, that the graphics sector based on the use of 2D-HD, combined with the fact that both games are produced by Square-Enix, can deceive users, but never as in this one chance we are faced with two diametrically opposed productions.

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Triangle Strategy is a production with very staid rhythms, where you read a lot (at least in the Italian version) and play the same. The greatest strength of the new ArtDink creature lies precisely in this skilful balance between the less interactive and the more strategic parts. A mix that reminded us of the same sensations that Fire Emblem Three Houses transmitted to us with its conveying a layered narrative full of really interesting ideas to one of the best strategists currently in circulation.

At the same time, however. , Triangle Strategy's strengths could be just what will keep away those users who weren't waiting for a spiritual sequel to Final Fantasy Tactics and who prefer more dynamic or “jaw-breaking” productions from a purely technical point of view.

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Serenoa's long journey

As we have repeatedly remarked, Triangle Strategy brings with it one of the best written narrative sectors in several years now. A story of intrigue, and power plays, with shades so mature and raw that George R.R. Martin.

Telling you too many details would be a crime, precisely by virtue of a narrative component that covers, within Triangle Strategy, one of the three macro-sections into which the game dynamics are divided.

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Like any self-respecting page in the history of mankind, the three kingdoms perpetrated a very long war for the domination of these important resources, reaching, only after numerous victims, an agreement that put an end to the famous Salt War and Iron. An agreement that will be broken, triggering a series of events that will be narrated without any fear of seeming too raw, mature or unsettling.

The plot of Triangle Strategy is undoubtedly one of the strongest points of this new exclusive for Nintendo Switch, and even if only a story told through dialogues whose lexical form is deliberately anachronistic could be enough to bring home the victory, the superfine system of moral choices and decisions that the protagonist, Serenoa Wolfhort, will be forced to take, will inevitably change the directions of the numerous narrative plots present in Triangle Strategy.

A series of crossroads capable of changing multiple aspects of history, to the point of leading to numerous different epilogues. An undoubtedly daring choice and which, at first glance, we thought it might be impractical, given the length of the plot, but which turned out to be a winner thanks to the presence of a "New Game +" designed in such a way as to encourage players to start over. the story of Serenoa to discover the consequences of making different choices.

Narration, exploration…

Before analyzing how the battles of Triangle Strategy have been managed, it is necessary to say a few words on how ArtDink's recent work is composed . Very trivially, the game could be separated into three different sections: the narrative one, the exploratory one and the one dedicated to turn-based battles. Each of them will cover a precise moment of the story, representing an independent section within the various chapters that make up the narrative arc of Triangle Strategy.

The narrative moments, very trivially, do their utmost to narrate the facts through of the parts, more or less long-lived, almost completely without interaction, where the player's actions will be limited to the choice of some answers to give during conversations or, in more complex situations, make decisions using the peculiar mechanics of the "Libra Moral ".

In these specific game situations, Serenoa will gather her party and democratically ask them to vote to make an important decision. Normally the player will find himself in front of two different groups of characters, with their convictions, with whom he will be called to dialogue in order to direct the vote towards the choice he wants to make.

In order to have sufficient arguments for discussion , the player must have ventured into the exploration of the various game areas, in order to collect important information, or sufficiently valid arguments, to convey the vote of his supporting actors. Obviously not all the participants in the vote will be influenced by the player, who will have to wisely deduce which members of the group will be more convenient to talk to.

As regards, however, the exploratory phases, also 'they will play an important role in the triad of macro-sections that make up the Triangle Strategy. These portions of the game will endeavor to make the player visit the various environments in which the events will take place, allowing the various characters to converse with the locals, search for hidden documents to tell the story of the kingdom of Nortelia and find various objects. nature that can prove useful in battle.

As we mentioned earlier, it will be really important to get lost properly in the exploratory phases in order to find the information necessary to direct the voting phases in order to make the most important choices with the more options at his disposal.

In addition to the exploratory phases proposed by the main and secondary missions in Triangle Strategy, the player will be able to access the camp at almost any time during the game, a sort of game hub where you will be able to access the armory, the tavern and a series of merchants, and services, which will increase as the adventure progresses. >

… and war!

One of the strong points of this new exclusive for Nintendo Switch lies in the superfine combat system created by the guys at ArtDink to concretize the horrors of war narrated by the story of Triangle Strategy.

Triangle Strategy is a turn-based strategic role-playing game that incorporates the mechanics, already tested, of some cornerstones of the genre such as Final Fantasy Tactics and Fire Emblem. Each of the team members will play a specific role within the various clashes, and their position within the canonical roster will be decided based on how high their speed parameter will be. | an offensive, defensive or support action, you choose which direction to turn it with respect to the battlefield and you pass the turn to the next character.

As per tradition for the genre, even in Triangle Strategy a correct positioning of the team members will be essential to bring home victory and not lose the various soldiers due to reckless actions that they leave them too exposed to enemy offensives. Furthermore, a good positioning of our units will allow you to get some additional bonuses if you learn to use the battlefield in your favor.

Attacking an enemy positioned between two soldiers will initiate a chained attack, very useful for heavily damaging, and in some circumstances even eliminating the enemy instantly. In the same way, attacking from an elevated position, or from behind, will give the possibility to perform critical damage, speeding up those indispensable cleaning operations, necessary when you will find yourself facing a well-fed handpiece of opponents.

Each of the units present in the team will stand out, as we mentioned earlier, for the role they will fill. Some characters will be dedicated to offensives with the sword, others to attack from horseback, still others will exploit the spells from the rear and so on. Obviously, based on the role they will play, their statistics will be decidedly different, characterizing the support characters, or the more agile ones, with greater fragility than those voted, for example, completely to the white weapon offensives.

Each spell, or special ability, available to our units will not use the canonical "mana", but will use "turn points". This peculiar unit of measurement, as the name suggests, will take advantage of the timing dictated by the shifts to recharge, forcing the player to think long-term and to ponder the right strategies to exploit the maximum potential of their soldiers in the most problematic moments.

An important focus has been placed on elemental attacks and their concatenations on the battlefield. If, for example, a magician uses an attack capable of creating icy conformations on the chessboard squares, another warrior will be able to melt them using a fire-based area offensive. Similarly, a fighter with electricity-based attacks will be able to exploit the newly formed pools of water as conductors to increase the range of his electrical discharges.

In the opening we talked about what Triangle Strategy wants to be a strategic role-playing game with a strong focus on accessibility. This attention from the developers can be found in the different difficulty levels with which the player will be able to face every fight.

Where in other exponents of the genre this factor is limited to reducing some statistics of the opponents to favor the victory of the player, in Triangle Strategy it is possible to perceive in an important way how the AI ​​changes according to the selected difficulty, by going to exploit, in a more or less aggressive way, every carelessness committed by the player to quickly bring him to his knees.

Already at a "standard" difficulty level, the new production of ArtDink does not discount, presenting long battles and intelligent opponents, perfectly able to make the most of the battlefield and understand the weaknesses of the various characters that make up the player's party.

Obviously there is no shortage of all those management mechanics dedicated to increasing the parameters of the various party components and improving one's paraphernalia, even if all these "behind the scenes" management phases seemed to us excessively devoted to immediacy . Nothing serious, mind you, but it could make some fans of the genre turn up their noses.

Triangle Strategy on Nintendo Switch

As we mentioned at the beginning, Triangle Strategy shares two elements with Octopath Traveler: Tomoya Asano and Masashi Takahashi to direct the project and an artistic and technical sector, very similar to the previous creation signed by the two producers. Triangle Strategy, in fact, takes advantage of the same 2D-HD that became famous with Octopath Traveler, which in this new iteration manages to convince even more than in the past.

The high definition pixel art that permeates Triangle Strategy is simply delightful. It manages to return the same sensations of a videogame past, never forgotten, and to render it the right honors through high definition. Even with a handful of pixels, the developers of ArtDink have managed to reveal the emotions of each individual character who, in conjunction with the artwork created by the famous Naoki Ikushima, manage to return a clear vision to the player of every facet of the complex protagonists of Triangle Strategy.

Even the pop-up book artistic style remains, albeit to a lesser extent, with some touches of class such as the explorable areas which, when you look towards the horizon, make the their nature as cardboard embossed on a two-dimensional map, which manage to make every setting proposed by Triangle Strategy a feast for the eyes.

On the performance side, however, we noticed some small smears which, of little importance, must be reported for correctness. We have seen very slight drops in frame-rate from time to time; moreover, the visual rendering of the fire does not always manage to be as convincing as the rest of the environmental effects, and the camera, especially when positioned perpendicular to the battlefield, never returns a clean and tidy gameplay.

Net of these small flaws, Triangle Strategy remains a work packaged with maniacal care. An attention to detail that is also perceived in its localization in Italian which, although rich in poetic licenses, manages to be credible and wisely adapted in every line, even if it may annoy the connoisseurs of English who will notice discrepancies between what has been said from the characters and what will appear in the dialog boxes.

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