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Square Enix’s latest game in development, Project Triangle Strategy (working title), is available as a demo on Nintendo eShop. Can we call it Octopus Tactics?

The Next Saga of HD-2D. No, it’s not the droids.
There’s a lot here for slash fans.

Fans of the Octopus Traveler octopus aesthetic should pay attention. Triangle Strategy is the developer’s second game to use the HD-2D art style (a term he recently trademarked). Fans of the Fire Emblem strategy RPG series may also be interested. Although it lacks a romance and friendship system, Triangle Strategy is a story-driven SRPG with many characters.

It looks like a spiritual successor to Final Fantasy Tactics, though it doesn’t look like an interchangeable class system. This upcoming title may have more in common with the classic SRPG Tactics Ogre, with decisions with real consequences, branched scenarios, and different ethical paths to follow.

Prince Roland : Are you going to protect it or leave it to the wolves?
The spiritual successor to Final Fantasy Tactics?

Choices, implications, votes

Vote, you say? This feature is truly unique. The Strategic Triangle demo puts you at a crossroads of action: Leave Prince Roland to the conquered kingdom of Esfrost (the Great Tyrant), or defend him at the expense of your own people.

Your party members will put the decision to a vote, but not before you have had a chance to convince each voter of their own opinion. The right dialogues can change their minds, and some dialogues can only be unlocked if you talk to the right people first.

Vote via the rating scale, a unique feature in this strategy RPG.
Some dialogue options must be unlocked during the exploration phase to communicate with party members and other characters.
Walking around town, talking to people to make an informed decision.

The manual backup system allows you to revert to previous variants. So I could see that giving up a roland or defending a roland would lead to different results: fighting a different enemy, on a different battlefield with different terrain characteristics (one battlefield had a fire defense system, the other a roll transport system).

The game also promises a sort of tuning system (called beliefs) with three paths: Freedom, utility and morality. We haven’t seen what it will look like yet. But for now, the demo shows that the beliefs you choose will affect who joins your party.

Which dialogue option is a conviction? Read between the lines if you can.

The most promising element of this demonstration is the selection system. But what will fight, the meat of the game, how?

Combat, TP, Special skills

The demo’s combat system doesn’t introduce any new mechanics, but the familiar elements can still be fun.

The battles take place on an isometric and rotating 3D battlefield. Equipment placed on the top surface of the floor causes more damage than equipment placed on the bottom surface of the floor. The turn order depends on the movement speed of the units, so enemy units with high speed move faster than allied units with low speed. Finally, wind and other weather conditions can affect combat operations. In these qualities, Triangle Strategy is closer to Final Fantasy Tactics than to Fire Emblem.

Aesfrosti archers do more damage when they are on rooftops.
Siren, the protagonist of the demo. The yellow diamonds indicate the TP cost of implementing an asset.

The triangle strategy uses a similar action point system to Octopath. You can save action points (called TP) for future moves. Some characters can even donate TP to their allies. Standard weapon attacks don’t cost 1 or 2 TP, while most special abilities cost 1 or 2 TP.

Some of these skills are very practical. I enjoyed Anna the Spy, who goes into stealth mode for 2 turns with her Take Cover ability, while her Snooze Sting can put enemies to sleep and make them miss a turn.

Eliminating a shield carrier causes enemies. Scientist Corentin is building a wall of ice.

There is also an Erador Shield Bearer that can provoke enemies to attack it instead of your other units. There is a Benedictine ruse that allows you to advance an ally’s turn during level rise. Meanwhile, scientist Corentin’s ice wall blocks enemy movement, and his other freezing skills change the properties of the terrain. So far, I’ve seen three magical elements: Fire, ice and lightning. The terrain can be influenced by the elements and vice versa; for example. B. Waterlogged soil increases susceptibility to storms.

I like that these skills can be taught before the move. This allows your flying scout to stab an enemy nearby and escape quickly.

Don’t leave your back open. A residue is more harmful.

Positioning is important in two ways: First, units receive more damage when they are blocked from behind, i.e. when they are hit from behind. Second, it can mean being sandwiched between two opponents for an extra attack.

At the end of battles, the kudo system gives kudos points for performing moves like backstabs. It will be fun to see what you can redeem the kudo points for. In the demo, you can trade Kudos for Quietus cards, for example. B. Injection of TP giving 2 TP.

You will want to use your spellcasters.

Overall, the complexity of the battles is difficult but manageable. My devices would die quickly if I wasn’t careful. There’s no permadeath here, but I still often use Benedict’s false counsel spell to increase allies’ defenses. I don’t use these buffs much in most games, which shows the difficulty of the triangle strategy. That remains to be seen, as the demo has reportedly intentionally increased the difficulty.

No problems with the controls or the user interface. There are three camera angles – isometric, isometric zoom and up and down – and it was nice to have those options.

LadiesGamers Project Triangle Strategy Debut Demo Image from top to bottom.
Camera Zoom View.
Camera Zoom.

The only thing that bothers me about the fights is the length of each fight. But luckily, you can do quicksand in the middle of a fight!

Art, clay, writing

Triangle Strategy has beautiful scenery with impressive special effects, but sometimes characters or parts of the screen are covered with an ugly blur or mud effect. So far, the music is indistinguishable from the Octopus soundtrack.

In a quiet place, beautiful rays of light are playing with the water.
Boom.
Looks a little fuzzy.

The story of a kingdom – a kingdom barely original, but obedient nonetheless. While I appreciate the additional side stories on the map developing the secondary characters, these cutscenes have been mostly boring and inconsistent so far.

The dialogues weren’t impressive, but at least the writing maintained a consistent style and didn’t mix in anachronistic language. The voice acting is something to look forward to, as it is essential to bringing the characters to life. The dubbing of some of the main characters was bland, but the good renditions of the secondary characters compensated.

A villain who looks like Sephiroth.
Additional side stories on the world map, they expand the secondary characters.

Tempo

The slow pace of this game can be a game changer for me. Not because it’s so slow, but because I don’t have much room in my life right now for a lot of 30-hour games. If the demo didn’t have a forward button, the whole thing could have already been derailed.

Although there is a fast-forward button, the combat and action portions of Triangle Strategy still feel long. There is nothing you can do in battle when there are more than 15 units on the battlefield. The big fights will probably last more than an hour. But the story sections are unnecessarily slow, exacerbated by the fact that they’re broken up into shorter sections and the screens load in between.

totalising

I said it was a lot for a demo, but it’s a very full 4-5 hour demo. And smart, because you dive right into chapters 6 and 7, which give you access to a huge pile of characters, each with different classes and cool abilities.

The tutorials are clear, and I can try out different characters in battles. It wasn’t too confusing to be thrown into the middle of the plot, and it’s clear who the good guys and the bad guys are when you look at their character sketches! Too long a cut as the demo opens (10 minutes) and the pace is slow, but otherwise this demo is a good showcase of the possibilities of the triangle strategy.

The
In the Barley Fields… We will walk through golden fields.

A quick save slot during battles and plenty of manual save slots outside of battles allayed my fears that Triangle Strategy couldn’t be played on the go.

I don’t know yet if this game is for me or not. But if you like strategic RPGs like Fire Emblem, keep your eyes peeled!

The Project Triangle Strategy is rated Teen (USA) and PEGI (UK). A full version is planned for 2022.

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