I commented on calling Project Triangle Strategy — “Octopath Tactics” by its graphics alone and I’m not wrong. It oozes Octopath Traveller in its lore but has the grandiose epic that Final Fantasy Tactics had in its story. Putting it together is an excellent debut demo experience as long as the voices are switched off and we pretend the game is akin to the glory days of the Playstation One.
Project Triangle Strategy warns you that the story will start in the middle, on Chapter VI to be precise. While we receive a quick run-down on the current political history of the continent of Norzelia where the resources of Salt and Iron are scarce and controlled by its warring kingdoms. There’s a period of peace after the Saltiron War, where war between each kingdom could spark at any moment.
You play as the hero Serenoa who sounds like he’s barely out of puberty who’s an heir to the House of Wolffort. With this the chapter opens with the treachery of current antagonist, Gustadolph Aesfrost, brother of the hero’s betrothed– Frederica. Your objective for this chapter is to escape with the Crown Prince Roland, keep him alive, and get some loot and XP along the way. If you’ve played any Strategy RPG, it’s quite straightforward.
Before each battle comes the exploration phase, you can speak to your party and scrounge for resources. You can also visit your encampment and purchase Quietus and supplies with your currencies– money and skill points. At your encampment you can also chat with your recruits who aren’t part of the main story roster.
Here you can convince future recruits to join your entourage through dialogue choices, which affect the Scale of Conviction that holds together the three-pronged virtues of Unity, Morality, and Liberty. In Chapter VI’s exploration phase, you can trigger a dialogue option with Hughette Bucklar (what a name) and as usual, I just agree with them. I also appreciate the profile button to let you know who’s talking.
You can also recruit other characters during Side Stories if your Conviction points are high enough. I was able to recruit Elana the Shaman from a side story on Chapter VII and she was able to join up for the succeeding battle. She can control the weather making it rain, which great for nullifying fire-based magic.
Project Triangle Strategy battles are simple and oh-so nostalgia inducing. Bring your strategies from Final Fantasy Tactics, Fire Emblem, and Tactics Ogre, they will work and then some. You can flank opponents by attacking them from the back, side, and even the front and watch the follow-up attacks fly. Spear users can attack one block away, rogue classes can move twice, and magic users die in two hits. It brings back so many memories!
As advertised in the demo showcase at Nintendo Direct, you can combine magic into devastating combos. You can dampen an enemy’s block and cast lightning magic for extra damage. Fire mages can imbue melee heroes with fire magic and counteract capabilities. Our puberty-stricken hero Serenoa can launch himself from a higher plane and crash down into an enemy with his Hawk Dive.
Technique Points (TP) builds up over time if you don’t use techniques, which you can save up for devastating combos. When you defeat an enemy, you can collect the loot that they drop. When the enemy defeats one of your units, well you get to lose that character if you don’t save them quickly. Another new parameter is using Quietus, which bypasses the turn phase to enact effects to help you turn the tide.
As with many Strategy RPGs, you fulfill the mission parameters, you win the battle, and when you fail it, well go ahead and reload that quicksave, we promise we won’t tell. It’s great because why reinvent the wheel when it’s already there? This is fantastic.
We can’t wait for what the future holds for Project Triangle Strategy. The art style is excellent and the story is decent as long as you switch off the voices. I find that the redundant text reading by the English dub slows down the pace and I can read at my own pace.
They’ve put a lot of thought into this world and while I wish to see more of the side stories, the side battles that could be had, and the full encampment features, I still would be more interested on the final title. We can’t have a Square game with a Triangle in it.
Project Triangle Strategy has been announced for 2022 on the Nintendo Switch. The debut demo is now available at in the eshop.