Nintendo Switch can boast of having in its catalog one of the best SRPGs today, such as Fire Emblem: Three Houses; but also of having seen the birth of a new IP within the role-playing games with Japanese seal, the wonderful Octopath Traveler. And it is precisely the latter that comes to mind when thinking about the future Project Triangle Strategy by Artdink.
The resemblance is summed up in a retro aesthetic and that both are RPGs that Square Enix publishes, with the difference that in the Acquire studio’s work in 2018 we were facing turn-based fighting along Final fantasy and in this work by the Artdink studio they are strategic combats, along the lines of Vandal Hearts or the aforementioned Fire emblem.
A large-scale conflict on the Norselia continent
Available for a few days in the form of demo for the eShopAfter its presentation of the Nintendo Direct, it is the ideal occasion to get an idea of what awaits us in 2022 with this new IP in RPGs. At least in relation to gameplay and mechanics, since the story has crumbs and the demo itself warns us that we probably won’t find out much, in part by showing only chapters 6 and 7, which last just over three hours of game.
Be that as it may, its introductory scene introduces us to the continent of Norselia, where three nations coexisted: the Kingdom of Glaucoburg, a commercial link due to its proximity to a large river; the Archduchy of Iceforge, the main iron producer; and the Holy See of Dunálgida, sole owner of the salt, necessary to live.
But due to the limited resources of these nations, they sparked a constant scramble that led to a series of skirmishes for iron and salt, sparking a huge unprecedented conflict known as the Great Ferrosaline War. The attrition it produced culminated in a ceasefire … until the new Archduke of Iceforge (Gustadolph) suddenly attacked the kingdom of Glaukoburg. And this is where we enter, embodying the role of Serinoa, a young man from the Wolffort house (the most important of the three vassal families of Glaucoburg) who occupies the role of patriarch and leader and who leaves without delay to the capital to resolve the conflict. accompanied by Benedict, Roland and Frederica.
With the plot advanced in this demo, little else can be said about the story to put us in the situation, save for the importance of our decisions facing the Balance of Conviction. Through the meeting chamber, there will be moments in history where there will be two options to choose that will have consequences in the plot, such as delivering Roland and avoiding a battle or protecting him and standing up to the Archduke. And change the matter.
In this process it will be necessary to listen to the citizens beforehand to see the situation with a better perspective, paying special attention to certain information that will serve as a hidden conversation with which to persuade our allies in the chamber to reflect on their vote. The process is quite interesting, because we will be seeing at all times who are for and against, with a final section for the undecided; but we won’t know the verdict until the end.
Project Triangle Strategy, good strategy
That Project Triangle Strategy gives a lot of weight to the story is evident in the demo, since there will be a good number of secondary missions that of “missions” only have the name, since they will be other people’s conversations with which to better understand what is at stake in the continent of Norselia. In addition, there are major research parts, prior to tactical combat.
Obviously, bearing “strategy” in its own name, the part of tactical strategy mixed with role plays an essential role in this work by Artdink, and I particularly like it the care with which all the essential parameters of a good SRPG have been treated. To begin with, the terrain plays a crucial role, by influencing the elevation or the type of ground we walk on, to the point of modifying its advantages if we apply elemental magic, as happened in Suikoden Tactics.
In the case of Project Triangle StrategyFor example, we have an ice magic, modifying the squares that have suffered the spell to reduce the effectiveness of agility and dexterity by 30%, apart from increasing the cost of movement by 1.5 points. And, logically, it also applies other types of parameters in other situations, such as increasing the percentage of critics in attacks from the back, with the consequent attraction of creating a combined attack if we have a partner of ours in squares adjacent to the enemy we attack.
Each character has their own specialization, both for weapons and magic, and can unlock more skills as they level up. Everything works like a Swiss watch and respects the probability percentages, unlike the XCOM. Or at least, in my three hours with the demo, wow.
I also liked having a lot of information on the screen, such as being able to mark the option to know at all times who each shift corresponds to with a number, beyond the lower “compass” with the basic order. Or that at the time of moving, let us know if in a square we are going to be exposed later to a rival attack. In the end, planning is essential in such a game.
For now, I am left with the sensations it has given me, where it has evoked part of what I felt with the sequel to Vandal Hearts, a game to which I dedicated more than 150 hours in its day. I don’t know how I’ll last until 2022 without playing this one Project Triangle Strategy. Or if: replaying (again) that Konami saga.