Wait, didn’t we already provide a review for Triangle Strategy? Don’t worry. You aren’t going crazy (at least in this one, specific case). Triangle Strategy landed on the Nintendo Switch earlier this year to largely positive reviews and earned a commendable 8/10 from our own Editor-in-Chief. Now, Square Enix has brought their charming tactics game to the PC playerbase — and they have chosen to drop it on this additional platform shortly before their other tactics revival, Tactics Ogre: Reborn.
I will avoid duplicating much of what has already been written about Square Enix’s latest HD-2D turn-based RPG, Triangle Strategy, as the original review covers the core points nicely. For those who do not wish to click another link, I will summarize the contents of our review’s findings before I move on to address the PC-specific aspects of this stylish retro title.
The three kingdoms of Norzelia — Glenbrook, Aesfrost, and Hyzante — find themselves warring against each other once again decades after the Saltiron War, a conflict that exploded over the limited supply of salt and iron (hence the name). Main protagonist Serenoa Wolffort attempts to navigate the tumultuous frenzy with the aid of his allies, a cast of wonderfully alluring characters. The excellence of the cast sometimes highlights the middling (and occasionally sluggish) narrative embroiled in political strife, backstabbing, and so on.
Fortunately, the gameplay pushing it all along is finely crafted, if a bit slow at times. For anyone who longs for the days of strategy game dominance, when we found ourselves inundated with killer hits such as Final Fantasy Tactics, Triangle Strategy harkens back to those earlier times while making the experience accessible by today’s standards. Multiple difficulty levels enable players to approach the strategy RPG at their desired experience level, meaning long-time fans and newcomers to the genre will find their groove. Make no mistake though, Triangle Strategy is all about tactics and, regardless of difficulty, unit placement on the grid-based encounters needs to be considered to avoid unnecessary losses. Positioning is crucial in taking advantage of follow-up attacks, allowing players to push their units into cohesive combat unity. Strength in numbers, and all that.
Okay so we have recapped a bit of what Triangle Strategy is all about, but you have heard nothing different than what was written months ago when the game hit the Nintendo Switch. From here on out, we will be focusing on the PC port and what it brings to the table that may entice previous players and/or those who have been enjoying the genre’s resurgence.
The PC port of Triangle Strategy is fairly barebones, with only a handful of graphics settings available to tweak the retro pixel presentation on display. Enjoying the game at 1440p certainly creates sharper looking characters and much less muddiness than a closer inspection of the Switch version would reveal. However, the game cannot be run above 60fps. This may not be a deal-breaker for most, but the framerate cap is still disappointing for anyone hoping to fully enjoy their high refresh rate display. Despite its limitations, Triangle Strategy still looks and performs extremely well on PC. I mean, we are not talking about a game that is pushing the graphical limits of modern gaming. So it would have been surprising to find the game in a poor performance state.
Unsurprisingly, Triangle Strategy is a match made in heaven for the Steam Deck. Given its Switch roots, the compact nature of Valve’s on-the-go PC hosts Square Enix’s ported RPG. The game reflects a “Verified” status in regards to its Steam Deck compatibility, meaning you can expect a near-flawless experience to play out on the 7-inch screen. Even better, Triangle Strategy boasts Steam Cloud compatibility, a fairly standard feature that I was shocked to find absent from Square Enix’s Bravely Default II. You won’t have to worry about progressing solely on your desktop, as you can freely jump over to the Steam Deck to take your current progress outside of the confines of the home (or into bed).
Triangle Strategy (PC) Review Verdict
Triangle Strategy (PC): Triangle Strategy on PC is an even more visually refined version of the Nintendo Switch original. The gorgeous sprites are crisper than ever, allowing us to better view the enjoyable cast fighting through the inter-kingdom calamity. However, this is still the same game in virtually every other way. Nothing else has been changed for this release. So if you already saw the journey to the end on the Switch, slightly refined graphics are unlikely to make a strong case for revisiting the impressive tactical RPG. For everyone else, I implore you to check out this exceptional offering that highlights the best parts of gaming's past infatuation with the genre. – Joshua