Remaining Fantasy Ways is a kind of video games that has an adoring fanbase. Technique RPG fans the world over maintain a ravenous starvation to see this sport succeeded by the newest SRPG launch, continuously stating whether or not or not a title is a “Remaining Fantasy Ways religious successor.” To this date, I nonetheless take into account Remaining Fantasy Ways my favourite sport of all time, and whereas I’m not in search of a religious successor, I make cursory glances on the newest SRPG to see if it’ll scratch that itch. Triangle Technique, whereas clearly made with Ways in thoughts, is a daring creation that weaves previous and new sport design and types.
I don’t intend to make this a by-product examine and distinction evaluate, however relaxation assured that the core gameplay (tile- and turn-based technique RPG gameplay) and magnificence (a low-tech fantasy world enduring political strife) match Ways seamlessly. That mentioned, virtually instantly Triangle Technique feels totally different. And it ought to. I’m going to repeat that for emphasis: it ought to really feel totally different. Triangle Technique is Triangle Technique.
Serenoa Wolffort is the son of a lord in a kingdom whose ruler is a king. His household has historic ties supporting the king for generations, although it has additionally earned a lauded repute for its pivotal position within the Saltiron Conflict thirty years in the past which ultimately introduced peace to Norzelia, the world/area the place the sport takes place. The dominion wherein Home Wolffort resides is Glenbrook, with Aesfrost to the north and Hyzante to the east. It is a lot of names, however the intention right here is to impress upon you there’s a sense of place, lore, and several other folks to get to know with distinct personalities and objectives.
The tensions in Norzelia revolve round entry to iron, which Aesfrost controls, and salt, which Hyzante holds. Glenbrook is robust in its folks and bountiful land. When the sport begins, a impartial Consortium of retailers has simply been shaped to assist regulate the commerce of iron and salt so that each one kingdoms can prosper with out extorting the others. This turns into particularly essential as new mining websites have been scouted in Glenbrook. Aesfrost’s technological superiority is pivotal in excavating mentioned mines. What do the mines maintain, and may all three kingdoms keep this new-found peace? The reply isn’t any. Undoubtedly no.
Triangle Technique has an unlimited array of characters which might be shortly launched out of the gate. The tempo can appear overwhelming at first, but when gamers tuck every particular person at the back of their minds with out attempting to memorize who’s who, the expertise is way more satisfying. Anticipate incredible folks with daring personalities, legendary reputations, and distinct voices, each when it comes to script and voice appearing. Whereas Triangle Technique capably maintains a severe tone with little levity or infantile humor, a number of the characters have eye-rollingly dangerous moments, corresponding to a villain cackling. Thankfully, these moments are few and don’t meaningfully detract from the in any other case constant ambiance.
By that very same token, don’t anticipate excessive fantasy lore as one may from one thing like Pillars of Eternity. Logs describing the world’s historical past and tradition will be found or purchased over the course of the sport, which add depth, however it may be laborious to get misplaced on this world. I loved Norzelia and located it real looking sufficient, however it feels microcosmic, generally as if the entire affair takes place inside a shoebox.
Gamers can form the world at vital moments utilizing one thing known as the Scales of Conviction. Throughout these occurrences, Serenoa is determined by his companions to assist determine methods to transfer ahead at tough crossroads. The Scales are actually only a voting sales space, although–nothing magical. Gamers are given two or three selections for methods to proceed and should petition core celebration members. A few of them have their minds set, however others will be persuaded. Dialogue choices all through the sport are well-written and infrequently black-and-white. Every set of two or three selections requires some consideration and can assist push the celebration member towards the specified consequence. On the similar time, gamers have three hidden stats that accrue all through the sport to find out Serenoa’s conviction.
These stats enhance relying on how gamers interact in battle, speak to townsfolk and allies, and conduct housekeeping (procuring, upgrading, and many others.) What this implies for the Scales is that even when Serenoa makes a robust argument, if that individual stat is low for the specified consequence, the try to steer might fail. Some might discover the secretive nature of this mechanic irritating, however I loved the concept of it. At one level, I took situation with it, as I discovered one flip on the crossroads particularly reprehensible and couldn’t appear to argue my means out of it. Aside from that, I used to be okay with the celebration deciding for me; that’s the theme of the sport and thought behind the Scales of Conviction.
Conviction additionally determines which additional celebration members come to your Home all through the sport. Throughout chapters, gamers obtain notifications if a brand new character seeks to affix the celebration, and relying on how Serenoa builds these hidden stats, totally different celebration members will present up. I even have a sense story occasions and branching paths affect this, however that’s by no means explicitly said, so far as I can inform. Triangle Technique boasts a major quantity of additional celebration members, and whereas it has loads of core “job” sorts—tank, spellcaster, healer, and many others.—a number of the new faces are uncommon, enjoyable, and highly effective to make use of. Assume courses like acrobat, service provider, and blacksmith.
Even throughout the spellcasters, characters differ in significant methods, like the flexibility to alter the climate or put up ice partitions. Whereas everybody’s conscious of job courses in different video games, Triangle Technique doesn’t embrace any class modifications; as a substitute, each celebration member stays locked into who they’re and accrues talents with ranges. So, if gamers need to use totally different expertise in a battle, they simply need to make use of different celebration members.
When it comes to precise fight, Triangle Technique is fairly cookie-cutter, however that isn’t to say it’s easy. Each battlefield presents totally different thematically pushed layouts. Typically a bridge is only a bridge, however the atmosphere modifications technique considerably more often than not, corresponding to with pure elevation and buildings. The standard technique RPG furnishings are right here: put your again to a wall or going through away from the enemy, flip order is prominently displayed, archers are finest atop excessive terrain, everybody bobs up and down in place, and elemental weaknesses/resistances have some affect over injury. Very Simple, Simple, Regular, and Exhausting difficulties will create some stress over deciding methods to proceed, as who is aware of what Regular and Exhausting imply.
That is my favourite style, I’m considerably veteran to this model of sport, and I general discovered Regular to be fairly breezy, although I needed to legitimately strategize to make sure victory after the midway level. I misplaced two battles in whole: one within the center and the ultimate battle, however I solely misplaced the primary one as a result of the primary twenty hours had been so mind-numbingly straightforward that I used to be fairly lax about upgrading my items. At this level, I obtained the wake-up name and needed to begin placing in some effort. I don’t know the way punishing Exhausting is, however the truth that I needed to suppose by way of my actions, unit placements, and talent level utilization implies that Regular was partaking sufficient to entertain. Relating to controls, Triangle Technique performs simply superb with a controller, although generally exploring environments felt odd as my character would kind of follow the terrain as I attempted to stroll about totally different elevations. Once more, a minor situation.
Different furnishings give gameplay that added one thing to chew on or improve the story, however that is the majority of Triangle Technique. What do I believe? I used to be a bit disenchanted—but nonetheless having fun with myself—for the primary twenty hours. The gameplay and story felt exceedingly vanilla and cliche, however one thing occurred on the midway level that gave Triangle Technique its personal genuine identification. Selections and choices felt meatier and the stakes had been getting greater. Preliminary particulars and character biographies deepened, forming a way of rigidity and funding not instantly obvious. I started to surprise what would have occurred if I went a unique route. Battles required focus and vitality abruptly.
A twenty-hour funding for a sport to hit its stride is a giant ask for anybody. Once more, I didn’t hate the primary half of the sport, however I needed it to be a lot extra. Initially, I additionally took situation with the pacing and never simply when it comes to the storytelling. Triangle Technique is mild on battles; it boasts a number of chapters which might be basically sprite-driven cinematics with an isometric digicam panning over a city, throne room, or encampment. Some chapters have a number of of those scenes with no battle in any respect, whereas most have one. In uncommon situations, a chapter has two battles. I finally warmed as much as 70% story, 30% gameplay method, however even by story’s finish I felt a bit cheated out of what I signed up for: a heavy technique RPG.
Triangle Technique’s presentation is clearly harking back to previous Ways-style video games, although fashionable enhancements clean the tough edges evident in PS1-era titles and create some colourful spell animations. Nonetheless, in 2022, not everybody’s going to go in for a sport that appears this retro. At my native decision, I may virtually rely the pixels. Musically, Triangle Technique is almost prime tier. Battle themes are king in technique RPGs the place battles can take as much as an hour; happily, Triangle Technique nails each the variability and high quality in its stellar soundtrack. The Battle in Grand Norzelian Mines theme is likely to be a brand new all-time favourite rating of mine.
If you happen to’re not one for Japanese voice work—which is incredible right here—then put together for some budget-tier appearing and casting mismatches. I attempted to offer the English voice strains an actual shot for about 5 hours, however I simply couldn’t do it anymore. Since story scenes are plentiful, I had dialogue working robotically, which labored superb more often than not, however generally the English translation in textual content was means longer than the Japanese spoken strains. This required me to drag up the log various instances to catch the textual content I missed. A small grievance, however one I discovered value noting.
Whereas Triangle Technique isn’t the second coming of Remaining Fantasy Ways, it carves out its personal identification as a title that’s stylistically related, but definitely distinct. Critical pacing points damage it, as I’m unsure everybody desires to attend twenty hours for a sport to be what it ought to have been initially, however as soon as it obtained there, I couldn’t cease taking part in or eager about it. With New Sport+ staring me within the face, I’m longing for a brand new problem and to discover roads not but walked. I even have a newly found appreciation for meals seasoning.