1. gbatemp_first_impressions_project_triangle_strategy.jpg

    Final Fantasy Tactics
    is one of those beloved franchises that people have eagerly been awaiting the return of, despite the publisher showing no interest in it. Strategy RPGs are generally underserved in the console space, and the original is widely hailed as not only one of the best in its genre, but one of the greatest games of all time. Despite a more split reception to its handheld sequels, it’s hard to feel that Final Fantasy Tactics was tapped out, and that it couldn’t again reach the heights of the original. Finally, Square Enix seems to be returning to the franchise unofficially, with Project Triangle Strategy.

    The demo throws you into a chapter from the middle of the game, with a brief introduction to give you some background. It takes place on a continent with three central countries, each of which has a rich supply of a vital resource, but none of what the other countries have. In the middle of a tenuous peace between the three, one attacks another, and war breaks out across the continent. It’s a standard setup for a fantasy RPG, but there are some nice wrinkles that seem interesting, like that the aggressor’s princess is engaged to the prince of the annexed nation. It’s hard to judge the story from this short excerpt, but it looks promising. The dialogue is decent, the portraits and sprite art manage to convey emotion well, and, despite the lack of context or attachment, there are some moments that feel grand and impactful, like the public execution of a former king. There’s also some branching paths, but it’s hard to say how truly impactful these choices will be.

    PTR 1.1.jpg
    PTR 1.2.jpg PTR 1.3.jpg PTR 1.4.jpg

    The gameplay is mainly what I was concerned with here, and it lives up to expectations. Really, it feels almost exactly like Final Fantasy Tactics. There’s a variety of different jobs and classes, though you can’t customize them here. Still, pretty quickly you’ll start seeing how their specific abilities combine for devastating effect, and you’re given a lot to play with. Like Final Fantasy Tactics, and unlike its biggest contemporary, Fire Emblem, Triangle Strategy makes use of vertical space in its maps, so you’ll be granted bonuses for attacking from above, or certain moves can only reach a certain height. You can also choose which direction to face at the end of your turn, because you’ll take extra damage from a backstab, or if you get surrounded, so there’s even a lot of strategy in the most minute details of the placement of your troops, which bodes well for how robust the combat system should be in the full version. You’ll probably flounder a little as you acquaint yourself with your characters, but the combat is really fun once you find your footing.

    Project Triangle Strategy is not only a spiritual successor to Final Fantasy Tactics, but to 2018’s Octopath Traveller. They both use the “HD 2D” sprite art style, they both have really stupid names, and, most importantly, they’re both revivals of beloved and neglected Square Enix properties. Octopath Traveller used a similar rollout strategy, getting announced alongside the release of a playable demo. (It was also announced with the word project in its title, implying the stupid name might have been a working title that’d be changed. But, alas.) Fans were excited by the demo’s gorgeous sprite art and return to classic JRPG form, and a lot of hype built around it leading up to release. There was a second demo released that was received even better than the first. But the final product fell well short of expectation. The early promise in the writing didn’t pay off satisfyingly, it didn’t make full use of its premise, and the combat wasn’t varied enough to stay interesting throughout. All things that might have seemed good in the demo, but wouldn’t pan out in the full version.

    PTR 2.1.jpg
    PTR 2.2.jpg PTR 2.3.jpg PTR 2.4.jpg

    The Octopath Traveller story is the only thing that makes me hesitant with Project Triangle Strategy. The story seems interesting, there appears to be some depth to the combat, and it looks like a modernization of a beloved classic. But a short vertical slice of any game like this asks you to give the benefit of the doubt a lot, and it doesn’t cover any lingering concerns from this team’s last project.
     
  2. Discussion (22 replies)

  3. Sonic Angel Knight

    Sonic Angel Knight GBAtemp Legend
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    Oh look, is tactic ogre with octopath traveler graphics. :creep:
     
  4. Edgarska

    Edgarska Conjurer of cheap tricks
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    That's some crusty-ass ambient occlusion.
     
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  5. Sansgaming420

    Sansgaming420 Advanced Member
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    This game would look way better without the crazy amount of post processing and filters. And with better voice acting.
     
  6. Xzi

    Xzi GBAtemp's Resident Plok Expert
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    Very much looking forward to this. Every game in the 'Tactics' genre should be ported to Switch, for that matter. :lol:
     
  7. ertaboy356b

    ertaboy356b GBAtemp Regular
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    The battle menu is so confusing and unintuitive. They should have made it FF Tactics style where you select from a menu instead of enforcing the Move -> Attack/Item -> Wait.
     
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  8. Sonic Angel Knight

    Sonic Angel Knight GBAtemp Legend
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    You're one of the guys who will be playing with the touch screen rather than controller right? No judging here, just curious. I can see the appeal with the simplistic control and all. :ninja:
     
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  9. Xzi

    Xzi GBAtemp's Resident Plok Expert
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    Nah I was set in my ways long before the advent of touchscreens and touch pads, always prefer a controller for grid-based games like this and KB+M for 4X or RTS.
     
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  10. HylianBran

    HylianBran Glover vs Klonoa Beach Volleyball: Dawn of Racism
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    So... it's anime shit.
     
  11. Beerus

    Beerus Gbatemp's God Of Destruction
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    Fire Emblem 3 houses X Octopath
     
  12. Scott_pilgrim

    Scott_pilgrim Nyan-binary
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    You say that like it's a bad thing
     
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  13. Stash23

    Stash23 GBAtemp Regular
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    I come from FFTA and I thought the controls were a bit off, but then I learned that they're more streamlined. I haven't found my own complaints about the game yet. I enjoyed what the demo offered.
     
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  14. Blackmonster

    Blackmonster GBAtemp Fan
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    any1 got some cheat codes to speed up the slow battle in this demo?
     
  15. x65943

    x65943 the end is nigh, buy doge coin
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    We're now in the myspace stage of gaming visuals - throw 100 filters on it til it looks like a warped jpeg
     
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  16. soppok2k

    soppok2k Newbie
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    Need a game thats same as Vandal Hearts or Jeanne d'Arc. Like no one ever put's the effort to make another game with its successors great mechanics and passion fort art. FFS
     
  17. Ampersound

    Ampersound GBAtemp Regular
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    I hope it plays like FFT, with better balancing. The gameplay of those games was really fun, customizing characters, learning spells and stuff.
     
  18. Seliph

    Seliph Big Communism Builder
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    Deep-fried video games
     
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  19. zeello

    zeello The reason we can't have nice things.
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    I played the demo and it's kind of ass. So much for it being an FFT killer.

    It's draining just to look at the screen and it takes time to pick out who is who among your party.
    Playing it feels more laborious also.

    The effects are terrible. Neon lasers everywhere. The square highlight goes over anyone in front of your selected character (and even the selected character itself, judging by the screenshots above) so there is no sense of depth.
     
    Last edited by zeello, Feb 27, 2021
  20. shamzie

    shamzie Conform comrades
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    I used to love tactics games, I played Final Fantasy Tactics on the GBA SO MUCH but I just feel no excitement about these titles anymore. I hope this reignites it.
     
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  21. LightBeam

    LightBeam GBAtemp Fan
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    Honestly I like the graphics
    Maybe there's too much effects, but I really love the style of old graphics with good shaders and vfx, like in Valheim or Due Process, so having the same with pixelart is totally my thing
    But maybe they should try something with more natural colors. It's ok to fiddle with colors if you want to set different moods, but I feel like they should restrain themselves a bit on the effect slider
    Still looks nice tho imo, but maybe less would be more
     
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