It has been over thirteen years since the last Final Fantasy Tactics game, and 10 years since the highly-praised Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together – two Square Enix games that together helped define the tactical role-playing game genre. For the last decade there has been a lull in the genre from the acclaimed developer. That was until last week’s Nintendo Direct, which included the surprise announcement of the next game in the HD-2D series: Project Triangle Strategy for Nintendo Switch. Though it may have a bland and boring name, the game is anything but.
As an avid fan of the tactical RPG genre and having previously played Octopath Traveller, this announcement piqued my interest, and to my delight an extensive demo was made available on the Switch eShop immediately after the Direct. In this article I’ll be discussing some of the most important features of Triangle Strategy, some interesting aspects of the demo, and what to expect from the full game when it releases in 2022.
First impression: Immediately upon booting up the demo, you’re greeted with a sequence that shows off the game’s distinct HD-2D art-style: 2D character sprites combined with high-definition pixel art environments jam-packed with beautiful lighting and particle effects. If you’ve played Octopath Traveler, this game will certainly look familiar. Though don’t be mistaken, this is no follow-up to Octopath, as it is set in a brand new continent, Norzelia, with an entirely new cast of characters. There’s no messing around once you press New Game either, as you’re immediately thrown right into the middle of the story, starting at Chapter 6 of the game.
Plot & Characters: The player assumes the role of young protagonist Serenoa Wolffort, heir to House Wolffort, who is caught in the midst of a struggle between three warring nations: Glenbrook, Aesfroste, and Hyzante. Each nation has control over a specific resource, and as such they compete for each other’s materials, known as The Saltiron War. Alongside him fight a band of companions, childhood friends, warriors, and his betrothed who hails from the opposing nation of Aesfrost. The story which is spread across two chapters taken from the game, is highly political, and allows the player to view each nation’s perspective during event sequences scattered throughout the world map. The tone of the game feels very similar to that of Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, as it feels quite real and gritty as opposed to a whimsical high fantasy setting.
Below are a few of the game’s main characters, represented in character cards that appear when you press X during any line of their dialogue. A nice touch that allows you to keep track of who’s who.
Gameplay: At approximately 3 – 4 hours in length, the demo provides a surprising amount of content and allows an adequate amount of time to get a feel for the gameplay, which is divided into three separate areas: exploration, persuasion, and combat Exploration: allows the player to walk around a particular area, interacting with NPCs, finding items, entering houses, and gaining more insight into the region. This is integral to the combat phase, as you may discover insightful snippets of knowledge or environmental aspects that aide you during battle.
Persuasion: during the course of the demo you will have to make quite an important decision that affects the gameplay. The characters vote on the “Scales of Conviction” – casting their vote for a particular plan, and your dialogue as the protagonist will influence which side of the scale is tipped. This sequence is highly important, and directly influences the story through the choices you make.
Combat: the most important, strategic aspect of the game. If you’ve played any previous tactical JRPG, you’ll feel right at home with Triangle Strategy’s combat. Characters are assigned a spot in a queue based on their speed, and move a number of tiles followed by an attack with a weapon, an ability, or use of an item. This simple combat becomes increasingly complex when aspects such as terrain, height, and environmental traps and weapons are added into the mix.
Controlling an entire party against a formidable foe is incredibly satisfying, and easily the best aspect of the game. On multiple occasions I had to stop and plan my following moves, particularly during the last mission of the demo, which poses a challenge for new and veteran players alike. The visuals too are fitting to the style of gameplay, as during combat you can rotate the battlefield and observe it from any angle to plan your attack. I found the only drawback to this was some slight framerate drop when the screen was particularly busy. It’s a very attractive game in both handheld and docked mode, and the environments are particularly gorgeous in the HD-2D style.
Soundtrack: And finally, what JRPG would be complete without a brilliant soundtrack? As a follow-up to Octopath Traveler, I expected the return of its composer, Yasunori Nishiki, who created some of the most gorgeous music I’ve heard in a modern JRPG. Sadly this is not the case, but do not despair! Instead the composer this time is Akira Senju, best known for composing many anime soundtracks, notably the critically-acclaimed Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (a personal favourite of mine). There is a certain epic quality to his music, which utilises heavy orchestral pieces filled with blaring brass that feel as if even the music itself is taking you into battle. Impressively there is almost 3 hours of music in the demo alone!
So should you download it? This is easily one of the best demos available, and an insightful experience into Square Enix’s next foray into the tactical RPG genre. Whether you’re a die-hard Final Fantasy Tactics fan like myself, or even just curious and want to dip into the genre, and would highly recommend downloading this free demo and trying it for yourself. Project Triangle Strategy currently has a release date of 2022, and this demo though only a few hours long, will leave you hungry for more.
Splatoon 3,The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout and a new DLC fighter for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate among the many announcements in the latest Nintendo Direct.
18th February 2021 – In the latest Nintendo Direct presentation, Nintendo showcased more than 30 games coming to the Nintendo Switch family of systems – with many launching by this winter! Headlining the 50-minute presentation was the reveal of Splatoon 3, a new game in the splat-tacular series, coming to Nintendo Switch in 2022.
Other major news in the Nintendo Direct video included the reveal of Pyra/Mythra from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 as the latest playable DLC fighters to join Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – the fourth of six new fighters in Fighters Pass Vol. 2. Additional Nintendo Switch game announcements include The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, which will feature new control options; Mario Golf: Super Rush, the newest instalment in the Mario Golf series with new modes and motion controls; and Miitopia, a game starring customisable Mii characters that lets you personalise your own adventure.
The jam-packed Nintendo Direct presentation featured many exciting game reveals, including Project TRIANGLE STRATEGY (working title), a new tactical role-playing game from SQUARE ENIX; Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, which challenges players to claim the crown; Star Wars: Hunters™, a free-to-play online multiplayer game set between the events of Star Wars™: Return of the Jedi and Star Wars™: The Force Awakens; World’s End Club from the creators of the Danganronpa series; DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power, an action game based on the animated TV show; and the physical edition of hit game Hades.
Here’s a loooooooooooong comprehensive list of all highlights in the most recent Nintendo Direct:
Splatoon 3: In this new game in the Splatoon series, you’ll leave Inkopolis behind and head to a new region: the Splatlands. At its heart is a new city where battle-savvy Inklings and Octolings gather: Splatsville, also known as the “City of Chaos”. Splatoon 3 introduces various new features to the action-shooter series, including weapons such as the bow weapon, customisation options and new movement abilities to bring to the returning 4-v-4 Turf War matches. More information about the full-fledged sequel coming to Nintendo Switch in 2022 will be revealed in the future.
Pyra/Mythra Join Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Originally featured in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 as main character Rex’s two-in-one ally, Pyra/Mythra reawaken in March as the newest DLC fighters joining Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*. Pyra/Mythra are part of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighters Pass Vol. 2, which also includes DLC fighters Min Min from ARMS, Steve & Alex from Minecraft and Sephiroth from the FINAL FANTASY VII series, along with two yet-to-be-announced fighters. More information about Pyra/Mythra’s move set, as well as their exact release date, will be revealed in the future.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD: Originally released in 2011 for Wii, and depicting the earliest story in the series’ timeline – as well as the creation of the Master Sword itself – The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword now arrives on Nintendo Switch with smoother and more intuitive controls, in addition to improved framerate and graphics. In this enhanced version of the game, running at a smooth 60 frames per second, you can choose to play using motion control with the two Joy-Con controllers in a similar way to the original, or use new button-only controls to play the game with the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, in handheld mode, or on Nintendo Switch Lite. A set of themed Joy-Con controllers will also be released alongside the game: the right Joy-Con controller is themed after the Master Sword, while the left features the Hylian Shield motif. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, and the themed Joy-Con, launch for Nintendo Switch on 16th July. The game is now available for pre-order on Nintendo eShop.
Mario Golf: Super Rush: Tee off in the latest instalment of the Mario Golf series, coming to Nintendo Switch this year. In Mario Golf: Super Rush, enjoy golfing with familiar Mushroom Kingdom characters through a variety of lush, scenic courses. Mario Golf: Super Rush features several local** and online multiplayer modes***, including Speed Golf, which finds players teeing off at the same time and racing to the green. The game also features a Story Mode, starring your Mii character as they interact with Mushroom Kingdom characters, compete in golf challenges and earn experience points to power-up stats. You can even use motion controls by holding the Joy-Con controller as a golf club. The fairway opens for players on 25th June. Pre-orders are available on Nintendo eShop now.
Project TRIANGLE STRATEGY (working title): In this game that continues SQUARE-ENIX’s celebrated legacy of tactical RPGs, battles take place on terrain with different elevations. A character’s attack range is determined by their location and their equipped weapon, so it is imperative to survey the battlefield before acting. Additionally, the decisions made will affect how the story unfolds and which characters will join your cause. Project TRIANGLE STRATEGY (working title) launches exclusively on Nintendo Switch in 2022. A free demo for the game is available to download in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch today.
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout: Be the last Fall Guy standing! The hit party game finds up to 60*** players running, jumping and shoving their way to victory. Dive into a series of ridiculous challenges and wild obstacle courses with masses of other competitors online, all with the hopes of making the cut and advancing to the next round of mayhem. Shift between competitive free-for-alls and cooperative challenges where everyone on the losing team gets eliminated! Do you have what it takes to claim the crown? Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout launches for Nintendo Switch this winter.
Star Wars: Hunters™ offers a thrilling take on the galaxy in this squad-based, online multiplayer game. Build a team from a cast of unique and all-new Star Wars™ characters, from daring Bounty Hunters to heroes of the Rebellion and Imperial stormtroopers. Face off against other squads in arenas based on iconic Star Wars™ settings. Set between Star Wars™: Return of the Jedi and Star Wars™: The Force Awakens, the free-to-play Star Wars: Hunters launches in 2021.
MONSTER HUNTER RISE: In the new Rampage story event featured in MONSTER HUNTER RISE, hunters team up to defeat an onslaught of monsters attacking Kamura Village. As previously announced, players who want to be fully immersed in the MONSTER HUNTER RISE experience can pick up the Nintendo Switch MONSTER HUNTER RISE Edition hardware, which comes bundled with a digital download code for MONSTER HUNTER RISE plus the Deluxe Kit DLC and bonus content. This bundle launches alongside the game on 26th March. Also launching the same day is the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller MONSTER HUNTER RISE Edition, which is adorned with striking art inspired by Magnamalo, the game’s flagship monster.
Miitopia: Embark on a hilarious adventure with friends, family or anyone you choose, to bring down the face-stealing Dark Lord. In Miitopia, a customisable adventure for Nintendo Switch, create and customise Mii characters of anyone you’d like, and cast them in the fantasy adventure of a lifetime. With expanded customisation features in Miitopia, including wigs and make-up, you can make your Mii characters look more fabulous than ever. Also, you can have a horse as an ally. When you become closer, it’ll lend a hand – er, hoof – in battle. Which Mii characters will you assign as allies… and who will become the evil Dark Lord? The light-hearted romp Miitopia launches for Nintendo Switch on 21st May. Pre-orders on Nintendo eShop are available now.
Knockout City: Team up and duke it out with rival Crews in Knockout City™, where epic dodgeball battles settle the score in team-based multiplayer matches. Throw, catch, pass, dodge and tackle your way to dodgeball dominance. Knockout City launches for Nintendo Switch on 21st May.
DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power: Based on the hit Cartoon Network show, play as one of many classic DC superheroines like Batgirl, Supergirl and Wonder Woman as teenagers who must overcome high school, all while saving the city. Each of these superheroes has her own set of special abilities, like flight or gadgets, that can be used in battle. As your teenaged alter ego, explore Metropolis, show off your selfies from around the city on your in-game Superstapost account or rebuild a run-down part of the city. DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power soars onto Nintendo Switch on 4th June. Pre-orders on Nintendo eShop are available now.
Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir & Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind: Two Nintendo deep cuts from Japan are coming to Australia and New Zealand for the first time, localised with English text and fully modernised for Nintendo Switch****. Twists, turns, and drama await at every corner in both of these suspense-filled games. Uncover the deadly truth in Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir and Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind, coming to Nintendo eShop as a bundle on 14th May. Pre-orders for the games are available now in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch.
Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville Complete Edition: Ready the Juice Cannons and prepare for battle in Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville Complete Edition – the wackiest shooter yet! Party with up to three friends and goof around in Giddy Park, or dive into some 8-v-8 multiplayer in Turf Takeover. Prepare to battle solo or in online multiplayer*** in a plant-on-zombie conflict that will take you to the outer edges of Neighborville and back again. Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville Complete Edition launches for Nintendo Switch on 19th March. Pre-orders are available now in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch.
Apex Legends: This free-to-play***** battle royale features a growing roster of powerful contenders named Legends, strategic combat, cross-platform play and more. To celebrate the game’s legendary launch, all players on Nintendo Switch will receive a new Legendary Pathfinder skin and 30 free levels for the Season 8: Mayhem Battle Pass. Plus, for the first two weeks after launch, earn Double XP when you play on Nintendo Switch. Fight for fortune, fame and glory when Apex Legends launches for Nintendo Switch on 10th March.
Legend of Mana: The beloved JRPG classic from SQUARE ENIX, Legend of Mana, is coming to Australia and New Zealand with fully remastered HD graphics, rearranged music and additional features. Experience the timeless story of Legend of Mana when it launches for Nintendo Switch on 24th June.
Outer Wilds: In the acclaimed and award-winning Outer Wilds, you are the newest member of Outer Wilds Ventures, a fledgling space programme searching for answers in a strange, constantly changing solar system. Pilot a spaceship to visit planets packed with remnants of an extinct advanced civilisation across locations that change with the passage of time. Explore and piece together the mystery before the end of the time loop when Outer Wilds launches for Nintendo Switch this winter.
SAMURAI WARRIORS 5: With revamped character designs and a vibrant, illustrated art style, SAMURAI WARRIORS 5 dives into the Sengoku period and shines its spotlight on Nobunaga Oda and Mitsuhide Akechi. The game slashes its way onto Nintendo Switch this winter.
World’s End Club: From the creators of the cult classic Danganronpa and Zero Escape series comes a fight for your life … literally! You and 11 others, known as the Go-Getters Club, set off on a captivating journey across Japan, and experience an adventure that blends side-scrolling action with a suspenseful narrative. As you make your way back home to Tokyo, you’ll alternate between working solo and teaming up with the group to overcome challenges and monsters that stand in your way. World’s End Club launches for Nintendo Switch on 11th June.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons + Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary: Items inspired by the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. are coming to Animal Crossing: New Horizons******. Familiar items like the Super Mushroom and the “?” Block can be ordered in the game as furniture items, so you can place them wherever you want. You can even place multiple Warp Pipes on your island and easily travel between them. The new Super Mario Bros.-themed items will be available starting on 1st March, following the free update to Animal Crossing: New Horizons on 25th February.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity: Expand your quest to save Hyrule with upcoming downloadable content, as two waves of DLC are coming to the Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Expansion Pass. Newly added characters, stages and more are all on their way, with the first wave coming in June and the second hitting in November. Players who purchase this Expansion Pass on Nintendo eShop for AU$30.00 / NZ$33.00 will get both waves of DLC as they are released. They’ll also get an additional in-game weapon and costume for Link as a purchase bonus starting on 28th May. The Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Expansion Pass is available for purchase in Nintendo eShop now.
Ghosts ’n Goblins Resurrection: As the brave knight Arthur, you’ll unleash weapons, magic spells and skills to battle monsters across challenging stages within the Demon Realm. Local co-op play is available for the first time in the series. Help Arthur in his quest with one of three supporting characters: Barry for defence, Kerry for transportation or Archie for bridges. Ghosts ’n Goblins Resurrection launches for Nintendo Switch on 25th February. Pre-orders for the game are now available.
Capcom Arcade Stadium: Dozens of Capcom’s most beloved arcade classics are coming to Nintendo Switch as part of Capcom Arcade Stadium. Rewind gameplay, adjust game speed or difficulty, and select from a variety of display options to relive that sweet arcade goodness. Get 1943 – The Battle of Midway for free, then purchase game packs or the standalone Ghosts ‘n Goblins add-on to build your collection. Prior to the 25th February release of Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection, the original Ghosts ‘n Goblins add-on will be available for free in Capcom Arcade Stadium. After that release, the Ghosts ‘n Goblins add-on will be available for individual purchase or as part of the Capcom Arcade Stadium all-in pack. Scratch that nostalgic itch with Capcom Arcade Stadium with local co-op, available on Nintendo Switch today.
No More Heroes 3: As the crass, Beam Katana-wielding assassin Travis Touchdown, you’ll fight your way to the top of the Superhero Ranking tournament to save the world. But wait… you’ll also battle aliens?! With a new and improved Death Glove, you’ll have access to a variety of deadly skills that can be customised and upgraded before each match. No More Heroes 3 lands on Nintendo Switch on 27th August.
Neon White: Neon White is a lightning-fast first-person action game about exterminating demons in Heaven. You are White, an assassin hand-picked from Hell to compete with other demon slayers for a chance to live permanently in Heaven. The other assassins seem familiar, though … did you know them in a past life? Neon White, which was developed by the creator of Donut County, launches for Nintendo Switch in summer 2021.
BRAVELY DEFAULT II: Save the Crystals and the continent of Excillant with the help of four new Heroes of Light! Ahead of the game’s launch for Nintendo Switch on 26th February, check out a new trailer: BRAVELY DEFAULT II – Final Trailer (Nintendo Switch). You can also try out a new free demo for BRAVELY DEFAULT II, available now in Nintendo eShop.
Tales from the Borderlands: Return to the unforgiving world of Pandora in Tales from the Borderlands. The Nintendo Switch version of the game includes all five episodes, filled with classic Borderlands characters and humour. Gangsters, bandit lords and Vault Hunters are just a handful of the obstacles you’ll encounter in this choice-driven, narrative adventure out on 24th March.
Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse: In this return of the action game from Aspyr, you’ll build your zombie horde and take revenge on the city by turning humans into your undead allies. Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse eats its way onto Nintendo Switch on 17th March. Pre-orders are available on Nintendo eShop in Australia.
Hades: The winner of numerous Game of the Year awards, Hades is getting a physical release on Nintendo Switch. This physical version comes with some fun extras, including a PC download code for the Hades Original Soundtrack and a 32-page, full-colour character compendium, featuring portraits of the game’s vibrant cast of gods, ghosts and monsters. And let’s not forget the game itself, offering dozens of hours of exhilarating action paired with a compelling story. The physical version of Hades launches on 19th March.
NINJA GAIDEN: Master Collection: Three action-packed entries in the acclaimed NINJA GAIDEN series are coming to Nintendo Switch in NINJA GAIDEN: Master Collection. Wield an arsenal of killer weapons as legendary ninja Ryu Hayabusa, each weapon offering a playstyle with a different set of lethal skills, along with ruthless ninjutsu to swiftly take down enemies. The NINJA GAIDEN: Master Collection comes to Nintendo Switch on 10th June.
SaGa Frontier Remastered: Eight protagonists, eight captivating journeys. In this remastered version of the classic RPG SaGa Frontier, travel through a stunning sci-fi world with any of the protagonists, each with their own goals and ambitions. With a new playable character, scintillating battles and new events, SaGa Frontier Remastered is an adventure not to be missed. The game launches for Nintendo Switch on 15th April.
What a list! Surprised you scrolled down this far. What was your favourite announcement? Anything missing that you were hoping to see? Reach out on Facebook and let me know!