Tactics Ogre Jr.
Triangle Strategy is what happens when the working title becomes the final game. TRPGs aren’t even especially hard to name: slap a noun with another noun or adjective. Job done (Front Mission, Tactics Ogre, Vandal Hearts…)
Square must have figured if you’re going to play the name straight, might as well play the whole thing straight. Let the good guys be good, the bad guys be bad, and everyone be annoying. Complex motivations? Character depth? Look at the title! We don’t have time for that.
The story of any TRPG is a vehicle to shuffle troops from one pre-arranged set piece to another. And so if the story here is flat as a board, then the battles should at least be entertaining. In that regard it mostly succeeds. On the “Hard” difficulty, it’s a flow of patient offensive and defensive swarm and survive tactics. The normal TRPG super-human abilities that can wreck havoc on a battlefield (cough cough Final Fantasy Tactics) aren’t here, and even sending out your strongest character unsupported is usually a suicide mission.
I will give any game company credit that tries to establish new game franchises rather than churn out sequels. It’s a risky business and any guarantee to be in the black is tough to turn down. But in the end, Triangle Strategy just leaves me wondering why there hasn’t been a true Final Fantasy Tactics or Tactics Ogre sequel (remasters and portable side stories aside)?
Like eating a bag of candy, it tasted decent at the time, but now leaves me a little sick and hungry for something of substance.
Memory: The first Wolford Stronghold battle