The last few weeks I’ve had the chance to dive into to new titles on the Nintendo Switch, and my experience hasn’t been remotely what I expected from either title.
First up is Triangle Strategy, a massive RPG exclusive for the console, created by Square Enix. Here’s the description:
Your decisions make the difference, Command a group of units as Serenoa, heir of House Wolffort, in a tangled plot where key choices you make will influence the story. The stunning HD-2D visual style blends 3D environments and modern effects with pixel-art characters and details.
That’s a pretty short but accurate rundown of what you get with Triangle Strategy, a game that, if you’re not a big RPG player could appear intimidating. Let me tell you that, perhaps surprisingly, this game is actually immediately accessible and immersive. Chalk that to up multiple factors – first off, the graphics for Triangle Strategy are phenomenally gorgeous. Yes, they’re 2D and pixels, but this is not some retro-style art. So many of the characters you encounter (and there are TONS of them) as you play as Serenoa of House Wolffort are distinctly rendered, complete with their own voices and movements, there’s nothing retro about them. Meanwhile, the environments in Triangle Strategy are sumptuous. You’ll no doubt take the time to look around at all the details and be impressed; I don’t know how you can’t be.
The success of any narrative-driven game always relies on getting the player invested and immersed in the story, and that goes especially for RPG games. Titles like Triangle Strategy are going to take up a lot of your time to play through, hours upon hours, so they’ve got to deliver something that sucks you. This game does so by creating the unique world that is the realm of Norzelia, not only by thoughtfully setting things up off the top, but by also skillfully revealing the history and politics surrounding the three Houses that inhabit the world as the story progresses.
Strategy is a huge part of Triangle Strategy (clearly) as you determine your approach to not only battles, but in how you convince your party to support your decisions when it comes to voting on them. I especially enjoyed that aspect of the game, and I felt committed to my character as he tried to sway others to support his decisions.
Overall, I was absolutely impressed and engaged with Triangle Strategy and for RPG fans out there, picking it up on Nintendo Switch guarantees hours of great storytelling in Norzelia. If you want to try before you buy, there’s a demo of the first three chapters available now.
This brings me to the other game I’ve been trying to play on the Switch, the recently released port of Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection. Here’s the rundown:
Experience the award-winning series as you become Ezio Auditore da Firenze, the most celebrated and iconic Master Assassin in the franchise.
Includes the acclaimed single-player campaigns and all solo DLC from three games: Assassin’s Creed® II, Assassin’s Creed® Brotherhood, and Assassin’s Creed® Revelations, as well as two short films. Live the complete saga of a Master Assassin.
Learn the ways of the Assassins and seek vengeance for the betrayal of your family. Journey through 15th-century Renaissance Italy and become the most legendary leader of the Brotherhood, then embark on a final quest of discovery as you learn the truth about the Creed.
Includes enhanced features for the Nintendo Switch™ system, such as HD Rumble and more.
The truth is, I can’t give you a big assessment of the game, because I find the controls to be immediately jarring from the very start. While Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection has good voice acting and fine (though dated) graphics on the Switch, when I can’t get a handle on how to win a race and keep failing within the earliest minutes of the game, I truly believe that at a certain point in time, it’s not because of me. I’m not a novice to franchise, having played various AC titles on the PlayStation. This is my first time playing one on the Switch, and it has been an incredibly frustrating experience.
I’m sure I’ll find a walkthrough or something that dumbs down for me the controls and I’ll figure out how Ezio can beat his brother in that freaking race, but I shouldn’t have to. If someone is reading this and, having played this title elsewhere is saying ”but that’s like, the beginning of the game!”, you’re absolutely right. It’s right near the very beginning of Assassin’s Creed II – and I can’t figure it out. I’m no Master Chief gamer, but I’m also not someone picking up a controller for the first time. I should not feel so frustrated immediately with this or any game.
Though Triangle Strategy and Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection are vastly different titled, I expected a learning curve and even a little potential frustration with the RPG title and not the one that’s part of a series I’ve played on other consoles. In the end, one I’ll be running back to play while the other is sending me to YouTube so that I don’t throw down my Switch in anger.