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Octopath Traveler 2 vs Triangle Strategy: Which is Better?

Image Source: Square Enix

Octopath Traveler 2 vs Triangle Strategy: Which is Better?

Waging war against Glenbrook.

Octopath Traveler 2 is at long last in our hot little hands, whisking us off to the mythical land of Solistia and allowing us to live out our dreams of becoming famous, ridding the world of poverty, or seeking revenge on the man who murdered our family. Of course, the game is likely to be compared to other HD-2D games of its ilk, so let’s take a look at Octopath Traveler 2 vs Triangle Strategy to work out which is better.


Image Source: Square Enix

First, let’s break down what each title offers. Octopath Traveler 2 (like its 2018 predecessor, the original Octopath Traveler) is a traditional turn-based JRPG. It features eight unique protagonists, of whom you can choose which one to start with. Travelling across an expansive map, you will unveil further chapters of each hero’s story, gaining experience and assigning secondary classes along the way.

Triangle Strategy is is a tactical role-playing game, where battles take place atop a grid. You have a selection of soldiers at your disposal, and your goal is to claim victory, typically by overcoming an opposing boss. Triangle Strategy has unique mechanics, such as the direction a character is facing dictating whether they will take critical damage, as well as a morality system that affects which units you will recruit, and how your game will end.

Both games offer hours worth of content and satisfying, tightly crafted gameplay, so either come as recommended. If you have a particular preference to one style of gameplay over another, that may influence your decision. Octopath Traveler 2 is easier to understand, and you are unlikely to find yourself overwhelmed as you are getting accustomed to its mechanics. Triangle Strategy can quickly become rather unforgiving, though fallen units are not permanently lost a la Fire Emblem, and you will maintain any experience you gained in defeat.

Winner: Tie! Each game sets out to achieve different things, and equally nail their intention. It’s apples to oranges, so it comes down to which genre more resonates with you.

Look & Feel

Octopath Traveler II Thronè
Image Source: Square Enix via Twinfinite

The H2-2D graphical style has come a long way in the years since it was first unveiled, and in Triangle Strategy and Octopath Traveler 2 it presents as a triumphant display of artistic genius.

We would daresay the latter will not be surpassed, with its bright, vibrant colors and crisp sprite work. Triangle Strategy’s lack of a true open-world means that its aesthetic is defined by individual areas (albeit ones that are visually appealing and well-structured), whereas the massive continents of Solistia create a robust, fleshed out world to dive into, rife with unique biomes and a wealth of wonderful creatures that reside within.

Octopath Traveler 2 also possesses a more ambitious soundtrack, unafraid of straying from JRPG conventions to pull out something surprising — I’m looking your way, Partitio’s theme — that somehow manages to still fit the tone like a glove.

Winner: Octopath Traveler 2. It’s really hard to imagine how they could possibly improve on the package they’ve delivered; a true realization of what it means to transplant classic aesthetics onto a more modern landscape. Photorealism be damned, this is one of the finest looking titles of this console generation.


Image Source: Square Enix

As both titles follow JRPG conventions, the story is of utmost importance. Octopath Traveler 2 offers eight different stories that largely operate independently of one another, while Triangle Strategy progresses you through the overarching tension of three nations.

On a narrative front, Triangle Strategy edges out its competitor, by nature of its design. As noted in our review, Octopath Traveler 2 can suffer from pacing issues as a result of its design philosophy, where you will be regularly dropping one character’s mission to pick up another one. Triangle Strategy also gives the player a sense of agency over their actions, with tangible consequences to how they react in a situation.

On a case-by-case basis, you could make a solid argument that Octopath, at its best, surpasses the drama of Triangle Strategy, but for every Osvald V. Vanstein, there is an Agnea Bristarni. Each of them must be assigned similar length, while the dancer’s path arguably ends up feeling more like filler. It’s all worth experiencing, and there are no bad stories, per se. Just some that will stick with you longer than others.

Winner: Triangle Strategy. By focusing on one complete narrative and then splintering off into different possibilities depending on your actions in-game, Serenoa and his comrades offer the superior tale of spells and swordplay.


Image Source: Square Enix

All this goes to say, if you have an opportunity to buy both games, you will be rewarded with two masterclasses of game design, with fully realized worlds, compelling characters, and an intoxicating level of strategy that will test your gray matter.

If we had to choose one (and we really don’t want to), we are going to have to say Triangle Strategy. Octopath Traveler 2 is a less unique game, by virtue of its being a sequel. It follows many of the conventions laid down by the first entry, and though this is in some ways to its benefit — sticking to the blueprints of what was a very good game in the first place — it can end up feeling like more of the same.

For this last reason in particular, we would recommend Triangle Strategy, if it’s really one or the other. It puts a more unique spin on the strategy genre, and the Switch version of the game is perfect for pick-up-and play sessions. It’s also a less overexposed genre that arguably does more to stretch the formula from the classics that preceded it.

Winner: Triangle Strategy. The answer is kinda both, but someone would be mad if we didn’t give a concrete answer by the end.

Again, you cannot go wrong either way, so it’s only by a very narrow margin that we have anointed which is better between Octopath Traveler 2 and Triangle Strategy. If you are a big fan of Square Enix’s HD-2D catalogue, we also recommend their remaster of the SNES title, Live a Live. Alternatively, Wandering Sword is an upcoming game from Chinese developer Xiameng Studio, with a demo available for you to try. For more guides of an Octopath nature, the links below will be just what you’re looking for.

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