Linda³ WARP ZONE - Monthly Game Club Gaiden

As discussed in the Monthly Game Club thread, there is interest for a playalong of Shoji Masuda's apocalyptic RPG Linda³ now that it has finally been localized into English, but there is also interest in keeping the Monthly Game Club a pick a name out of a hat at random affair, so as a compromise we are seeing double this month.


Please note there is an existing and long running Linda³ thread already here:

So let's limit the scope of this thread to impressions of playing this new translation, available wherever fan translations are sold

This is going to be a very unpopular take here, but Linda Cube is a very mediocre game. I don‘t know if I’m extra down on this game because my expectations were so high for it, but I keep firing this game up and quickly find myself wanting to put it down. I‘ve put about five hours into it and it has failed to hook me in that amount of time, so I think I’m done with it.

My main gripe is the combat, in my time spent with it hasn't introduced anything to me. I'm still just mindlessly hitting the attack button. Not a fan of the presentation either, the art style is just sorta ugly and not in an endearing way. The character and enemy animations are bare bones. Some of the music tracks in towns are nice, but there's more tracks that are grating than enjoyable. Continuously having to hear that combat track is what's made me give up on this game.

Maybe the game was going somewhere with it, but the whole theme of animal slaughter was a slight turn off as well as the general pervy-ness of the game.

@“Herb”#p155631 hot take off top! I like it!

I already know I have to be in the right mood for this one.

@“Herb”#p155631 ive really enjoyed my time with it but cant really argue with some of your gripes. I appreciate that the combat is snappy but agree it isn’t very strategic, especially since the morphing and enemy grid movement give the appearance of a system with more depth (sort of how i felt about the combat in suikoden, snappy but mashy).

I also find the PlayStation animal designs ugly, and wonder if the pcengine version looks nicer. I have come to really love the look of the towns and the people though. I definitely understand someone not gelling with it, but the whole thing just hangs together in a really unique way for me.

The thing im struggling with is the different scenarios. I loved A but have slowed down significantly in B. The story is totally different, but i cant help but feel frustrated by having to re-capture all the same animals again. I think ill finish B at a leisurely pace and then take a long break before C.

Thanks for not blasting me so far folks. I can see elements of the game that would make people love it. Hopefully I‘m the only one really down on this one and I’m just the kid sitting by myself with my arms crossed watching all the other kids have fun with the new toy at recess.

I just finished Scenario B last night and plan on starting Scenario C pretty soon. I‘m really enjoying this! It’s interesting to see how much this plays with structure and form in terms of RPG tropes; it definitely feels like the product of someone who is very close to the genre and wanting to play and experiment with what we consider standards.

I wasn't prepared for how narrative heavy this game would be (while also being kind of light on narrative at the same time...?). It's interesting! So much of the game is about walking around and talking to people, especially Scenario A. But because of the pace of the game, the actual narrative plot points go by pretty fast. The game has a lot of great world-building and really gets a lot of mileage out of that. It also helps that it's pretty funny!

@"Herb"#p155631 yeah, the combat gives the appearance of something really deep, but doesn't really mine that potential in the way you would think. I wouldn't say a lot of the combat is automatic (esp. in encounters where level differences are noticeable), but as hinted by @"Funbil"#714 in the other thread, the system really shines when its meta aspects come into play. There's hints of it at the end of Scenario A, but it really comes into view 2/3rds-3/4ths of the way through Scenario B. If you weren't enjoying it already, I can't imagine anything later would really change your mind, but it's a game that teases its larger ideas throughout and builds on foundational knowledge as you play.

All that to say, I'm definitely excited to keep playing. I really like the pace (both macro and micro) and how different of experiences the various scenarios have offered. I don't think I'd call it all time favorite at this point, but there's definitely a lot to enjoy. It's interesting how modern this feels to me; I can't imagine playing this (or seeing it localized!) during its original release period. It hasn't been a revelation for me in any way, which may be where a lot of the disappointment comes from, but it's definitely been solid and consistently engaging. I don't think there's been any filler content for me, and I really haven't gotten bored.

(Edit: Oh yeah @Herb I also meant to say the one thing I'm not huge on is the music. It's not terrible, but it's definitely the part of the experience I've enjoyed the least.)

Perfect. I’ve been looking for an excuse to dust off the PSP.

I dipped into this game briefly, didn‘t get super far. I was also very turned off by both the pervyness and the animal abuse. I am getting the sense that maybe this was a sort of critique/parody of RPG mechanics? Like, if I play Dragon Quest and I’m killing slimes and weird little mushrooms, somehow getting items and money out of that - if you think about it for more than a moment, it makes sense that yeah you‘re killing them and cutting them up. It just makes it more jarring if the animals are just recognisable as real Earth animals (at least in name), and the game is explicit about what’s going on.

I can respect if that's what they were going for, but still I'm not sure if I really want to sit through it for hours on end. I don't play games to be reminded of how cruelly people treat other animals, since I think about that pretty much all the time anyway. I play games to not think about that stuff!

I'm also conscious that I'm playing a fan translation, and perhaps some of the nuance of the original text is being lost along the way. Planning to have a longer play session over the next few days (last time my partner was in the room casually observing, and I felt a bit embarrassed by what was happening on the screen, mostly the pervyness . "This is the monthly game on that forum! You know, _that_ one. I didn't choose it for myself!"). So, this time I'm going to cloister myself away and play the game in secret.