Psychological thriller and monster collection are two phrases that should never be placed into the same sentence. However, Linda Cubed Again is an esoteric JRPG from the past that combines horror with monster collection in a new and unique way. Neo Kenya is the name of a world that is in danger of being completely annihilated by an asteroid. The armies of Neo Kenya have searched for every conceivably way to prevent the coming catastrophe. When the inhabitants of the world turn to a dark god, their prayers and nightmares come true.
Linda Cubed Again is a game which combines monster collection and traditional role playing. Originally released for the PC-Engine back in 1995 under the title of Linda Cubed, this game attempted to mix two genres. You start the game off with two characters, Linda and Ken. After a brief introduction to the plot, you set out to capture monsters. Capturing monsters is the device used to advanced the plot, as you're given a set number of missions that you're supposed to complete. The combat in the game plays out similar to Dragon Quest. The combat is represented in text, with sprites on the screen representing the enemies. As you capture different monsters, you can use them to give Linda and Ken new abilities and advance the plot. As you wander around the world collecting creatures the time in the game advances in real time. You only have a set number of gameplay hours to bring as many creatures as you can back to the ship, or you and Linda will be left to die on the planet as everyone else evacuates.
Gameplay isn't the reason that Linda Cubed is such an amazing title. The story in the game is nothing short of spectacular, as it combines psychological elements with voodoo and the occult. It is a story that isn't for the weak hearted. The two main characters in the game are Ken, an army soldier tasked with the job of catching monsters; and his girlfriend Linda, who is used by the military as a surrogate for the god's plans. The inhabitants of the Neo Kenya called upon a god by the name of Anubis (obvious reference to lord of the underworld) in order to protect them from imminent destruction. Apparently answering their calls, the dark god sent an Ark similar to Noah's Ark. He demanded that a man and a woman gather two of every animal on the planet. The army nominated Ken and Linda in order to achieve this task. over the course of the game you run into a number of odd characters such as a twin who has a fondness for Linda and there are many other crazy characters. The gameplay doesn't do the story justice, but the story itself is unique.
The graphics in Linda Cubed Again are fairly simple. They don't compare to other games on the playstation simply for the fact that Linda Cubed Again is a re-release of a game titled Linda Cubed on the PC-Engine. The story in the game is portrayed through a series of, albeit disturbing, cutscenes. The characters in the game are beautifully animated, and there is even voice acting in most of the dialogue. The voice acting in the game is probably one of Linda Cube Again's strongest assets. Many games of the time didn't have elaborate voice acting. Despite this, the game was able to achieve a great deal of voice acting. Linda Cubed Again is a game that was far ahead of its time in presentation. Action in the game is split up by events that show the deplorable nature of the characters in the face of impending doom.
Linda Cubed Again is a game that makes up for its lack of graphics in presentation and story. The unique setting of the game creates an intriguing environment. Collecting creatures and trying to beat the destruction clock are the two elements that make the gameplay portion compelling. Racing against time in order to survive adds a sense of horror and urgency. Three gameplay modes are offered at the beginnig, and differ in difficulty and focus. Whatever the reason for playing Linda Cubed Again, its story is easily one of the best in the JRPG genre.