by William Thompson
reviewed on PC
I must admit that when the original Leisure Suit Larry came out (hmmm, not sure that’s the best phrase to use when talking about a game like this) I thought it was a heap of fun. But having said that, I was about twelve years old at the time and any chance to view some 8-bit pixelated nakedness was welcomed. So when Al Lowe decided to reboot the series via the crowd-funding project Kickstarter, I thought I’d take a look to see how it had transformed over that time.
For those who haven’t heard of Leisure Suit Larry, the game is a point-and-click adventure (the original was a typing adventure) about a Leisure Suit-clad gentleman by the name of Larry Laffer. His goal, much like those teenagers in the American Pie movie, is to be intimate with a member of the opposite sex. Unfortunately, Larry doesn’t have a lot going for him, so the task at hand will be quite hard (double entendre fully intended).
After loading up Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded, I was greeted with the Age Verification check similar to that of the original. Of course, with the original, kids would have needed to go ask a parent some of the questions or need to go to a library to look up the answers in an encyclopaedia. These days, the internet is all you need if you don’t know the answers so it is somewhat obsolete, but the tribute to the original 1987 version was a nice touch.
The Age Verification Check is not the only throwback to the original. Apart from the story being remarkably similar (well, the goal is the same), much of the visuals look as though they have come straight out of the original. The slot machines for instance, look like they have been pulled straight from the Sierra classic. Although this is as intended (I hope so anyway), the other visuals aren’t up to scratch for a modern remake. Yes, Larry himself has been given a makeover as have the ladies (in close up mode), and the locations and characters are no longer a bunch of pixels that require imagination, but the game looks like it could have been a 1990’s sequel rather than one released in 2013.
This is further enhanced by the animation. Larry moves quite smoothly, but other characters have a sliding style motion to them which just doesn’t look right. The worst culprit though is the lip synching when chatting up close to the ladies. Maybe when they speak in the German or French versions it may look right, but for the English version I played, the lips just open and close and words come out whether they are open or shut. It may seem like a small gripe, but when combined with all the other visual mediocrity, it just seemed like the designers were either lazy or rushed.
Point and click is much easier than typing commands as in the original. Puzzles are intuitive. The retro Age Verification check was cool.
Tries to be funny, but isn’t. Visuals needed to be reloaded. Short and overpriced.