Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude Review
publisher: Vivendi Games
developer: High Voltage Software
PIII 800, 256MB RAM, 3GB HDD, 32MB video card
|ESRB rating: M
release date: Oct 05, 04 (released)
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Okay, those among you who are not closet horndogs (or possibly out of the closet), and ALL OF YOU who are under the age of 18, hit the back button now. This game is most certainly not for you.
Go. All of you. Don't make me check ID's and call your parents. I know where you live. I see you, back there - get out! Security! (Ed. - You rang?) Can we take care of him, please? (Ed. - Shonuff.) Thanks.
Is that everyone? Good. Now we can begin.
There are certain games that pander to men. Most typically, they feed our desire to be invincible warriors, doing battle with seemingly unbeatable numbers of heavily-armed enemies, all ready to crush our indisputably male skulls into the dust and piss on our rotting corpses, while they move forward with their diabolical agendas. The only thing saving us from such a fate is our quick wits, quicker trigger fingers and our unending supply of the one thing that makes us all male - testosterone. (Ed. - I thought that was the uncontrollable urge to scratch ourselves in public?) Uh... One of two things then. We are men. We are warriors. We can fight the good fight. But the problem is that once we're done fighting the good fight, we have another battle to face - one that has plagued men since the dawn of time.
Then there are games like Leisure Suit Larry, a comedic RPG romp, following the misadventures of a lifetime loser named Larry Laffer, in his never-ending quest to be a MAN - his sole purpose in life is the SECOND noblest thing a man can dedicate his life's energies to. He wants to get laid. A lot. By every woman he lays eyes on. Created by Al Lowe, Larry Laffer is an everyman, just trying to get ahead (and get some head) in the world. His epic sagas for more tail and world peace (mostly about more tail) spanned 7 separate adventures (if you count the EGA and VGA versions of LSL1 twice) in the 80's and early 90's, and were integral parts in shaping this reviewer into the fine man he is today. Dear God, that's the saddest thing I've ever had to write in a review.
As time passed, and the passions of gamers moved from passion to warfare, the time for breast-filled romps like LSL went by the wayside, and when Sierra On-Line finally disbanded, Al Lowe went gracefully into that good night. Time passed, PC and video hardware advanced significantly, and with the onset of new and more powerful consoles taking the forefront of gamers worldwide, someone at Vivendi Universal thought to themselves "Man...I wonder what a fine set of tits would look like with today's gaming engines?" And the men of the world rejoiced. The clarion call went out, and Leisure Suit Larry would live to love again.
There's just one problem. No Al Lowe. Would this obvious oversight destroy the lineage of the Laffer line, or would a bold, new chapter be added to the rich history of Leisure Suit Larry? Come with me as we explore the latest offering to the gods of testosterone, Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude.
In order to bring Larry to today's modern backdrop, the protagonist of the game is Larry Laffer's nephew, Larry Lovage, who is a student at Walnut Log University. The campus is buzzing with the news of a reality dating show, Swingles, which is taking applications for hot, young, studly guys to be fawned over by three super-hot women who will compete for the opportunity to sleep with whoever is fortunate enough to make it on the show. Lovage wants nothing more than to follow in the footsteps of his uncle and mentor, Larry Laffer (who makes an appearance late in the game, and is always available to offer a helping hand...for a dollar), by chasing and catching as much tail as his oversized head can handle.
The first major difference in this game is the obvious gameplay shift. In order to roll this game out on to multiple platforms, one Larry specialty - text based activity - had to be put aside. Larry is controlled by a WASD layout, with the mouse used to control the camera and activate certain objects. This is saddening, as some of the previous LSL games had a text-driven control system, which hearkened back to the original EGA games of the past. Later LSL games began using the new point and click system which was the norm for adventure-style games of its time. In this latest iteration, Larry now woos his way into ladies' hearts and shorts by playing a series of mini-games, and how well you perform at those mini-games allows you to worm your way into the sack with the (current) object of your desire. The games are varied, but ultimately boil down to Pong, Whack-a-Mole, a DDR/Parappa mix, a side-scrolling flight-type game (you'll see what I mean), Slaps, Tapper, and the game that got me more smashed, more often than I care to admit - Quarters. Each girl you try to bed will involve several iterations of 2 to 4 of these games, to the ultimate conclusion of each girl's story arc. Once you're finished, she leaves you with a "token of affection", which will advance you to the next round of being accepted as a contestant on Swingles. Sometimes you'll get lucky, and sometimes you won't. But no matter what happens, it's always pretty damn funny.
6.3 Above Average
Extremely funny dialogue, fantastic voice work, mini-games are cute, nice models, very well written;
Zero challenge, games get repetitive and boring, not a true LSL successor.