Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded [$4.99] is a revamped, reshuffled remake of 1987's Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, a title that takes me back to 1989 and being a spotty thirteen year old. I remember going to my friend's house after school, plonking ourselves in front of his Dad's CGA IBM compatible and loading up Leisure Suit Larry, in the vain hope that we might see some pixelated female naughty-bits. Unfortunately, we never managed to pass the age test screen, as we didn't know the answers to any of the questions (I guess it worked), so we would always end up back in front of my friend's Amiga 500 for a spot of Chase HQ or drawing willies with Deluxe Paint.
It would be years before I actually managed to play Leisure Suit Larry. Despite recognizing several of the scenes from "classic" Larry in this latest iOS iteration, playing through has been a totally new experience for me. This is partly because I have a brain like a sieve (seriously, I forget movies as soon as I have seen them) and partly because when I finally did get to play Lounge Lizards, all those years ago, I realized that it wasn't as "naughty" as I'd been hoping, therefore not earning a place in my childish memory banks. The naughty bits were all censored, which I found pointless, when the graphics were about as detailed as Sheldon Cooper's sex life.
Sadly, this problem is even more apparent in 2013. Considering that Leisure Suit Larry is a game that claims to be comedic, there are surprisingly few laughs. Sure, if you are a tween and find drawing digital penises with a paint program hilarious, or are a forty year-old virgin, you might find Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded the funniest thing you've ever seen and certainly a bit risque. For the rest of us, it's an extremely dated affair that conjures up more groans than guffaws and is about as "naughty" by today's standards as spending all your pocket money on sweets.
You might think I'm not a fan of Larry by now. Well, yes and no... Leisure Suit Larry, despite its severe dating, is an important part of videogame history and even in its revamped state, provides an enjoyable and challenging adventuring experience.
For the unenlightened, Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded follows the sexual mishaps of Larry Laffer, a squeaky voiced, medallion-sporting, creepy little man who is determined to find true love and, perhaps, have the odd bang along the way. The story trails Larry as he tries to conquer several different specimens of the female species. In order to win over the heart of each woman, Larry has to solve a series of puzzles, which are generally logical enough, though the odd one is a bit out of left field. Leisure Suit Larry is a game that requires you to try everything and I mean EVERYTHING in case you miss a clue or an important piece of a puzzle. This is one of the game's lower points, as it often means you have to rely on an attack strategy that is more a process of elimination than an actual test of gray matter.
Also, a lot of the items that need to be examined are there for no other reason that to boost the egos of a few Kickstarter backers and unlock GameCenter achievements, not adding anything to the actual meat of the game. Hmmm, I used the word meat in a Leisure Suit Larry review without being rude... what a missed opportunity...
Obviously the artwork has been improved over the original title's sixteen pixel approach, as has the audio. There has been one hell of a lot of work going into the voice acting and it is of an excellent quality across the board. Despite the lame jokes, the actors are top notch, from the weedy hero to the cliched Russian hooker and Brooklyn-accented tough-guy cabbie.
As well as the visual and aural improvements, the control system has undergone a complete overhaul from the original PC version, with everything being icon driven, rather than relying on typing in commands.
At its heart, Leisure Suit Larry is a semi-solid adventure title. Sure, it's about as current as the Clinton/Lewinski affair but hey, it's a fun enough romp through a world of childish innuendo and the puzzles are decent enough to capture your attention for at least the first couple of conquests. Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded provides a heap of content for the cash and even if only to check out a piece of videogaming history, if you're into point'n click adventure gaming, it's worth a peek.
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