Lesiure Suit Larry: Reloaded
There are some games that must be recognised for their achievements in the games industry. Some games sported ground-breaking graphics, some had concepts that were ahead of their time, and some games introduced us to adult content, humour and… boobs.
I’m talking of course, about ‘Leisure Suit Larry’ and his misadventures in the pursuit of love, which humbly began on DOS in 1987 with ‘Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards’. Sure, Larry 1 was infamous for its adult content, but underneath all the smutty jokes and sleazy environments there was quite a charming game, with puzzles that weren’t as obvious as other adventure games of the time.
In short, Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards was a great adventure game, and well worth the occasional visit. Up until now, you had to play the original DOS Larry 1, or the VGA remake made in 1991. With Larry creator Al Lowe regaining the rights to Leisure Suit Larry, he sought the help of fans through Kickstarter, and after a successful campaign, brought Larry back to life in ‘Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded’, complete with a couple of new puzzles and a new girl!
I’ve put the game through its paces, and whilst the new content is very exciting, this is the definitive version of Leisure Suit Larry 1, and well worth a purchase to established fans.
If you’re new to Leisure Suit Larry (don’t worry there’s a first time for all of us), allow me to clue you in as to the game’s story. Larry Laffer is a 40-year-old virgin who grows tired of his lonesome life and sets out to lose his virginity (and hopefully find love) in Lost Wages, a sleazy city with lots of gorgeous women, slot machines, night clubs and other dangerous/exciting things. It’s basically Las Vegas if Las Vegas was never cleaned and had only one casino.
Immediately noticeable about Larry Reloaded is the gorgeous new look, and how fluid everything runs. Sure, I held certain expectations of a modern adventure game, but Larry Reloaded managed to surpass them. Everything is crisp and beautiful in widescreen 1080p, a far cry from the slow, pixelated presentation of the 1987 original. It might not seem like much to Larry newcomers, but I just can’t get over how fluid every animation is in Leisure Suit Larry, and I think it’s fair to say, that Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded (visually) is perfect.
Also immediately noticeable is inclusion of the new narrator, who as the name implies, narrates Larry’s journey through Lost Wages. It only makes sense to have a narrator as Larry ’87 had a narrator of sorts, who made frequent jokes at the expense of Larry and the player themselves. Unlike narrators in other games, Larry’s narrator doesn’t grate on the player no matter how many times they click on the same item or puzzle.
Sound-wise, everything in Leisure Suit Larry sounds the way you would expect. Jan Rabson reprises his role as Leisure Suit Larry (having voiced Larry since Leisure Suit Larry 6 in 1993). All the characters’ voices are perfect, and not one feels out of place. The music is adequate, and the sound effects are also fine. It’s something to be said when a game manages to come out with a ton of voice content and not one voice makes you want to jam a screwdriver in your ear.
Now, it might sound like I absolutely love Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded, and I do, however I do take issue with a few things in this new Larry incarnation. Some are very minor and some not-so-minor. Firstly, it would have been nice to be able to shift between the new graphics and the original graphics from Larry ’87, like in the remake of the Secret of Monkey Island from LucasArts. Secondly, there is no option to NOT play the new content, which is in actuality, pretty average.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do love this new version of Larry, but there simply isn’t enough new content to warrant the hype and press releases that drew attention to it.
I remember in the Curse of Monkey Island where I finished the game on easy, and then upon playing hard there were puzzles before the original puzzles. The whole game was expanded and it really added a challenge to a game that I felt I knew inside and out. With Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded, at times it feels like you’re running a hurdles race. You progress through puzzles that have fairly logical solutions, and then you’re hit with a difficult puzzle that can become quite frustrating. There is one puzzle that requires you to gain a password to access a room, and while the puzzle solution isn’t too illogical, it certainly feels like a completely different puzzle to anything in the original Larry games.
I guess what I’m saying is, if you’re going to make new content for the game, give the entire game new content, instead of one or two new puzzles that deviate from the core experience slightly.
- Looks gorgeous
- Everything you love about Larry in a modern, downloadable package
- Hilarious new jokes
- Not enough new content to get excited over it
Apart from the new content, this new version of Larry is everything a fan of Larry games could want and everything a Larry newcomer needs to get excited for the upcoming remake of Larry 2. Al Lowe and his team should be proud of the hard work they’ve put into remaking Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, though if they feel the need to add even more content to the game, I wouldn’t object. Hopefully Lowe and the team at Replay games come up with new and exciting adventures for Larry soon.
Score – 8/10