Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded

Replay Games

 

The Preamble: Nostalgia is a powerful thing. I, for example, have recently taken up collecting and replaying games for the best console ever made (according to the 8 year old me) the Sega Master System. Whilst there are still some fantastic memories and some cool games the majority; let’s be honest, are a bit shit. Well that is compared to the games of 2014. However, those nice memories never fade and nostalgia has worked wonders on Kickstarter. All kinds of games getting rebooted for a new generation from Space Quest to Shadowrun and there are even more games that I’d call tributes like Xenonauts (XCOM) and Spuds Quest (Dizzy). The question is do they stand up as games for the modern day or should they have been left behind in the past? Let’s take a look at the Leisure Suit Larry reboot and find out shall we?

Was Wonderboy in Monster Land the best game ever? Yes of course it was...


The Plot: Ah the the 1980's a time when everything was possible and the fastest way to a ladies heart was through the wallet - according to Madonna at least - there was MTV, the Rubik's cube and also Larry Laffer. With his pressed white suit and medallion Larry packed his bags and headed for Lost Wages (Ed: I see what they did there... like Vegas) to find true love, or at least a jump.


The Review: The original Leisure Suit Larry was released way back in 1987 and has even been remade once before in 1991 when the old text parser was replaced with a shiny point and click interface. The point and click interface makes a return but (as you'd expect 20 odd years later) the graphics and sound have had a complete overhaul. There might only be five locations to visit but each one has been lovingly recreated and looks f-ing marvellous. That's right Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded is actually a really beautiful game, that somehow manages to retain the retro feel.

Larry has never looked better... poor guy.

Jan Rabson returns as the voice of Larry and does a fantastic job; if you didn't know anything about the story and heard the voice of Larry you'd know what he was a bit of a loser. The same can be said of Brad Venable who narrates the whole story in a superb faux-British accent with the perfect level of condescension and evil wit. So vastly improved sound and graphics this is going to be a winner right I mean you enjoyed the original game?

Well kind of, the humour, may be of the lowest common denominator but lets be honest anyone who buys this knows what they are going to get and to be fair it stands up quite well; the problem is in the gameplay. Back in the 80's Donkey Kong was the peak of gaming, hopping barrels and climbing ladders; it was fun. However, if that was released today it would get panned, games have moved on. Unfortunately, Larry hasn't and you can feel it in some of the puzzles. When was the last time you had to use the same item repeatedly on itself to solve a puzzle? Having to pay for cabs around the city is a nightmare too, especially as you're never sure if you need to revisit an area. Run out of money and you'll have to gamble to get back on top; unfortunately, the game isn't fixed in any way so you lose more often than not. In the end I had to save before each bet as I was losing much more than I was winning, a good moral for life but not fun in a videogame.


I hate you one armed bandit...

 

Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded is likely to be one of those Marmite games; if you are old enough to remember what games used to be like and you get the tongue in cheek humour on display you’ll probably love it. However, if you can’t look past some of the archaic puzzle design and smutty humour you will probably hate it. But then this game is preaching largely to the converted I doubt anyone picks up a Leisure Suit Larry game without an inkling of what Al Lowe has in store for them.

The Score: 6/10 - If you enjoyed Larry the first time around Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded will be joyous trip down memory lane with added graphical sparkle and some superb voice work. If you’re new to the series I’d suggest you let this one slide and wait for a new game the addresses some of the old-school gaming flaws that LSLR retains.

 

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