Monday, 1 July 2013

Review: Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded (PC)

larry at the bar

Al Lowe and Josh Mandel are directly responsible for helping shape my formative years in gaming, and any time I get an "official" excuse to play one of their games is time well wasted.

For those unfamiliar, Al and Josh were designers for Sierra On-Line. While Josh worked on pretty much every major property at Sierra behind the scenes, Al was the creator of the Leisure Suit Larry franchise and Freddy Pharkus Frontier Pharmacist (my personal favorite game from Sierra). As Al's creative genius was absent from the last 2 Larry games that came out (some would say fell dead from the sky), it is refreshing to see him involved with the restoration of his first major work.

Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded was a Kickstarter funded game to re-animate and expand upon the original;unlike the VGA remake in 1991 which added the point-and-click interface and the better graphics, this version is almost a localization – some of the older jokes have been updated to modern sensibilities. (But thankfully not the embarrassment of Larry buying a condom at the convenience store) More importantly, there's an additional girl to woo: Jasmine the bikini clad whale attendant.

On my first playthrough, it didn't take me very long to see some of the differences in the game and the old solutions have been fleshed out more. For example, in the original, you gave the drunk the whiskey to get the remote control; now on this version, the drunk gives you a coaster with the combination to the "adult toys" safe. This leads awfully into getting batteries that you'll need to power the dead remote. It only added an extra step to the process – but bloody hell if it didn't take me an extra 30-45 minutes to figure out what it was the combination to.

After it was all said and done, it took me approximately 4 hours to complete the game – which sounds like an impressive time for an adventure gamer, but instead stands out as a sore thumb to me considering how intimately I knew the original and could probably parrot out 90-95% of the dialogue in the game. Were those 4 hours well spent? Absolutely. Even intentionally recreating all of Larry's possible "death scenes" made me chuckle just as hard as the first time I did it.

comedy club
Downsides to the game are more technical than anything else.

Two things come to mind. Whenever I get a beta of a game, I typically expect that there's going to be a few things that require polishing. When I see the main game and those exact problems are still there, that means poor QA or follow up from QA. First issue – winning the cash limit of $10K through gambling used to be rather obvious because it told you so; now you get an in-game error on the vending machine and have to leave it.

Second issue, clicking on the far right side of the screen when in full screen mode minimizes the game to tray; which doesn't seem that bad until you consider that this is a point-and-click adventure and it happens all the damn time!

All in all, Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded was an exceptional game to play and is definitely worth the $20 for those who played the originals, the remake, or just want to see why this franchise was so revered back in the day.

- Tazman

The Good:
- A beautiful re-skinning of the classic game, with some new puzzles and an additional woman to woo
- Jan Rabson returns to voice Larry!

The Bad:
- Some minor game bugs

Score: 7.0 / 10

Have you played this game?  What did you think of it?  Loved it?  Hated it?  Why?  Let us know in the comments!