Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded Review
Before South Park, before Family Guy, even before The Simpsons, there was the original king of raunch: Leisure Suit Larry. This point-and-click series of adventure games has warped developing minds for more than 25 years, but Leisure Suit Larry: Land of the Lounge Lizards Reloaded takes a look back at the original outing that started it all. Does this hopeless horndog still have game, or should he be put out to pasture?
Completely overhauling the original 1987 PC release, Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded certainly looks better than its original counterpart. Simple pixelated caricatures are now fully drawn characters, and the color palette has been increased tenfold! Despite Larry’s new threads, the attention to detail simply is not there. Nothing looks wrong at first glance, but little things like the different styles for the characters and the environment start to become more noticeable. The jerky animation and Flash-style sprites don’t help things either — it ends up feeling like a low-budget Adult Swim cartoon.
Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded does deliver in one crucial department: voice acting. Every single character has something to say, right down to the disembodied narrator. Each line has just the right amount of punch, and it makes it that much easier to become immersed into Larry’s sleazy world.
Unfortunately, the script in Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded provides more cringes than laughs. It’s not that the humor is juvenile though (though it most certainly is) — it’s flat.
The concept is sound — you, Larry Laffer, are a 40-year-old virgin (not named Steve Carell) looking to turn in your V-card posthaste. The story might be cliche, but that part is passable. It’s the laundry list of cliched characters (the pimp, the bum, the prostitute) that grind your gears, ready to dispense toilet humor and bad puns on a whim. Unlike Apatow’s movie, however, there is zero sense of subtlety. At least Carell waited a while before he pulled out his package — here, you can do it within the first five minutes.
These archetypical characters would normally be a non-issue, but said interactions largely make up Leisure Suit Larry’s gameplay. As a point-and-click game (think TellTale’s Games’ The Walking Dead), each and every object must be looked at, touched, talked to, and flashed at, lest you want your progress to be halted. There are literally hundreds of things to interact with, but there is usually only one way to progress. These solutions can be downright obtuse though, and clicking through the countless options on display make it feel like finding a needle in a haystack.
Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded may have the trappings of a 2013 game, but it still cannot hide gameplay that hails back from more than two decades ago. Ironically, the juvenile story would be best appreciated by young kids, but the puzzles will most likely leave them even more frustrated.
Age has not been kind to Larry.