Review: Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards: Reloaded
Title: Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards: Reloaded
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux (Reviewed on PC)
Developer: nFusion Interactive
Publisher: Replay Games
Release Date: June 27th, 2013
Tagline: Remake of a classic Point and Click adventure game that never lives up to its lineage.
Family Friendly: Click here for more information.
Verdict: Skip It
At some point in your life, you have probably heard the phrase, “You Can Never Go Home Again”. Normally, the quote is directed at the fact that you can never go back to your past, because it will never live up to the hype. This phrase captures the sentiment and feelings I have for the new Leisure Suit Larry title. When it was announced, I was infused by my memory of playing through the classic original on my 15th birthday with myself and three friends as we worked on getting Larry to his prized goal of finding love and lust in Lost Wages. “Leisure Suit Larry” by nFusion tries desperately to capture on that imagination, but it never finds the same magic that I remember. Instead, I just found a large serving of disappointment with a side of wishful thinking.
As with the original, you once again join Larry outside the famous Lefty’s Bar in Lost Wages, with the goal of finding a woman to fall in love with… and maybe get to know her in a more physical manner as well. This new game follows the original game beat for beat, changing little beyond modernizing a few of the jokes. For those that wanted a faithful recreation of the 1987 classic, you will find that here. Every joke, every puzzle and every setpiece is here for you to remember in a pile of nostalgic glory.
Sadly, none of the charm is there as well. While I remember the limited bits of animated sprites that could tell the story of Leisure Suit Larry, this new version never seems to have that spark, even with all of its new graphical power. The new animated characters lack any real charm, and their limited movements show the lack of budget behind the project. Characters are stilted and generic, and the voice work behind them feels cheap and uninspired. The lead character of Larry is still as nasally as I remember, with that twitch of laughter while saying his own name, but the rest of the cast seems bored to be recording.
The new Leisure Suit Larry does have a new section of puzzles that were not in the original game and it was surprisingly good. This addition was original and funny and felt reminiscent of the puzzles you would generally find in an old school Sierra On-Line adventure game. But even with this one bit of bright light, it also shows off the idea that maybe Leisure Suit Larry was far shallower than I remembered as a child. The puzzles were never challenging, and the humor which seemed ribald when I was young was far more at the PG level of 2013. It never shocked me like it did when I was a child.
And there is your dilemma when you walk into this game. It wants to live off the spark of your memory of the game as a child, but that time has long since passed. Instead of being shocking, it felt more pedestrian in nature. It also comes up woefully short, as you can finish the full game in less than three hours if your memory of the puzzles is still intact. The new section will tax you a bit, but with a little trial and error, you will find the final solution.
Maybe some will appreciate the minor drop of nostalgia that comes in this new Leisure Suit Larry title, but most will find a dried up pool of memory and nostalgia long since gone. Sure, it might make you feel good initially when you see all of those places you love, but once you finish, you might wish you had spent your time on something more fulfilling instead of trying to revisit your childhood one more time.
- New puzzle section is pretty inspired
- Locations from the original game are recreated pretty solidly
Larry the Loser:
- Voice acting and animation are stilted and dull
- Game does not capture the charm of the original
- Very short if playing from memory
While I remember getting into a lot of trouble with my mom when she caught me playing Leisure Suit Larry at the age of 15, the game seems woefully tame in today’s standards of decency. Sure, there are still a few things that might be for older kids, but the game can probably be played by today’s high school child and they would know more than the game explains. So keep it at high school and up, just so you don’t have to explain Larry’s crotch itch to a younger player.