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Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded Reviewed

By Nathaniel Liles

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That painting, though.
That painting, though.

[dropcap]B[/dropcap]elieve it or not, I didn’t play many point-and-click adventure games when I was younger, despite being just old enough to have experienced them in their heyday, and I’ve always regretted that a bit. So many people talk about how much fun these games are, but in recent years when I’ve dipped my toe into the genre to test it out, I’ve always been put off by the slow progression and often less-than-intuitive interfaces. The art’s been great, the story’s been great, but the games lost my attention as soon as I got nice and stuck, which happens (to me, specifically) often. I decided to give Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards: Reloaded a try on a bit of a whim, partially because the grade school sense of humor in former titles has captured the part of me that still thinks the German word for “five” is the funniest shit ever. So what did I think of this new take on the classic point-and-click series? Well, I liked it, but it’s a little more complicated than that…

"Jesus is coming... Look busy!"
“Jesus is coming… Look busy!”

First of all, just talking about the game from a gameplay standpoint is going to put a few of you off, especially those who aren’t already fans of the genre, but stick around. What LSLitLotLL:R lacks in fun gameplay mechanics, it more than makes up for in its stronger areas, so stick around. The gameplay is standard point-and-click adventure stuff, and it does a bit better at leading the player than most games. This is both a good thing and a bad thing, because although I never got too stuck, the hints were often obnoxiously obvious in a way that made me feel like the developers thought I was an idiot. This is one of the simplest and easiest point-and-click adventures I’ve ever played, which is a good thing, but at times it became annoying. The interface also often felt dated, and didn’t cut as many corners as I would’ve liked, making the menus a chore sometimes. My biggest problem with the actual gameplay is the game’s focus on repetition. On several occasions, progressing through the game required clicking on the same thing over and over again, and that became old very quickly. Once would’ve been forgivable, but LSLitLotLL:R decided to do this no less than three times in just the main story. A couple of the environments also seemed lazy. For instance, if you walk one screen left of the bar, you enter an alley. At this point, a mugger beats the hell out of you, and then an interesting and out-of-left-field death scene plays, and it was a really fun and unexpected twist. The game dropped me off in front of the bar with no real penalty and let me experience the little misfortune without punishing me for exploration. That’s a very good thing! I decided to see what lied in the other direction, so this time I walked one screen to the right of the bar. It led to the same location, with the same animation, and the exact same outcome. This happens any time you stray from the gameplay area, and it gets old fast.

The game takes place in what is essentially "Pun City"
The game takes place in what is essentially “Pun City”

Of course, now that I’ve gotten all that off my chest, there’s little left to say to the detriment of the game. LSLitLotLL:R did an incredible job faithfully recreating the comedy, style, and atmosphere of the original Land of the Lounge Lizards, probably due to the leadership of the original series creator Al Lowe. The game’s artwork is colorful and sharp, and everything about the game looks fantastic. Fans of the older game and newcomers to the series alike should appreciate all the updated nods to pop culture (such as the “Angry Broads” arcade cabinet), and veterans of the series will notice a huge number of references and nods to other Sierra games and the original Leisure Suit Larry. The animations are often very well done, but they don’t have much to them, some being only a few frames and lacking any and all fluidity. The mouths of speaking characters are very well animated, and the close-ups of the girls’ faces are very detailed and beautiful, but the lip-syncing in the game never even attempts to sync up with the audio. Overall, the polish is amazing when it’s there, but in the few aesthetic areas that LSLitLotLL:R falls short, it’s obvious, and it’s disappointing how close this game was to being visually perfect. The voice acting is superb, however, and the game is sometimes literally laugh-out-loud funny.

Why yes, that is Al Lowe playing a saxaphone in a hot tub as I have sex just under the surface.
Why yes, that is Al Lowe playing a saxaphone in a hot tub as I have sex just under the surface.

All in all, I would definitely recommend Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards: Reloaded to nearly anyone who can appreciate a good (but still awful) joke, but those of you expecting this game to still be as controversial as it was back in the day will be let down. The “risqué” nature goes no further than jokes, themes, and situations, and if this game were aired on Adult Swim, it would be the tamest thing on any given night. LSLitLotLL:R’s strengths lie in its fantastic artwork, its tongue-in-cheek humor, and the nostalgia that it holds for many people. Those of you looking for a good story with character development, however, should look elsewhere – the vast majority of the characters in the game don’t have much to say, and the game’s final girl, the “love of your life” is someone you find in a hot tub during the last few seconds of the game. All things considered, it took me less than three hours to beat this game with a pretty decent score, so the $19.99 price of admission may be a little steep, but if you see it on sale for cheap, go ahead and pick it up. A die-hard fan would appreciate this adaptations much more than a newcomer, but the presentation leaves a bit to be desired. The plot is shallow, the gameplay is boring, but the voice acting, humor, and overall experience may be worth it to some people. I suppose you’d call this a charming little game, if a little full of itself at times.[divider]

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[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/nathaniel.jpg” ] Nathaniel Liles is a freelance writer, writing major, and indie musician based in Southern Indiana. While procrastinating or avoiding real-world responsibility, Nathaniel enjoys playing rhythm games, action RPGs, and very colorful games with many bright, flashing lights. You can listen to Nathaniel sing songs or download his music for free at http://nathanielliles.bandcamp.com/.  [/author]

Nathaniel Liles
Nathaniel Liles is a freelance writer, writing major, and indie musician based in Southern Indiana. While procrastinating or avoiding real-world responsibility, Nathaniel enjoys playing rhythm games, action RPGs, and very colorful games with many bright, flashing lights. You can listen to Nathaniel sing songs or download his music for free at http://nathanielliles.bandcamp.com/.
Nathaniel Liles