Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded Review

Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded brings things back with an HD touch-up and a new girl, but it could have benefited from some additional refinement.

by

It's difficult to imagine any woman genuinely falling for Larry Laffer. His hair is thinning, his breath is bad in a way that defies description, he perpetually looks to be a few hours from giving birth to a basketball, and when he talks, he sounds almost exactly like Maxwell Smart, the bumbling secret agent from the '60s television series. Those personality flaws are part of the joke, though, and that joke was enough to turn the unappealing antihero into a cash cow for prolific adventure game publisher Sierra On-Line during the late '80s and early '90s.

Getting condoms from a convenience store is no simple matter for Larry Laffer!

Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded is an apparent attempt to offer a fond look back at that dubious era. Series creator Al Lowe asked the Internet for the money he needed in order to revisit the earliest title in the long-running series, Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, and his wish was granted. Larry Laffer is back for a triumphant second run, only now women are rejecting him in high-definition, and his quest for true love requires additional effort. The problem is that even with improvements, Larry is a relic.

Reloaded makes concessions to the modern era, but its roots show quite clearly. Larry appears on mostly static backdrops, and you click onscreen icons to encourage interaction. Each screen contains several points of interest, and each poke and prod is narrated with gusto. The actor clearly relished his role, and he manages to make the rampant sexual innuendo come off every bit as sleazily as possible. There's lots of material to work with, too, which means you hear numerous jokes about sex and the male and female anatomy even though the artists didn't bother to illustrate the bulk of it (which is just as well, in some cases). The dialogue is also fond of breaking the fourth wall, sometimes even for genuine laughs.

Larry finds himself exploring the city of Lost Wages, which is a transparent parody of Las Vegas if that city featured only five proper buildings and a looping road to connect them. Attractions include Lefty's Bar, a mini-mart, a love chapel, a multi-floor casino, and a disco club. Sidewalks line those buildings, and it's possible to interact with a few pedestrians who appear there mostly at random, but the game takes place in a very confined space overall. You need to hail a cab if you want to safely explore the city, because wandering along the sidewalks usually leads to an alley where a thug will beat Larry to death.

Spot the hilarious joke hidden in the license plate!

Even with so many restrictions in place, it's easy to run into temporary dead ends as you try to coach Larry to coital bliss. Reloaded plays out as a more perverted version of the more monotonous games of its original era, so that whenever you find a new location, you need to run around licking, groping, examining, and talking to everything, just to make sure you're not missing something. Your alternative is to potentially overlook an important clue, then spend a half hour or more making a circuit of the city, trying to discover what you missed. Sometimes this process becomes ridiculous. For instance, the casino has eight floors. Most of those floors have doors you can tap on to interrupt people who are having sex on the other side, but you can't assume that's always true, because what if you then miss something important? You have no choice but to hear every silly joke at least once, and perhaps many times if you find yourself truly flummoxed.

Moments when you're wandering around because you've missed a clue--perhaps even one that you've been holding in your inventory the whole time--only serve to highlight the game's most regrettable flaw: its interface. The new setup may have been improved compared to the old standard, but it still has a long way to go. If you are wandering a street and interacting with objects outside, that requires the hand icon to be active. Passing through the door to enter some buildings may (or may not) then require you to switch to the foot icon. Once inside, you need to switch back…except when you don't. Riding a taxi from one location to another is also inconvenient, not to mention expensive. You can earn additional money to pay for fare only by playing games of chance, so you're essentially encouraged to save a file after each win and to reload one after you lose, lest you exhaust your funds and find yourself forced to accept charity from a wandering bum.

There are completely new scenes involving a new potential love of Larry's life, a girl named Jasmine. Even finding a way to talk to her can prove difficult, though, and then gaining her affections requires a fetch quest and quite a bit of inventory diving. It's nice that new content has been added to give returning fans something new to experience, but the quality of that new content is hardly exceptional. It also doesn't add much depth to the adventure once you know what is expected of you. If you've lived the Laffer life before, this adventure isn't likely to outlast a half-hour sitcom episode.

I would not put my hand on that toilet if I were you!

One piece of good news, though, is that no setback has to be a big deal. When Larry meets an untimely end, the game presents you with a comical screen that you can click through quickly if you're in a hurry, and then Larry appears a short distance from the source of his previous demise. There's no real penalty, which means that you don't have to feel that you're punished for experimenting as you play the game. Some of the potential deaths are also quite cute, so it's worth seeing them happen at least once just for the sake of comedy. The artists clearly had a lot of fun with some of the animations, and for that matter, all of the game assets are sufficiently sharp and clear to convincingly capture the characters and the seedy environments they occupy.

Ultimately, Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded is most likely to appeal to those who played and enjoyed his old games, back when they were a big deal. The remake is packed with clever dialogue, and the HD artwork looks very nice, but there's not enough new gameplay to hide the fact that the original Leisure Suit Larry game was every bit as shallow as its sexually frustrated protagonist. Mr. Laffer makes a terrific jester, but he's not good for a whole lot more.

The Good
Juvenile but humorous dialogue
Appealing, colorful vibe and visuals
The Bad
Tiresome interface
Unclear puzzles
Too short to satisfy
4
Poor
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243 comments
blackace
blackace

Didn't get the license plate joke. Haven't played a Leisure Suit Larry game in years. I have the collectors edition, but I've never played through it. Maybe I'll do that one weekend if I can find the disk.

KingKalo
KingKalo

I wonder if control alt x works to get you in the "back door" to pass the prenatal quiz.  It was my first hack at like age 10 lol


DonRoosevelt
DonRoosevelt

The added puzzles to the game don't make any sense... I've had to use walkthroughs to figure most of them out.  I think adding to the game ruined the flow that it once had.


I also don't like that the new material focused a lot on harming animals.  WTF!?

edpeterson
edpeterson

If only this review could have been done by someone who actually likes point and click games... A review by someone who doesn't even like the genre is like saying someone who is lactose intolerant saying that chocolate ice cream is the worst kind of ice cream!

SenorKaffee2
SenorKaffee2

Alright - just finished LSLR and I think a 4 is a bit harsh. At the same time I don't think it deserves more than a 6, even with Nostalgia Goggles on.

I'm not from the same generation as Al Lowe, but I'm in my late thirties so I've had the chance to play the LSL games at the "critical age" and liked them a lot. I played them in the wrong order, starting with 3, but beggars can't be choosers.

I flat out have problems with the artistic choices and some of those problems are already visible in the 1991 SCI remake. The environments of the first Larry had a pretty seedy, run-down feel to me. The 1991 version lost some of that for a more cartoony look (reminding me of Day of the Tentacle) and the 2013 version goes this path all the way into screwball territory.

The icon-driven control of the SCI version also cut out a lot of the experimental fun of the text parser based original. The 2013 icon system is as laborious as the 1991 version, the new circle menu looks similar to Monkey Island 3 or Full Throttle, but doesn't get it with the extra mouse click needed. Please either stay with the nostalgic text parser or get your icon interface to 1995.

The 1991 version looked great for 1991, how does LSLR compare to 2013 adventure games like Deponia? It looks... cheap, borderline lazy.

The graphics are full HD, but the environments  are so static and the only character properly animated is Larry himself. Go on YouTube and watch a Let's Play of the 1991 version. Gone are the little touches of that version, like the absurd spinning elevator in the Casino or the moose that seems to be alive. Some of the girl redesigns are also debatable. I don't say that Underboob Businesswoman Faith doesn't follow a weird dress code, but Bad Cop Stripper Faith just looks out of place.

And what about this buffet? Why is there only a detail shot of it? Isn't it in a room? Where are all the people I hear in the background? I'm floating in the void inbetween rooms - heeeelp!

And don't get me started on Al Lowe ruining the ending. I know there is a similar scene in the 1991 version, but the transition was much smoother with the two going to another room and not just vanishing to save cost once again. A good comedian knows timing. No need to thank me for backing your project on Kickstarter in-game.

To end my comment with a good thing - the new score is really great. :D

edi888
edi888

This review is bullsh1t, the game is classic and the remake is alright, at least 7.0

Poodlejumper
Poodlejumper

A 4, to me is a buggy and broken game that crashes left and right.

This one had me rolling in the aisles.  Nearly everything you click on has a joke to it.  EVERYTHING.

What's wrong with the interface that makes it Tiresome?  What were you expecting...an analog game played chest high walls 3rd person shooter with zombies???

inkviking
inkviking

They should stop making Leisure Suit Larry games, they suck.

Metronoid
Metronoid

Warning: This reviwer is a bigot to the  point and click adventure genre. Shame for a decent gaming site like Gamespot.

iloveyourface
iloveyourface

i played through it the past two nights. even if you played the original cga/monochrome version back in the day, along with the vga remake, it's worth romping through in 1080p. the voices are nice, i really like the hand drawn artwork, and the gui is fine.


hopefully the sales from this will get ol' al lowe thinking of making a true sequel.


@Divisionbell  don't expect roberta williams to do what al lowe is doing.. i'm pretty sure her and ken are enjoying retirement. :D

Divisionbell
Divisionbell

We need king's quest to make a proper return

axelx666
axelx666

guys this game was CLASSIC back in the day i can understand the score being low because all it is, is a HD remake. nothing new or anything, but this game (for those of you who never played it) is wonderful and hilarious. you can use larry's icons (tongue,hand,*ahem* phallus) on ANYTHING! and the responses you would get were hilarious, this game was one of the greatest games to grace the PC back in the early 90's, if you've never played this game, do play it. :)

MiltoxBeyond
MiltoxBeyond

"Too Short To Satisfy"... that's what she said.

hitomo
hitomo

all Kickstarter games are shit ...

El_Galant
El_Galant

Is this the game that was on Kickstarter?? Nice...is it on Steam?

Jedo
Jedo

...........................Did the reviewer just review an improved 20+ year old game by 2013 standards?

made_u_look
made_u_look

I would love a Space Quest Reloaded. Give me some Roger Wilco.

Jacanuk
Jacanuk

This review is clearly written by someone who either completly forgot the original larry game, didn´t play it or is to young to remember the old game.

Because for what it is supposed to be, a tribute to the old game its a epic 10/10 

Metronoid
Metronoid

Don´t be fooled by this horrible review. Game is one the best adventures , point and click that there´s out these days.

robsonboi
robsonboi

This is an excellent remake of the original Leisure Suit Larry game!! Thank-you so much to Josh, Al and everyone else that worked so hard to bring us all such an awesome reboot to this classic series of games! Please ignore any negative reviews unfairly given to this superb new remake. They were obviously written by very ignorant critics who's reviews are clearly incorrect and totally undeserved. Their opinions are not what's important, what matters is the opinions of all the people that chose to help fund the making of this game. I can honestly say Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded is worth every penny I contributed through Kickstarter and more. Thank-you Replay for renewing the classic first Leisure Suit Larry game for the world to enjoy again. I can't wait to see what you do with Leisure Suit Larry 2!

Assertonsin
Assertonsin

Yeah we all know people have different opinions but you cant review a game based on how you feel about certain things in the game.  Just tell us the quality, what there is to do in the game, how buggy is it, how good or bad the interface is and so on. This review did that right but I feel the score is a little low than what hes telling us.

Downloadpilot
Downloadpilot

Don't be mad at me, my gamers, but I had no idea anyone was still interested in this series.

CharlieSpot
CharlieSpot moderator

Just finished LSL Reloaded and I really enjoyed it though I cannot really engage with it from the perspective of a player of modern adventure games like the reviewer has to, I'm a SERIOUS, slavering Sierra fanboy and I have a feeling that this game will be most enjoyed by nostalgia nuts.  

The narration adds a lot to the game, taking numerous potshots at the hero and I liked that enough of the puzzles had been changed slightly to keep things a little fresh for a returning fan. The addition of one new female conquest was welcome. What I would really love to see is an original Larry game from Al Lowe - remakes (both official and fan-created) are nice but 

fbgbdk4
fbgbdk4

I wonder if this is a revenge from GS. Hm... Are you complaining about Tom McShea and the Last of Us, heh? Now we'll give you a real something.

iloveyourface
iloveyourface

not sure why they made a remake. "LSL7: love for sail" was incredible and i'd love to see a true sequel. i have dosbox for my old dos games so i won't purchase this. nonetheless, it's still very cool to see adventure games in the spot-light again. 

al lowe, if you read this, you're truly a gifted individual.

ydnarrewop
ydnarrewop

If GameSpot follows the same rubric to score all games then therein lies the problem. Ideally a rubric (grading scale) would be created for each genre of game. Thus, LSL would not follow the same rubric as Skyrim et cetera. If they are not doing this it would be like a teacher grading an essay in the same fashion as a short story and this is just wrong. Furthermore, if they are not using a rubric then their grading system is some warp of holistic interpretation (purely opinion) which is just junk anyway. Personally, I think GS uses a single grading scale. Thus, bonked scores sometimes.

Twylamarie
Twylamarie

Wow, does this reviewer not get it.  For Pete's sake Jason, if you don't like adventure games don't review adventure games.  I played this for hours today and loved every minute of it. 

DNYCE
DNYCE

Maybe it's getting a bit late, but I'm lost as to what the hell the "hilarious joke in the license plate" is...? I used to watch and was pretty good at Bumper Stumpers (younglings out there won't know what that even was) but I'm "stumped...!"

Is it because they have a "T" and an "A"? Can't seem to put it together with the "3M" and the last "3"... Anyone?

edpeterson
edpeterson

@SenorKaffee2 Why not write this as a review of the game instead of a comment? The awesome thing about gamestop is that they let users post their own reviews (which are usually better than the actual "professional" review lol)!

Metronoid
Metronoid

@hitomo ever generalization is stupid. Kickstarter is to bring back great and better games from the past back since ever company is just making sh!t cod clones games.

axelx666
axelx666

@hitomo  yeah but LSL is not a shit game.

this game was amazing back in the day.

DeadlyRamon
DeadlyRamon

@El_Galant Yes, and it's also on GOG.  I like Steam, but I prefer GOG, so I bought it from GOG!

Poodlejumper
Poodlejumper

@El_Galant Yes and it's worth getting.  

Should have had Kevin V review this.

It's not buggy.  a 4 to me spells buggy and broken.  This is not buggy nor is it broken.

fbgbdk4
fbgbdk4

@Jedo No, reviewed it with a "not a Mario or CoD" standard.

snxx
snxx

@Jedo Worse: he reviewed it with the "point'n'click adventures are dead and make no sense nowadays" mindset.

made_u_look
made_u_look

@Jacanuk Agreed I remember playing this game as a teen. Was hilarious as hell, ahh the memories.

Metronoid
Metronoid

@robsonboi , Thank you sir for letting me know about the game as being a remake of the original. I m a long date fan of Sierra ´s adventures but I never had an oportunity to play this game series, different as the previous, as a true point and click adventure.

bob_qms1
bob_qms1

@CharlieSpot Charlie, you say that the moderator had to review the game from a "modern adventure game" perspective. I think that's the problem. Some people think that the games absolutely must evolve in some way. I think different genres and different takes on the same genre should co-exist. Both old & new.

In my opinion, games are like any other form of art: movies, music, literature, painting, sculpture etc. Imagine people turning their back to the classics just because they are not "modern". I will not give examples but just imagine that. This would be a doomed society. Not just that these classics are superb works, but they are also part of our history and without its history, humanity  would be lost.

Back to LSL Reloaded, even if it's an old story, it's a good story from the 80's . Somehow it portraits the society in that era in a funny and sometime sarcastic way. The humor is still fantastic at this day.

You may be asking why it was remade. Well, probably partly because people always wanted to hear the voices, music and view graphics in a more natural way (beyond the technical impediments of those times) and partly because if we want new adventures for Larry (and I'm pretty sure there are a lot of us who'd love that) we need a re-starting point for him and a dissociation between LSL 1-7 and the other two Larry Lovage games. I think LSL1 Reloaded tries to do all that.

Anyway, even if new generations will not buy the new Larry games, the old ones will do! And hopefully this will get Larry into new adventures as well.

Good job Al, Josh and the rest of the gang! Keep on  rocking!

Jacanuk
Jacanuk

@made_u_look @Jacanuk Yep, and its not really fair to judge this after todays standard, because its not supposed to be a new game, its a tribute, a fan service.

Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded More Info

  • Released
    • iPhone/iPod
    • Macintosh
    • + 2 more
    • PC
    • Unix/Linux
    6.9
    Average User RatingOut of 96 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded
    Developed by:
    , Replay Games
    Published by:
    Replay Games, Inc., Replay Games, Ikaron
    Genres:
    Adventure, Third-Person