Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded (NSFW) – game review
Leisure Suit Larry game series made its debut back in the days of retro colored VGA games with “Land of Lounge Lizard” back in 1981 and now we have a modern HD remake of the same game; which brought us the video game’s industry most famous pervert and soft-porn hero to life.
The game’s story is pretty straight forward as Larry Lafer comes to “Lost Wages” (parody of Las Vegas) to get lucky and ultimately in search of true love.
The game is still targeting adult audience and comes accompanied with slightly ridiculous quiz in the start like the original game to confirm that you are older than 18.
The game visuals have successfully updated to modern 2D visuals and following comparison of old VGA game and new visuals will give you a good idea of how much it has changed:
Although visually the game does manage present us with a modern point and click adventure game but sadly the gameplay still appears to have been through a lazy port making me face many frustrating game design choices which should have been ironed out in this remake.
First of all the game doesn’t dump the original variety of verbs that were in the adventure game. So, you will have to go through the whole array of verbs like Use, Walk, move, look, lick, unzip etc. with the same things to find the right thing to do. There are a lot of methods to change the verb: you can mouse your cursor on top of screen to bring an array of verb icons to choose from. Other method is to press and hold left click on selected item to bring a radial menu to select verb to apply on it. Still you can use scroll wheel or right click to toggle between these modes which would have been most fast method if only there were just a fewer verbs to go through, and this wastes a lot of your time. Its not just about time but its just a little frustrating to switch verbs over and over.
Modern point and click adventure games have for a long time now dumped the multiple verb controls and instead adapted single or maximum two verb controls e.g. left click to move/use/talk/pickup and right click to look.
The gameplay will frustrate modern gamers as you may have to do a lot of trial and error to figure out what you were supposed to do. If you are an aged guy like me who vaguely remembers playing the original game then we used to have much more patience back then but now you cannot expect same from everyone, and even I found myself being frustrated that how game expected me to do redundant tasks
You may have to “look” as well as try “use” verb on each and every inventory item to reveal further details about them. And even then e.g. a sequence requires you to take batteries out of a vibrator to use in TV remote, I tried using hand icon and Larry failed to open the vibrator. So, I kept looking for alternate way to open it and in the end it turned out I had to keep pressing “use” multiple times on vibrator to force him to jam them out.
There are a few puzzles changed from the original game but rest of the most old puzzles are retained. The gambling was a major requirement of the original game and sadly once again that old concept remained unchanged. It just makes another task people will hate to do in adventure game to place bets and rely on luck to earn enough money to proceed; that old design should have been replaced by something more “adventure/puzzle” worthy like cheating the gambling parlor and make the winnings in your favor.
Audio design of the game has very small loops of tune and if you do get stuck in puzzles then the same music loops can get a bit monotonous over and over. Another thing I didn’t like was that how any other character is talking (even if not with you) would make you stop from controlling Larry until they are done talking. Your actions come with a third person commentator telling you the result of your actions which once again made it look more like an old era text adventure game where your action results were reported out to you rather than the character himself revealing the results.
Even though I don’t agree with many of the developer decisions to remain true to old era games yet the game is not a total train wreck, the visual update is nice with cartoony art style looking much better than the 3D look some of previous Larry games adapted. Larry’s own character with his trade mark 70s style clothing is still lovable and the game still carries its humor moments. Death or dead ends have been removed from the game with game returning to previous scene if you do something wrong.
With companies like Telltale and Daedelic pushing adventure games to modern era, this game was overall a bit disappointing. Being an old Sierra lover I really wanted to like this game, but the decision about not upgrading many of old mechanics was a poor one indeed and makes the game a frustrating experience.