Leisure Suit Larry Is A Fun Time For All

Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude
Developer: High Voltage
Publisher: Sierra
Genre: Adventure
Release Date: 10/05/2004

As a fan of the Leisure Suit Larry series I was skeptical about how this new Leisure Suit Larry game ( Leisure Suit Larry Magna Cum Laude) would stack up to the others in the series. The game takes a radical departure from the other games in the series. You no longer play as Leisure Suit Larry. Instead you play as Larry Laffer’s nephew, Larry Loveage. Also, instead of a point and click adventure this game is a series of minigames. While some would consider this almost sacrilegious I felt that although it wasn’t like the other games, it still was an enjoyable game.

The game takes place at Walnut Log Community College. A reality dating show called Swingles has come to town and Larry uses this opportunity to try and score with some chicks. However, to get on the show Larry must prove himself worthy to be on the show by collecting various ¿Items of affection,¿ so a lot of the game is doing what Larry (well Larry Sr.) does best, picking up chicks! There is a large variety of women. You have your southern gal, your cheerleaders, your band members. There are over 15 women and they all have different unique personalities. Later in the game the women turn downright crazy. The story is pretty decent, there is a twist in there somewhere (along with a parody of Summer Nights ), but I’ll let you find that out for yourself.

The days of solving puzzles and thinking for yourself are gone. Instead the whole game is a series of minigames. You do still get to explore, although there isn’t much to explore. Thanks to Larry’s black book you know exactly what you can do (even if it is a sidequest), where to go, and who you can find for that part of the game. Exploring isn’t all that useless however, because there are hidden money or secret coins in almost every object of the game. Also, there are the secret porn fairy quests later in the game and those are not in your black book.

The main activity in this game is the mastering the art of conversation. For everyone you engage in conversation you get to play a minigame. This minigame involves steering a sperm up and down. There are different colored faces, there is one green face and two red faces. Green is good and red is bad. Hitting the respective color will make Larry either say something good or something bad (but like the game says sometimes it is good to be bad). There are other obstacles too, such as burps, farts, and beers. The more intoxicated you become the harder it is to control your sperm (luckily there are coffee icons to sober you up). Hitting too many negatives will drain Larry’s confidence which is represented by a heart meter. If the meter is too low then you will have to start all over again.

Another one of the more frequent minigames is the rhythm game. This activity is played much like Parrappa the Rapper . Whoever you’ve engaged yourself with will shout out button commands, and you gotta press the appropriate buttons.
There is a minigame referred to as the whack a mole game. It is almost like the rhythm game except buttons appear on the screen and you must hit them quickly before they disappear (much like a whack a mole game)

More modes include streaking, or streaking-like games where you have to run by someone and grab there attention. A mode where there are four rows and you must tap a button to throw an object (fliers, beers, etc) to people. This game is made more complicated by having people throw an object back. There is a photo taking game (there is also a photo taking mode) which is pretty self explanatory. There is a game entitled ¿whack-a-pole¿ which is simply a game of pong. One of my least favorite of the games is Quarters. Its played almost like a golf game. You press the analog stick forward, and pull it back, and have the quarter go into the cup. Some girls have a higher tolerance for alcohol so watch out. Luckily, towards the later stages of the game there aren’t many games of quarters.

Once you complete all the minigames for a character you see their ending. While one would think you would have sex with all these women, you don’t. This, however, is not a bad thing, because a lot of the time the endings are funny or wacky. Whatever nudity is there is only the top, no bottomless. (Although there are a couple of easter eggs you can use to get around this issue [even on the Xbox version])

If you get a perfect on a minigame you will unlock secret tokens, which you can use to buy secret unlockables from various characters throughout the game. I almost wish that if you had a perfect for a character they would have an alternate ending, but that was not the case. A slight disappointment for me but no big deal.

Now you ask yourself, “why would I play a game full of minigames?” Well, I’ll tell you why. Because the dialogue is funny. The conversations you have with the various characters are not only quite humorous, but I also found that they were very well acted out. This is a plus for me because I’ve played other games where the voice acting is horrible, and it made me end up hating the character. Not so in this game. The voice acting is great, and as a result I like all the characters. Every character has some unique story dialogue, and none of them are alike. There is a great variety in the characters stories and dialogue, and I really like that.

The graphics are good. They are bright and colorful, and fit the game’s style. If a leisure suit Larry game were to go 3D this is what I would imagine it would look like. The characters look good (clothed and naked ). All the ladies have boob physics, and this was a first for me, a male with penis physics. The environments are packed with humorous small details and are scattered with garbage you can kick around. I’m also glad this game looks cartoony without being cel-shaded, I just don’t think that would have worked for this game.

Like I stated earlier the voice acting is great, and with the funny script, this is a well acted and humorous game. NPCs also utter funny phrases such as, “eeew penis!” There is a lot of ambient effects which is good, I like that attention to detail. The soundtrack is pretty good too, there is a variety of music, some generic, some funny, some good.

This game was a departure from other Leisure Suit Larry games, and although its not like the old ones, it is still a fun game. This game was a surprise to me because I had been hearing all of these negative things about this game, so I just had to try it out for myself and I enjoyed it. If you are looking for a good game, and not a halo killer I would recommend this game to you. Also, be wary, there are a lot of load times, although it isn’t so bad because the game give you some eye candy to look at. One minor gripe though. After unlocking the concept art, I felt the art looked better than the actual game. If some how they had stuck to the animated style of Leisure Suit Larry 7: Love for Sail I might have loved this game, but as it is, it isn’t bad that is just a personal preference of mine I suppose. One last note, I thought the ending to this game was great. It was refreshing to see an ending like this. I don’t know, perhaps it was just the games I’ve been playing but this game’s ending was like a breath of fresh air.

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