Friday, November 1, 2013

1PanelReview Leisure Suit Larry 1 Reloaded

Here's something I've been re-playing lately to take my mind off life's problems...

What it is: Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded

Which is: A point & click adventure game
Created by: N-Fusion Interactive/Replay Games/Codemasters
Year: 2013
Available on: PC, Mac, Android and iOS

Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded is the Kickstarter-founded 2013 remake of the 1987 Sierra Classic Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards. This new version was developed by N-Fusion Interactive and Replay with some help from series creator Al Lowe and former Sierra writer Josh Mandel. Since the IP holder Codemasters still has the rights to the series despite their craptastic games, most of the funding had to go to "rent" the license actually. This is not a complete overhaul or re-imagining of an old PC classic. Rather, it's a shinier "HD port" if you will.

What's Good about it: Of all the remakes I've seen come out these past few years, this is the closest we've had to the original tone. It's still very much the original LSL1. With the same silly jokes, puns, references and parodies of the genre. Only updated for a more contemporary look, and by that I mean LSL7.
I just love the whole 1980s setting. Instead of simply updating the era the game takes place in, they kept the 80s and added a whole modern perspective with a new layer of meta-humor. And it works great! Larry talks about some futuristic predictions with his friend/narrator while they sometimes both look back on a dated story.
It's a Sierra adventure game, probably the simplest Sierra game, but a Sierra one nonetheless. This means fun interesting puzzles and some...out-of-the-box thinking for the more complicated ones. And they added whole new ones as well alongside a new (con)quest and changed up some things that they weren't pleased with back in the day.
The game doesn't just take the original LSL1 as basis but uses several good ideas from the VGA version (post-LSL5).
The (very limited) text interface was ditched in favor of a direct point & click interaction (somewhat akin to MI3).
It still is quite humorous to this day, it's not an R-Rated or vulgar videogame. Al Lowe game has some class to it. Only, it's kinda of a parody/mocking both adventure games and porn, simply.
The beautiful enhanced soundtrack and the lovely backgrounds are well worth your time.

What's Bad about it: It does seem that for all the budget put (added?) into the game, the animation could have been a bit better, characters-wise. It's not LSL7-level, and sometimes closer to flash regarding our hero Larry Laffer. Why's that? Couldn't they have put a tiny bit more work to make it cartoonier? My guess: It either went to Codemasters or was kept aside for the future Reloaded sequels.
This game won't change the opinion of detractors of the adventure genre or the series. It won't blow your mind like a X-billions budget mainstream game will, and it's not supposed to. This is no Halo, Call of Duty or whatever kids play these days.
As far as storytelling go, this was Al Lowe's first and one of the earliest entries in the genre back in the old Sierra/LucasArts days. It's a simple game.
Similarly it's easily one of the easiest entries in the series.
Finally one could complain you can't go back to the original game (like some previous HD enhanced remakes allowed gamers to do - Monkey Island Special Edition, Halo Anniversary, etc.

Overall: It's a pretty hilarious game, easily available on Steam, iOS, etc. There's no excuse not trying it!

Myself I played the Android port as well, and it's perfectly playable and enjoyable. 

I'd say it's easily one of the best remakes if for anything for it's voiced dialogues and gorgeous Jazz-y score. It doesn't make the original LSL1 much better but it updates it nicely.

Good news for fans, Replay Games are currently working on a second game Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded game already. They originally planned to release it by the end of the year, but my guess would be next summer. If they plan to Reload the entire Leisure Suit Larry they should step up a bit, now that all the assets are in place. At least to reach LSL7 and maybe, why not, finally offer us a proper sequel for the series.
I give it: 2.5 / 3 Quacks!

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