|Dev: N-Fusion Interactive|
|Pub: Replay Games|
|Release: June 27, 2013|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
by Josh Engen
Leisure Suit Larry is a franchise that has managed to churn out nine titles over the past 25 years, but it never really evolved past a vehicle for pornographic punch lines. When The Land of the Lounge Lizards hit the market in 1987, its 8-bit breasts and unsubtle innuendos had a kind of frat-boyish charm. But the world is 25 years older, and if nudity is what you're after, an Internet connection will get you there faster than an adventure game's labyrinth of puzzles. So it's hard for me to imagine that Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded, the remake of a title that was originally built on a vague promise of pixilated nipples, could survive the trip through time. But the folks over at Replay Games, backed by a slew of Kickstarter supporters, are obviously less skeptical.
This updated edition of Larry Laffer's original adventure has undergone a large number of major upgrades. The graphics, sound track, voice acting, and gameplay have all been completely overhauled, but the storyline itself has remained relatively untouched. Mr. Laffer, with $94 in his pocket, has come to the city of Lost Wages in search of true love. However, considering that Lost Wages is a fictionalized version of Las Vegas, a notoriously loveless town, it's going to be a difficult road. But, In lieu of true love, Laffer will jump into bed with anyone who will have him and gamble until his pockets are filled with nothing but unused condoms and regret.
The only major update to the game's plot is a new love interest that shows up near the end of the storyline. She never really feels like an actual love interest, though. She's more like a particularly boring side quest.
The title's graphics are as pristine as can probably be expected from a game that's ostensibly about watching cartoon characters get naked. Larry's ass is shinier than I've ever seen it, and the carpet stains have a tinge of disturbing authenticity. The animations, though, are of surprisingly low quality. Don't get me wrong, there are a handful of animations that look great, but anytime one of the characters breaks from his or her prescribed routine, graphical laziness ensues. N-Fusion Interactive, the developer behind the title, often tries to disguise these moments with hilarious sound effects.
They’re less than hilarious, though.
Aside from the graphics, the game's interface probably received the biggest upgrade in Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded. Anyone who's old enough to remember the original title probably also remembers a lot of typing. Adventure games in the 1980s required a small amount of spelling expertise and a few lessons from Mavis Beacon. But this has been supplanted by a much more modern adventure game interface. All of the original text commands have been tossed and replaced with point-and-click alternatives. So, instead of typing, "look at woman's chest," you simply click on her breasts.
It’s very streamlined.
The puzzles themselves have also received a pretty substantial update, but they're still rooted in their original formulas. Many of the puzzle-chains are longer, but, surprisingly, they're also a bit more logical. Completing The Land of the Lounge Lizards required a fair amount of persistence and/or luck, but Reloaded has a much more linear thought process.
Actually, as I played through the game, I started to wonder how many of these changes were made to indulge the hardcore Leisure Suit Larry fanbase. (Does such a thing actually exist?) It's not as though the original puzzle chains have been completely reworked, although some have been given a pretty significant overhaul; they've simply been extended in some way.
However, the thing that I noticed most about Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded was how strange it felt to be playing the title again. We live in a post-Grand Theft Auto universe, and the adolescent stylings of Leisure Suit Larry don't push as many boundaries as they once did.