When the idea of Leisure Suit Larry was first conceived, it was intended to fill a gaping hole in the market: for the humourous gaming adult. Offering a then-unique blend of comedy and cheeky double-entendres the series managed about 10 different outings, all boasting the same brand of nudge-wink Benny Hill type humour. The series has never really been praised on account of its sterling gameplay because, in truth, that has always been an afterthought to the silly storylines and characters.
Although this latest rendition makes somewhat of a departure from its roots, attempting to update and rejuvenate the somewhat worn personality of the series, the development approach seems to have been the same for Magna Cum Laude as it always has been. The storyline and scripting have come first, with the actual gameplay seemingly much further down the list of priorities. But unfortunately, in the process of modernising Leisure Suit Larry: introducing his nephew as the new lead character, Sierra has missed what could have been a great opportunity. As a Wayfarer-clad, desperate, clichéd lecher with the mentality and charm of a 1980?s estate agent, the original Leisure Suit Larry would be just approaching the peak of his post-modern, ironic hilarity value. Although the new, younger Larry may have a wider appeal amongst fans of hit US teen-college-buddy-coms like American Pie
and Dude, Where?s My Car?
, Fans of the earlier LSL titles might feel a little cheated by this populist re-positioning.
How you doin'?
It would seem that Magna Cum Laude is attempting to hook a younger, or maybe just a younger-minded, market than the previous games: it?s certainly difficult to dispute that a 14 year old boy would revel in the continuous references to breasts and prevalent use of filthy language. If you are offended by terms such as "shit", "big fat pisser", "mother fucker" or "jizzming with greed", for instance, then you shouldn?t invest in this game [or have read this last sentence, for which we apologise]. That said, even the most jaded and stern-browed misery guts would probably manage to cough up a chuckle or two at some of the more amusing moments: like Larry?s declaration that "I?ve just been subjected to a teddy-bear with a strap-on". And if, like SPOnG, you find the act of farting, pissing and self-pleasuring inherently hilarious to the point of a stupefying mental paralysis, there?s a fairly substantial emphasis on such activities in which to delight in an extremely puerile kind of way.