Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude - Uncut and Uncensored
key review info
- Game: Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude - Uncut and Uncensored
- Platform: PC
- Gamepad support: N/a
- Reviewed on:
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Magna Cum Laude is merely a sequel of the renowned series written by Al Lowe. Leisure Suite Larry, a collection of adult adventure games (a total of six) was published by Sierra from 1987 to 1996 and told the story of a 40 years old balding dork whose only reason to live was to seduce and have sex with a variety of nubile women that could satisfy even the wildest fantasies. No one else thought about this game concept: a tasty mix of adventure gaming, explicit sexual themes and nudity under the mark "the looser scores". It was a legend of the 90s.
However, Al Lowe's Leisure Suite Larry celebrity did not directly depend on its unorthodox themes and visuals. Needles to say that, as all good adventures, their value resided in their puzzles, interactive dialogues, narrating power, character development, and plot.
Unlike Al's creation (an innovation for its time), Magna Cum Laude is nowhere close to what is supposed to be an adventure. I have never seen, in my entire life, such a faulty concept. MCL hardly resembles to what people understand by computer games.
There is something terribly amiss with this game. If there was a distinct, appealing flavor in the series, it was mainly provided by its characters, dialogues and plot. An amusing experience overall, these were the heart of the game, and their creator was left outside the project.
High Voltage Software, the developers of MCL, managed the counter-performance of destroying all that was worth it in the series. No more stubborn, infatuated hotties, no more puns, even the exhilaration of the eagerly awaited glimpse of 2D boobies has been ripped off from the game. Instead, the game is drowned in fart jokes, and profane nudity. This twisted view over the original brand goes even further by replacing the original puzzles with 7- ranked "push the right button" games: like "Tapper", "Dance, Dance Revolution", "Quarters", "Slap" and some variations of these.
I wonder to whom this game addresses: to males addicted to crude humor or to kindergarten children who initiate themselves in the secrets of computer gaming? Someone certainly had a tumor in his humor.
Who needs a plot? Instant action should do the trick. From what I have seen, I have learned only two things: no more polyester suits, no more foxy women.
The main character, Lovage by father, Larry by uncle is a college boy whose purpose is to get on a dating TV show called "Swingles". Uma Yasmine, the hostess of the show won't allow Larry in the show until he will prove his seductive wits. Sixteen - not so good-looking - CGI college girls will conveniently be at his disposal. And this is just about all with MCL's plot.
There is a consensus in the industry that it has become increasingly hard to sell a game that is not of the best quality in its genre. Gamers have become awfully picky, and they rarely buy anything but the #1 game of its category. Therefore, it is understandable why developers like High Voltage focus on inventing game genres rather than competing in the apprised, though crowded, sectors of the game industry. The market is already filled with fine adventure games; this is probably why H.V changed the tracks and invested in an entirely different game system. Yes! The adventure is dead for good.
Instead, Leisure Suite Larry (although, as I said earlier, there is no "leisure suit" anymore) provokes its fans to a free-roaming, open-ended gameplay.
On the other hand, the principle of the game is simple, next to dumb: there are fifteen teenage girls (at least this is what they are supposed to be), one dried woman and one transsexual, all scattered around the Walnut Log Community College's campus. Larry's nephew, an ill-looking jerk who has no interest in studying but f**king anything that has a pair of legs and one of boobs (in CGI format, of course) will be at the disposal of any mediocre nudity appreciator. For him, those 17 "available" female (or not) characters will act as a portal to a series of simple mini-games. By finishing them, the player is awarded with "tokens of affection" and an ending cut-scene (usually depicting an intercourse between Larry and that she-character). The bonus objects have the role to further reduce the difficulty level of these mini-games. This whole thing ends with Larry in a dating TV show dancing between two of his (your) favorite girls.
Those players that hate these mini-games as much as I did playing them won't have to worry. They may be skipped using secret tokens. These easy-to-find, not-so secret tokens (use the Tab key to reveal them) are scattered around the campus, far more than actually needed to wimp out all those lame-ass games. Be advised, these tokens may be used to undress all girls you scored or unlock some game features (character collection, clothes for Larry, artworks, loading screen with REAL women - yay!). However, if you are not into human anatomy, these tokens may grant you the chance to finish the game in just a couple of hours. Choose wisely.
To make things feel more natural and less "dead", the developers gave Larry the freedom to get drunk (a thing which further injures your brain, wherein your eyeballs will be systematically scandalized by a crazy camera-view) or pee wherever and whenever he wants. For those who despise drinking, there are many useful and entertaining things to do like low-res photography and posing. Posing requires you to have a high confidence level and to successfully push the right buttons in the right order. There are no benefits in this kind of activity. Well, photography deserves some attention because selling the right photos to the right person is good for business. And that's about it all.
- Chat: steer a sperm icon through tunnel filled with "hot spots". Green hot spots result in a good conversation, whereas red spots result in amusing topics and kinky body parts close-ups. The goal of this game is to go through as many green-spots as possible.
- Dancing and Trampoline: these are rhythm games similar to "Dance Dance Revolution" that requires the player to press the right buttons on time.
- Serve: pass different sorts of items to each row before the queue reaches Larry, this is a variation of the classic arcade game called Tapper.
- Quarters: tip coins in a glass to get the other player drunk.
- Slaps: there is no need to describe this game. Reflex and patience is all that should matter. Just watch the counter, you are always slapped in the last but one second.
- Panty raids, evasion, collect items - escape other people, Benny Hill style, but naked and collect different items.
Leaving aside the brain-dead gameplay, LSL reserves its costumers another shocking surprise: everything you do, everywhere you go, needs ten to thirty seconds to load. Even the mini-games do not take this long.
I have the feeling that, in fact, the High Voltage team got somehow lost in the labyrinth of game development and forgot all about game development.
The graphic quality is reasonable. In fact, besides Larry's exaggerated head size and those terrible boobies, "Not so-LSL" is a fine video experience. Not so fast, I am not saying it is an overall fine experience. For instance, the lazy camera-view may get sometimes on your nerves; and some cut-scenes are no more than the result of poor taste. Do you find amusing keeping the burnt skull of a woman as a trophy? She actually wanted you dead but she missed and the laser beam fired from her golden gun ended in her open face and all that you wished for was her naked body for you to cork it. I rest my case.
Moreover, the collection of naked women bodies in Larry's black book remembered me more of those plain boring anatomy lessons in school rather than those Playboy issues I used to drool over in my youth.
If you examine Larry's computer, you'll notice game called "Leisure Suit Larry 4: The Missing Floppies. Larry will comment, "Leisure Suit Larry 4: The Missing Floppies is widely considered the greatest game ever made." Probably the only good joke throughout the game.
Did I mention anything about Larry's head "humongous"-ness?
The voice acting is surprisingly good and there are some of the music themes with a bit of flavor (the Benny Hill theme almost made me nostalgic). Unfortunately, the dialogues are rarely breaking the mediocrity barrier. Above all, Larry's dorky voice and vulgar lines made me have criminal thoughts concerning the faith of the screenwriter. Some things have a limit. Subtlety is the principle of comedy. LSL's dialogues have no such thing. And it is a shame because - if I understood correctly - the developers and artists behind the game invested great passion in their work. It seems, they forgot all about talent.
It doesn't need a multiplayer option, therefore it hasn't such a thing.
Is this game worth the money? Yes, in fact, it is, if you are into crude humor as almost all males are.
I personally despise the instant-action soft-porn games. In this Larry title, you'll get your piece of nudity in the first ten minutes of playing. What's wrong with these people? Computer gaming has nothing to do with TV shows!
And what about those cheap college-girls? Is this the way young, nubile women should be perceived by males these days? I understand this game's desires target a satirical approach of the college life, but I'll be damned if there is anyone on this planet who finds amusing the idea of a lazy, cretin abomination desperately trying to get laid with dumb-ass women.
1. Land of Lounge Lizards (1987)
2. Larry Goes Looking for Love (in Several Wrong Places) (1988)
3. Passionate Patti in Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals (1989)
4. It is a VGA remake of the first title (1991)
5. Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work (1991)
6. Shape Up or Slip Out! (1993-1994)
7. Love for Sail! (1996)
8. Lust in Space (cancelled)
These titles remember me of how much fun Leisure Suit Larry used to be. It is a shame.