Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded
Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded is a remake of Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards (released in CGA in 1987 and then in VGA in 1991), which in turn was a remake of the text-only Softporn Adventure (released in 1981). That means while Reloaded adds some new material, it’s essentially the fourth version of the same game. Is this sort of repetition necessary? Is it a good idea? Keep reading to find out.
In Reloaded you control Larry Laffer, who desperately wants to get lucky, but who has all the wrong stuff. Your goal in the game is to find a woman willing to sleep with you, and, surprisingly enough, you find some likely candidates while patrolling the streets of Lost Wages. Fawn in the discotheque requires expensive presents to be interested, Faith in the casino needs to be distracted from her work, Jasmine at the aquarium (new in Reloaded) wants a new perfume for her collection, and Eve just needs you to figure out a way to reach her in her penthouse suite. Of course, since Reloaded is a funny game with lots of nudge-nudge-wink-wink humor, your endeavors usually don’t go very well, and then when you do have some success, you don’t see anything. Other than Larry’s bare backside, the nudity in the game is minimal, with only a pair of nipples on display at the very end.
The interface for Reloaded is roughly the same as with the VGA version of the game. That is, along the top of the screen you find several icons for the actions that Larry can take, including walking places, examining things, using things, talking to people, licking things, undressing, and employing an inventory object. For the most part, licking and undressing are just there for the humorous responses they generate when you try to use them, and the other actions are standard fare for adventure games. Then to perform an action, you just need to click on an icon and then click on a target. You can also right click to cycle through the actions or press and hold the left mouse button to bring up a context sensitive menu, and so the interface, while a little clunky, works well enough.
The puzzles in Reloaded involve finding and using inventory objects, and since they’re based on an old, two-word-command text adventure, they’re mostly of a simplistic nature. Fortunately, N-Vision Interactive Entertainment, the developer behind the game, made enough changes to the old material, not to mention adding in some new material, that you can’t just cruise to the end, even if you happen to remember how the puzzles used to go. For example — spoiler ahead! — in the original versions of the game, you had to read some bathroom graffiti to learn a password, but in Reloaded you have to steam up a mirror in the bathroom to get the same information. It’s not a major change, but it’s enough.
The new content in Reloaded mostly revolves around you trying to impress a scuba-diver named Jasmine. She wants a new and different perfume to add to her collection, which means you have to find the ingredients to make one. Jasmine’s puzzles are more difficult than the rest of the game, partly because her objects are hidden better, and partly because N-Vision apparently doesn’t know what a civet is. With the new content, Reloaded took me a little over five hours to complete, up from maybe three hours for the original versions.
Also new in Reloaded is the look and sound. Reloaded uses a modern-ish, 2D cartoon-style of graphics, which is a major upgrade over even the VGA version of the game, and everything looks as it should. But the best addition is the sound, which includes a full complement of voice acting. The voice actors (especially Larry) do a nice job in the game, and you even get to hear a few words from Al Lowe, who created the Leisure Suit Larry franchise (and who was also involved in the publishing of the game, but not, as far as I could tell, the development). The voice acting also dramatically improves the casino lounge acts, especially a nice singing performance from Melora Hardin.
For the most part, Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded works pretty well. Some of the new humor falls flat, like a sequence in the casino buffet where 90% of the comments aren’t funny, but otherwise Reloaded is a fine remake of a fine game. It’s just that… why? Why make a game for the fourth time? Why not make a fresh and new Leisure Suit Larry game? At $20, Reloaded isn’t very expensive, and it might be more than worthwhile for those of you (like me) old enough to be nostalgic for a Larry game, but you could also just buy Leisure Suit Larry’s Greatest Hits and Misses for half the price and get way more content. So I’m giving Reloaded a middle-of-the-road score, and I’ll just hope that it makes enough money that we’ll get to see some further adventures from Larry in the future.
Reviewed By: Steven Carter
Publisher: Replay Games
This review is based on a digital copy of Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded for the PC provided by Replay Games.