A little over a year ago, I invested in the Kickstarter for Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded. As a big fan of the game when it first came out, I also had the collector’s edition from a few years ago with the VGA remake of LSL1. I thought a new version with better graphics and sound would be right up my alley.
This game didn’t quite work for me. Near the end I was glad that it was relatively short. In total, the game took me four hours to complete.
To start with, the graphical design is very likeable in places. Larry in particular is well drawn. The women are extremely reminiscent of the movie Heavy Metal. The animations are not good, though. Larry is constantly fidgeting and not in an amusing way.
The music is lively, but at one point two songs were overlapping each other, making for difficult listening.
The humour was a little trying, to be honest. In a lot of ways, it reminded me of old, eighties comedies. The humour of LSL was never cutting edge, always a little juvenile, but I expected it to be updated a little to keep track with modern humour. This reminded me a lot of a granddad telling what he thinks are dirty jokes, but are actually tamer that what most people could hear on Sesame Street.
The thing that truly let the game down though was the gameplay. The game features the, by now decidedly old fashioned, walk, grab, talk, etc. set of commands. All of which are available through a drop down menu at the top of the screen or by cycling through them with the right mouse button. This was awkward to use and just felt clunky.
The game itself involves a lot of backtracking through a few distinct locations. Which wasn’t as much of a problem when every adventure game worked like that, but now just felt like a chore.
The taxi rides seemed to be there to promote the road sign gags, but all of those gags fell decidedly flat.
All in all, by the end of this I just felt like cracking open my Leisure Suit Larry collector’s box and replaying the older versions. The graphics may not be perfect, but the game play just seemed better. This new version seemed like it needed three months more of polishing and testing before it was released.
I don’t regret Kickstarting the project, as you never know what’s going to be good before it’s made, but this isn’t a game I’ll replay and I won’t be buying the next instalment.
If you are in the mood for an updated adventure game, I’d highly recommend the remake of The Secret of Monkey Island instead.
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