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Leisure Suit Larry 1: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards (DOS)

79
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  אולג 小奥 (168743)
Written on  :  Aug 19, 2003
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

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Summary

A fantastic remake that can easily replace the original

The Good

Although the original "Larry 1", with its text input and EGA graphics, has a nostalgic value for me (since it was my very first adventure game), I prefer this remake. There are three major things that have been updated:

  • Graphics. This is the first thing one notices, and there is a lot to notice here. Hand-drawn graphics belong to the past, but what past it was! A 3D world can hardly express as much and contain as much creativity as early VGA graphics did. Sierra's adventure remakes belong to the most fabulous graphical presentations of the time. Until now, those graphics haven't lost (and probably will never lose) their unique appeal.

  • Music. This is something people usually notice less, but I think it was the most significant improvement compared to the original. And I'm not talking only about the fact there is Adlib and Sound Blaster support in the remake, while the original still had the unpleasant beeper sound. The point is, there is much more music in the remake, and it is fantastic. Every location has now a special tune, and some of them belong to the best MIDI compositions I have ever heard. You can listen to all the pieces by using a jukebox in the bar. My favorites are the taxi tune and the "Spanish" melody that is playing when you encounter Faith.

  • Interface. Gone are the tedious typing and the curses that accompanied failed attempts to communicate with artificial intelligence. You have six icons to interact with the game world, which serve you much better than the unlimited possibilities of text input.

    Beside those important improvements, there are all kinds of little ones - none too significant, but nice nevertheless. The graphics are more detailed, there are objects you didn't see in the original game (did you notice the moose head in the bar was actually attached to a real moose?!), and some dialogue lines are slightly altered.

    The Bad

    The only thing this remake loses compared to the original is the freedom of interaction. Of course, with six different icons and the possibility to interact with almost every object, there is enough place for experimenting, but the magic of typing the most wild, crazy combinations, hoping it will produce some effect, is gone. For example, I found it more exciting to actually type the password you had to learn in order to access the pimp's quarters, instead of using this password as an inventory item. But this relative lack of freedom is really nothing serious compared to all the problems the original text interface created.

    Some people feel the comic style of the graphics is less appropriate than the "serious" visuals of the original "Larry". That is indeed a matter of taste.

    The Bottom Line

    Graphically stunning, musically rich masterpiece of early VGA adventures. The original feels outdated, but this one doesn't. Thirteen years have passed, but the game still looks and sounds fresh and attractive.