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Leisure Suit Larry 6: Shape Up or Slip Out! (DOS)

100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  אולג 小奥 (168975)
Written on  :  Jan 21, 2004
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

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Larry loses the mission, but finds true adventure gaming

The Good

After the strange, nearly puzzle-less Larry 5, the next installment delivers a much more solid puzzle-solving system. Classical Larry puzzles, most of them based on stealing instruments and giving expensive stuff to girls, fill the game from the beginning to the end, and have a rather complicated and finely woven structure. You can't get stuck in the game, and you can't really die (since you are able to try again afterwards), so that you are free to explore and experiment. This is undoubtedly a step forwards compared to "Larry 5", where puzzles were rare and exploration minimal.

The game is also funny in the usual Larry-esque way. There are plenty of dialogues, typically amusing situations, hilarious death scenes, and some language-based humor: "What a waste! - Hey, stop talking about my waist!". This is much more interesting than laughing at somebody who just fell down and broke his leg. Unfortunately, many comedies are full of this so-called "humor", but Larry series has always been fine and noble in this aspect, and "Larry 6" is no exception.

"Larry 6" looks fantastic. Be sure to get the enhanced CD version, that has even better graphics and very good voice-overs. The music is fabulous, as always. I love the opening bossa nova tune!

As for the actual game content, "Larry 6" shines where it matters most... well, at least for some people. It is very erotic, more than all the previous ones taken together. The girls look sexy, and if you find the right strategy, they also reveal more than you are supposed to look at. There are also a lot of girls here, much more than before. You are likely to spend the whole game staring at them, sighing, and regretting the fact this game is an adventure and not an interactive hentai story.

The Bad

It should be pretty obvious for any Larry fan, and I'm surprised it is so rarely mentioned when talking about the game. Larry is not himself anymore. He is just a regular cheap seducer, who thinks only about girls. "Duh!", you'll say. "Think again", I'll say. Larry was never just a seducer. In "Larry 1" he wished, and I quote, to satisfy his "heart, not just other organs". In "Larry 2" he almost became a cold-war hero and got married. In "Larry 3", he was in love. In "Larry 5", he was always dreaming about Patti. Now this is Larry. Yes, he thinks about girls all the time, but he is a romantic at heart, an old-fashioned guy. What we have here in "Larry 6" is not Larry, but a poor substitute.

Puzzles can get really hard and illogical here. It can get especially annoying during the later stages of the game, when you have completed almost all the tasks and been to all the places, and now aimlessly wander around, trying to figure out which item you forgot to pick up and where.

Story? What story? You have to solve problems for women and get their attention as a reward. That's it. No political conspiracies this time, no love affairs, no KGB, no FBI, no tragic situations in which the hero should either lose his virginity or die. Just walking around in a spa, gazing at babes in bikini, and scratching the head while trying to figure out how to get them.

The Bottom Line

"Larry 6" symbolizes a return to what some believe to be the roots of the series: comedy & babes. It stops all experimenting and clears the field for humor and hormones, at the same time expanding its puzzle-solving gameplay. It's true that story and characterization of Larry take a definite turn to the worse here, but as an adventure game and as a comedy, "Larry 6" is beyond reproach.