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Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded (Windows)

100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Terry Callahan (67)
Written on  :  Apr 30, 2014
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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A worthy remake of a worthy game

The Good

Leisure Suit Larry was actually one of the first games I played, and certain the first adventure game and Sierra game I ever played. It was 1990, and I wasn't even 10 years old yet, and of all the Sierra games that I could have played first, the single least appropriate one had to be it! Granted we only got to play it for a precious few minutes before I had to quit, and my brother removed it for reasons that I didn't (then) understand, it stayed in my mind for years. We ended up playing other LSL games much later, but I never got the original until around 2000 to fully experience it in all its glory!

With the obligatory nostalgic rambling aside, how does this game compare to the original and the (first) remake? The game itself has very similar puzzles, but there's enough addition to it so that even old time fans will find it a challenge. But the puzzles aside, the game is hilarious on a scale that even the first incarnations couldn't even touch. The City of Lost Wages, while still consisting of the same locations, is far more hilarious and in tune with the humor that was developing during the early days of LSL.

The original game was extremely raunchy for the time. In 1987, there was simply nothing else like it. A nude painting in a bar? A flasher outside a cheap wedding chapel? And a game that kills you if you flush the toilet (which you can actually use for its purpose... on screen!), and most shockingly of all, allowing you have sex with a prostitute. Although it is extremely tame by today's standards, it was a shocker. The look and feel of Lost Wages was sleazy, but it could be sleazier. The 1991 kept most of the original dialogue with few additions, but it demolished just about all the sleaziness of Lost Wages. They turned the city into a pastiche of late 80s aesthetics and early 90s cartoon style characters. They had some additional options, including the sniff/taste and zipper, which did nothing for the vast majority of all objects in the game.

To say that LSL reloaded fixed this is an understatement. Gone is the flashiness of Lost Wages of the 1991 remake, and the sleaze of the original is back with a vengeance. Every single aspect of Lost Wages and its people just reeks of depravity and boy is it glorious. The prostitute in the original game was said to be not attractive, but it didn’t seem like that all, the 1991 remake made her only slightly scruffy, but otherwise OK. It was LSL Reloaded that finally got it right, the hooker there is so legitimately terrifying that it really does feel like you’re committing a sin by interacting with her. The interaction between Fawn and Larry makes him look even more naïve than he was in the first two remakes (seriously, marrying a woman you just met? How desperate do you have to be for that to happen?) since it not only pokes fun at the entire sham of a ceremony, but it transforms them, perhaps sounding even more like a broken record, into the biggest pairs of hilarious lowlifes that you wouldn’t approach even in a hazmat suit.

The humor of LSL has always been about social satire and sexual innuendo. The social satire is somewhat lacking in this game, due to it actually being based in 1987 and not 2013 (and thus most of the jokes would fly over most peoples’ heads). But whatever it lacks in social satire, it makes up for it in sex jokes. Almost everything has some hidden joke in it, and using the whole bodily function/sniff icon will give you a unique answer to just about everything, something that the 1991 remake could have done, but didn’t.

In short, it’s a spectacular example of what would happen if you let a dirty old man rewrite something he originally did decades prior with a mind full of stuff he had wished he did originally!

The Bad

Maybe I’m just a nostalgia laden guy and can’t really rip on the game, especially since it succeeded in making me laugh so hard, and reinvigorated my interest in adventure games, but there is one minor issue I wish they could have addressed. In the gambling mini-games located throughout Lost Wages, if you play them and lose, then restore your game, your bet resets to the lowest amount. Given how long it takes to get the bet back up to maximum, it’s extremely annoying and frustrating when you have to play and you want to max out your winnings (the game allows you go actually get more than 10K, but you’ll never need anywhere near that kind of money in the game). That’s basically the only thing that really irked me about the whole thing.

The Bottom Line

The game runs on nostalgia first, but it still holds quite well as an adventure game, and I would recommend it for newbies and veterans alike.