Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude

aka: LSL8, Larry 8, Leisure Suit Larry 8
Moby ID: 15118
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

Larry Lovage learned everything he knows from his uncle, Larry Laffer, the famous polyester-clad fellow who starred in the previous games. Young Larry finally makes it to college, the best place to meet and pick up girls. He finds them everywhere .. in restaurants, night clubs, dormitories and at fraternity parties. All those scantilly clad, gorgeous babes! But, does Larry have half a chance to score with even one of them? Will he get a peek at what's underneath that braless, too-tight tank top?

Larry's sexcapades include varied types of arcade mini-games. Some simply require good reflexes while others involve memory and/or correct timing. For instance, steer a little joker sperm through an obstacle course of flying objects, all the while trying to keep the "course" of the conversation on track. Or .. put the correct ingredients into a bar drink in order - and in the time allowed. Several of the games become more difficult as the game progresses.

This action/adventure features three endings, over 20 locations, 3D graphics, and hilarious adult situations and conversations.

Spellings

  • Похождения Ларри: Кончить с отличием - Russian spelling
  • 情圣拉瑞:优等生 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

267 People (228 developers, 39 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 61% (based on 39 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.0 out of 5 (based on 41 ratings with 5 reviews)

Trite, repetitive... downright terrible.

The Good
Like other MobyGames reviewers, and no doubt countless of other players, I jumped at Magna Cum Laude solely because I was thrilled to see what I thought was another Leisure Suit Larry sequel finally being released.

However, playing it, I discovered that Magna Cum Laude's good points are few and far between. The humor, while a vast letdown from the famous Larry style, is still enough to rise a smirk now and then. And, let's face it, there's nothing bad about naked women, no matter how they're drawn. Also, the concept is a tried and true great one - college dork sets out to get laid in a campus full of sexy sorority sluts. But as far as good points go, the buck stops right about there.

The Bad
When people ask me what Magna Cum Laude is, I simply tell them, "It's Leisure Suit Larry for the console generation!". That oversimplification doesn't justify how vastly this game doesn't deserve the Leisure Suit Larry brand for countless reasons, but it highlights what I believe to be this game's first and foremost failing: in place of witty dialog, thought-provoking puzzles, a fun and interesting storyline, and a bevy of colorful locations, Magna Cum Laude has.. well.. a lot of fast button pushing.

The "puzzles" or "quests" in this poor, sad game, consist of rapidly beating your keyboard (that's like a gamepad, but with more buttons, console kids!) in sync with a beat or rhythm, ala the Dance Dance Revolution series of games. That, with little to no exceptions, is what the ENTIRE game is comprised of.

Let me say this again another way for emphasis. Here are some examples of the challenges in Magna Cum Laude, and their solutions:-

Puzzle: Get a girl drunk so she will sleep with you. Solution: Push the arrow keys in rapid and repetitive sequence.

Puzzle: Jump on a trampoline to impress the athletic girl. Solution: Push the arrow keys in rapid and repetitive sequence.

Puzzle: Wow the ladies with your moves on the dance floor. Solution: Push the arrow keys in rapid and repetitive sequence.

I'm sure you get the drift. In a nutshell, leave your wits at home when you play Magna Cum Laude - all you'll need is your reflexes.

The Bottom Line
If you grew up with Leisure Suit Larry, if his antics over the years have amused and delighted you, if you've waited ten years for an eighth Larry sequel to continue the legacy... then do not ever play this game.

However, if you're one of the millions who make up Generation Z, if you love your console machines with all your heart, and the oldest game you can remember growing up with is Grand Theft Auto (Vice City, that is - not those old top-down ones the weird old folks play!), then Magna Cum Laude is perfect for you. You'll get to see boobies, AND do those phat fully sick combo moves that are all the shiznit these days.

Sigh.

Windows · by Vaelor (400) · 2006

Heh, heh. Cum.

The Good
+ Excellent characters, designs and voice acting + Some clever humor and writing + A fairly decent atmosphere + Some of the minigames are fun...sometimes

The Bad
- Trite, dull and repetitious gameplay - Average graphics - Humor is not very Leisure Suit Larry like - Larry Loveage is the worst video game character in existance



The Bottom Line
Everyone knows Leisure Suit Larry. Well, almost everyone. Before the current days of games having the idea of "do you want some sex to go with that violence", in the 80s it was like "ewwwww, sex!" Softporn Adventure came and went as some seldom-heard text adventure with edgy, controversial humor and erotic content. Years pass (after the great Custer's Revenge incident) and out comes Leisure Suit Larry, the brainchild of game designer Al Lowe. Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards (try saying that three times) was intended as a graphical remake of Softporn Adventure, but soon, the character morphed into Sierra's own version of Guybrush Threepwood (sans the pirates and monkeys) and was a instant hit, spawning sequel after sequel before being retired entirely when Sierra shut down their adventure games division, causing creator Al Lowe to leave as a result.

It's a sad story, but a few more years pass, and oh - what's this? Leisure Suit Larry is getting a reboot for a more modern generation? And it's the series' first outing on consoles?! Well, sign the fans up, that oughta pique their interest! Well, when Magna Cum Laude came out, it recieved a mixed reception. Some fans were pissed off and thought it was an insult, some thought it was a welcome entry in the series...and this is where I come in. Believe it or not, this was my first Leisure Suit Larry game...like, ever (I mean, it could've been worse coughBoxOfficeBustcough). So what do I think of the game after all of these years? Well...

Unlike the previous games, we focus on a new Larry entirely, Larry Loveage - the nephew of Larry Laffer. He's a dweeb attending community college (that somehow has it's own dorms and sports team apparently...Casper College much?) and wants to live it up like his infamous uncle. One day, a dating TV show called "Swingles" comes to campus, and he wants to get on the show, but has to prove it with a bunch of college girls. The plot is basic, yes, but eh. It gets the job done. Gameplay wise, it's an adventure game...or at least, some form of an adventure game. It's not point and click, but free roaming. You explore the college campus and surrounding areas, including the city and a rotten neighborhood nearby (that has another Lefty's bar, whodathunkit?!) and interact with all the college girls you can find (and find money and secret tokens for costumes or items to buy, and take pictures for more money). Many of the girls play on stereotypes in some form (dumb cheerleaders, naive country girls, vulgar Italian-Americans, drunken co-eds), but they're sometimes amusing in their own ways. You also have a fraternity house who seems to like Ronnie James Dio and Black Sabbath a little too much, the exasperated dean tired of Loveage's antics, and Larry Laffer himself to interact with. You can also drink lots of alcohol and piss on stuff too (Postal II did that better to be honest).

Now the real meat of the gameplay is this repetitious, sometimes boring conversation minigame. You guide this little cartoon sperm and you have to keep it on track at all costs, avoiding objects derimential to the conversation or something of the matter. Now, I say repetitious because the minigame takes up, what - 60% of the game? Well, okay, that seems hyperbolic but it's true. While the minigame does have it's moments, if you want to progress you have to get through it. It sucks. There are also other minigames, such as dancing and trampoline minigames (a poor man's DDR), chasing and item retrival minigames (a poor man's Pac Man), as well as admittedly, a few original ones - spray water on girls to show off their boobs, play the classic drinking game of quarters and uh...slapping hands? When it comes to gameplay, Magna Cum Laude is very weak and seems to be there for the sake of progression...while I'm not expecting depth, I am expecting some form of substance. It's an adventure game after all.

Now, for the technicalities. Graphic wise, it looks alright. Nothing boundary pushing, but cartoony enough to make it work, and there is some detail put into the models (albeit cut for the console and M-rated PC release - no genitals here, but nipples-a-plenty). The girls are definetely cartoonish and sexy, and have some detail put into them with exaggerated jiggle physics (go figure). Larry and most of the male characters are given very cartoonish looks, with Larry having a giant ass head (which I'm certain it's meant to be amusing), and all of the characters are mo-capped, though the lip synching can look very off at times. You do have loading screens where models represent the characters in the game, and the 3D modeled characters you can unlock as an added bonus, which is neat. Now, as for the audio, it's surprisingly stellar! The voice acting is excellent, giving a lot of personality into these characters. The writing can be hit or miss, depending on what happens, but I'll get to that later. Should note that there's hardly any original music in the game, utilizing liscensed tracks consisting of hair metal and rap songs focused on sex and girls - the most prominent being Mötley Crüe's "Girls, Girls, Girls", the obscure choices of Britny Fox's "Girlschool" and Mark Slaughter's "Up All Night", and the 2 Live Crew's "Pop that Coochie" and "Me So Horny". Apparently Eddie Holman's "Hey There Lonely Girl" is in the soundtrack as well.

Now, for the content of the game. Unlike most Leisure Suit Larry games, Magna Cum Laude is more explicit and crude to the point where it garnered an AO rating before being cut to shreds to get a more mainstream M rating. It goes beyond what a Leisure Suit Larry game can do with it's humor, peppering the game's dialogue with frequent profanities, graphic sex jokes and pop culture references with sight and running gags involving toilet humor, beer and marijuana, gay and ethnic stereotypes and god knows what else, with more frequent nudity and sex as a reward for playing a lot (especially for the Uncut and Uncensored version, which shows off full frontal nudity and sex scenes). Now, I'm not an easily offended person and I can get behind such humor (mind you, the previous Leisure Suit Larry games have these, especially Love for Sail), and there are some moments in the game that did make me giggle or laugh out loud entirely. This might be the only game that I know of where it makes jokes at the expense of Willie Nelson, Lutherans and Morgan Freeman - not at the same time, though. In contrast to the Laffer games, where the jokes were more based around the pratfalls, gullibility, idioicy and constant unluckiness of Larry Laffer, combined with subtle sexual humor and a dosage of slapstick and the occassional satire, Magna Cum Laude is more like American Pie than the previous games, which can really turn some diehard fans off entirely. But there are some clever jokes in here - not in the same way as you'd expect but still present nonetheless. As for the character of Loveage, he's got the gumption of Laffer yet lacks charm, or let alone any originality. In a side by side comparison, there's no denying the two are bumbling idiots who want to get into a woman's pants, and that's fine (like uncle...like nephew, I guess?), as there is humor to be found in that, but there's a difference. Laffer (for the time) was quite original in a way. Loveage seems like a carbon copy, and any form of uniqueness is thrown out the window. Wheras Laffer treats everyone with dopey kindness, Loveage is just a selfish and vain little bastard. The only thing I can say is that Loveage just happens to be Laffer, only spewing out more profanities and guzzling as much alcohol as possible while cracking some one liners (and having a big goddamn head to back it up). His characterization isn't as bad here than it is in Box Office Bust, believe me.

In the end, Magna Cum Laude is...well, it's one of those games in a franchise where they go all out, try to make themselves stand out from the rest of the crowd but can be really hit or miss no matter how you look at it, and as a result you really want to form your own opinion about it, diehard fan or not. Personally, I didn't like it. I thought it was boring, repetitious and dull, yet had some funny moments all around, and Loveage is a pretty shitty game character over all.

To it's credit, Magna Cum Laude was almost original in it's tone, content and images. I don't think we'll ever see a game of it's caliber for a long while, let alone be published by a major AAA company without courting serious controversy. Ah well, one can only hope...

Xbox · by Tony Denis (494) · 2017

Magna Cum Laude doesn't make the top of its class among Larry games

The Good
The use of minigames breaks up the gameplay, giving some fast-paced action. The environments are well drawn and highly interactive, with a lot of secrets hidden all around. The secret token system for unlocking extras adds a bit more playtime.

The Bad
The minigames get very repetitive, especially near the game when you must accumulate money to move along the story. Since money, confidence, and drunkeness are all a factor, they eased up on the difficulty of the main quests. The game is almost too easy when compared to the older counterparts. There really aren't any puzzles in this one, you just follow where the game tells you to go, and play a few minigames to advance the story.

The Bottom Line
This game may be one to rent and play through, but it also may be a big disappointment to fans of older Sierra adventures who crave the puzzle-solving of Larrys past.

PlayStation 2 · by Craig Tucker (2) · 2004

[ View all 5 player reviews ]

Trivia

Australia

Vivendi Universal Australia handed the Australian classification board the US version of the game to review, which happened to be the version that contains less nudity. Unfortunately, the censors were not satisfied with this version, giving it an RC (refused classification) rating. This means that as of 9 September 2004, it is illegal for the game to be sold, hired, or exhibited in Australia. At the end of the day, Vivendi refused to submit a revised version because doing so would have ruined the gameplay.

Development

Magna Cum Laude is the first Leisure Suit Larry game that did not involve Al Lowe, Larry's original creator. He left when Leisure Suit Larry 8 was canned by Sierra in 1998. Some working titles were Lust in Space and Welcome to Uranus. This makes Magna Cum Laude unofficially the ninth in the series, with two games missing: fourt and eight. It also the first game in the series released on the consoles.

ESRB

The US Windows version has only received a Mature ESRB rating. Vivendi toned down the nudity to avoid having it banned. However, they released an Uncut and Uncensored version in the US at the end of October 2004, with more explicit nudity. There are no gameplay changes as it is actually identical to the European version, which had no censoring at all.

Playboy

The character Luba Licious was one of three virtual women to appear nude in the October 2004 issue of Playboy magazine. A specially designed two page full frontal fold-out of Luba was part of a short article titled "Gaming Grows Up".

References

  • When Larry is in the laboratory, he accidentally starts a futuristic looking machine. It's called an "Interocitor" and was featured in the B-Movie bomb This Island Earth, which was spoofed in the Mystery Science Theather 3000 Movie.
  • The Delta Iota Omicron fraternity, DIO, is a more than obvious reference and salute to classic heavy metal bands, the first reference being Ronnie James Dio, one of the lead singers who were in Black Sabbath. The Sabbath references don't stop there; the main three frat guys on that house are nicknamed after Black Sabbath songs (Supernaut, Sweet Leaf and War Pigs).

Title

"Magna Cum Laude" is a Latin phrase meaning "with great honor".

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • March 2005 (Issue #249) – Biggest Letdown of the Year
  • GameSpy
    • 2004 – Biggest Disappointment of the Year (PC)
    • 2004 - Biggest Abuse of a Classic License (Xbox)
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 03/2005 - Worst Dub in 2004
    • Issue 04/2009 - One of the "10 Most Terrible Sequels" (It fails because the developers misinterpreted everything that made the series big: satire, narratives which ultimately are about love and a likable player character. Instead the game focuses on sex, obscenities and flat gameplay.)
  • PC Powerplay (Germany)
    • Issue 01/2005 - Most Horny Game Hero in 2004 (for Larry Loveage)

Information also contributed by Chris Martin, ClydeFrog, Jiguryo, Sciere and Silverblade.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Jeanne.

Xbox, PlayStation 2 added by Corn Popper.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Katakis | カタキス, Sciere, Vaelor, DreinIX, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger, katarn_88, Plok.

Game added October 8, 2004. Last modified March 30, 2024.