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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Adventure

 

Publisher

Vivendi

 

Developer

High Voltage Software

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

Q4 2004

 

 

- Very funny dialogue trees

- Lots of hidden Easter Eggs

 

 

- Mini-game hell

- Not really much of a “Larry” game

- TOO MUCH LOADING!

 

 

Review: Leisure Suit Larry - Magna Cum Laude (PC)

Review: Escape From Monkey Island (PS2)

 

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Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude

Score: 6.5 / 10

 

Is it possible to take all of the funniest parts of the Leisure Suit Larry genre and turn it into its’ own game? Well conventional wisdom says no, but that didn’t stop Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude from trying. LSL:MCL is the first Larry game that isn’t a true adventure game, you don’t really need to collect items or solve problems to get through the game. In place of all the problem solving material (which in my mind was one of the best parts about the Larry franchise: using a completely random object in a completely unrelated situation to get a funny result: like fixing a cellulite draining machine with a band from a body-shaker, a dish-washed filter, and lard) you instead are required to play a mini-game.

 

magna cum laude review          magna cum laude review

 

There are about thirteen mini-games: dialogue, dancing, spanking, quarters, trampoline, streaking (or other such running away), slaps, photographing, water-pistol, doing a make-over, tapper games, mixing drinks or relay running. Dialogue happens the most often; you control a dialogue tree at the bottom of the screen by moving a swimming sperm (nice touch) to collect green icons while avoiding red icons. The green icons allow the conversation to progress well while the red icons screw up the conversation (usually in a funny way; the new dialogue feature is probably the funniest addition to this game). Dancing and trampoline involve matching the movements of the leader (push the controller in the direction at the right time… pretty mindless). Spanking, mixing drinks and makeovers are an exercise in pressing the right button before they disappear. Quarters is a replication of the basic college drinking game, shoot the quarter into the glass and force your opponent to drink. Slaps is the vicious game of nerves where the attacker tries to bring their hand from underneath to slap the top of the defender’s hand – if the attacker misses or takes too long, they switch. Streaking missions either require you to collect all of the necessary tokens, or disgust a certain number of people (whichever is pertinent). Photographing missions are generally the most difficult – you have to get the best pictures of your subject and your six pics are then graded; you pass the mission if your score is high enough. The tapper games are just like the old-school game Tapper where you have to throw drinks down a series of lanes and avoid glasses from breaking – but in some cases it’s a paper ball, or a food dish, or whatever. Relay running requires you to interact with a specific number of people before time runs out, and you have to return to the start each time. And for those not offended yet, the water-pistol mini-game for the wet T-shirt competitions that are running on campus.

 

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Each main character interaction breaks down like this: dialogue, mini-game, dialogue, mini-game times two, dialogue, mini-game, end. Assuming that you have enough resources (money) you can power through the game, and if you run out of money you can either look for some hidden throughout the areas or… you guessed it, by playing mini-games for money. The dialogue though is definitely the high-light of the game – even Larry gets sick of the formula of talking and will sometimes do the dialogue as a song, as an internalized rant about 

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how boring this girl is, or my personal favorite as an off screen interview (ŕ la Behind The Music) where he rags on the direction of the game.

 

magna cum laude review          magna cum laude review

 

Graphically, LSL:MCL is a great looking game. All of the surroundings are bright and funny, much like you’d expect from a Larry game and the characters are beautiful… for cartoon renderings that is. For those without inhibitions (or girlfriends) visit Nigel throughout the game – he’ll sell you all sorts of extras such as extra game art, loading screens (which you will see WAY too much of), or nude renderings all the female characters. Aurally, the game’s music is ok (not enough of the original Larry theme for my taste) but the voice acting is great. It’s nice to hear some people working hard on this goofy material. With the voice acting and good dialogue, some of the characters turned out really well especially the talking video game (with a wrestling persona) and the laboratory monkey (with a diabolical mad scientist ranting that only Larry can hear).

 

The PS2 version suffers from some absolutely brutal load times. Every time that you start to talk with a character you can expect a 30 second wait, and every time that you head to a new area, you can expect a 45-60 second wait. Not exactly a great way to keep people in the game.

 

All in all, Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude is a game that I enjoyed playing immensely, but do I think it was a great game? No, average at best. Worth a try? Maybe. Worth a rent? Definitely, but only if you’re above 18. This game is definitely not for kids.

 

- Tazman

(October 31, 2004)

 

“Don't worry Lois, I'd do everything to you.”

What?

“I'd do anything for you.”

      - Quagmire and Lois (The Family Guy)

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