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Softporn Adventure
Leisure Suit Larry

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Leisure Suit Larry 2
Leisure Suit Larry 3

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Leisure Suit Larry 5
Leisure Suit Larry 6

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Leisure Suit Larry 7
Leisure Suit Larry Magna Cum Laude

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Leisure Suit Larry Box Office Bust
Leisure Suit Larry Spinoffs

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Interview with Al Lowe


Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail - IBM PC (1997)

Cover

You'd have to be naive to think that Larry truly got a happy ending with Shamara at the end of Leisure Suit Larry 6. She ditches him, just like all of the others, and leaves him to burn in her penthouse, which has been inadvertently set ablaze. After escaping, Larry decides to forget his worries by taking a cruise on a ship called the PMS Bouncy, leading to more debauchery.

The opening segments don't really bode well for the game, since it steals elements from previous Larry games - the whole tied-up-and-abandoned theme from back in LSL1, and the whole cruise thing from LSL2. And yet, Love for Sail (originally named Yank Her's Away during development, amidst other ridiculous names) is one of the last "true" long running adventure game series that actually manages to go out with a bang, unlike other classic Sierra titles that just kinda petered out. (Not counting the later titles by Vivendi, anyway.)

Part of the reason for this is its change in art style. Love for Sail follows the path of King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride and The Curse of Monkey Island by utilizing cartoony cel-style animation for all of its characters, completely dropping any pretense of reality. It's really a shame that the point-and-click genre started to die off as technology was catching up, because this is one of its best looking games. (It also came out before 3D graphics came in and screwed things up. See also: Gabriel Knight 3 and Escape from Monkey Island.) Of course, compared to KQVII, Love for Sail is far more Tex Avery than Walt Disney. The voice acting is terrific, with the actors for Larry and the narrator reprising their roles from the sixth game, and it's the only Larry installment to feature a fully digitally streamed soundtrack.

Also, much like its direct predecessor, it succeeds by sticking to its strengths - the chick macking. Technically, the goal of the game transcends merely picking up girls - this is a particular bizarre cruise liner, which runs a contest wherein men participate in a variety of competitions. The prize? A whole week spent with Captain Thygh, the ship's bombshell helmswoman. (There are also pinup posters of her hung up around the ship, as an incentive for contestants.) Some of these include competitions that rank you based on your skill at craps, horseshoes, cooking, bowling, and love making (measured by a sex machine, apparently). Nearly all of the girls have porn-esque variations of movie star names, including Drew Baringmore, the nudist author; Jamie Lee Coitus, the artist; Dewmi Moore, who just loves a man who can gamble; Wydoncha and Nailmi Jugg, the mother/daughter country-western duo; Victorian Principles, the stuck up librarian who changes her tune once you give her a copy of The Erotic Adventures of Hercules (one of the many gags gently borrowed from The Simpsons); Annette Boning, the old mistress; and, of course, Captain Thygh. Also hanging around is the rotund, foul-mouthed pirate girl Peggie, who thankfully does not have any nude scenes.

Naturally, there's no straightforward way to win any of these trials - you need to resort to creative mischief in order to beat the system. In order to win the "Best Dressed" competition, you need to get in good with Jaime Lee Coitus, the fashion designer, who will use Larry as her model, bringing leisure suits back in style, and thus (temporarily) making you the most suave dude on the block. Also, in this game, Larry's exploits with his conquests usually work out pretty well for him, as opposed to the blue balling from LSL3 and 6 - it's just that his clothes end up getting destroyed in the process, and he always ends up in some awkward situation when trying to sneak back to his room. It's also actually possible to strike out with some of the women, like if you fail at the game of craps with Dewmi Moore, but getting with them isn't a requirement to winning the game. Keeping with the theme of the last few games, there's no way to get stuck, and no way to be killed either. Of course, it's also still pretty damn funny - what other game can you clear a crowd by eating a bunch of bean dip then ordering your onscreen avatar to fart? Truly classy.

Once again, you're given free roam of most of the ship at the beginning, and can instantly jump to any room with the help of a handy map. Your command icon is now a condom, which inflates whenever you can interact with something. The interface has been simplified to operate with a single icon - you can click anywhere on the screen to walk, but if you click on an object, a submenu pops up that allows you look at it, pick it up, use any of your inventory items on it, or otherwise interact with it. While most other games that adopted single icon systems tended to dumb down the game, LSL7 actually uses it to its benefit, since it's much easier to use items instead of cycling through your inventory. It also brings up context sensitive actions, depending on what you've clicked on.

In an additional throwback to the older days, you can also type in a verb, if it's not listed. The dialogue segments have expanded quite a bit too, allowing you to discuss different subjects instead of just talking to them over and over. You can also type in your own subjects of conversation too. Other than the tutorial segment at the beginning of the game, you never really need to use the text parser, but it's necessary to unlock hidden scenes and other Easter eggs. (The game also has an amusingly bizarre obsession with milking beavers.)

And there are a lot of secrets. Some of the previous games snuck in a quick boob flash here and there if you were persistent, but Love for Sail has hidden nude scenes for all of the main girls. Some of these are pretty obvious, like "push"ing a pesky branch out of the way to get an eyeful of the nudist Drew Baringmore, but some others can be a bit obtuse. As such, it's quite a bit more graphic than the previous games, although not overwhelmingly so. Winning a girl will also unlock a wallpaper for use in Windows, although they're easy enough to find on your own if you ruffle through the game's files. There is an additional "Where's Dildo?" quest, where several striped, smiling dildos are hidden in the scenery. If you manage to find all of the Easter eggs, score the full 1000 points, and pick out all 32 dildos, you get a quick bonus movie of Larry engaged in coitus with Captain Thygh. Although it's not terribly explicit, this secret movie was officially cited as the reason why Larry 7 did not appear on the 2006 compilation - even though it received an M rating from the ESRB originally, Vivendi felt this hidden scene would be enough to push it into AO territory.

There are also a couple of other halfway clever devices, including the ability to insert a picture of yourself in the game, which shows up as a poster. (By default, it's a pic of Al Lowe.) The retail game also includes a scratch and sniff card - at various points the "CyberSniff 2000" pops up and asks you to scratch off a certain spot, in order to fully immerse you in the experience. The disc art is actually pretty hilarious, with the spindle hole being placed in the middle of Larry's crotch, who has a rather distressed look on his face.

Love for Sail really is the epitome of the series - it looks fantastic, it's well written, it has a bunch of hidden stuff, and sidesteps any of the frustrations of most adventure games.

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Leisure Suit Larry Love for Sail

Leisure Suit Larry Love for Sail

Leisure Suit Larry Love for Sail

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Leisure Suit Larry Love for Sail


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Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude - IBM PC / PlayStation 2 / Xbox (2004)

Cover

Cast

The purchase of Sierra by Havas SA (later Vivendi Entertainment) in 1998 essentially marked the end of an era. In 1999, the original studio for Sierra was shut down, and the few old school game designers that were left were laid off. The release of Gabriel Knight 3 in 1999 was the last adventure game published by Sierra, truly marking the end of an era. However, that didn't mean that Vivendi wasn't still interested in their IPs. In 2004, Sierra published Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude, developed by High Voltage Studios and positioned as a resurrection of the beloved series. Alas, none of the original staff, including Al Lowe, had any hand in its development.

The focus has shifted to Larry Lovage, the nephew of the infamous Larry Laffer, who makes a few cameos. The new Larry is also a huge dweeb, albeit a much younger one, who still looks up to his uncle. He's just enrolled in a community college, and has decided to join in the time honored tradition of hooking up with as many girls as possible. His ultimate goal is to make it on the hit TV dating show Swingles, which is shooting their latest episode on campus.

The entire game is in 3D, with fairly average polygonal models. Each of the girls looks a bit like a cross between a Barbie and a Bratz doll, with slender figures and large eyes. They actually don't look half bad, all things considered, and they're actually reasonably well animated. Larry Lovage himself closely resembles his uncle, and his hugely deformed body looks particularly bizarre next to the girls.

Since the game was primarily made for consoles, the point-and-click interface has been removed, and instead you control Larry directly. Although the basic template is present, Magna Cum Laude tosses out nearly all of the adventure game elements in favor of lousy minigames. Instead of solving puzzles and finding items to woo the lovely ladies, you need to lie to them, do something to impress them, and/or get them drunk, which has slightly more unpleasant undertones. All the while, you need to keep your "confidence" meter up, while imbibing enough alcohol without getting completely drunk. Getting totally wasted allows you to go streaking, which can increase your confidence if you "win", but can also screw up your performance in some of the minigames. Throughout the game, you can also get cash by taking pictures, which can be used to purchase new outfits and other random stuff. You can also fart on pretty much anything, if you are so inclined.

The first step to get with a lady is to chat them up. Apparently the designers felt that their intended audience just wouldn't "get" dialogue trees, so instead you're presented with an interactive minigame where you need to navigate a sperm through a series of obstacles. If you manage to hit the heart icons, Larry will come up with some particularly compelling pick-up lines, but you hit the other icons, he'll say something stupid. Some of these segments are actually funny, just to hear some of the ridiculous things he comes up with, but there aren't any subtitles, and hitting some of the wrong icons will trigger burping and farting noises that tend to drown out the dialogue.

From there, conquering different girls require different minigames. For some, you'll need to play a game of quarters, the classic drinking game, which here is really awkwardly implemented. Sometimes you'll need to run around the area, collecting trinkets within a certain amount time while avoiding obstacles. Some are simple "push-the-buttons" style reaction games, while you're dancing or jumping on trampolines, or putting on makeup, or engaging in weirdly kinky foreplay. There's one where you participate in wet t-shirt contest and soak girls with a water gun, as well as a rip-off of the arcade game Tapper. You'll usually need to play a handful of these before "winning" the girl, which gives you a quick cutscene and a token of affection. Collect enough and new areas of the campus open up, allowing you to find more girls. Of course, none of these minigames are actually any fun, and the slow, numerous loading screens just add to the aggravation. As a concession, as you proceed through the game, you can unlock new loading screens, including raunchier pictures of the main girls, or real human models dressed vaguely like the characters. (The latter seems like it was an excuse for the development team to hire a bunch of naked woman to pose in their studio.)

Compared to the previous Larry games, where the number of available woman tended to top out at around half a dozen, there are 16 different girls to hook up with. These include Sallie Mae, the country music loving cowgirl; Ione, the shy, bookish type who later unleashes a completely different wild side; Charlotte, the rather militant hippie-ish activist; Harriet, the crazy band camp girl; Analisa, the mob boss daughter straight out of New Jersey; Luba, the massive campus slut (who also showed up in Playboy magazine during one of their "girls of gaming" pictorials); Barbara Jo, the cheerleader; Beatrice, the smart girl scientist; Tilly, the snotty British girl who also heads the sorority; Morgan, the nerdy computer loving, MMORPG playing chick; Bilzarbra, the African-American waitress and aspiring actress; Uma, the bitchy talk show host; and Suzi, the punk rocker girl. There are also a couple of girls, like Zanna, the hugely built Russian spy; Sweet Lou, the fat, aging convenience store worker; Koko, the mime with a hidden secret; and Zena, the stripper who you can't actually "win". Indeed, they seemed to have covered the gamut of usual stereotypes. Amidst all of the girls include a bunch of other wacky characters including The Commissar, a crazy hobo; the nefarious Dean Abrahmson, stolen from every college movie spanning from Animal House forward; the Porn Fairy, patterned after Ron Jeremy; and a talking, masturbating monkey.

While the actual game is completely dull, at least it's still pretty funny, even if the humor is a little bit more mean-spirited and vulgar than even the previous games, with quite a bit more profanity, since it's more aimed towards the American Pie crowd. There's a fountain on school grounds honoring the goddess Bukkakis, who is surrounded by four phallic spouts shooting water at her face. There's something amusing about flirting with the geek chick and suggesting that you go on a date by slaying rats in the library basement. Some of the other conversations get bizarrely surreal, especially with the aforementioned monkey, or with a sentient arcade cabinet that taunts Larry. In Larry's room, you'll even find his computer showing off screens from the mystical Leisure Suit Larry 4: The Missing Floppies ("the best game of its time"), which at least shows that someone of the development team was familiar with the legacy. You can also find hidden tokens which look like the "Where's Dildo?" icons from Love for Sail.

Still, it really seems lacking in certain areas, especially when you conquer the girls. When you win Sallie Mae, she sees that you're not circumcised... and then leaves, as if the very concept of a Jewish cowgirl was hilarious. When you win Analisa, you hear the radio of her mob boss father calling a hit on you, and you high tail it. When you win Luba, you inadvertently find yourself in the middle of a potential orgy and then bail out. When you win Ione, she insists that you wear a strap-on, since she's saving her virtue for a real man. (Okay, that part is kinda chuckle worthy.) Larry copes with this by strapping it on to one of her teddy bears and switching places while in the dark, which veers into the creepy side. Compared to the previous games, these just aren't funny, especially since half of them just consist of Larry getting weirded out and running away. You get "real" sex scenes with a handful of girls at the end of the game, but those really aren't funny either.

In the North American release, the game censors all lower body nudity with a little bar. It's easy to remove these with a quick hack in the PC version, or with an Action Replay for the PS2 version. (It's actually funny that this game never caused a controversy a la Hot Coffee in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas... especially considering the code is built in as a default with the Action Replay!) However, the cutscenes are still censored, since they're prerendered movie files. It was released in Europe fully uncut, and an Adults Only rated version was released worldwide via digital distribution. It's actually surprising how much detail was put in the character models, with various girls sporting different pubic hair styles to fit their personality, even if though it looks like they were just drawn on with MS Paint's "spray" function. Even scarier is the amount of detail they put into Sweet Lou, complete with hugely sagging boobs and stretch marks.

Quick Info:

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Designers:

  • Matt Entin, Edward Kuehnel

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Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude

Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude

Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude

Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude

Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude

Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude


Screenshot Gallery


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<<< Prior Page

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Page 1:
Softporn Adventure
Leisure Suit Larry

Page 2:
Leisure Suit Larry 2
Leisure Suit Larry 3

Page 3:
Leisure Suit Larry 5
Leisure Suit Larry 6

Page 4:
Leisure Suit Larry 7
Leisure Suit Larry Magna Cum Laude

Back to the Index

Page 5:
Leisure Suit Larry Box Office Bust
Leisure Suit Larry Spinoffs

Page 6:
Interview with Al Lowe


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