Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude Review

Well, Sierra has resurrected a classic video game name with their release Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude for the PlayStation 2. Now whether this is a good thing or not will depend on a couple of things. First, your tolerance for juvenile humor. Next, how you feel about lots of load screens and finally your opinion of mini-games. Me, well I'm all over the humor, kind of iffy on the mini-games, and don't care for load screens at all. But let us look a little more into the game and maybe I can help you decide if it's your cup of tea of not...

First a quick history lesson for those under 30 out there. Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude is an update of a series of PC games done in the 80's. At this time Sierra was king of the world and was pumping out hit after hit with their Kings, Space, and Police Quest series. These were all entertaining adventure games and huge successes. Then they released the “adult” themed adventure game Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards. (Great title!) You played the title character Larry Laffer, a lovable loser, and the goal of the game was to get Larry...well, laid. Naturally this wasn't that easy and led to Larry getting involved in all sorts of funny situations. The game was always, at least to me, done in a basically inoffensive way but still had just the right amount of naughtiness.

Larry, you smooth talker you....

Now the LSL series has been brought back after about a five year vacation. (It seems that LSL and the Police Academy movies were seeing who could make the most sequels. Counting this latest game I believe the score is LSL-8 PA-7.) There have been several changes made to the game in this newest version. Chief among them are that you now play as Larry's nephew, conveniently named Larry Lovage and that the game is really no longer an adventure game but rather a string of mini-games and the game is in full 3-D. But the goal is still basically the same!

Larry is a college student at Walnut Log Community College with the typical college guy thoughts: meet girls! So it happens that the dating show Swingles is on campus looking for contestants and Larry wants on the show in a bad way. But he must first prove to the show that he is worthy by bringing them articles of affection from different women on campus. The way he gets these articles is by getting “together” with the women. So there you have the plot in a nutshell.

Now in order to impress the ladies enough to get them to give up their affection is done through a series of mini-games. LSL is nothing more than a series of mini-games connected together by the somewhat slim story. With almost all the ladies you encounter Larry must work his magic by engaging them in conversation. This conversation mini-game does lead to some very, very funny dialog. The game it self is like an old-school driving game turned on its side. At the bottom on the screen you have the game area where on the left side you control a happy face sperm. Yep, no need to reread that. So your happy sperm is on the left and from the right side comes a series of icons that are usually either red or green. As these icons go from right to left you either try to hit or avoid them depending on the color. This is how the conversation that Larry is throwing down is determined. Hit a red icon and Larry will usually say something very stupid and the girl will start to lose interest. Hit a green icon and the object of your desire becomes more intrigued in our little melon-headed hero. If by the end of this mini-game you did enough to hold her interest you get to move on to a different game with her. There are several different games Larry must win before he gets his prey back to his room and then usually a couple of more before he makes the big “score”.