Leisure Suit Larry Goes Looking for Love (In Several Wrong Places)
First posted on 22 January 2000. Last updated on 11 August 2009.
|It is not Leisure Suit Larry without a babe!|
|The little black book is a cleverly disguised copy protection.|
|This is what Larry calls an adventure!|
|It is how Larry gets his tan on the beach!|
|Make Larry disappear! Ctrl-B is the boss key.|
For better or worse, Larry Laffer is among the most recognized cult heroes in adventure games. Larry is a very unusual fellow. He wears a white polyester leisure suit, has his hair combed back, and carries a cheesy grin. Larry is, or at least tries to be, a ladies' man. Whenever he sees a gorgeous babe, he does his best to show her how sexy (or grotesque) he is. Still, it is refreshing to play a character who is totally antagonistic to the traditional macho heroic figure. If any character has the power to make me burst in hysteria, it is Larry himself!
Leisure Suit Larry Goes Looking for Love (In Several Wrong Places) is the second installment in the popular Leisure Suit Larry series. The game continues where Leisure Suit Larry In the Land of the Lounge Lizards has left off. After getting booted out by Eve, the love of his life from the first game, Larry decides to go find love elsewhere. That day, Larry goes onto the television game shows "The Dating Connection" and "The LuckyBucko Lottery Show". To his surprise, Larry wins a boat cruise on "The Love Tub", a dream date, and a million dollars. To celebrate his success, Larry decides to go on a shopping spree. Unfortunately, among the things that Larry has accidentally brought is anonklunk. The onklunk holds some top-secret information that a psychopathic scientist named Doctor Nonookie wants. To make matters worse, KGB agents are now after Larry because they also want to get their hands on the onklunk. Larry must stay alive long enough to find out what is so special about the onklunk, to expose Doctor Nonookie's evil scheme, and to stop him from terrorizing the natives who live on the island.
While I can say that the production of this game may not match the best titles of its time, the game holds enough decent value to warrant a look. The graphics in the original version of last game are pretty boring and not displaying much life in them. It is only until the VGA remake that the graphics have improved. The graphics in this sequel, in comparison, are far better than the original, even if they are no longer considered cutting edge. The game uses an engine called "Sierra Creative Interpreter". Version 0 of this engine has the power to create 16 color EGA graphics. All these colors on screen definitely make you wonder whether or not the graphics have been hand painted pieces of artworks.
The game is made back in 1988, so in order to fully appreciate this game you have to accept it for what it is worth and not whine about the game simply because it does not use the latest hardware. Having said that, I particularly like the look of theNontoonyt Island where Larry finds Doctor Nonookie . This place has a volcano, a jungle, and a beach. The graphics do a good job of immersing me into that place. On the other hand, the graphics of Larry's face are rather dull. The character is neither well drawn nor well animated. Whenever he walks or just stands still, he looks as if he is in a constant stare. His mouth is open and his eyes are too tiny. Since there are no voices in the game, you just read lines after lines ofdialogs that appear in text boxes on screen when Larry is speaking. Needless to say, I wish that his character is done a lot better.
The gameplay in this sequel is very entertaining and is the best feature about this game. The main draw in this game is its comedy. Another draw is its longer length. This game is at least 3 times longer than the original. I honestly believe that the original game has been way too short, which you can finished in about 3-5 hours or less than a day's worth sitting in front of the computer. Part of the attraction of adventure games is the enduring quality to explore, to interact characters, and to be entertained. No gamer wants to finish a game in only a single sitting!
The most innovative feature about this game occurs at the beginning of the game. In the original title, you have to correctly answer at least 5 questions to get passage into the game. The same idea of copy protection is used in this sequel but in a very imaginative way. Here, you have to find the picture of a woman that is shown on screen from the manual that comes with the game. You then have to enter the last part of her phone number you find from your "little black book". Al Lowe, the designer of Leisure Suit Larry, must be congratulated for coming up such novel approach in copy protection. Lowe explains, "In Larry 2 we tried something a little different from our original protection of requiring a distribution disk. We included the pictures of girls from Larry's "little black book." The game shows you one when it starts up, and you enable play by completing her phone number. The pictures, by the way, are intentionally bad in the book so that they can't be Xeroxed easily."
The sound effects in this game are nicely done. An example is when you pick up an inventory item that is crucial to the success of the game, a happy little tune comes on as a way of congratulating you. Thankfully, the sound effects are otherwise used sparingly and only when needed. In contrast, the music in this game is disappointing. There is simply not very much music in the game. The familiar Leisure Suit Larry theme is played at the beginning during the opening movie sequence. There is also a sad theme that comes on when you die which by itself is a catchy little tune. Otherwise, the music is copiously absent elsewhere.
This game has a few upsides. Among these, the comedy is definitively my favorite. The graphics also serve their purpose well. They are not flashy but are decent enough to be enjoyed. The phone number copy protection gimmick is very inventive. The sound effects are very helpful in letting you know when you have done something right or when you have made a mistake. Sadly, this game has 3 major downsides. The first downside and the most disappointing one is that there is not enough music. I really yearn for more songs while I play the game. Most of the game plays out in almost complete silence. The design team should have put a lot more tunes into the game since I think the game may greatly benefit from a few more catchy tunes. The second downside is that there is no voice acting in the game, though I recognize that this limitation is unavoidable given the technology available at the time when this game is made. The last downside is the short length of the game. Although this game is considerably longer than its predecessor, it is still far too short. I can easily imagine that a hardcore adventure gamer can finish this game in only 1-2 days.
While Leisure Suit Larry Goes Looking for Love (In Several Wrong Places) may not be the best game in the Leisure Suit Larry series, it is still a humorous and an entertaining title to play. I recommend this game to anyone who yearns to recall how fun older graphic adventure games can be. So have a good time playing as my favorite cult hero Larry Laffer!