Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail!
First posted on 24 February 1999. Last updated on 08 August 2009.
|Larry never looks so handsome! Not!|
|Larry is looking for love not food!|
|Can Larry final score?|
|Larry's accommodation on PMS Bouncy is a bit bare.|
Leisure Suit Larry is a name that gamers have known for over a decade. During his heydays, Larry spends his time continuously being rejected by beautiful women from all over the world. His adventure spans over 6 titles, 1 rather useless Windows utility, and 1 casino game. Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail! is the latest incarnation of this series and details the most recent chapter in Mr Laffer's woeful tale of female dejection. Any other man may have become an eunuch by now, but not our fearsome Larry. His hope of bedding buxom belles still keeps his spirit (among other things) up!
In Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail!, Larry's adventure takes place immediately after Leisure Suit Larry 6: Shape Up or Slip Out! Once again, we meet him in a hotel penthouse, with the girl of his dreams. Alas, it is just like Larry to fail to keep anything up, and he is soon tied to the bed with the room bursting into flames and the woman of his desire romping around in other parts of the town. The player actually gets to play this whole intro scene, helping Larry to get through his predicament unscathed (but only to end up in even worse scenarios). Once he escapes out of the burning building, Larry finds a ticket to board the PMS Bouncy on a cruise of a lifetime and another chance for Larry to do what he does best (or worst).
The seventh sequel in the Leisure Suit Larry series is easily among the most impressive artistic titles Sierra On-Line has ever done for an adventure game. All the character arts are hand drawn in cartoon style. In other words, it is all 2D so that you do not need one of those newfangled 3D cards to play this game. The animations are all well done but they can sometimes be choppy. The visual décor of the game is even more stunning. The ship architecture is extremely well drawn, with lots of vibrant (but sometimes purposely garish) colors and background animations. Many scenes also have subtle risqué artwork, like the lava lamps which form phallic symbols every once in a while.
As for the audio, the game has some ubiquitous elevator music playing in many of the halls. When a possible sexual situation is imminent, the music changes to the appropriate racy strip number. While most of the music is rather nondescript, it still works well in the game to establish the mood of the scene. You can also find a stereo inside the mother-daughter country duo's dressing room which lets you play most of the music within the game. The voiceovers are truly topnotch. Rarely am I impressed with voice acting, but this game truly features some talented voice actors. Larry's own voice, a nerdy, affecting little whine, is rightly convincing. A special jury prize has to go to the voice of Ms Peggy, the lady pirate wannabe. Her crackle and foulmouthed demeanor always leave me in stitches. She steals the show in whichever scenes she is in.
The manual for this game is rather thin but informative. The package also comes with a Scratch-'n'-Sniff card. In certain locations, a strange label appear in the right bottom corner with a voice saying "CyberSNIFF 2000" that cues the player to start using a Scratch-'n'-Sniff card. Each of the 9 colored pads represents a scent that is distinct for that location. In all honesty, I dread using it. Exactly why the designers believe that I like smell Larry's fart after eating tons of beans is really beyond me! The Scratch-'n'-Sniff card probably pays homage to Infocom's Leather Goddesses of Phobos in which a similar gimmick is first used.
The primary objective of Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail! is to win the affection of Captain Thygh, captain of the PMS Bouncy. To do so, Larry must compete in a variety of ship wide contests in which the winner is rewarded generously in the captain's own quarters. The success of the Leisure Suit Larry series has always been built on its uncompromising, cheap, politically incorrect, and often raunchy, humor. This sequel is no exception. Its outlandish and tongue-in-cheek humor can easily be seen in the names of the characters aboard the PMS (or HMS) Bouncy—Drew Baringmore, Dewmi Moore, Jamie Lee Coitus, Victorian Principles, Wydoncha and Nailmi Jugg, and Captain Thygh. Sierra On-Line even claims that, because of its adult humor, sexual innuendo, risqué implications, mature situations, and raw titillation, this title is only suitable for mature audiences over 18 years of age.
The mouse driven interface in this game operates differently from that used in the previous games of the series. Clicking on an object now brings up a small menu, where you can choose to do a given action, use your own inventory, or even type in a command! Yes, type! However, this is merely a gimmick because, apart from entering verbs, you cannot do anything else with the text parser. Typing is required for some puzzles in the game, but I think it is better to just leave it and have a set of verbs in the menu to choose instead. Navigation is a very simple, standard point and click affair. There is also a very handy ship map. You can use this map to magically transport yourself to any number of locations within the ship, thus saving a lot of traveling hassle.
The puzzles are mostly reasonable and logical. There are times however, that some puzzles can stump you. For example, I do not know where the keycard slot is in the bowling alley, and I find myself stuck there for a long time. Also, the whole beaver sequence does not make much logical sense to me. Nevertheless, beginners should not feel too intimidated by the puzzles and veteran gamers should not rush through them. In the middle of the game, you encounter a gambling game called strip Liar's Dice that you have to play to win over the affection of a casino fly. At first, I find the rules and interface to be overly complicated. After a few games, however, I find it to be challenging and a welcome change of pace.
Possibly the biggest reason why this game gives such a positive gaming experience is because of all the small nifty extras which the designers have added to the game. Sure, maybe it is done because the storyline is paper thin, but it works beautifully anyway. For example, there is a scene later in the game where President Bill Clinton is the comedian. You have the choice to listen to it or go about finishing the game. I personally remain in that room for over 20 minutes, listening to the absolutely hilarious jokes. I cannot believe how many jokes they are able to fill in just a single CD! This is a completely unexpected but very well done feature. I also have a good time playing the "Where's Dildo?" game. In this mini-game, a red dildo hides on the screen and clicking on the dildo will make it dance. The purpose of the game is to find all 32 dildos.
The story setup for this game is not the most original, but then neither is the premise of a seventh game. Frankly, if you buy this game, you pretty much know what you are getting. In other words, if you have never liked any of the previous game in the series, then you should stay clear. This is because this sequel is loaded with even more sexual innuendoes and political incorrectness. On the other hand, if you are like me and enjoy of Al Lowe's work, then you shall find this to be one of the best games he has produced.
The game can only be criticized on a few issues. The text parser in this game is merely a gimmick. Some jokes may get a bit old, such as the voice commentary in Larry's room. Small inconsequential puzzles should not be the reason why a gamer can get stumped. As expected, the story is paper thin and not much of a departure from previous titles in this series.
If you do not mind the ribald humor, Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail! is the game for you. The production value of this title is superb. The jokes are very funny and characters such as Ms Peggy are memorable. Extras such as Bill Clinton Comedy Club, Where's Dildo?, and Strip Liar's Dice also enhance the game's longevity and replay value. I wholeheartedly recommend this game to anyone who has an interest in non-explicit adult humor. This is among the best games in the Leisure Suit Larry series.