Friday, March 16, 2012

Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office BUST

Ok, Box Office Bust is the most recent in the Leisure Suit Larry saga, but I want to start at the beginning. This series as a whole is just so awesome and a little lead-up might help explain my feelings on this particular game a bit better.

#1,2,3,5 & 6

In the beginning Larry Laffer was just a hapless, lucky/unlucky Lounge Lizard strolling around in his white leisure suit trying to get laid. I didn't play these until after this next one, but I did go back and play them all. I like to know where my fave games come from, ya know? Even though the action was slow, the graphics choppy and the type-what-you-want-to-do interface was confusing and tedious; these games were so funny it was totally worth it. I like nostalgia and it was kind of fun to see how games used to be played before the invention of the mouse (or even the joystick which we had for a while). If you'll notice there are 5 games on that disc, but it's numbered up to 6. That is not a typo. There never was a #4 and while #7 included some theories, my favorite was that Al Lowe (the creator) didn't believe in "four-play". Because that kind of joke totally fits with the series.

Haha! Could only find my backup disc

Here's what the cover looks like

Fast forward a bit, or backtrack personally, to the crowning glory. Love for Sail. I think this came out a long time after #6 and it shows. The graphics were smooth, the mouse was functional and it even came with a scratch-and-sniff card to make the game even more interactive! Larry was his same old self. Let me explain a bit, yes these games are raunchy, but not in a real in your face kind of way. Sure there are boobs and penises animated in all over the place and some of the jokes are pretty crude, but there's a sort of subtlety to it. The storyline and trying to get this poor schmuck to win the competition are of the utmost importance. Everything else is just silliness. Like the Chinese buffet worker who turns out to be Irish, or trading out the prude-librarians book for something "steamier" (without her finding out) to turn her into a sex expert. The game, as a whole, is more rediculous than raunchy and that's what makes it fun.

I wish GameStop wouldn't accept games without cases....

Magna Cum Laude (I had the PS2 version)

Eight or nine years ago Larry made the leap to console. Or, rather, his nephew did. Larry Lovage. I initially got this game when it first released and the guy at the store, bless his heart, tried so hard to talk me out of it. "If you like the series, you'll hate this one." How wrong he was!! Larry Lovage is almost a carbon copy of his uncle. Same luck, same fashion sense (though he doesn't wear the trademark leisure suit), same hygiene.... The graphics were in line and up to par with 7, only more 3D; the jokes were subtle and since it was console there wasn't even any true nudity in this one. (kinda makes me want to play the uncensored pc version) And you do end up running into uncle Larry towards the end and he's the same Larry that he is in the other games. Leisure suit and all. I loved this game so much I played through three times.

Box Office Bust

And then comes Box Office Bust.... Uhm.... Who's that guy on the cover? I had also heard this one sucked, and after reading the back (mini-games galore!!) I was hesitant. I probably should have stayed away, but how could it possibly be as bad as everyone claims? I finally got it a month or so ago and.... I can say with all honesty from a long-time series fan: This game is an abomination. Let's ignore the worst camera angles ever put into a game (which will get you killed more often than help you), or the horrific animation (my neice could draw better faces and she's 6), or the blantant filthy for the sake of being filthy jokes. This is not Larry Lovage. I mean, he's close, I guess, if you really want to believe he changed that much since college. The worst part? Larry Laffer is in no way, shape or form Larry Laffer. They made him an old, tall, fat movie mogul and his voice and attitude are not in line with the Larry I've come to know and love. This game does have a lot of big name voice actors, but HOW? And WHY? It's never needed it before and it does not help in this case. Every time I turn this game on I want to bash my head into a wall within 10 minutes. So why keep playing? Because Lizzy is no quitter! Actually, there's two logical (in my mind) reasons. First, none of the achievements are online (I refuse to pay for a Gold account) so I know I can get 100% achievement completion on it. Second, Aaron read somewhere that they're working on another pc installment that is more true to the series and I just don't think I could feel good about myself playing it if I skipped this one half-way through. So I'm stuck. I will say, beyond a shadow of a doubt, once I get all the achievements this game is getting locked away and never played again. As you can see I have all the good ones if I need a Larry fix. In fact, I may pop in one of them (LFS or MCL, most likely) just to refresh my faith in humanity. For now I'm going to see if this YouTube guy has a video that can help me get out of this stupid barn I'm stuck in.....

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