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Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust review

Take away the smut and what do you get?

Pros

  • "Hilarious" movie references
  • "Sexy" character models
  • Hey
  • look! It's Larry! Um...

Cons

  • Frustratingly bad controls
  • Nasty-looking graphics
  • Not even the "smut" is satisfying

%26ldquo;I %26rsquo;d f--- a cliff,%26rdquo; says Larry Lovage, in four words perfectly summarising everything about this abysmal third-person action adventure mess. Unsubtle, moronic, and making no sense, this second attempt to reprise the Leisure Suit Larry games of the %26rsquo;80s is disastrous.

Although there are plenty of risqu%26eacute; references, this isn%26rsquo;t depraved. It%26rsquo;s just dreadful. It%26rsquo;s an open-world platform game, limited to a small film studio and occasional forays into fantasy worlds. Lovage, working for his Uncle Larry%26rsquo;s movie business in Tinselwood, can now double-jump, shimmy along ledges, and drive battery-powered carts.

Your first task is to scrub graffiti off some walls. Your second is to collect some lost script pages. The third: delivering packages. Ho boy, the sexy fun! Eventually this does lead to nonsensical scenes in which you can talk giant-breasted women into sleeping with you (not shown %26ndash; Larry%26rsquo;s become all mouth and no trousersnake for this outing, hiding all sex off-camera). Also: extended dream sequences where Larry robs banks, fights baddies, fires guns %26ndash; all appallingly designed and bafflingly woven into the main story.

Using an unrecognisable Unreal engine, your movement about the cartoon world is a cluster of glitching clips and barely functioning interaction, the spasmodic camera regularly flipping itself 180 degrees for no reason, hurtling Larry off a ledge and sending him to his death. It%26rsquo;s agony to control %26ndash; the platforming sequences, fight scenes and shooting galleries are so poor there should be support groups for people who%26rsquo;ve tried to play them.

All of which makes it a great shame that Team 17 pulled together such a grand cast. Great actors such as Jeffrey Tambor and Jane Lynch are on board, and decent comedians such as Tom Arnold give strong performances. But the words they%26rsquo;re saying are gibberish. The opening line, %26ldquo;Who are you calling afraid to f--- himself?%26rdquo; sets the tone. And we%26rsquo;d have been happy to get through life without having heard Jane Lynch say, %26ldquo;A man whacked out enough to tongue another man%26rsquo;s taint.%26rdquo;

It%26rsquo;s misogynistic, the assumption being that if you lie to women they%26rsquo;ll want to sleep with you, but this is all so poorly executed that it%26rsquo;s hard to get worked up over. The hideous quality of the writing is far more offensive than the endless references to %26lsquo;muffs%26rsquo; and %26lsquo;tards%26rsquo;. Jokes about Katrina and the Holocaust come and go, mostly ignored because the game just threw you off a roof forcing you to repeat the last hideous 15 minutes of mindless idiocy. When you finish a challenge there%26rsquo;s a lingering grey screen that declares, %26ldquo;You Succeeded!%26rdquo; It never feels like you did.

Apr 27, 2009

More Info

GenreAdventure
Description<p>Awful graphics and frustrating controls make this game a bust of box office proportions.</p>
PlatformPC, Xbox 360, PS3
US censor ratingMature, Mature, Mature
UK censor rating16+, 16+, 16+
Release date:31 March 2009 (US), (UK)
Available platforms:Xbox 360
Genre:Adventure
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