Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude PlayStation 2
Developed by High Voltage Software
Release Date: Out Now
Price : £39.99
It's been a long time since a Leisure Suit Larry title was released. Those of you who remember the series in it's original form will remember the tongue-in-cheek, point 'n' click adventure games and laugh at how corny they were. I always found it funny the way you were asked questions that 'only an 18 year old' could answer. Of course what passed then as adult material seems nothing in today's social climate but nevertheless Larry Laffer (the central character in those games) will be remembered for being the star of this risque adventure series.
Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude sees the return of Larry Laffer but he's only here to provide guidance to his nephew, the 'college dweeb' Larry Lovage. Of course if you want an ideal location for a smut crammed entertainment then a college is the ideal place. It just so happens that Larry is about to get the chance of national exposure on a TV dating show called Swingles. It's all set up for corny, adolescent humour of the lowest order. Of course even tacky games need quality game play but sadly this is one game that has little substance to it.
Forget those puzzles and anything to do with the old point 'n' click games, essentially Magna Cum Laude is about simplistic mini-games, smut and loading screens. To attempt to pull one of the ladies you'll have to do all manner of mini-games to win their affections. Talking to these ladies isn't as simple as choosing a line of conversation from the choices on offer. Instead you'll have a mini-game where you have to guide a white sperm (tadpole like creature) avoiding the undesirable red icons and passing through the green ones. Doing this correctly makes Larry say all the right things and will help gain the ladies favour. Mixing drinks is done by pressing the right buttons as they appear on the screen and you'll even have to dance pressing the buttons at the right time (kind of like a Dancing Stage game). The mini-games are all rather basic and get monotonous very quickly.
The graphics are possibly the best thing about Magna Cum Laude. The characters are large and colourful and it genuinely looks pleasant. Of course with this being a Leisure Suit Larry game the emphasis is on exaggeration when it comes to the female characters and boobies bounce, nipples protrude etc., all in an exaggerated fashion. As we said in the above paragraph loading times play a large part in Magna Cum Laude. Walk through a door, initiate a conversation, play a mini-game and you'll be greeted by a loading screen depicting either a game character or a revealing photo of a real woman in her underwear in some kind of erotic pose. The load screens only last around 20-30 seconds but they appear so frequently that they are highly annoying.
With the quality of the game play scraping the barrel, the game is going to have to rely heavily on it's smut to get it through. Of course to enjoy this humour you're going to need everything (or at least most of the speech) to be subtitled. Sadly though this isn't the case. Right away you'll find out that the introduction and cutscenes are not subtitled. The tutorial messages that Larry Laffer gives are in text but sadly little else is. Pressing the R2 button will bring up your objectives but that's about all for text feedback in this game. Even some of the mini-games disadvantage the deaf gamer. The dancing game for instance will have the lady call out the moves before the button icons appear on the screen. This gives hearing gamers a warning of what to expect. Deaf gamers will have no such warning though. All the conversations and comments you get, when you examine objects, are a complete waste of time for deaf gamers.
With a heavy reliance on smutty jokes that aren't subtitled and mini-games that are simplistic and monotonous, Magna Cum Laude falls flat on it's buttocks in spectacular fashion. Sure most of you would have known that it's not going to be anything other than tacky but you might have hoped for some decent game play. As for it's supposed erotic content, well the real women on the loading screens might appeal to some out there but the game characters simply look cheeky more than anything else. If you are interested in Magna Cum Laude (for it's novelty value maybe) then make sure you rent it first because with no subtitles here it's practically useless for deaf gamers.
Game Rating: 2.5/10
Magna Cum Laude is a game with little game play, rated for adults but has adolescent humour and relies on smutty humour that deaf gamers will be completely unaware of.
Not subtitled. You'll only have your objectives and tutorial messages appear in text.