Leisure Suit Larry is known to be one of the grand-daddies of adult games. In Magna Cum Laude you play as Larry Laffer and try your best to flirt with conquests, getting them to have sex with you. This being said, I have never played any of the old point-and-click adventure Larry games. I jumped into this game with no expectancy and only knowledge of the older games existence. What I found makes it very clear why Al Lowe himself—the original creator of the old ones, did not want to be associated with this game.
In Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude you play as the young nephew of Larry Laffer, Larry Lovage. Your main task is to woo the ladies of Walnut Log Community College. After having an awkward sex scene or lack thereof, you get a token of affection. These are used to get further in the meta-goal of the game—to enter the “Swingles” contest, which also opens up new areas in the game. Most of the game consists of mini-games, and horrible annoying mini-games with bad controls. They are mostly just button pressing sequences, quarters, or navigating a sperm cell through a course of good and bad icons while talking. Quarters in particular made me very frustrated. No matter what you try, the game responded differently even though you did the same exact thing. I wanted the game to be over as soon as possible. I skipped all the side-quests and optional conquests to play as little of these terrible mini-games.
The game is obviously very dated in graphics, but that’s not really the problem. You can see how lazy the design of the game is with the simple textures and small areas. The excruciating animations of the game don’t make it any better. Everyone looks like they have broken bones and have some serious collision detection problems. The sexiness of this game suffers greatly from the dated graphics, making the breasts look weird, while the vaginas are just a patch of pubic hair. It is nice to know the art department of the game took their time to give Larry a nice small penis and a hanging ball-sack.
The game’s dialog is its strong point. Sometimes it sounds embarrassing or very dated, but it made me laugh pretty hard sometimes. There are some clever lines in it and hilarious fluff-text. Sadly, the voice acting ruins most of it. Some lines of dialogue bugged out and didn’t play properly. The entire equalization of sound was off as well. It is very clear in the cut-scenes that the sound level is way lower than the rest of the game. Not optimal at all.
In conclusion, the frustration of the mini-games, and bad controls combined with the horrible collision detection, makes the game feel very buggy and unfinished. It was a very annoying experience and is one of the worst games I have ever played. Magna Cum Laude was possibly the worst game in the series I could have started with.