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Baggins' Review

Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dream's Don't Dry Version Reviewed (Steam)

Final Score:

8/10

I feel honored to have had the chance to review Assemble Entertainment/Crazy Bunch's new Leisure Suit Larry soft-reboot. I'd like to thank the members of the team for making this review possible. Keep in mind that I'm judging this as someone who has played Larry games, but it is not my favorite Sierra franchise. I tend to enjoy the more 'epic' Sierra games like King's Quest, or Quest For Glory, or the satire of Space Quest. So I look at this series from slightly different eyes than a hardcore Larry fan might.

Story

The general premise in this game that Larry from the 1980's (1987 specifically) wakes up in in the 21st century (2018, some 31 years after the first game was released). He wakes up essentially in the same Sierra World lab seen during the deaths of Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards. But also expect his memories and visual easter eggs to also contain a few nods to Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded and Leisure Suit Larry 1 in the Land of the Lounge Lizards VGA.

Soon enough Larry finds a secret prototype smartphone which leads him to Prune, and its CEO Bill Jobs (a parody of Microsoft and Apple combined into one company). After returning the prototype phone Larry is smitten by BJ's assistant Faith Less and wants to go on a date with her. She is not interested, but offers that she will if he can reach 90 Timber points, something she believes is an unrealistic and impossible challenge. But Larry likes a good challenge and takes her up on it. This leads him to going around trying to help as many individuals as possible, both women and men.

Speaking of men while there are gay characters and they might be based on various stereotypes, they have much more character development and personality than any previous Larry game has ever had. While there is some clashing between 1970's and 21st century cultural norms, Larry for his part tries to be understanding, and gay characters tend to be forgiving, and apologetic if they cross any boundaries.

To go further would be to give spoilers, so I have tried to avoid this.

Length & Exploration

This is a good lengthy game. It's on par with many of the later games in the series in size. Expect a good 10-15 hours gameplay. This will vary depending on how well you are able to solve the puzzles and find sometimes well hidden items and interactive nodes in the environment. Pushing middle-mouse button or space bar helps to find the hotspots.

Sound/Voices & Characters

The sound quality in this game is top notch. They are sound effects you would expect in previous Larry games, including bodily noises and other 'gross' squishy sounds in the environment.

Voice Work is lead by Jan Rabson reprising his role of Larry Laffer from LSL6, LSL7, Magna Cum Laude, and Larry Reloaded. He was given room to improvise from the game's script and this was for the best, as its one of his strongest performances of the character yet. Offering both a mix of misunderstood, somewhat naïve sweet guy, but also classic swinger Larry is known and loved for being.

The rest of the cast sound like they had much fun in their parts, support Larry's antics perfectly. After Larry, my second favorite character was probably Lefty, which offered sage 'fatherly' advice when Larry needed it the most, and acts to help Larry get acquainted with the modern world.

Another standout character is the AI known as PI attached to the PiPhones who is a mix of Siri and Cortana. In this game she acts as Larry's narrator at times, and conscious, which he often ignores most of the time. Speaking of Narrator there isn't one, Larry does most of his own monologuing when its needed.

As for characterization there actually is quite a bit of character development and interaction between various characters in the game. Something uncommon for many of the classic Larry games that left characters as simply goals who would disappear or move on after you helped them or got your way. In WDDD most characters you continue to meet and help for good portion of the game, even after you may have completed their main goals. it really makes them more compelling as you learn more about them, and they become friends, even after successfully gotten their Timber scores.

Music

The music offers a nice mix of blues, techno, jazz, Latin, and rave, and a few other genres. Several of the pieces offer remixes to classic Larry theme and they are all excellent, and fun to listen to. Definitely recommend getting the soundtrack for this one. Of special note is the end sequence song, which was surprising inclusion, and a fun pop/jazz piece acting as a kind of Ballad to antics of Larry.

Art Design & Animation

The animation is a definite improvement over 2013's Larry Reloaded. It's done in a way some describe as "Flash" like, and is not real frame by frame animation. However it's still stylish and smooth.

Larry has been reimagined while still relatively short by standards of other men in the game, he's appears much taller than he was appearing in the later games in the series starting with Larry 6 and up. He is also quite a bit skinnier and lankier. The developers have stated this was in part based on Larry's appearance in Larry 2 and 3. While it takes some time getting used to, but hearing Rabson's vice I began to warm up to the redesign and appreciate it.

The sequences utilizing AGI style 8-bit art are great for nostalgia, and are fun nods back to the classic game that started it all.

The background art is stylish and filled with warm and sometimes hot colors ranging from purples, blues, and reds. Each background is filled with little details form animated elements such as spiders, lizards, squirrels and balloons or oozing dripping ceilings. These incidental details a lot much to each scene. There are also many posters, graffiti and signs, and paraphernalia often making references to pop culture, other video games, and movies. Unlike with Larry Reloaded there is no sign of any use of 'clone tool' and everything looks original an stylish.

The Timber app lets you look at artwork for various random characters. These are a mix of original characters, to some that are references to pop culture characters. These are fun to look at, and I found myself wondering when the next time the app would update with new users, just so I could see what kind of easter eggs were included.

Presentation

Between the mix of high quality sound, smooth animation, stylish and beautiful backgrounds this is a great looking old-school style Adventure game. It looks, sounds, and feels like a classic Larry game. Even the jokes feel like classic Larry, and I found myself chuckling quite a bit. It's not perfectly like an Al Lowe game, but it stands own both in fresh ideas, and nostalgic elements as well.

Puzzles

While difficult of puzzles might be subjective, I felt the puzzle design was quite strong. There was a good mix of fetch quests, as well as more complicated multiple item combination puzzles. While most puzzles were logical, it was sometimes hard to places to use items as some were well hidden in the environment. But for the most part these were the kind of puzzles you would expect from Larry game, and also excellent mix by Adventure game standards.

The Good

For a non-Al Lowe game this game feels very much like authentic Larry game. The humor might be a little different but its still very much in the vein of the entire series. The writing at least with the adlibbed voice overs is really well done and feels right to me.

The Bad

There is actually very little bad in this game in my eyes. My only gripe is that after such a strong middle section, the ending areas seem a little bit too linear and perhaps a little rushed.

The ending was also a bit anti-climactic and short, though it did set up a potential direct sequel which I fully support!

Some might consider the lack of direct in-your-face frontal nudity to be a downside. But I felt this was keeping true to the early Larry games which it drew the most inspiration.

The Ugly

There isn't much ugliness in the game unless one counts some of the Timber date photographs, and early diarrhea joke.

Final Thoughts

This is a strong contender for being one of the best adventure games in a long time, even within the last decade. It has extremely well developed character building, and I found myself actually careing for the various characters. The plot was interesting enough and mysterious to keep me enthralled wondering what kind of shenanigans Larry would be involved with next. Dare I say it, this might be one of the best Larry games made, easily holding its own against many of Al Lowe's classics. This a game that anyone who calls themselves an Adventure fan should play, and its certainly a game that Larry fans should try out.

Is it worth $30? For its stylish presentation, good choice of voice actors, great music, and its decent length and great puzzle design I would say yes. There is more than enough value in the game. While these games are not exactly known for 'replay-ability' there are a number of 'branching' points in the game, and also how you setup your Timber account that would make it worth playing again with other choices just to see how various characters react.

Assembly/Crazy Bunch have proven themselves to be fit to the task of making new Larry games, and carrying the torch. I wish them much success, and hope they get the chance to make more games for this series. P.S. Al Lowe if you reading this review, please give the game a chance, and try to be objective! I would love if in future games that you could get a chance to work with them as well, between you and fresh blood there is a chance for even greater things to be born.

Keep up the good work!

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