Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude

Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude is more mini-game compilation (or cumpilation, since the game is so focused on that sort of thing). This raunchy American Pie-style take on the misadventures of Larry Lovage, the cousin of the original lounge lizard, makes Lowe’s sexual punnery look positively puritan in comparison.

The basic premise has Larry in college, trying to get on a dating show called Swingles. In order to do so, he needs to prove his skills with the ladies. In order to win their hearts, he needs to play a lot of simple mini-games. The overall structure is more Grand Theft Auto than linear adventure. You have access to 3-4 women at a time, and can move freely between the various school environments.

3_1You find money, talk to random people, and discover tons of tokens that can be cashed-in for more salacious load screens, or to bypass some of the more annoying mini-games. This isn’t sophisticated gameplay. The mini-games are made up of timing games à la Dance Dance Revolution, or a variation of the old Tapper, and there’s even a Pong game designed to stimulate, er, simulate dancing with yourself, so to speak. But it works. The gameplay is good enough to keep the game moderately interesting, though barely so.

The humor is a mixed bag. The joke’s on anyone going into Magna Cum Laude expecting anything but behavior cleverly described as rude, lewd, crude, and full of attitude—but not altitude, since Larry is still pretty short. Its rat-tat-tat broad humor makes Airplane seem like Barton Fink—they throw enough gags at you that all it takes is a few to actually stick.

Whether it’s masturbating monkeys, Larry’s constant flatulence and public urination, or the strange obsession with ‘80s hair metal, subtle it ain’t. After a lot of buildup, the payoff for Magna Cum Laude comes with a sudden rush, but there’s something to be said for having another adventure with an old friend. Or, to put it in terms more appropriate for the game, it’s like scoring with a random co-ed after a night spent vomiting with your frat buddies.

System Requirements: Pentium IV 2 GHz, 512 MB RAM, WinXP

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