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July 25, 2004
Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
CannedVivendiHigh Voltage1$69.95

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A conversation screen.
Can you believe it has been 17 years since the first Leisure Suit Larry game was released on PC. The year was 1987, and point and click games were all the rage. Sierra's game was a complete surprise. Not only was the game one of the most engrossing titles of the time, but it was one of the first adult themed titles. Looking at it now it wouldn't even get a G8+ rating, but back then it was a big story. Since then there were five sequels (Leisure Suit Larry 4 was skipped and they went straight from LSL3 to LSL5!). Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude is the latest game in the long running series, and it's coming to a Playstation 2.

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Nice view outside!
Larry Lovage (the nephew of Larry Laffer from the previous games) is a typical college student – he lives in a dorm, has a crush on his biology professor, and goes to bars with his buddies. But when a TV dating show comes to campus, Larry gets a chance for national “exposure”. Larry decides he's going to revitalize his life by winning the contest and proving once and for all that he can live up to the shining example set by his Old Uncle Larry.

Essentially Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude is an 3D adventure title, with plenty of emphasis on humor which High Voltage have included by the bucket load. Larry will be able to move around the college campus and interact with people, most will blow him off, but some people will stop and have a conversation. If she's good looking Larry is sure to try and pick her up. Let the fun begin.

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Root Beer Tapper clone.
Even the conversations, which occur in real-time, have you controlling a little sperm through a maze of nasties (see top picture). To progress well in the conversations with the opposite sex you must avoid these nasties or the girl will lose interest. The developers are including 15 "main" girls to chase through the game - it may not sound like a lot, but you're going to be spending considerable time trying to seduce each of them.

What will probably make or break this game is the mini-games. Possibly the most exciting is an almost perfect replica of the classic arcade game, Root Beer Tapper. Other mini-games, which haven't really been seen yet include competitive trampoline bouncing, playing quarters in a seedy bar, and dancing in a nightclub. Certainly there is plenty of opportunity for humor there.

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What's with the duck?
Developers High Voltage have certainly take the graphics in this game to a new level. They're cartoony, but at the same time perfectly suited to the Leisure Suit Larry world. It's not just the main detail that you should take not of but also the background details such as posters, or other people, or shop fronts. There's just as much subtle humor as in your face type humor. The speech is well, funny as hell. The conversations are fast and fluid while Larry really does sound like a horny little uni student. In total the developers are including over 12,000 lines of dialogue for the game!

It may be a few months from release (and it has been in development since early 2002 despite not being announced by Vivendi until October last year) but everything is shaping up very nicely. The only possible disappointment is that Al Lowe, who designed and worked on all the previous games, isn't working on Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude. We can only hope that the sexual content doesn't get picked on by the OFLC, this is a mature game, for mature gamers.

Ahhh.. fuck it.. the OFLC has screwed gamers again and refused classification here in Australia. It won't be contested and has been canned....