147: Hey Baby, What's Your Sign?

Hey Baby, What's Your Sign?

"My parents had bought me a Commodore Amiga a year earlier, considering that 'there could be a future in this computer stuff,' and figuring I would use it to learn computer programming or other future-related skills. But I had way better things to do with the machine, like diving into a universe of pixellated softraunch, bondage, forced marriages in wedding parlors, 'censored' bars that humped to the cadence of the fornication they were supposed to suppress and Spanish Fly abuse."

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One of my favorite childhood memories is my friend and I using dictionaries, almanacs, and encyclopedias (Our Carmen Sandiego assault kit) to beat the age verification on his dad's copy of LSL. Which we definitely weren't supposed to be playing.

Great article.

It's like the Carry On Films. Filthy, sexist, pantomime claptrap; but by god they were funny.

There's always a certain guilty pleasure in seeing things that you wouldn't dream of doing being brought to life; and then having the protagonist's get shafted (Ooh-er!) by the results. LSL, the original, was a total waster who failed at almost everything; and all the girls got all the best lines.

Then came the remakes : Carry On Columbus is, I think, the 4th worst film of all time, Magna Cum Laude is a cheap trip into stereotypesville.

The point these things really failed to get is that the Protagonist is useless and survives purely by dumb luck, (See Inspector Clouseau, Homer Simpson) whilst the vastly superior people take full advantage of him until he finally manages to squeak through.

There were racist, sexist, homophobic jokes aplenty; but it didn't matter because they targetted everyone with the same friendly jibes like an old family member. And the people they targetted the most were the same audience that were watching. Despite the Carry-ons being known for boobs, almost all of the female characters had the last laugh.

Compare LSL with the Witcher and you'll see how low we've gone.
"Hi, I need you to get me this"
"Got it"
"Great, fancy a shag?"

If you're gonna make it a game about sex, it's really got to be funny; but above all, it's about 2 people. Not "SAVIOUR MAN & his crumpet of doom"

I remember playing the first game when I was growing up and I wanted nothing more than for Larry to get some. Even at an early age, I felt bad for this guy BUT I'm happy to say I never made any of his mistakes...thanks to playing them all out in video game form. :)

mmmmmmm...Crumpet of Doom...

I'll be a good net citizen, and disagree.

"They're once again getting the point that games are about interactivity, not about shooting things up. Shooting things up only shortens the interaction."

That's not true. Considering the horrendous ammount of copycat FPS and RTS games coming out, it's quite the opposite. The only game that can be called an "old-skool" adventure is the Sam&Max series, which is a spinoff of the real Lucas Arts game from "back then". The really humorous and entertaining games are all but extinct, apart from a few exceptions, like Overlord. The dark and cheezy humour, the lovable characters (you gotta adore those little imps) the funny, over-the-top graphics are all part of the deal. It's not an AAA title, it has only average graphics, average gameplay, and all average stuff, BUT, it has great ideas, a great multitude of diverse landscapes and themes, awesome story (though a little slow) and the best humour I saw in a long time since Dungeon Keeper, Theme Hospital, Day Of The Tentacle, and Space Quest. The old Bullfrog games, Sierra and Lucas Arts adventures were the pinnacle of my childhood, but even the old FPS and RTS games had their own sense of humour, like Duke Nukem's macho quips and StarCraft's witty pop-culture references. The humour is best enjoyed when you least expect it, that's a law or something. When I first heard Duke's or Cabal's (Blood 3D) snide comments during the game, I just laughed so hard I had to pause the game. It was totally out of the blue, coming from a serious shoot 'em up game full of blood and guns. Much like StarCrafts somewhat hidden "fourth click" humour-bombs.

Who said an FPS should be all about killing things as brutally as you can? The relentless pursuit of life-like and "reality" based games killed the entertainment, the humour, the ability to think about computer games as "fun", or better yet, it gave "fun" a different meaning...

Playbahnosh:
I'll be a good net citizen, and disagree.

"Who said an FPS should be all about killing things as brutally as you can? The relentless pursuit of life-like and "reality" based games killed the entertainment, the humour, the ability to think about computer games as "fun", or better yet, it gave "fun" a different meaning...

Yeah, I guess it's wrong to say an FPS can't have comedy in it but it is pretty one-sided. Crude jokes, explosions...fun stuff but there's only room for so much.

In an adventure game people talked, and even more impressively people around you weren't shot all the time. It made it so you could have a lot of word play and clever humor like Monkey Island and all the other adventure games. How can an FPS compare with a gag like in 'Leisure Suit Larry 3' when you go inside the magic door and walk out into Sierra studios and they're filming games? How many people are going to even pick up on it if they aren't forced to slow down and read?

FPS, by their twitchy nature, make it so you're not really paying attention to the world around you because you're dodging bullets and shooting all the time. Hell, Bioshock gives away the plot twist when you're walking around the theater district. You just have to look for it on the posters. Did anyone notice?

Hrrmm..No One Lives Forever was an uncut gem that had both humour and FPS.

"This is the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, people do not simply vanish without a trace! "

The_root_of_all_evil:
Hrrmm..No One Lives Forever was an uncut gem that had both humour and FPS.

"This is the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, people do not simply vanish without a trace! "

Wasn't that a stealth game?

L.B. Jeffries:

The_root_of_all_evil:
Hrrmm..No One Lives Forever was an uncut gem that had both humour and FPS.

"This is the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, people do not simply vanish without a trace! "

Wasn't that a stealth game?

I only played the second game, while it tried to do stealth it ended up as a run and gun fest. But it was utterly hysterical.

Midget Mimes with Miniguns and a huge Scottish man on a tricycle.

sammyfreak:

L.B. Jeffries:

The_root_of_all_evil:
Hrrmm..No One Lives Forever was an uncut gem that had both humour and FPS.

"This is the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, people do not simply vanish without a trace! "

Wasn't that a stealth game?

I only played the second game, while it tried to do stealth it ended up as a run and gun fest. But it was utterly hysterical.

Midget Mimes with Miniguns and a huge Scottish man on a tricycle.

*looks at hat*

Okay, Thief had a really cool story too. I do think they're the exception to the general FPS scene though!

*eats hat*

L.B. Jeffries:
FPS, by their twitchy nature, make it so you're not really paying attention to the world around you because you're dodging bullets and shooting all the time.

Well, in earlier FPSs there was time to look around the map and discover every single funny thing the creators put inside. I remember Shadow Warrior was my favorite that time, with it's cheezy Engrish, movie and pop culture references and all around goofing off. The FPSs of that era didn't take themselves too seriously and dished out the action with a heap of surprising, self-deprecating jokes and over-the-top humour. Really now, who could play Redneck Rampage and not laugh their asses off in the process? :) Or show me a player that did not spend at least twenty minutes trying to score a goal with a zombie's severed head in Blood 3D. Today's FPSs try to go for reality and real-life gameplay elements, and that is ESS-AGE-IEE-TEE, BAD. Games are intended to help ESCAPE from reality not to bring us more into it. If I ever want to see a skull realisticly splatter over a wall, I turn on Reality TV, if I ever want to see a man get shot relisticly, I turn on the news or, hell, walk on the street at night. When I play games, I want to GET AWAY from reality, and have fun, laugh a lot while playing. That's why games are for, right?

And yeah, NOLF was awesome =D

What I, and many other LSL fans, find so monumentally difficult to believe is why anyone would even begin to make a new Larry game without recruiting Al Lowe. He's the real reason those games were so great, and are so fondly remembered. He's a really genuine, funny guy - check out www.allowe.com and sign up for his CyberJoke3000 and you'll see.

I wouldn't go as far as to say I 'know' Al, but I've interviewed him myself and we exchange the occasional email, and he's a guy who genuinely understands the concept and importance of making games fun. And that's all the Larry games are - unabashed fun, designed purely to entertain. Magna Cum Laude was destined to fail, because it was made with a different attitude, and without Al's lively soul written into the code.

He even offered to help (living only ten minutes from Sierra's offices), but Sierra never came back to him, if you can believe that. That's how much worth they really put in the Larry Laffer brand, and the quality of the new game reflects that dismissive attitude. The same thing's happened again with Box Office or Bust, so we're unlikely to see a return to form for Larry this year.

L.B. Jeffries:
How can an FPS compare with a gag like in 'Leisure Suit Larry 3' when you go inside the magic door and walk out into Sierra studios and they're filming games? How many people are going to even pick up on it if they aren't forced to slow down and read?

That bit was awesome! How many other games can claim a parting homage to Blazing Saddles?

Today's FPSs try to go for reality and real-life gameplay elements, and that is ESS-AGE-IEE-TEE, BAD. Games are intended to help ESCAPE from reality not to bring us more into it. If I ever want to see a skull realisticly splatter over a wall, I turn on Reality TV, if I ever want to see a man get shot relisticly, I turn on the news or, hell, walk on the street at night. When I play games, I want to GET AWAY from reality, and have fun, laugh a lot while playing. That's why games are for, right?

Aren't movies also intended as an escape? So should we have nothing but comedy?

Be careful how closed minded your ideas on game design are. I miss the level of humor you see in games like Gex 2: Enter the Gecko myself, but at the same time, when I picked up Gears of War and saw turrets and grenades turning enemies into giblets, I was pretty happy. There are a ton of games that try and get that realistic war feeling, but most of them end up lacking simply due to how they deal with bodies. When I finish a room in any of the Halo games, I feel pleased to see that it looks like a battlefield, with dead bodies of enemies and comrades alike. In Gears, when I see enemies flying apart in bloody pieces like in Saving Private Ryan, I enjoy it. Why? Well, I have an attraction to games that simulate warfare, and the better they capture the experience, the more I enjoy it.

I understand people hating the grizzled space marine deal, too, but personally I love sci-fi, so I much prefer it.

But that's neither here nor there, as the topic is Leisure Suit Larry. The only one I got to play was Magna Cum Laude, and I honestly found it humorous, but I haven't played it again since the first time. There are quite a few memorable moments, but it seems like it would've made a better movie or something.

ccesarano:
Be careful how closed minded your ideas on game design are.

Naw, you got me wrong. I have no problem with the realistic graphics, it was inevitable with the progressing technology, I have a problem with games consisting of JUST THAT. Halo 3, GoW, CoD4, MoH:A, they are all good games, but they lack a certain element that made their predecessors classics. Namely that wise-cracking slapfest that made them enjoyable. No wonder Doom3 was a failure. Wading knee-deep in demon corpses with a bullet-vomitting uber-cannon in a dark, dank space station WITHOUT anything else, is bad. Yeah, I bet it was fun for the trigger-happy angsty teenagers high on Ritalin, who crash into a coma if they go without killing something for three seconds. But no me.

A good load of a suitable kind of humour is the part of every good game, IMHO. And with suitable I mean for the game's athmosphere, that was wrong in Magna Cum Laude, and in Hospital Tycoon, Hellgate London...and lot many games that came out not so long ago. But take Portal for example. Or Overlord. Those games had good graphics, hell Portal had that awesome sci-fi reality and physics and such, but it managed to make me literaly lough-out-loud at the humourfest that was in that game. On the other hand it was an awesome action game full of puzzles and REALLY innovetive gameplay and outstanding story. That game I really enjoyed. But look at Halo3 or GoW as your example... yeah, that's what I thought...

The cool graphics are okay if that is not the entire content of the game. I'd really like to see a Dungeon Keeper 3 about now :)

because graphic's weren't so focused on you got very witty lines and a great adventure game and actually you got more involved in.leisure larry 2 i actually felt sorry for him and thats just because of the words and the characters lol (not giving anything away)

..the beaver jokes maybe giggle as well...and cheeky animations lol

 

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