He’s baaaack! One year after the surprising success of Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, Larry slipped on the toupee and the gold medallion once again to take to the streets. And while Leisure Suit Larry Goes Looking For Love (In Several Wrong Places!) -– or LSL2 for the purposes of this review -- never achieved the classic status of the first game, this is still a nice game to add to your playlist.
After being dumped by his Eve (the final woman in the first game), luck finally seems to be going Larry’s way. He just spent his last dollar on a winning lottery ticket and won a one-month cruise on the U.S.S. Love Tub after accidentally being chosen the winner of a TV dating show. But, as with most Larry adventures, this simple premise leads to a fantastical story complete with KGB operatives, doppelgangers, and of course lots of lovely ladies.
Scrapping the AGI engine used in LSL1, Larry finally makes the shift to SCI for the new game, and graphically it makes for a much better experience. While still 16 colors, backgrounds are much more detailed, and as a result LSL2 is full of sight gags that never would have worked in LSL1. But, as with the first game, some items can be easily missed, so a LOOK command is still a necessity when entering any room.
The sound in LSL2 is still a straight MIDI affair, and builds off the themes used in the first game. It’s a great soundtrack which generally lends well to the atmosphere, but in the end it’s nothing to write home about.
Gameplay has been streamlined with the new SCI interface, and Larry can now navigate with the arrow keys as well as the new mouse cursor. The text parser is as good as ever, with an even larger word list, and you’ll spend a good amount of time typing in random phrases to see what wisecracks the game will spout back. The point system is still in place, giving points for solving puzzles and for straying outside the storyline doing odd things. As with the first game, this adds a ton of replay value to the game while you try again to hunt down that last elusive point for a perfect score.
Puzzles are a little different than in LSL1, ranging from the logical to bizarre, depending on what the storyline needs at the moment. There are a much better variety of puzzles in this second installment, with fewer fetching puzzles for the various girls and more puzzles that actually move the story along. But, as with all Sierra games, you can and will die during the game, sometimes at random. So make sure to save your game every chance you get, or you may find yourself starting the game over and over trying to avoid yet another hilarious death scene.
LSL2 is a much longer game than LSL1, but still rather short by today’s standards. Without a walkthrough most adventure gamers can expect to finish up in around 10-12 hours or so, taking into account the enormous amount of dying and restoring you’re sure to do. With a walkthrough, it’s more like a 4-5 hour game. This makes it a great game for one of those lazy weekends when you don’t really know what you feel like playing.
The bottom line is that this is another in a long line of cool games by Sierra, a company that at one point seemed like they could do no wrong. If you haven’t played it before, pick it up when you get a chance and you won’t be disappointed. If, like me, you’ve played through it more times than you can remember, pick it up again and re-live how much fun a man in a leisure suit can have.