[Warning: This review contains words that some people may find objectionable. Words that are insults or euphemisms for genitalia. Read on at your own discretion.]
Call me old fashioned, or perhaps a chauvinist pig, but I'm a sucker for games that let you chat up chicks and bring them back to your dorm room, only to have them run out when they discover you're not "Jewish" (if you catch my drift).
That's Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude in a nutshell, a naughty sort of role-playing game set on a fictional college campus which gives you the chance to chat up girls, participate in mini-games to win their affections, go on fetch quests, and pledge a frat; all with the main goal of scoring with as many girls as possible. Actually, Larry's main goal is to win a spot on a TV dating show called "Swingles," where three girls compete for the right to screw his brains out. But, in order to do that, he has to chat up local co-eds and get them to turn over their soiled panties just to get the producer to give him a try-out.
Did you get all that? Doesn't matter, here's how the game works. The campus and the surrounding town are rendered in full 3D. You can move Larry around (through hallways, into rooms, from building to building, etc.) using the analog stick. Every building and street is filled with people to talk to and objects to look at. Talking to certain people, usually gorgeous hotties, and looking at certain objects may cause mini-games to occur. They're all simple and light-hearted and typically involve actions like quickly matching a sequence of buttons, guiding a sperm icon through a maze of happy faces and grouch icons, or grabbing up a certain number of items while thugs pursue you. Mini-games include dancing, trampoline jumping, slaps (the hand-slap game you probably played as a kid), mixing drinks, Pong-like wack off games, and squirtgun-based wet t-shirt contests. Seriously. Successfully completing mini-games boosts Larry's confidence, can earn him some extra cash, and increases his luck with the ladies. Alcohol-oriented drinking games can hamper Larry's coordination and talking skills, but buying coffee and soda drinks from the various vending machines can counterbalance the negative effects. Vending machines also sell items and outfits that Larry needs to weasel his way into certain locations. If you manage to get a girl back to your room, she'll give one of the articles of clothing that you need to land a spot on "Swingles."
Every one of the mini-games can be played over and over again. There is some incentive to do so, considering you can use the cash you win to buy new outfits for Larry and to unlock nude photos of the characters and live models in the game. Basically, this is what The Guy Game should've been; a raunchy, light-hearted romp that wraps sex, video games, and goofing off together while actually giving players something to do besides pouring through difficult trivia questions on the road to bare tits and sexual situations.
Bare breasts are plentiful in Magna Cum Laude, at least after an hour or so of playing. If you bring a girl back to Larry's room and she disrobes, you'll see her breasts in all their glory but her "bramble patch" will have a giant CENSORED sign over it. Even though some of the T&A is censored, this game has plenty to appeal to a brigand's sensibilities. Characters say the f-word and other cuss words like they're going out of style and some mini-games tend to emphasize the bounciness of a girl's assets while you're trying to concentrate on completing them; not to mention the buttplug vending machine and the fountain in the Greek quad that looks like a woman getting jizzed on by four stone wangs (it's called the "Bukkaka Fountain"). Fans of the old PC-based Larry games will be glad to see the Plaid Mart and Lefty's Bar in this one, and appreciate that VU Games has kept the tradition of giving businesses parody names like "Mandingo Clothiers" and "Bum Cakes Bakery." Heck, even the soundtrack chimes in with a slew of horndog favorites, including "Me So Horny," "Pop That Coochie," "Girls, Girls, Girls," and "I'm Too Sexy." Personally, I'd also like to commend the person who decided to let Larry carry around a camera and make it possible for players to take photos of women in their underwear and sell them to the local pimp (or save them to the memory card).
Surprisingly, this game has some staying power. Among the hundred or so people you can talk to, there are a dozen different girls to pick up and at least twice that number that send Larry on fetch tasks or trigger funny events. And I don't mean sort of funny. We're talking wacky to the extreme, like trying to trick a bum into giving away his booze, or having a video game machine that talks like Randy 'Macho Man' Savage burst in while Larry is having sex, or Larry strapping a dildo onto a teddy bear in order to fool a shy librarian who's too chicken to try the real thing (while he munches on Funyuns instead). Expect to invest at least 20 hours to do all the things required to get on "Swingles." Otherwise, the mini-games tend to eat up a minute at a pop, making them excellent time wasters.
The game's biggest drawbacks are the cartoonish graphics used to draw the characters and the load times. With respect to the graphics, the animators at least did their best to make the boobs and butts look real. Also, the load screens and bonus images feature photos of the actual female models that were hired to be the basis for the game's horny co-eds. The fecking load times are unbearable though. Every time you change rooms, enter a building, or start-up a mini-game, the game takes at least 20 seconds just to load the next scene or environment. Some transitions eat up more than 30 seconds! Lame!!!
Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude isn't the best role-playing game or the best mini-game compilation, and it doesn't have the greatest visuals or dialogue, but all of its component parts come together to make up one hell of a "guy game." It definitely earns its "M" rating.
If you own a cheat device, you can use these codes to get rid of most of the censorship bars that obscure the nether regions of the nude women in the game.
Action Replay MAX
Gameshark 3 or 4
Gameshark or Action Replay V2
Gameshark or Action Replay V1-V1.9