Monday, October 31, 2011

Terrifying Terrible Terrors - Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust (xbox 360, PS3)

You are in a cramped, dingy room. Swinging miserably like a thief at the gallows hangs a solitary lightbulb - crusted black and lassoed by a chain turned green with rust. The cold tile floor is oppressive against your shins as you sit chained against a metal cot, also caked with years of grime with enough rust to give a T-rex lockjaw. Just above your eyesight is a miserable looking 4x4 window - covered with tinfoil, barred up, and locked down tight. The only means of escape is an iron door - that is not only locked from the outside but the rust on the hinges makes for an airtight seal.

"How long have I been here?" You mutter aloud.

The lightbulb is dimming fast and the only other light in this cell is radiating from a single 20" flatscreen and a flashing green circle eminating from a blood caked Xbox 360. At your feet lies a pink Xbox 360 controller. Will this finally unlock the secret to your capture? Will you find comfort and rescue in the arms of a pretty rockin' game of Gears of War 3?


All that sits before you is a single disc. A jester-like figure staring back at you with a crooked smile in his grin and bright pink packaging suggest a light-hearted romp through the backlots and bedrooms of hollywood. You feel a ping of nostalgia and your heart starts to flutter with the memory of by-gone days. You remember fondly trying to stuff that 30 pound big-gulp in your pants in Leisure Suit Larry 2, the wacky mishaps at La Costa Lotta spa in Leisure Suit Larry 6, the wacky confusion of the convenience store clerk trying to sell you a lamb-skin "lubber" in Leisure Suit Larry: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards. Your PC was full to the brim with Sierra goodness and Al Lowe's smiling, bald head gave you comfort where you thought none could be had. The saxaphone music, the sexy women, the cheesy puns, the angry Russians - you recall it all with a fond heart and true love. Like an old army buddy or a first kiss; this feels like home.

Just as quickly as those thoughts come they are thrust out of your consciousness like a newborn smacking against the grimey tile floor in this cruel and pitiful jailcell. You are forced to take control of Larry Lovage - the nephew of prized nerd lothario Larry Laffer. You've graduated from college in "Magna Cum Laude" and now take a job doing errands at a Hollywood movie studio. As you start to move your pitiful looking geeky man-boy the horror starts to set in pretty quickly. This game is not a Leisure Suit Larry game.

Every second ticks by like a fateful swipe of the sword of Damacles hanging above your head.

"Oh lord, please tell me that these controls are a cruel joke...please tell me it will get better."


Your pleas go unanswered. Larry Lovage walks around like a marionette with half of his strings busted. He skulks around the studio lot looking desperate and helpless. Will he finally find a vehicle to ride around so his hapless gait wont be confused for zombie shuffling? Yes, but the horrors only continue when he gets behind the wheel.

"Ohhhh!" The horrifying shriek passes your lips as you crash into sidewalls in your less-than-GTA3 quality driving mechanics. It would be like someone playing Mario Kart with half of your d-pad buttons missing. It's almost as if the programmers are saying "try playing this game, we dare you!"

The truest and most cruel horror comes during the cutscenes and they come fast and frequent like a Louisville slugger to the cranium. The jokes are beyond stale. The humor is nonexistant. All that is left are horrible fart jokes and salty language that is so potty-mouthed that it doesn't even make sense. Why is EVERYONE cussing in every line of dialogue? You're far from a prude, but even in your hazy - possibly drugged state, you can recognize that these F-bombs are being placed here instead of actual humor.

Not funny. I'm sorry - try again.

Every time one of these celebrity voice-over actors spills another line of puke onto the screen you only feel more sorry for them than you do yourself. They are being rendered into ugly, horrifying creatures.

Graphics so terrifying that they make an Atari Jaguar look cutting-edge.

"Why does everyone look like their face is made from shattered pixels and octagons crammed into a blender? Why do the women all look like aliens? Why is the dialogue so bad?!"

Sooo not sexy. I'd rather play "spin-the-bottle" w/ Snookie

And then finally, you reach the boiling point of frustration. Youre about to be escorted out of an office by security gaurds and are forced to fight them and duke it out. You have never experienced anything as truly awful as this.

"His attacks don't connect! He's useless! The game is fixed! The game is RIGGED!!!! The game is broken!!!!"

"BRING BACK AL LOWE! BRING BACK SIERRA! HELL, BRING BACK MAGNA CUM LAUDE! I'M SORRY!!!!! We all hated that game but that's only because we didn't know about Box Office Bust! We didn't know!!!! WE DIDN'T KNOW!!!!"

And just like that, with the last bit of energy left in your body - you slump over. Controller thumping against the grimy black tiles, all life and spirit expired.

Press Enter to Restart.
Remember - save early and save often!