This blog is about computer software (and other things that come to mind to keep it interesting) --- my fascination with it as something with an almost "divine" potential, almost in the same way I see music. Also, it's a glimpse into something that is probably foreign to you and that you wouldn't know about otherwise. Somewhere in the dark corners where I hide. You see I am the last philosopher. And the only reason why I allow this at all is because I made a kind of mistake in my life and also realized kabbalah (which made clear to me that whatever I'm doing in this life, however solemn, is relatively unimportant), so interesting turn of events since I deviated from my path to the stars and ended up here. I'm shamelessly promoting myself until I'm capable of an old seriousness and can look back on this to see what it meant. (also to try blogging and experimenting with socializing a bit to see what I'd not have any other way or reason to find out about)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Magna Cum Laude

I don't assume anyone here really wants to play this so yes this does contain SPOILERS.

So here's how to play Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude.  Oh by the way I hate this game.  Whoever made this completely failed to understand what made the Al Lowe games so great.  This game is so absolutely awful I can't believe it even exists; it's a perfect example of the ultimate ignorance and mediocrity of profit minded corporations that don't work with the artists they'd be nothing without. 

I'm including this here for Larry fans that never bothered to play this game but always wondered whether there were any good nude shots of those 3D girls that of course is a part of what appealed to us about the old games, but not all.  A way of helping them to be able to quickly and definitively determine its only merits without actually playing it, or if necessary then to spare them having to actually take it seriously in order to make their way through it by clarifying some things. 

The point of the game is to deal with each girl, collecting their "tokens of affection," in order to qualify with "Uma," who is the "Swingles" game show hostess, for a chance to be on the show.  It's somehow a way of proving yourself adequate and living up to your claims.  It's a stupid premise really.  So-called "tokens of affection" range from things like beer bongs to the charred skull of a dead girl. 

The face icon and green arrow is the level of confidence, which throughout the entire game as I played it almost never came into play.  Maybe that's because I cheated, or maybe it's because it didn't matter anyway because the game sucks.  Who cares.  I read somewhere that when it's high the top icon of those three circles appears and allows you to "pose" for people, which I won't explain because it's stupid.  The eye means you're close to something you can right click and get a description about, and where the speech bubble icon is can be other things as well, depending on what you're close to.  Very intuitive.  (and simple) 

This image is how drunk you are.  At max you automatically enter a streaking game.  Like confidence this affects elements of gameplay. 

How to get the girls' clothes off: the truth is that although there is nudity in this game, throughout the game it is not that much until you get to the end where you get the "everybody's naked" thing from old Larry at "Lefty's Too."  On the way there are strip versions of the mini games you get from the mohawk sporting "Nigel," who appears in different places and has different things to sell you at different points in the development of the game.  Your best bet is to download this saved game and go to the black book and explore (all the things in the game are saved in the black book to replay if desired).
I'm not too sure about the nudity patch floating around, but it seems that it couldn't change the pre-recorded sequences and the rest Uncut and Uncensored does without it, so I wouldn't worry about it.

There isn't anything reminiscent of the old Larry games of any real appreciation.  A lot of things that try to be but fail because of an obvious lack of appreciation for what they meant in the originals. 
Vendmaster 2000 is a vending machine where you can buy items you'll need in the game… like clothes and beer. 
There is a kind of intellectual description of items but it's all half-hearted and oblivious to the context and subtlety of the Al Lowe games.  It's annoying here like everything that tries to be like the old Larry.
Instead of Where's Dildo's there are some kind of German ass plugs.  I couldn't care less. 
And the style of the loading sequence art is reminiscent of the changing wallpapers in lsl7.
If you left click when there's nothing there you end up farting, which was novel in lsl7 because there was a reason, it was self-deprecating instead of simply crude, and you had to find out how to do it. 
"Jesus Mary and Joseph!"
The ATM in the dance club is called the cash master 2000, but it's just an ATM. 
Lefty's "Too"

The "\" does something with the camera,
the middle mouse button changes 3rd to 1st person perspective,
the left alt button brings up the black book,
holding the right one shows you your money and tokens,
"*" puts you in camera mode. 
Press right shift to find out what things mean when buying things. 
Help to avoid the sh*t and how to play those stupid mini games. 

What to do first.  How to get the singles thing.

You of course can just go to the saved game like I said, but if you wanted to play the game entirely you would go to Uma, the Swingles thing, and then to whatever girl will talk to you.  It's not rewarding so don't expect much, but I suppose if you really could avoid it (expecting anything) you might like it (though I see mentioning that as a kind of moot point). 

If you keep missing the right ones (green ones) the sperm becomes more difficult to maneuver (making the game even more boring) in the case when you have the little alcohol icons, and its getting drunk that makes the sperm sluggish.  (that orange thing is coffee I think, and relieves some of the drunkenness)

Getting the right ones does change the course of the conversation, but what wins is really just that you must have this filled up when it's over. 

Money is gotten by taking photos and selling them to people, but I didn't bother cuz I cheated.  You can also do a few other things (Cap'n Slappin's Spank Shanty is in "crappy streets" and you can just get some money there, it's a ping pong game; a role of film will show up in that icon where the speech bubble is when you're next to someone who can evaluate your photos)

The game takes too long to load. 
For some reason the screen doesn't stay maximized while I keep switching back to OneNote writing this review. 

Spoiler but here to provide the best bits of the game in case you'd rather be spared actually having to play it all:

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You can't go into most of those doors you see, so don't bother. 

Interesting points:
the jet pack on Zanna (watch the ending)
a sequence where Lovage talks to the director of the game while a scene with Harriet is in progress (play the second chat)
there's a funny voice that Harriet does (ending)
In the midst of the general mediocrity that is this game (in comparison with the real larry games) there are some interesting things about it that I was actually surprised by and made it a tad less boring. 
I was unsure whether this was an attempt by Vivendi to make a Larry game as they misconceived it, or if it was a conscious attempt to reduce an obviously superior game to appeal to a wider and stupider audience. 
There's a scene where Lovage and some others sing a parody of the Grease song "Summer Nights," and it was pretty surprising.  The game sucks because it's just a bunch of pushing up, down, left, or right (whack-a-mole), chasing after tokens of some sort avoiding various characters, and moving the sperm up and down to dodge things.  They are always exactly the same except for the context that it's supposed to accompany, the story.  The story itself is boring, and fails at the sexual innuendos (because they're not) and general creativity that the adventure game and Al Lowe offered, replaced with obvious stereotypes and predictable crude humor.  It really just sucks (I don't want to mislead anyone with any positive remarks).
Oh and there's the wet t-shirt game.   
And the sequence games (trampoline, dancing), which are just pushing the right buttons in a sequence.  And "quarters," for which you move the mouse down, and then up… to throw a quarter into the glass.  Oh and there's this game where you throw flyers and other stuff (Tapper), a game of hand slaps (for which there are telltale signs or else it's impossible), and a game of taking good photos (the meter on top determines the quality of photo, and you don't have to save the photos to win), which is also stupid, because it's just not in any way clever, but you just have to wait for a pose and click, and in one case what you're looking for is a magnified man's crotch… ???  You're going to need a magnified lens (you find after throwing over the spotlights at the Swingles stage) for that particular game.  Oh and that stupid ping pong type game, streaking, and this one that's like avoidance games but you go looking for people to collect. 

The games require no real skill and seem to miss the potential they had at making it in small ways challenging and rewarding.  The whack-a-mole could be continuous and fast (like Tetris;  it could be so much more fun if they made it faster instead of constantly stopping it to stifle you and prolong the game), the rhythm and trampoline games could have involved some kind of real development sequence, and the chat games are a distraction from precisely that.   
Takes too long to load.  Load's too long!
(though I found out that if you simply load another window, and switch back it finishes loading, for whatever reason)

They interpreted the attempt to get laid and failing in the original Larry games as expected and convince themselves it's still novel, and what's more they included obvious sex and too crude humor which also defies the point.  They miss the subtlety of the old games and have no appreciation for their adventure aspect (which seems vital as it's a game, the crucial point that reduces this to almost nothing). 

Animal cruelty
Criminal obscenity
Ruining a marriage
A kind of patriotic racism
A very Ill light on transexuals

A list of all the things I felt were dealt with incredibly distastefully and of course helped further to ruin the game. 

There were some redeeming things about it (though overall not a rewarding game at all), like when the "federal agent" catches up with you, slaps you, and says "America!"  that's kind of funny. 

If you can get past the fact that "Lovage" doesn't meet up to the real Larry then you can manage to appreciate it as something independent a bit, and there are humorous characteristics about it/him/whatever. 

It makes me think that they included something for women too, which isn't really the point. 

Sadly, Larry does appear in this game, but he doesn't belong there. 

"Wimp out," a relief of some kind (from having to play something I really didn't have to). 

There's no real story, and the games are so boring and repetitive. 

It gets tiring to find out that however much you've progressed all that really awaits you is more of those stupid mini-games. 
The underwear dance (under Uma, the last dances)
Some moments on the trampolines (when she's bouncing)
Sallie Mae closeup (here)
Peep hole behind sorority house in Greek Quad (though it's like the lsl6) (invert the x-axis to see further right)
The specific shots (all of them youtube)
The tity bar interior design and some of the fun cartoon images of girls 

Something that bothered me was the sophistication and stereotyping that missed the point of the original games completely.  The old larry games were largely based on the adventure element that would give a kind of flare and meaning to the girls and relationships you'd form.  The fact that they had funny names and were sometimes based on real people was not an attempt to mock those people. 
References to cocktails in the old games was endearing and funny, while here it's only crude. 

And I don't have to tell you how much it pissed me off when I heard this: "yes that's the van san 4001 series, black laminate work surface, 21 inch vase, 17 inch column, and ?adjust height control, yes sir, that's a top of the line podium."

Secret tokens and cash everywhere.  Boring. 

I hate that score screen.  It annoys me.  This is not an adventure game.

1 comment:

  1. i forgot to put this last bit here. it's just not something you can show. you pretty much have to see it in the game. i admit i think it's cool, just the layout of the place: