Part of the reason I went ahead and picked up a copy of Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust last week was that I felt like I hadn't heard anything about the game, even though it had been out for almost two months at that point. I figured this meant it was bad, but I don't think I could've imagined just how thoroughly rotten and ill-conceived that game was. Leisure Suit Larry was never particularly high-brow, but this was about as ugly and tedious and mean-spirited a game as I've ever played. If you've got the stomach for it, you can see it for yourself in our punishing 30-minute quick look at Box Office Bust.
I'm no stranger to really exquisitely terrible games, but what makes Box Office Bust such an extra-special tragedy is that I have vaguely fond recollections of the old Leisure Suit Larry adventure games. In retrospect they were pretty tame, but they were still cheeky sexy fun. It would seem that much of the credit for the playful humor of those games belongs to Al Lowe, who created the series and guided Larry on the majority of his repeatedly futile quests to get laid. Based on the past few Leisure Suit Larry games, it's not too surprising to learn that Lowe hasn't had an iota of input on series since he was laid off when Sierra shut down its adventure game operations in 1999.
You might think that, after spending the past decade sitting on the sidelines watching as a parade of license-holders alternately neglect and abuse poor Larry, Lowe might be a little more bitter about Box Office Bust. Sure, in writing about the game on his website, Lowe provides a long list of incendiary reviews of the game, but in the end he seems kind of relieved, like he dodged a bullet.
Thank you, VU Games, for keeping me completely away from this latest disaster!
Still, you can sense a certain disappointment in Lowe that he hasn't had a chance to play with Larry for so long. I'm not entirely sure if Leisure Suit Larry really has a place in today's video game landscape, but if he does, it seems like it wouldn't hurt to ask his creator for a little input.
Thanks to Giant Bomb user David for the tip!