Well, I'm almost done with LSLR, and so far it seems decent.
The humor is classic Larry and they've done a good job remaking the game with more modern visuals. That said, there are quite a few complaints I have about the game.
1. Few Options - The options menu is incredibly sparse. You can adjust sound, turn on or off voices and subtitles, including setting subtitles to go forward with or without your prompting, but that's it.
I'd like a way to turn off the narrator, but keep the in-game voices. Plus, it'd be nice to have a way to separately adjust voices, sounds and music. No option to do that, either.
The options for graphics are even worse: there are none, or at least, none you can adjust from within the game. That has to be done before you launch the game itself.
2. Poor Voice Audio Quality - This surprised me, but the voices recorded in the game sound scratchy and of a somewhat lower quality than is expected in games today.
The scratchiness is most obvious when cutting the narrator or Larry off and skipping ahead in the dialogue. This shouldn't be an issue.
3. Poor Animations - This is disappointing, but it's true: LSLR has extremely poor animation quality. The animation shown would've been okay in the mid-to-late 1990s (think LSL7), but in 2013, it looks like a game that's at least a decade old.
This isn't me being a "graphics person," either. For some reason the animations have a very low framerate. Instead of running smoothly, the animations are jerky and look out of place.
4. Graphics/Settings Reset - This is a problem on the menu when launching the game. You have the option to choose your resolution, but it resets to 1024x768 every time you start up the game.
Setting the correct resolution takes all of two seconds, so it's a minor issue, but I'd like to think this game could do something as easy as remember the resolution I picked.
You can also select windowed mode or full screen, and choose the graphical quality in a very unclear manner. How is it unclear? Well, I'm playing at the highest setting entitled "Fantastic." The lowest setting is "Fastest."
What do those mean? I have no idea. Nowhere does it tell me what those settings entail and how they affect the game.
There should be individual graphical settings, where you can manage the animation quality, anti-aliasing, and so on. At the very least, include some basic catch-all settings (like they have now) and the option to individually tinker with settings if you want.
5. Interface - The interface, overall, is the same as the 1991 remake, but it has one extra annoying feature: if you hold down the left mouse button, an icon wheel (for lack of a better term) is brought up, letting you choose what icon you want without heading to the top of the screen or flipping through them with the right mouse button.
Now I know that seems nice and in some cases it is, but it gets frustrating when attempting to hold down the left mouse in certain situations. A good example is when playing blackjack and you want to increase your bet. If you hold down the left mouse button, the wheel is brought up, so you need to keep clicking and clicking, as if this were a Diablo game.
I have a feeling this option was put in for when LSLR gets ported to Android and iOS. On a tablet or smartphone, this would be beneficial, but not so much on a PC.
6. Save Games - Yes, LSLR lets you manually save whenever you want, so that's good; however, its save menu leaves a lot to be desired.
You can't use any special characters (i.e. no dashes, slashes, apostrophes, colons, dollar signs, ampersands, etc.) which makes naming them a bit awkward. Even the original 1987 LSL1 game let you use special characters, so why the new 2013 copy won't is beyond me.
Perhaps my biggest grievance is that the game doesn't check with you first if you want to overwrite a save. It'll just do it, so you could accidentally save over another saved game. Oddly enough, if you want to load a save game, it then warns you about losing your current game and progress.
7. Poor Game Design - This is a big one and it shows that Al Lowe is behind the times when it comes to game design.
Although many of the puzzles present in the 1987 and 1991 versions exist in the 2013 copy, so do the mistakes that lead to an unwinnable scenario.
For instance, if you don't give the box of wine to the drunk outside the 7/11 (I know it's not called that, but I can't recall the actual name), you'll never get the pocket knife. Without the pocket knife, you won't be able to cut the bungee cords that Fawn used to tie you to the bed.
There's no way any newcomer to the game could reasonably be expected to know this ahead of time. Only seasoned Adventure gamers -- particularly those who've played LSL1 already -- would know to do this without screwing themselves over first.
I know what some Adventure fans would say: "So what? That's how you learn in these games!"
Maybe it was, but this was also a product of a time period where gaming was still relatively new and game design wasn't nearly as polished. Back then designers had few examples to use, so they were more or less writing the book on creating games. Today it's a different story.
To let gamers get to an unwinnable situation nowadays is unthinkable and inexcusable. This doesn't mean the game needs to hold your hand every step of the way, but gaming is no longer in its infancy and as such, poor game design decisions like this are no longer "par for the course."
Final Thoughts: This is a good remake, but that's all it is. Granted, Lowe never promised anything but that, but with the exception of a few new puzzles and one new girl, it's basically the same game as the 1991 remake.
My biggest gripe is that such little care went into the game. It was designed as if it were still the early 1990s, without taking into account the changes in audience expectations and the industry as a whole.
I bought this off Replay Games' website, so I'd have a DRM-free version (this was before GOG had it on their site). The price was $20, the same as on GOG and Steam. Honestly, I don't think it's worth it. Maybe $10 at most, but that's it. My advice is to wait for a sale on Steam or GOG and get it then.
Last edited by DeadPoolX
on Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.