Diehard GameFAN Hall of Shame Nomination: Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust

Every week, we will present a new game to be nominated for the Diehard GameFAN Hall of Fame and Hall of Shame. These nominations will occur every Monday and Friday, respectively. Our standards are just like the Baseball Hall of Fame: every game will be voted on by members of the staff, and any game that gets 75% of the vote – with a minimum of four votes – will be accepted – or thrown – into their respective Hall.

Game: Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust
Developer: Team 17
Publisher: Funsta
Release Date: 3/31/2009
System Released On: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC
Genre: Action/Platformer

Who Nominated The Game: I don’t even think I need to answer this, do I? Between the vitriolic review, the twenty-plus page column, and the disgusted write up for the 2009 end of the year awards, could it really be anyone else? I nominated the hell out of this, if only because I assumed people on staff had actually played it, despite my attempts at warning them otherwise.

Why Was It Nominated: Well, “because it sucks” probably isn’t really involved enough an explanation to justify the nomination, I suppose, so here you go. Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust is like a perfect storm of terrible, only instead of a raincloud, there’s a giant asshole, and instead of rain, it’s raining more assholes. The game was stuck in development hell because the original publisher wanted nothing to do with it, the game is sloppy and lazy, the whole entire product is slap-dash and atrocious, AND it rapes a once-good franchise for every last dollar that could possibly be squeezed from its violated corpse.

You could say that I’m not a fan.

But rather than continue to rip apart the game and basically wage a one-man war against how terrible it is, let us instead assess the game’s terrible points WITH SCIENCE!

To whit:

– The game was unanimously voted the worst game of 2009 by our staff.
– The game’s aggregate score on Gamerankings is such that it’s the eighth worst game of all time amongst games with ten or more reviews (it fails to rank amongst games with twenty or more reviews because there were only nineteen people with enough balls to actually review the game, so the rest of you pussies in the gaming industry without a review on your records can shut right the hell up about how awesome you are, because I BEAT THAT DAMN GAME so our readers wouldn’t have to and you couldn’t even write two paragraphs about the first two hours).
– My esteemed partner in terrible game playing, Mr. J. Rose, WON’T EVEN PLAY THE GAME because he’s too scared. Seriously.
– Both Matt Yaeger and Aaron Sirois decided that, against all common sense, they had to play the game after reading everything I had to say about it, and both expressed how utterly unprepared they were for JUST HOW BAD IT WAS, even after reading multiple pages of venomous prose about it.

The point is, if the game sucked any harder I’d never have to throw out the trash again because it’d be a portable black hole that I could toss anything I didn’t want into forever, and this is pretty much scientific fact. As I said back in my review of the game over a year ago, “Put simply: Magna Cum Laude was like a little girl seeing mommy put on makeup and emulating that by smearing lipstick all over her face. Box Office Bust is like a little boy seeing daddy shaving and emulating that by cutting the cat in half with a chainsaw. ”

So, with that in mind, let’s see if everyone else agrees with me.

All in Favor:

Alex Lucard – I love the LSL series. It was a fun little adventure game series when it first came out, and each subsequent title was enjoyable, and if not great by any means, was worth playing. Then somewhere along the line, the series took a wrong turn at Albequerque and ended up in Shit City. Box Office Bust is the mayor and lord high ruler of Shit City and it is doubtful he will ever lose his re-election bid.

The game is simply terrible in every way. Controls, graphics, the abomination of a story, camera angles that are anything but helpful. Quite simply, there is no way this game should have been allowed to hit the market.

Chris Bowen – I hate this game for many of the same reasons Mark did. They not only made a bad game, they shit on the legacy of the original games and double-shit on Al Lowe by not involving him. I wish he could sue Codemasters for some sort of copyright violation, because that’s what Box Office Bust is: a violation. It’s as sophomoric and immature as a middle school kid who’s simultaneously drunk off his first wine cooler and trying to undo his first bra clasp. Actually, I take that back; the drunken pubescent would have more class than this game would.

Usually, we at DHGF can’t even agree on lunch, yet we all agreed that Box Office Bust was the worst game of 2009. That says something.

Aaron Sirois – As Mark will have mentioned, I was one of poor saps that bought this game (for only eight bucks thankfully) because I wanted to see just how bad it could be. It’s the same reason I own Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on DVD. Awful movie.

What I discovered is quite possibly the most insulting game in history. If anything, the only game that might beat it is Custer’s Revenge. Perhaps if I had played through the original LSL games, it would even take the cake on that one.

This isn’t to say that vulgarity, raunchiness, or fart jokes insult me. Its just that these jokes are the kinds of things that movies like Epic Movie or Disaster Movie wouldn’t even allow in their scripts. They’re that bad and not remotely funny. My biggest complaint is probably Larry himself, as he never shuts up, constantly spouts off jokes that only he finds amusing, and is insanely unlikable.

Don’t even get me started on the gameplay. The combat is the worst I’ve seen in a game, the camera jerks around like a raging bull, and the game is almost nothing but fetch quests involving either long trips or insanely bad platforming.

You see, I find it insulting that the developers thought people would enjoy this piece of crap. I hate myself for playing it. That’s why it is a shoe in for the Hall of Shame.

James Hatton – Oh, where have you gone Al Lowe?

When I was a teenager, Leisure Suit Larry games were the dirty little secret you kept hidden on your hard drive so your parents wouldn’t see that you might be looking at the occasional EGA nipple. To this day, LSL quotes appear peppered in my sarcastic vernacular (Oooh! Free Matches!). The game was something special and different in the (at the time) bloated adventure genre.

The last two Larry games have been mini-game atrocities that feature no end of fart and drunk humor that has lost any sort of elbow to the ribs of the player. Every gag is an obvious set-up with a brutally unfunny punchline. These games are what happens when you go to a suburban twelve year old and ask him to make a video game that his friends will find funny. Hall of Shame indeed.

All Opposed:

*chirp* *chirp*

Result: 5 In Favor, 0 Opposed, 100% Approval = SHAMED

Conclusion: Man I hate being right all the time.

So there you go. Not only was the game so bad that it was unanimously accepted as the worst game of 2009, it was unanimously accepted as a resident of the Hall of Shame. This might not seem like a big thing, but do bear in mind that we’re not just inducting any old crap game to come our way; to be in the Hall of Shame, your game truly must be the worst of the worst, a title Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust wears like the smelliest, most disgusting badge of honor possible. Truly, the game has earned this horrid accolade, and we salute you, Alan Covert and Team 17!

With our middle fingers.

UPDATE: I felt that it might be best, rather than simply looking to the opinions of the staff, to contact someone who might have a little more of a personal stake in this game, and find out what it meant to them to know that the game was going up on our own Hall of Shame rankings.

So I took it upon myself to contact one Al Lowe, creator of the Leisure Suit Larry franchise and proprietor of his own humor site, to see what HE thought. His response?

My favorite line about those games is: Playing them is like receiving a ransom video from your child’s kidnappers: it’s good to know he’s still alive but god, look what they’ve done to him.

I don’t think I could sum it up any better than that.

Next Week: Combine claymation representations of celebrities and over the top ultra-violence and what do you get? Next week’s nominee for the Hall of Shame! Stop back to see just what we mean.

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