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Review: OHR House 3 (Week 1) 
 PostThu Oct 16, 2008 10:58 pm
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This is a review of OHR House 3: On the Plantation.

Reposted from a review in HamsterSpeak #15:
http://superwalrusland.com/ohr/issue15/house3/house3.html
This game has changed since this review and not all comments may still apply.


Disclaimer: This review was written before the Week 1 Results were posted, and a few comments may be obsolete.

The OHR House series has been a staple of the OHR community for years now. After an enormous length of time, OHR House 2 was completed in the fall of 2007, and this summer brings us the start of OHR House 3. For those unfamiliar, OHR House is a comedic "reality show" in which caricatures of OHR community members share a house and compete for cash prizes. The show is divided into episodic weeks, and after each week viewers can vote between two characters to decide who gets kicked out of the house.

Currently, only an introduction and the first week is online, with more to come soon. One of the biggest problems faced by OHR House 2 was a large drop in voters and community reaction compared to the first game, but so far it looks like the latest installment is off to a healthy start; there has already been a good number of votes, including some from people outside the community.

The introduction chapter sets up this season's setting; The plantation belonging to the producer's parents. Chaos Nyte returns, once again portrayed as Harry Potter. If you liked him in previous seasons, you will like him here; the character is pretty much the same as ever, but since a lot of people were fans of him, that's probably for the best.

Week 1 introduces the new cast members; Fenrir-Lunaris, Xerian, White Mage, BattleBlaze, Nathan Karr, Jack, Artimus Bena, RMSephy, and Komera. The story so far has revolved around the fact that BattleBlaze is black and the show takes place on an old plantation. If you're sensitive to race jokes, you will hate this game. While I wasn't offended, I did feel that there were too many jokes revolving around this for one episode, and hope that his character becomes more than just "angry black man." I am very glad that BB did not just end up being a carbon copy of Giz from the first two seasons, which would have been a very easy way to write the character, given the real BB's personality. Instead, the character bears no resemblance to the person he's based on aside from race.

There is a lot of potential for comedy with the Fenrir character, but so far the only real jokes made involve the fact that he plays too many videogames.

Xerian is an "emo kid" who spends all of his time in the house complaining and rehearsing bad poetry. He's a weepy livejournal page come to life. There hasn't been a whole lot to like about this character himself, but the reactions others give to him have been entertaining, especially Bena's.

I'm hoping that something more interesting comes of the White Mage character, because she was one of the least likable characters in this episode. She has the "innocent good girl" personality of last season's JJkaybomb, only with less religious indignation. However, most of her jokes involve the fact that she yells out the names of spells from Final Fantasy games at the end of her sentences. The character is based on an obnoxious forum gimmick account, and is just as obnoxious here. I'm hoping for a big twist in personality later on, because right now she feels like the most one-note character on the show.

The "religious indignation" aspect is covered this time by Nathan Karr. Of the show's whole cast, Nathan Karr most closely resembles his real life counterpart, which leads me to believe that we're in for something terrifying in future episodes.

Jack feel like a rehash of Me from season 2, but without the political references. He worries a lot and acts overly polite, and while he isn't outright annoying, there's nothing really interesting about the character.

Komera's entire joke is that she's old and can't understand where she is or what people are saying. A lot of her comments struck me as pretty funny, but I can't imagine it staying strong for the whole season, and she doesn't seem like a character who will develop any real conflicts.

My least favorite character so far is RMSephy. He doesn't seem to have any real personality, aside from "loud, angry guy." He's the only character who didn't either get a laugh out of me or show potential to go somewhere interesting. If I had the choice, I would have voted him out in this episode.

The last new challenger to cover is Artimus Bena. He's my favorite character so far, and although all of his jokes have revolved around him being incoherent and French, he never got stale. Even his dumber jokes made me laugh, and of all the cast, he has the most potential for conflict with the others. He's probably the only character I don't want to see change; I love that he's just an outright madman. My biggest worry is that there will be a repeat of last season's "Uncommon isn't really British!" in which we find out that Bena's French heritage is all a guise. It seems like the logical place to take the character, but it's been done and I prefer him the way he is.

So far, I have found the cast of this season more interesting than season 2's, and the writing seems to have improved in many places, even if it falls short for specific characters (and good God are the White Mage jokes bad). There is less of a constant flow of obscenities, which I really felt hurt the previous season. I'm obviously not someone easily bothered by obscenity; there's plenty to go around in Walthrus and Super Walrus Chef. What does bother me is when it's overused to a degree that it becomes way too noticeable and obtrusive, and I felt that this was the case with season 2. There's a fine line between edginess and bad South Park fanfiction, and season 2 felt like it crossed that line a few too many times. I am glad to see that the latest installment has largely avoided this, and reads more intelligently as a result. If the BattleBlaze character were in season 2 instead of 3, his scenes likely would have been far more vile.

I am looking forward to where this season goes, and I think it has more potential than season 2. It's still not perfect, and I did feel that the first episode ran a bit too long, but I will continue to watch and vote, which is the part that makes the game really interesting. I just sincerely hope that people don't vote off the more interesting characters in favor of characters named after people they like in real life. I'm cheering for Bena to win it all, but I feel like BattleBlaze has the best (and most thematically appropriate/ironic) chance. I'm looking forward to the rest of the season; I just hope this one doesn't take another three years.
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