Barnabus was a big storyline in 2010. A total unknown, he stunned Fenrir's Terrible Games Contest with a barrage of 30 entries and left everyone wondering what he might do next. Another big 2010 Storyline was the Heart Of The OHR Contest, in which Pepsi Ranger challenged everyone to return to the long-form RPG making that the community was founded on. Perhaps it's fitting that 2011 started with these two big stories of 2010 facing off.
In "Heart Of The OHR Tribute" Barnabus spoofed the HOTOHR games with his trademark blend of absurd humor and ripped music. Unlike his TGC games, all 11 tributes are within one rather hefty 40 megabyte file, and you choose which one you want to play from a menu. As you play along, you unlock little trophies and songs on the menu which is a nice touch and gives you the impression there's things to be discovered. Unlike "Princess Flesh", there actually are.
The graphics are an assortment of original and ripped compositions which mostly work, especially by joke game standards. The title screens are a treat as always, Tales of The New World 2 being my favorite of the bunch. The music adds a lot to the experience but 40 megabytes worth might be a little excessive.
It's always hard to review joke games, especially a game whose jokes are predicated upon you having played another game. The obvious gags ("Do You Want To Be A Hero?", "Skyfall") are fun, and the more topical parodies like "Motrya" and "Viridia" make sense, but I don't remember "Tales of the New World 2" or "Hero" enough to get what Barnabus was trying to say about them. It still mostly holds up without that context, and in some senses adds to the wacky confusion which seems to be his strength.
By its own admission, "Heart Of The OHR Tribute" is a period piece, a companion to an event that has since passed. Its lasting merit will ultimately be decided by that of the parodied games themselves. Personally, I didn't think it was quite as funny as his first games were, but Barnabus did manage to dodge the sophomore slump and left people (myself included) hungry for more. Sadly, this January release would turn out to be his only release of the year.
2011 Score (per Jan 3rd): 64 out of 100.
Part of Gomey's 2011 Year In Review