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ARFENHOUSE!!!1 FOR!!!!11 DISC 1! vs. Uncommon
Download: 2.16 MB
Play Time: 6+ hours and some odd minutes
Review # 5 for Uncommon LOL?
Them's Fightin' Words
    There is no argument that the Arfenhouse series is one the most well-known, well-loved, and influential works ever to come out of the OHR community. As, Misteroo, the creator of the revered work, has shifted his attention from the OHRRPGCE to Flash movies, little has been done, game-wise, since Arfenhouse 3, that is, until Seppel, one of Misteroo's AKWare associates, took the reins and made his own contribution to the series. Whether or not this "contribution" is worthy of carrying the title of Arfenhouse or not is what we'll be looking into today.

There are a few things I should note. The first is that I didn't actually finish the game. This isn't because I'm lazy, and it doesn't mean that I didn't play for long enough to experience all of the game. I mean, I played this stupid game for 6+ hours before I gave up. I think that's quite long enough to write a review on it. The second thing is that I played this on a very slow computer, with load times around a minute long, so I may be a little biased to hating this game.
    The graphics were, for the most part, classic Arfenhouse. Most of the main ones are straight from Arfenhouse 3, but a few of them weren't. For instance, HLAF had a completely different walkabout for some reason. Anyway, most of the graphics served their purpose, which was to look awful. The maptiles were especially awful, more than they needed to be, in fact, as most of the maps were difficult to make out. I got tired of how many times they showed the title screen, too.  
    Like it's predecessor, most of it was parodying scenes from various Final Fantasies, mostly Final Fantasy 6, but there were a couple of recognizable events from Final Fantasy 4, and another that might've been from Final Fantasy 8.

The story goes like this: Housemaster lost his pants. This is a plot point that you'll forget very soon into the game, as it would seem as though the Seppel forgot it as well, as it is never explained, developed, or even mentioned after about fifteen minutes into the game. About the only plot point that is remembered in this story that can only be described as erratic is the marital problems between Housemaster and Good/Neutral Kitty. The story was certainly nothing I cared for.
    This is where the game really sucks. I couldn't help but think of this game was incessantly boring, frustratingly so, even. Nothing really special about it, except maybe the "Esper" system, except that that wasn't really that great, either. It couldn't really be used to its fullest potential, either, as it takes so long to get money (something you never had to bother with in any other Arfenhouse) that it really wasn't worth it.

The closest thing to a mini-game was the Opera (sound familiar?), which was pretty much the same as in Final Fantasy 6, except that it was impossible to check your lines beforehand, so you can only haphazardly choose the possible lines and, in my case, get them wrong.
    All of the battles in this game required almost no thought. For the most part, holding the enter button or running away will do just fine. The first boss, a parody of the Whelk, doesn't die. It's shell, which doesn't attack, has an insanely high amount of HP, and could be considered less than fun. There is only one battle that cannot be run from, and that one is impossible to beat. I am speaking of THE MASTER, against which every type of attack fails, save Ice, which takes only 1 HP of damage. It was at this point, of course, that I gave up.  
  Map Design
    A little more than the straight-line paths of Arfenhouse 3, but not necessarily better. Many of them were a little hard to make out, and every single maze got boring before I was halfway through it. The towns weren't always laid out properly, and sometimes had their signs wrong (armor shop having the sign for a weapons shop, etc.).  
    Pacing was awful. This game was just too long, with too much time between events. One of the best things about Arfenhouse 3 was how little downtime it had, as well as how (comparatively) short it was. Arfenhouse 4 lacked both of those points.  
    All ripped, all poorly converted, and much of it a chore to listen to. The Final Fantasy 6 battle theme was played to death, and I got sick of the victory music really quickly (one of the reasons I ran from so many battles). I especially hated the Happy Happy Town music. There was very little variety to the music in this game, mostly the same thing over and over. An Arfenhouse game should be able to do better than this...  
    Between the length and the downtime, Arfenhouse 4 was less than enjoyable. With a game that long, the jokes got pretty old, leaving nothing but a bunch of not fun.

Now, to address the point at which I stopped playing, in Cosby Canyon B1, this game's equivalent to Final Fantasy 4's City of Summons, the player is told to go see the mayor. There is no obvious mayor in the city, but there is an npc that resembles the mayor in SEIWINN TOWEN. Talking to this npc brings you into a battle with THE MASTER, the only inescapable boss in the game, and an impossible one to beat at that. Now, it might've been possible to beat him if one levelbusted for about an hour or two, then used the resulting inflow of cash to buy new Ice spells that might do actual damage to the boss but probably won't, but that wouldn't be much fun at all.
Final Blows
    So, in conclusion, Arfenhouse 4 is a sham. There is very little here worthy of the glorious name of Arfenhouse. Between numerous downtimes, terrible length, boring battles and an erratically uninteresting plot, this game was nothing you'd want to play twice, or even once for that matter. Seppel is most certainly not as good at this as Misteroo...
Huh, right...

Huh, right...
Final Scores
Graphics: 6/10.0
Awful, as they were supposed to be. One might even go so far as to consider them "ripped" from Arfenhouse 3. Attempts at a "shaded" look for the walls resulted only in a confusing spectacle of nonsense.
Storyline: 4/10.0
Totally inane, as one would expect. What does make sense is pretty linear, going from point A to B to C, etc.
Gameplay: 1/10.0
It should be criminal to be this boring. Nothing special, nothing interesting, nothing to keep your attention at all.
Music: 1.5/10.0
Ugh... Happy Happy Town still haunts my ears.
Enjoyment: 1/10.0
Too long, too much downtime, too many old jokes, and just general not fun. What can I say?
Overall Grade: D
Final Thoughts
    Everything you loved about Arfenhouse 3, with none of the things that made it work.  

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