Jul 242012
 
Wukong, the Monkey King
Wukong, the Monkey King

Wukong, the Monkey King has a few interesting visual concepts with interesting implementations. The notions of fire and enlightenment, among others, are executed in separate and in unison with widely different results. If you want to know more about how Wukong adapts to this visual ideas, read further on this skins’ review.

Volcanic Wukong
Volcanic Wukong Splash Art Volcanic Wukong Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Wukong with a fire, lava based style.
Model: New model for Wukong and his staff.
Particles: New fire particles for Wukong’s body.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: This is a striking piece that makes up for it’s simple background with a stunning foreground. While the background is just a few rocks and maybe some fire, the foreground shows Wukong aflame and standing on lava sprouting from the ground. The colour palette is focused on the red-green spectrum which reinforces the fire theme. Wukong’s depiction is fiery, even demonic and easily stands out as the most attractive part of the piece. The flames are very nicely drawn as well as Wukong’s burning upper body. However, the lower parts of the body, and even the staff, look plain in comparison. All in all, it’s quite a good looking splash art but it suffers from uneven quality.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Volcanic Wukong provides an interesting fire version of the Monkey King. Firstly, Wukong’s new model is greatly detailed. The armour combines with his body and both unite with the lava lines. This style is more sinister than his usual self which complements the lethality of fire quite well. Secondly, the flames blazing from his head and gauntlets add a new layer of visual complexity. No matter what Wukong is doing, the flames trail and surround him. The resulting effect is very eye-catching and enjoyable to see. Sadly, the staff looks quite plain in both shape and design; at least it’s passable. Moreover, Crushing Blow, Decoy and Cyclone leave a staff trail with the classic staff shape. On the whole, Volcanic Wukong does have some flaws but they are minimal and are completely compensated by the excellent flame effects. Volcanic Wukong is a skin that constantly offers something attractive to stare at; so if you like fire and Wukong you shouldn’t skip Volcanic Wukong.

General Wukong
General Wukong Splash Art General Wukong Model
Category: Regular
Price: 750 RP
Concept: Wukong enlightened and wearing ornamented armour.
Model: New model for Wukong and his staff.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: General Wukong’s splash art is a good example of unequal quality between the background and the champion depicted. On the one hand, the background is fuzzy, doesn’t provide a good setting and looks empty. It appears as a bunch of clouds to fill the rest of the piece. On the other hand, Wukong is greatly portrayed with complex and detailed clothes. Additionally, the fur and material are well rendered plus the lighting is quite good; still, the tail seems to share the background’s quality. In the end, the contrast in quality results in a piece that isn’t bad but doesn’t do much beyond portraying Wukong.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: General Wukong is an enlightened version of Wukong wearing armour; the concept isn’t incredibly exciting so it’s the execution’s job to deliver. Unfortunately, the implementation of General Wukong is good but not enough to make it interesting. Actually, the armour has an appropriate design and the staff looks solid. However, his face and eyes appear lifeless while the general aesthetic is a bit drab. It’s not so much that the style looks bad but it doesn’t do much to make it appealing. On top of that the staff trail used for Crushing Blow, Decoy and Cyclone is that of the classic staff. Therefore, General Wukong becomes an unexciting skin that looks just good.

Jade Dragon Wukong
Splash Art Jade Dragon Wukong Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Wukong in jade dragon-styled clothes.
Model: New model for Wukong and his staff.
Particles: New staff trail particles for Crushing Blow and Cyclone plus flames for his vambraces.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: Centring the attention on the Monkey King this piece doesn’t ignore the background but it certainly takes second place. The setting is that of a mountainous region from where a dragon emerges on one side of the scene. As far as details go there is a prevailing mist that obfuscates the setting and peaks so that, dragon aside, there’s only a blurry sky to fill space. The idea is good but background and foreground seem disjointed without any link between them.
Atop a pagoda, presumably, Wukong dramatically poses. The comic book style of the portrayal is without a doubt quite attractive. The lines are sharp the textures well realized and the pose effortlessly communicates the physical and mystical prowess of Wukong. However, the colour palette is much greener than it is in-game and the dramatic style doesn’t follow the sober representation seen in three dimensions. The magic swirls of fog don’t add much to the portrayal as they don’t look as what they really are: flames from the ends of his staff; which is largely omitted from view.
In the end, this splash art takes the former piece’s setup and tries to give a more impactful display of Wukong. To a point that is accomplished but at the price of leaving behind the sober feel of the actual skin. The fact that the integration between background and foreground is nonexistent doesn’t help; in the previous piece at least both dragon and Wukong looked in the same direction with the same mysterious eyes. That’s not to say that it’s a bad splash art but it doesn’t seem to be a complete improvement. The drawing is better but the essence of the splash art is uneven: better on the portrayal but worse in the connection to the setting.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Jade Dragon Wukong seems like a fusion between the Volcanic and General skins. It has some fire effects like Volcanic and it has a little of the enlightened theme of General. This combination works better than could be expected: the flames are smaller but add a nice extra visual layer. Furthermore, the clothes with their jade decoration show Wukong as a more elegant and even spiritual being. Strangely, the staff’s design appears as if it challenged this theme. The tips have an extremely blunt and brutal shape that the dragon heads barely mask; still it looks adequate. Additionally, Crushing Blow and Cyclone receive new trail particles for the staff that make the aesthetic more consistent. Again, this stands in opposition of Decoy whose staff trail particles retain the classic style. In conclusion, Jade Dragon Wukong is a very good skin that no Wukong fan should skip, but it isn’t as cohesive and impressive as it could or should be.

Underworld Wukong
Underworld Wukong Splash Art Underworld Wukong Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 1350 RP
Concept: Wukong as a supernatural warrior.
Model: New model for Wukong and his staff plus new glow for the ends of the staff.
Particles: New particles for his abilities.
Animations: New recall animation.
Sounds: New sounds for his abilities and recall plus processed voice-over.
Splash Art: A cloudy night sky above a rocky region: the setting is as empty and pedestrian as it could be. Wukong doesn’t fare much better either. That’s because his depiction is a simple pose that doesn’t go beyond showing his aspect. At least, it’s effective in that regard. The elements are well defined and the colours bright so that materials look convincing; as long as they aren’t engulfed in the background’s blur. The translucent right arm is a good touch but, eerie glows aside, there’s nothing else like it. Ultimately, it’s a splash art that does its job but doesn’t go beyond that.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Adding a supernatural vein to the Monkey King’s already fantastic concept can seem overkill. To an extent it is but aside from looking a bit too exotic Underworld Wukong avoids becoming a pastiche of themes. Nonetheless, while the aspect is certainly different Wukong looks more like a deranged old warrior than an actual apparition. A translucent right arm would’ve helped cement the concept as the lamp-like staff isn’t enough.
If it weren’t for the staff’s new glow his aspect wouldn’t really seem supernatural. That’s where the new particles come into play. There are some really great touches but not all abilities shine as they should. To start with, the ghostly trail added to Crushing Blow and his recall is simply fantastic; even if the actual blow doesn’t impress. Whereas, Decoy and Nimbus Strike seem to just have the necessary, uninspired changes and suffer from all too solid vapours. Cyclone is a case of its own as it looks rather unimpressive for an ultimate. Instead of adding the eye-catching trail used for Crushing Blow and his recall the ability merely has the same old motion blur. There are new sounds to accompany the abilities but they fail to stand out and add an eerie feel to the skin; unlike the voice-over.
Therefore, Underworld Wukong is a skin that doesn’t represent its concept well. Even though there are some good additions the sum of its parts doesn’t justify the high price. In fact, cheaper skins manage to look and have abilities that feel more iconic. In conclusion, aside from the processed voice-over nothing explains the skin’s price; it would more reasonably fit 975 RP than it does 1350 RP. Unless you really like the style and are aware of the noticeable shortcomings of the skin there are better options for less.

Radiant Wukong
Radiant Wukong Splash Art Radiant Wukong Model
Category: Regular
Price: 1350 RP
Concept: Wukong as the hero of Journey to the West: Sun Wukong.
Model: New model and glow for Wukong and his staff. New textures for his death.
Particles: New particles for his abilities and auto-attack.
Animations: New animated head appendages. New high-speed running and recall animation.
Sounds: New sounds for his abilities, auto-attack and recall plus processed voice-over.
Splash Art: It can’t be denied that this is a piece with a particular style. The background is extremely ambiguous and lets out only hints of trees and, perhaps, walls. However, the curls and coils as well as the specific colours define a distinct identity. Unfortunately, those features also make it monotonous and too homogeneous to add up to more than a frame for the Monkey King.
Speaking of whom, Wukong has an evidently dynamic portrayal that sacrifices a full view of his aspect for action. Much can be seen though and the sharp depiction ends up being the sole interesting part of the piece. The lack of variety in the colours make Wukong struggle to differentiate himself from the background and appears struggling to be noticed; which can explain the daring display of power. Such display can be exaggerated due to the particularly pronounced perspective of his staff and right arm. Add to it that there’s little context for his actions and we end up with a desperate attempt at grabbing attention.
In the end, this is a splash art that doesn’t seem to give its champion enough breathing room to catch the eye. Wukong suffocates in a sea of similar tones with little justification and effectiveness for all his effort. While the idea of having a unique identity for the splash art is welcome the oppressive approach prevents the basic needs of the splash art to be fulfilled satisfactorily.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: The unequivocally fantastic aesthetic of Radiant Wukong helps the skin stand out from the, already, multiple interpretations of the Monkey King. The colour palette is certainly quite restricted but the design and decoration is definitely attractive as well and fictionally plausible. The newly animated head appendages, whatever they stand for, help define a distinct identity for Radiant Wukong. In general, it’s a different and appealing appearance that lacks colour variety.
The particles should compensate for the few shortcomings of the model but it’s questionable whether they do. The new cloud particles have a unique aspect that catches the eye initially but that promptly reveal their simplistic nature. Instead of being animated they are static images that appear and disappear one after the other. The rest of the glows and trails merely adapt the classic visuals to the new colour scheme and so the abilities disappoint. Even the new sounds struggle to feel different from the usual assortment. On top of that, the recall seems like a compendium of other classic animations. At least, the high-speed run is a good tribute to the source material.
Overall, Radiant Wukong is a skin that manages to define a unique and fitting style for the Monkey King. Unfortunately, it ends up being superficial as none of the changes go far beyond a good first impression. In spite of simplicity being preferred to an overloaded skin Radiant Wukong feels simplistic in its colour selection, particles and sounds. Only the new model with its florid design stands out but it can only do so much to salvage the skin. The result is still different and appealing enough as to be a valid alternative but the price stands in the way. Radiant Wukong has some good ideas in it but neither offers enough features nor are they implemented well enough for the high price it asks for. This makes it a skin to catch on sale though there are better and cheaper alternatives.

Conclusion

Wukong’s skins have good quality in general even though they draw from only a few concepts. Volcanic Wukong and Jade Dragon Wukong are the recommended skins as they provide visually interesting looks for the Monkey King. The former is more stunning while the latter is more consistent; still both have a few flaws.

A skin with a unique design that seems quite interesting at first glance is Radiant Wukong. Its main problem is that it doesn’t take long to demonstrate its superficial additions with regards to particles and sounds. The lack of colour also doesn’t help matters as it can end up feeling monotonous. It’s still a skin with some interesting aspects so fans should wait for a sale. Regardless, there’re a superior options at lower prices.

General Wukong isn’t a bad skin but it’s neither stunning nor consistent. It doesn’t provide as much as the other skins yet it may appeal to those that like its particular style.

Underworld Wukong is quite a letdown at its price. There are some good touches but on the whole it fails to justify the high expense. Unfortunately, it fails to represent its concept in an appealing way and its few saving graces feel like too little for too much.

  36 Responses to “League of Legends: Wukong Skins’ Review”

  1. Both Dragon Fist Lee Sin and the new Muay Thai Lee Sin are cool which one should i get

    • First and foremost, you should buy the skin that you like the most. Let’s do a quick analysis:

      Concept:
      Dragon Fist Lee Sin is based on Wu Shu or Kung Fu while Muay Thai Lee Sin on the eponymous martial art.

      Features:
      Dragon Fist Lee Sin: new animations for standing idle, taunt and Resonating Strike.
      Muay Thai Lee Sin: new animations for standing idle, dance, auto-attacks, critical hits, Dragon’s Rage and recall.

      In conclusion, Dragon Fist Lee Sin is closer to Classic Lee Sin and an evolution of his original theme. Muay Thai Lee Sin is more distinct and deviates more from Classic Lee Sin. Therefore, if you want something original, a new Lee Sin experience, Muay Thai Lee Sin will be a better choice. If you enjoy Classic Lee Sin and just want something that improves on that concept then Dragon Fist Lee Sin will deliver. Additionally, Bruce Lee fans may be biased towards the latter.

      Hope it was helpful and feel free to ask if you have more doubts.

  2. Oh Thanks

  3. I do agree with all of the ideas you have introduced to your post.
    They are really convincing and will definitely work.
    Still, the posts are too brief for beginners. Could you
    please extend them a little from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

    • Glad that you like the reviews.

      We try to balance the complexity of the skin with the length of the review. That way, ultimate and legendary skins tend to have long reviews though that also applies to skins from lower prices with multiple changes. Besides, we try to highlight the most important aspects of a skin so that people can get useful and concrete advice. Regardless, it’s true that in some cases more detail is necessary.

  4. I can’t really decide pretty Volcanic and JD Wukong. Can you please help me?

    • Volcanic Wukong has an appealing display of flames but in terms of particles it offers nothing else. In the case of Jade Dragon Wukong you get some minor flames but some nice particles; particularly on Cyclone. In addition to this, their themes are very different: one is strictly about fire while the other reflects an Asian warrior. Another thing to consider is that Volcanic practically always makes quite a display thanks to the permanent flames. However, Jade Dragon is more modest until Crushing Blow and, especially, Cyclone is used; which is where it makes for quite a show.

      Both are nice skins but you may find that a specific theme or implementation suits your tastes better than the other. If you are patient you can always get them both while on sale but as far as quality and value goes they are both really good. It seems like your personal preference should be the deciding factor.

  5. don’t you think that on the splash art of volcanic wukong, wukong’s belt resembles diablo’s head from the diablo series?

    • It does look similar though demons tend to look alike as they have a very clear aesthetic. Regardless, it could very well be a reference to the Diablo series.

  6. Just wanted to say thanks a lot for all your reviews, they’re really helpful! We all really appreciate the time and effort you put into this.

  7. I remember buying general wu on sale with the starting 400 rp.
    Imo its a better skin than volcanic but worse than jade dragon

    • There’s the matter of personal preference which is always more important than technical merits or originality. General Wukong isn’t really a bad skin but the flames on the other two skins help on the visual side of things.

  8. There’s a new skin for Wukong that comes in Halloween and it’s really cool, Underworld Wukong!!
    I just feeling sry for those who bought his old ones, include my brother he was depressed for a week till i told him that i will buy that for u!!! 😀

  9. Quick first thoughts on underworld wukong? I know they haven’t released it as yet, but by general image, do you think it’s worth it, and how many stars?

    • It doesn’t seem a very impressive skin. After all, if we take the processed voice-over out we are left with a skin that perfectly fits at 975 RP. It does have some interesting qualities but it also doesn’t seem to justify 1350 RP well.

      Maybe 1350 RP isn’t the final price. As it hasn’t been released we don’t have all the facts and that’s a good reason not to review skins before they are released. Regardless, from what we’ve seen, we expected more.

      • I bought it at reduced price (975 RP). My thoughts are the same: this skin doesn’t deserve to be at 1350 bracket. Underworld Wukong fits perfectly in the 975 bracket.

  10. I have to completerly disagree on the underworld wu review.
    Id actually rate it as a 4 star skin, i find it very great.
    The model and sounds just seem perfect to me

    • Consider that it is, ultimately, just our point of view. We think that at 1350 RP a skin needs to be more than a 975 RP skin with a processed voice-over. At 975 RP it’s not a bad skin but 1350 RP seems too expensive for what it offers.

      However, we can agree to disagree and personal preference should be the deciding factor on whether one should purchase a skin.

  11. At 975 rp DO u think Underworld Wukong is 5star, or 4 star?

    • We would say that at 975 RP it’s an adequate skin of three stars. The main problem is that if we take out the processed voice-over the skin has the level of 975 RP. Besides, when compared with other skins at that price it doesn’t seem particularly appealing. It has some nice touches but most of the particles are simply altered to display Wukong in his new look and add nothing remarkable; sans the trail on his Crushing Blow and recall.

  12. Hey Zero,
    What would’ve been your star ranking for Underworld Wukong if it was 975 RP and thus ‘worth it’s price’? (Because I bought it for 975 RP and my friends are complaining the skin is just worse than the others, they think you’re always right)

    • We aren’t really always right but we try to give useful advise. In our view, processed voice-over aside, there’s nothing that really places Underworld Wukong at 1350 RP. A lower price of 975 RP would’ve been more reasonable but the skin would still be lacking. It has some good ideas but they aren’t developed. Specifically, Wukong doesn’t particularly look and feel like a spirit.

      At 975 RP the skin would be easier to accept but it would remain a letdown. It’s possible that, had it been released at 975 RP, it would’ve received three stars. That would mean that the skin, processed voice-over and all, was acceptable at that price yet still unable to impress. Its issues are too basic to ignore or compensate with some extras.

  13. Hey Zero

    You give a big importante to fire particles, specially to volcanic Wukong. Since there was a texture update, these particles were reduced (and on jade dragon RemovedT_T). What do you think about this?

    • It could be a bug as that’s a significat part of the skins. We checked online and they seem to be there but we’ll check in-game when we are able to be sure. Regardless, a texture update wouldn’t remove particles so it’s problably a glitch. Let’s hope that if they aren’t present it’s fixed soon.

  14. What do you think of the new Lunar Revel 1350 RP Wukong Skin? (Radiant Wukong, I believe it’s called) It looks pretty interesting and I believe they changed a lot including the voice filter, recall animation, particles, homeguard animation, etc. I can’t wait!

    • We agree that it has potential but we find the skin to be rather simplistic. The idea is good and the model work attractive. However, the lack of colour variety, the simple particles and timid sounds don’t allow it to impress. There’s time for it to improve but as things are usually finished when they reach the PBE we have our doubts. It can be a great skin but currently we don’t see it reaching so high.

  15. Are you going to review Radiant Wukong?

  16. Are you going to update the Jade Dragon in-game model? The current picture you are using looks very outdated.

    • The texture update made the colours a bit brighter but there isn’t much of difference. Besides, the picture shows one of Jade Dragon’s biggest features: the ultimate. The in-game image is something that, ideally, we would update but as making the pictures is so time intensive it’s not a high priority. We do hope to be able to improve everything at some point but we have to be realistic.

  17. I know you called Volcanic Wukong’s staff plain, but I actually love the design and its pretty much the only reason I like it over Jade wukong xD. Actually I like its red and orange color more than I like Jade Wukong’s green color.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required)