Oct 292013
 
Mundo Mundo, Pumpkinhead Fiddlesticks, Kitty Cat Katarina, Lollipoppy, Zombie Ryze and Nosferatu Vladimir
Harrowing 2010

Not only the dead rise in this sinister night: the silent whispers of many horrors also suggest themselves. Many are thought of as mere folk tales but those that have stared at the face of an inevitable fate know better. You probably are curious too and want to know what lies beyond the murmurs. Then take a look and see for yourself what this Harrowing brings.

Mundo Mundo
Mundo Mundo Splash Art Mundo Mundo Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Dr. Mundo wearing a costume of himself.
Model: Moderate model changes for Dr. Mundo and new model for his cleaver.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: New sound for Infected Cleaver.
Splash Art: The background is diffuse, dark and feels empty in some places. However, the clothes hanger display is filled with champion references and adds much needed depth to the picture; like the peeking Shaco on the right. Dr. Mundo in front of a mirror is an interesting idea to show his front and back alike; though the front is largely occluded. The depiction is alright but the lower body looks blurry just like Mundo’s reflection. Overall, it’s not a bad piece but the idea of Mundo surrounded by champion’s costumes is better than the final result.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Mundo Mundo is a skin with a concept that seems clever but that in practice isn’t as funny or interesting as it appeared. In fact, the look is simply too similar to Classic Dr. Mundo and, while intended, it just doesn’t add much. In the end, the idea is executed but it’s hardly attractive. In conclusion, Mundo Mundo is a skin that looks better on paper and that doesn’t provide enough for its price.

Pumpkinhead Fiddlesticks
Pumpkinhead Fiddlesticks Splash Art Pumpkinhead Fiddlesticks Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Fiddlesticks dressed as a scarecrow with a pumpkin head.
Model: Little model changes to Fiddlesticks.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: This piece shows Fiddlesticks in the most natural of places for a scarecrow and it does it incredibly well. Fiddlesticks looks great: the rag has intricate folds and the pumpkin head both reflects the moonlight and is shadowed by the crow over it. The corn plantation is a fitting frame but it’s depiction as background seems lacking; especially considering how abundant crop plantations are. The crows perched on Fiddlesticks are a nice addition as well as the multiple reflections of moonlight over them, the wood frame and the sickle’s blade. Unfortunately, there’s a huge patch of black that can’t be mistaken for night sky to the left. Besides, the sickle is disproportionally small and as a scarecrow, Fiddlesticks seems to be quite ineffective. All in all, a nice splash art with a few obvious problems.
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: Pumpkinhead Fiddlesticks is a skin that does much with little: just a new head and new textures for his rags and sickle blade. Truth be told, there really isn’t any need for additional changes; as in this case Fiddlesticks stays as a scarecrow. With so little the skin manages to provide a different but still menacing look that it’s as appropriate as it’s well executed. This is a skin that proves that a great concept doesn’t need high technicalities to be great. Those fortunate enough to have acquired Pumpkinhead Fiddlesticks surely enjoy a very nice alternative portrayal of the Harbinger of Doom.

Kitty Cat Katarina
Kitty Cat Katarina Splash Art Kitty Cat Katarina Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Katarina wearing a revealing cat costume.
Model: Moderate model changes for Katarina.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: Kitty Cat Katarina isn’t a serious skin and it’s splash art has to be considered under the same light. The city background and moon with a cat face are a setting but one that simply frames the pose and just tells that cats like high places. Katarina is alluring and attractive in her cat suit and the excellent shading enhances her portrayal. In the end, the piece succeeds at what it wants to do: spotlight Katarina’s Kitty Cat look; it does nothing more and maybe it shouldn’t.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Kitty Cat Katarina is a skin of extremes as its both desirable but disappointing. On the one hand, it dresses Katarina in an appealing and funny cat suit. On the other hand, that’s all this skin is: an exclusive fetish. There’s no denying that Kitty Cat Katarina is a skin with an attractive look but the concept is quite basic and the execution is limited. You could say that this is a bubblegum skin: it looks incredible in the beginning but in the end it doesn’t amount to much.

Lollipoppy
Lollipoppy Splash Art Lollipoppy Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Poppy as a sweet-loving yordle.
Model: Major model changes for Poppy plus new model for the Hammer of Orlon and her buckler.
Particles: New hammer for Keeper’s Verdict.
Animations: New spooky face for her dance.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: In a world of candy creepy lollipops smile as a certain someone escapes with one of their own kind. The background is noticeably diffuse and half of it is white sky with not even a hint of detail. At least, below, there’s a sweet ground with some resemblance of a setting. The idea of Poppy going into a candy world to snatch a giant, perhaps even magical, lollipop is good. Unfortunately, the background presents it in such an opaque way that it elicits mixed feelings. The setting is nice but much of its potential is wasted with its blurriness; despite the presence of relevant elements.
Poppy does look much better than the background but she still looks a bit rough. The lollipop isn’t fully visible but is clear enough what’s in her hands. The running pose isn’t exactly a hindrance to get a good look at her style yet it’s not very clear how she’s dressed. Additionally, the skin and hair have a waxy appearance that is, frankly, unappealing. It doesn’t ruin the portrayal but it strikes as unwelcome considering the potential yet diluted vibrancy near her.
Adding all elements together we end with a splash art that has good ideas but that doesn’t seem to make them work to their best. The context is attractive, the setting has potential to enchant and Poppy looks playful and mischievous and yet it all doesn’t come as appealing as it sounds.
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: Lollipoppy’s really distinct characteristics are the new weapons: her hammer as a huge lollipop and her buckler as a little bar of chocolate. The clothes are nice: they suggest the classic colours and patterns associated with sweets. However, they feel merely functional even though they suit the theme. The new weapons are definitely unique but smashing people’s heads with them can only stay funny for so long. Fortunately, Poppy’s charm is enhanced by the sweet theme and so the overall lighthearted style becomes quite appealing. The face she makes during her dance, in reference to her old splash art, is a nice touch that helps define the identity of both skin and champion.
The result is a skin that more than trying to be funny manages to be playful and fits Poppy youthful, yordle personality quite well. It’s still a bit expensive for, essentially, a re-model. Therefore, it’ll be a better option for collector’s and dedicated Poppy fans but remains charming in its humble ways.

Zombie Ryze
Zombie Ryze Splash Art Zombie Ryze Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Ryze as a brain-eating zombie.
Model: Moderate model changes for Ryze.
Particles: New green particles for his abilities and green glow on his tattoos for Overload’s passive.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: Some towers and houses rise against and empty night sky. They are the sole witnesses of the nightmarish invasion. The context is simple but effective. The background offers only the barest of settings with the town barely suggested by the timid vision of a few structures. There’s even a shy fog on the foreground which may intend to excuse the diffuse background even if it helps with the eerie feel. What does abound is undead and also burning with supernatural flames. These animated corpses bring Zombie Brand to mind but that’s as far as the resemblance goes.
On centre stage we have Ryze as an undead mage. The glowing runes reflect the power at hand which is responsible for the circle around him which brings the invaders on. The lighting is very good with great use of light sources and excellent shading. The sharp lines display many details in both cloth and skin while the grimace on Ryze’s face is eloquent about the mage’s intentions.
All in all, this is an evocative piece with a background that is, frankly, weak. Ryze’s portrayal is quite impressive but the setting is thinly suggested as only the presence of other corpses is relevant. Regardless, it manages to present Ryze’s un-life effectively.
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: Zombie Ryze is Ryze as a zombie but in a straightforward and superficial manner. There’s absolutely no doubt that it is Ryze. After all, it’s just him with pale skin, tattered clothes and with the upper part of a tombstone chained to his back. The idea that the zombie was restrained and broke free is good. However, that’s all that his aspect tells. All his classic elements are present but in a tattered state; scroll aside. The effect of decomposition, almost necessary for an effective undead corpse, is blatantly omitted; which is puzzling seeing how explicit it used to be pre-update.
The new green particles aim at better defining Zombie Ryze’s identity. They do have a washed out feel that suits the undead theme but there are residual blue tones; like in Overload’s shield, for instance. The effect works in communicating that his magic has been altered but it’s a simple effect that barely hints at the supernatural.
The result is shallow and more suggestive than demonstrative. Zombie Ryze is more a costume than a proper reanimated Rune Mage. The addition of green particles helps differentiate the skin but the watered-down model loses its horror appeal. It’s still a skin to be considered for Ryze fans but only if they don’t mind a weak zombie aspect.

Nosferatu Vladimir
Nosferatu Vladimir Splash Art Nosferatu Vladimir Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Vladimir with the aspect of a classic vampire.
Model: Minor model changes for Vladimir.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: Over an old wall covered in webs a mysterious shadow advances. With claws forward it seems to approach its destination like a predator its prey. The setting provides an excellent frame for Vladimir and his depiction is really interesting. He seems to have been surprised just before attacking his victim and stands in the very moment when deciding whether to proceed or shift his attention to the new presence. The portrayal also helps: the skin is pale and shiny while the clothes are mute and simple. Actually, the cloth looks a bit sketchy at times but overall the look is good. On the whole, a very nice piece that perfectly capitalizes on its promising concept.
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: Nosferatu Vladimir is minimal in terms of changes but the impact of those minuscule changes is astounding. The end result of changing Vladimir’s head, hands and altering the clothes is that of a classic vampire that is as appealing as it is nostalgic. Nosferatu Vladimir capitalizes on the core of Vladimir just like the film did in 1922: it’s a different take on the traditional vampire. Merging both concepts it’s not just fitting, it’s natural. Nosferatu Vladimir is an excellent skin despite its minimalism and makes clear that a good enough concept can transcend a limited execution.

Conclusion

The set of Harrowing 2010 skins is a quite uneven in worth but equally simple in execution. The difference is brought by the aptitude of the concepts applied: in some cases they elevate the skin above its humble changes yet in others they leave it where it stands.

The highlights are Nosferatu Vladimir and Pumpkinhead Fiddlesticks. The model modifications are certainly modest but the concepts shine with a light of their own. It could be said that the skins do enough to represent fitting and appealing themes. Therefore, they are the recommended purchases even while their executions are far from extensive.

Other interesting options are Zombie Ryze and Lollipoppy. The former may be too straightforward and the latter too shallow both in looks and implementation. Regardless, the visual upgrade have improved them and they do something different even if they aren’t all they could’ve been. Fans of these champions or themes will probably find something to like.

Finally, there are a couple of disappointments which are Kitty Cat Katarina and Mundo Mundo. Kitty Cat Katarina is a skin with an evident appeal but after the great first impression vanishes it stays rather basic. Mundo Mundo is more effective in theory than in practice as it doesn’t add much beyond a hint at Mundo’s peculiar personality. They are hardly horrible skins but, except for dedicated fans of these champions, most will find that these couple of skins don’t offer much lasting appeal.

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