Oct 292013
 
FrankenTibbers Annie, Bewitching Nidalee, Definitely Not Blitzcrank and Haunting Nocturne
Harrowing 2011

There is a certain night when the veil between what we see and what we aren’t supposed to wears thin. It is said that during that time it’s possible to bear witness to events that challenge our comprehension of reality. There are occurrences that may very well shatter the delicate glass container that holds one’s sanity. But that’s what makes it all so interesting, isn’t it? So keep reading and find out the strange visitors we welcome tonight.

FrankenTibbers Annie
FrankenTibbers Annie Splash Art FrankenTibbers Annie Model
Category: Limited
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Tibbers becomes Frankenstein’s Monster while Annie steps in as the bride.
Model: New model for Annie, minor model changes for her teddy bear and major model changes for Tibbers plus electric sparks for Tibbers’ screws.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: The background is so diffuse that it seems to be missing, and in practice it is, so there isn’t much of a setting to speak of. It could be said that there’s a dark tower watching the roof that holds the, now, former corpse that has become FrankenTibbers; but that’s the imagination working not the background. Tibbers is unevenly depicted: his fur and stitches look fantastic and the shading is really good. However, most of his body is concealed by the lightning flash; which makes for a too simple yet still humorous portrayal. The simple Tibbers does allow the focus to be centred on Annie but as an essential part of the concept it’s a letdown. Fortunately, Annie looks great: fine lines and exquisite shading make for a fantastic portrayal. The fire on her hand could look better, brighter and flaming, but is acceptable while her stockings and shoes seem a little sketchy. To sum up, there are good ideas in this piece but remains an extremely uneven portrayal of Annie and Tibbers; it certainly needs more polish to excel.
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: FrankenTibbers Annie puts the little girl in the shoes of Frankestein’s bride; though with a more childish style. The clothes and rucksack look alright but seem rather normal for a monstrous bride; even the arm bandages don’t deliver the concept well. Still, the hair is eloquent enough to present a child version of the bride due to the iconic white lightning streaks. On the other hand, Tibbers hulking figure is a great fit for the Monster. His unrefined movements and brutal attacks added to the stitched body and tattered clothes make for a great look. In addition to this, the electrically charged bolts on the sides of the head are a unique touch. Sadly, FrankenTibbers Annie is no longer available but it remains an appealing homage to classic horror stories and films.

Bewitching Nidalee
Bewitching Nidalee Splash Art Bewitching Nidalee Model
Category: Limited
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Nidalee styled as a witch and cougar form as a costumed black cat.
Model: New model for Nidalee, her javelin and cougar form.
Particles: New bat particles for: Prowl, Javelin Toss, Bushwhack, Aspect of the Cougar and Pounce.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: This piece has an interesting composition but not a good execution. Nidalee flying before the Moon with her broom is simply a classic. Unfortunately, the background is limited to display just a night sky with several bat outlines. Nidalee appears riding her magical broom, with a fitting but dull effect, along her cougar form. The black cat isn’t entirely visible but manages to give an idea of the look. Besides, its huge size is somewhat concealed but still noticeable. Nidalee’s depiction is alright: she looks good but the shading is a bit dull. On top of that, she has a rough aspect that doesn’t suit her witch persona. Moreover, her expression feels empty, her skin devoid of life and her hands hardly delicate. To sum up, a splash art that serves as a portrayal due to its nice composition but that suffers from a disappointing execution.
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: Human: as a witch Nidalee wears reasonable clothes with an obvious modern style. The nice hat and broom-javelin deliver the theme quite well. Besides, the corset-like dress doesn’t look bad but seems more aimed at enticing rather than displaying a witch; just like the high-heeled boots. Unfortunately, some parts of her model feel strange: her body seems quite thick despite wearing a corset. Furthermore, the boots’ shape seem to unnaturally force the shape of her feet which added to the crooked heels make for clearly uncomfortable footwear; hardly the choice for a battlefield.

Cougar: a black cat should be the best friend of any witch and Nidalee is no exception. While the hat and bands may be a bit of a stretch the look matches her human form which seems reasonable; especially as pets are sometimes made to wear costumes as well. Moreover, the collar feather added to the hat feather correspond to the two feathers in human Nidalee’s hat; a definitely nice touch. Due to the nice and clever execution the, almost, Siamese body can be forgiven; but it’s obvious that Bewitching and Pharaoh share the same basic model.

In conclusion, the real issue with Bewitching Nidalee is the peculiar, not to say unrefined, shape of her human body; in fact, it seems like a step backwards from the previous model. The particles try to make up for the flaws but if you have a keen eye you will have to cope with them; as well as the remaining leaves in Primal Surge. It’s definitely a good skin but to reach excellence it certainly needs more polish.

Definitely Not Blitzcrank
Definitely Not Blitzcrank Splash Art Definitely Not Blitzcrank Model
Category: Limited
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Blitzcrank undercover as an ordinary fleshling.
Model: Moderate model changes for Blitzcrank.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: The first thing that is noticeable about the background is how monochromatic it appears. Still, it allows a setting to emerge but the murky colour palette doesn’t let it come to life. In spite of this, the city and surprised citizens anchor the piece as a funny scene. Fortunately, Blitzcrank’s portrayal doesn’t disappoint: he proudly walks in his excellent costume; completely disguised as a common human. The stance is certainly appealing and also allows a good view of his fine clothes. Moreover, while the lines tend to exaggerate and be a bit sketchy, his right leg for instance, the shading does a great job at adding folds and patterns. All things considered, it’s a piece that can be improved upon but that works as an attractive portrayal of Blitzcrank’s habit of blending in the crowds.
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: Definitely Not Blitzcrank is an ingenious skin with a satisfying but simple execution: take Blitzcrank, give him a jacket, shirt and tie, a couple of big gloves, a wig and Groucho glasses. On the one hand, it’s certainly unimpressive but on the other hand it’s a rather clever concept. The interest of artificial life-forms in understanding humans is a classic and suitable idea that works well with Blitzcrank. In the end, Definitely Not Blitzcrank is a simple but appealing skin and, considering the reasonable price, no steam golem fan would be disappointed.

Haunting Nocturne
Haunting Nocturne Splash Art Haunting Nocturne Model
Category: Limited
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Nocturne as a classic ghost.
Model: Moderate model changes for Nocturne.
Particles: New particles for Duskbringer and Unspeakable Horror.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: Pumpkins with funny carved faces give some colour to the dark and excessively foggy night. The background provides a setting but in its most basic form: as a suggestion. Fortunately, while Nocturne’s portrayal isn’t impressive it is clear and a reasonable representation of his in-game look. Regardless, it’s not possible to ignore the sketchy outline and the overly simple shading. On the whole, it’s a piece that does its job but nothing more.
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: Haunting Nocturne doesn’t, or even try to, hide it’s obvious re-model nature. On the contrary, it humorously exploits it by turning Nocturne into a traditional sheet ghost. If that were all the skin is, it wouldn’t be very impressive but the excellent particles raise the skin to a whole new level. In particular, the Duskbringer trail is particularly satisfying; especially when hitting multiple targets, each leaving their own trail. The model sure isn’t anything outstanding but the concept is imaginative and the particles a great addition. In conclusion, Haunting Nocturne is a great skin for Nocturne that clearly exposes that it’s much more than a simple collector’s item.

Conclusion

In spite of the difference in price and scale of implementation all of the Harrowing 2011 skins are very good. The changes aren’t as extensive as they could be but the ingenious concepts and fine executions ensure that one can’t go wrong with any of these skins.

That’s why all of the skins are recommended purchases: none of them let down. Whether your prefer to command a Frankentibbers, throw bladed brooms, blend among fleshlings or terrify people with a ghastly trail of spectres there’s something to like in each of these skins.

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