Jan 242013
 
Nidalee, the Bestial Huntress
Nidalee, the Bestial Huntress

Nidalee, the Bestial Huntress is a champion with a dual theme: both her human and cougar forms are stylized in different ways depending on the selected skin. This duality is often satisfyingly exploited but sometimes simply ignored. When hunting for the right outfit, there’s no need to prowl through the bushes; just pounce at her skins’ review.

Snow Bunny Nidalee
Snow Bunny Nidalee Splash Art Snow Bunny Nidalee Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Nidalee with a snow based theme.
Model: New textures for Nidalee and cougar form.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: With a background that barely suggests a setting one is left to guess that Nidalee dramatically poses as a blizzard hits the woods. The feline image behind her is a good idea that isn’t well integrated as a reference. Besides, her pose is evidently forced despite being eye-catching. The shading is quite good, though, as Nidalee looks quite believable. However, her body appears a bit too meek for a warrior of the wilds. The result is certainly a mixed bag. There are some good elements that make the piece interesting but they have to combat the background and artistic licence.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Human: pale skin plus light coloured hair, clothes and javelins are the result of this re-texture. The effect isn’t bad but it isn’t anything striking either.

Cougar: a re-texture as well but while human Nidalee looks Nordic the cougar doesn’t really pass for a snow leopard; even without the mane.

Overall, not a bad re-texture for its price but it could’ve had a nicer northern aesthetic.

Leopard Nidalee
Leopard Nidalee Splash Art Leopard Nidalee Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Nidalee wearing leopard fur and cougar form as a leopard.
Model: New textures for Nidalee and cougar form.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: More than a jungle, the setting seems to be a mountainous area; which actually suits a leopard. The shadow against the rock is a great touch to reference Nidalee’s dual nature. Nevertheless, the background does feel a bit empty. Nidalee seems to be running but her stance doesn’t look natural. In fact, there are some problems with the perspective used that seem to flatten her figure into the plane. When we add the dull colours and sketchy fur we are left with a portrayal that fails to be exciting. All in all, it’s a splash art that gives a good look of her human form but that doesn’t make the most of its ideas.
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: Human: while Nidalee’s skin and hair colours receive lighter tones the true star is the spotted leopard fur that makes her clothes. The difference may seem minor but it provides an elegant and classy style that fits Nidalee quite well.

Cougar: not only does her feline persona get a spotted fur but also peculiar bands on the legs and tail. To be fair, the mane is removed as well as the oversized tusks and the tail end is thinner which makes for a reasonable leopard look.

All in all, Leopard Nidalee is a very nice re-texture that may not seem to offer much but what little it does it sure does very well.

French Maid Nidalee
French Maid Nidalee Splash Art French Maid Nidalee Model
Category: Regular
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Nidalee as a classic French maid and cougar form as a spoiled house cat.
Model: Moderate model changes for Nidalee, new model for her javelin and minor model changes for cougar form.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: This piece looks like just another re-colour of Classic Nidalee’s splash art. The minimal background just hints at a manor or castle to the right, maybe among mountains. Still, one look at Nidalee shows that the portrayal is completely inadequate: her current look has little in common with the depiction. Therefore, it’s a piece that not only disappoints but is also useless to spotlight Nidalee’s look.
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: being a clear clothes fetish, French Maid Nidalee manages to be suggestive without being ridiculous. The uniform is enticing but correct and avoids high heels for a higher dose of realism. The javelin-duster is a bit rough but the general idea is well presented.

Cougar: aside from a new bib and fur colour the cougar form remains practically identical. The lack of tusks plus new colour isn’t enough to display a domestic cat; or other kinds of feline. The look is unclear but the distinct colour scheme gives it an identity.

On the whole, French Maid Nidalee is a good skin but it feels more like a cheap fetish than an elaborate reference; even without high heels. Conversely, considering its price it’s a rather good option; as long as you don’t mind the obvious fetish.

Pharaoh Nidalee
Pharaoh Nidalee Splash Art Pharaoh Nidalee Model
Category: Regular
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Nidalee as an Egyptian warrior and cougar form as a regal Siamese cat.
Model: Moderate model changes for Nidalee, new model for her javelin and major model changes for cougar form.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: This piece dares to show more than Nidalee’s look but isn’t very effective. The background is quite dull with a monotonous palette and just hints of rocks. The pyramid and sphinx are just a silhouette and the general aesthetic feels rather boring. Nidalee is depicted along her cougar form, useful for a spotlight, but the Siamese cat looks too big for a normal human. Furthermore, the portrayal isn’t very attractive due to a style that is a little comical and too imprecise. For instance, Nidalee’s arms are too short plus her legs too long and thick; especially in comparison with her thighs. Furthermore, the javelin’s perspective is too exaggerated and most of her cougar form isn’t clearly displayed. Actually, the general aspect is rather unappealing, sketchy and unfaithful to her in-game look. To sum up, a disappointing piece that passes for a portrayal but isn’t actually attractive.
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 StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Human: Pharaoh Nidalee sure looks regal but her clothes aren’t exactly Pharaonic as far as historical accuracy is concerned. Regardless, the film-inspired look is appealing and delivers the theme quite well; except for the metal leg warmers. To say that they are ridiculous is a thorough understatement. Leaving that behind, the spear matches the design of her decorations and rounds a rather reasonable model.

Cougar: a gold adorned Siamese cat is a great choice for Nidalee’s cougar form. In spite of the huge size of the cat, the fur and decorations are really well done. Besides, they match her human jewellery which is a nice touch. The intense, empty, blue eyes draw attention, but look unnatural, and the makeup at the sides seems whimsical but appropriate. Still, it looks good despite the base being almost identical to the Bewitching cat.

On the whole, Pharaoh Nidalee is a skin with obvious issues despite the low price. It’s able to tolerate the leave particles of the classic incarnation but its problems eventually pile up. If you are able to ignore the multiple but minor flaws then Pharaoh Nidalee is a nice skin for fans of Egyptian culture. It’s hardly perfect but for its price it offers more than enough.

Bewitching Nidalee
Bewitching Nidalee Splash Art Bewitching Nidalee Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Nidalee styled as a witch and cougar form as a costumed black cat.
Model: Major model changes for Nidalee, new model for her javelin and major model changes for 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.

Headhunter Nidalee
Headhunter Nidalee Splash Art Headhunter Nidalee Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Nidalee as a futuristic hunter and cougar form as an alien predator.
Model: New model for Nidalee, her javelin, traps and cougar form plus new glow for her javelin.
Particles: New particles for her abilities.
Animations: New recall for her human and cougar forms.
Sounds: New sounds for her abilities.
Splash Art: The background seems rather empty and even simple in comparison with the spectacular portrayal. The grass blades are displayed as a disappointing mass below Nidalee and as passable brush strokes elsewhere. In addition to this, there’s nothing else on display: only grass to stand on and some green hues to surround it. Fortunately, Nidalee’s portryal is astounding. The pose is very interesting as it elicits the natural sensuality, agility and lethality of a feline; reinforced by the cougar aura around her. The outline is precise and the shading impeccable but there’re imperfections: the javelin and loincloth are a bit diffuse plus her boots seem drab. All in all, it’s an impressive portrayal that suffers from its inconsequential but noticeable issues and letdown of a background.
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 StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Human: Headhunter Nidalee embodies the futuristic huntress theme that relies on advanced equipment and its skilful use. This concept is a rather good fit for Nidalee thus the obvious Predator tones sure are welcome references. Regardless, one can wonder whether more practical and less revealing armour would have been a better choice.
In fact, the open armour and high heels water down the deadly huntress feel as they don’t pass for ornate tribal features. Still, the equipment is very well done, thanks to the good design plus adequate use of particles and sounds. The result is definitely attractive with an evident clash of sensuality and lethality present. While the conflict is interesting it doesn’t equate to the superior primal yet sapient Predator feel.

Cougar: Nidalee’s alter ego makes the cute emotes difficult to swallow with its impressive alien predator aesthetic. The lean, sleek but strong body structure exemplifies its effectiveness as a prey-stalker. Moreover, the alien features are appealing and mostly stay away from exaggerations. Therefore, the cougar has a familiar feel despite being a fantastical creation.
Besides, the armour coupled with the abilities hint at technological aid, as well as sentience; which isn’t far-fetched due to the creature’s nature. The dreadlocks seem a little whimsical but as they tie with Nidalee’s human hairstyle they make sense.

In general, Headhunter Nidalee is a great skin that successfully re-interprets her as a futuristic alien-huntress. The human form could use a more tribal and less revealing look but the cougar form makes up for it with its raw, natural charm; though hardly cute it’s fascinating. If you’re looking for a skin that adds a nice dose of sci-fi while keeping Nidalee’s natural feel then this is the skin you need.

Conclusion

Nidalee may have a dual identity but her skins seldom exploit it as they should. On top of that, her visual upgrade seems to have been too centred on improving her classic look. Thus, the quality of her traditional skins hasn’t really improved much; plus some questionable choices have been made.

If we add that many of her skins aren’t available, as they are either limited or legacy, we are left with few options. Fortunately, the future has come to the rescue and Headhunter Nidalee easily rises as the recommended choice. The alien-huntress aspect is well developed and offers a novel yet familiar take on Nidalee.

The other skins have their charms but also issues. Pharaoh Nidalee is interesting with its reasonable Egyptian look and pleasing Siamese alter ego; though she’s styled in a very unbelievable way. For its price, it’s a good choice but don’t expect a perfectly satisfying product.

Additionally, French Maid Nidalee, has a nice human side but her feline counterpart is simply a letdown. Still, it’s sensibly priced so it stands as a fine alternative despite the evident fetish.

  28 Responses to “League of Legends: Nidalee Skins’ Review”

  1. Hi! I love your reviews, but French Maid Nidalee costs 520rp, not 975 :)

  2. I love your reviews. I can’t wait to see your new review once her skin comes out :)

    BUT —- I do love me some French Maid Nid… I speak the language so maybe that has something to do with it, but it’s just beautiful. I do wish that she was wearing high heels, I love the entire costume but flats make her look like she just shopped at Target on her way to work and it doesn’t really flow with the entire theme.

    I’m seeing a young Jennifer Love Hewitt in “Heartbreakers” (who wore high heels)

    • Thanks, glad that you like them. Let’s hope that Nidalee fans receive something impressive after the questionable quality of the visual upgrade.

      Truth be told, considering that French Maid Nidalee is a clear fetish the use of high heels would’ve been suitable and even welcome. On the one hand, the flat shoes are more believable yet the skin doesn’t really go for realism, instead it firmly stays as a fantasy.

      We should probably add it to the, already, long wish-list for her second visual upgrade.

  3. Is there a Gladiator Draven review coming up? I think it looks cool. I would’ve gotten Soul Reaver but I like Draven’s regular voice too much to make it processed haha.

  4. I really wish Riot wouldn’t use a Siamese cat in the Pharaoh Nidalee skin when there is no evidence that Siamese cats were ever Egyptian, only based on theories. It is known that they worshiped the Egyptian Mau, an ancient cat breed with close ancestry with wild cats. http://pictures-of-cats.org/wp-content/uploads/images/egyptian-mau-belly-flap-21347838.jpg

    I think this would make a much more fitting cat form for her.

    • Very interesting, indeed there doesn’t seem to be any firm evidence that links Siamese cats to Egypt. In fact, they are linked to Thailand and their former Kingdom of Siam; from where they take their name. The goddess Bast does look similar to a Siamese cat and that could’ve been the inspiration behind the skin’s choice. The fact that Siamese are more popular than Mau probably helped too.

      Regardless, seeing as Nidalee already received her visual upgrade and her skins haven’t been touched despite repeated petitions to address certain issues, chances are that what we have is all we’ll get.

  5. I love your reviews, but Pharaoh Nidalee is now 520, not 975 :)

    • Glad that you like them and thanks for the notice. We are still hunting down the last few skins to update after the price changes so if you come across any we’ll be grateful for the heads up.

  6. Hello!
    I really like your website! It have save me a lot of times! Do you know when French Maid Nidalee will be on sales agian?
    Thank you! :)

    • Thanks for the kind words. We don’t know exactly when French Maid Nidalee could go on sale but we could give you a very rough estimate based on previous sales.

      French Maid Nidalee was last on sale on the 3rd of May, 2013, and the previous sale was on the 3rd of December, 2011; it was discounted three times in 2011 and once in 2010. Knowing that, it will take a while for French Maid Nidalee to go on sale again, at the very least a few months. However, as it was discounted only once since 2011 and Riot aspires to make content more easily available through sales, it has better chances of being discounted again.

      In conclusion, it’s possible that is would be on sale again in 2013 but in all probabilities, due to the small size of sales and huge amount of skins, it will be discounted again on 2014.

      Sorry we can’t provide more exact information, hope it helps.

  7. Pharaoh nidalee is actually 975rp skin

    • We just checked at the store and it says 520 RP, its price was reduced not too long ago. Could the price be different depending on region?

  8. Hi! I love your skin reviews, and with the harrowing coming up, I was wondering on your opinion on Bewitching Nidalee. I’m also kind of interested in headhunter, so I don’t know whether it’s better to get Bewitching or to wait for a sale on headhunter. I should point out, I’m not really an Alien fan, I just like sci-fi looking stuff.

    Also, I was having the same kind of ordeal between Silent Night Sona and Arcade Sona, so if you could answer that it’d be great as well.

    Thank you!

    • You should consider how much the exclusivity provided by the legacy skins matters to you. Additionally, both Headhunter Nidalee and Arcade Sona are more elaborate than Bewitching and Silent Night. There’s also the matter of concepts, the seasonal skins they have a specific charm but the others are usually always fitting. Besides, Arcade is a bit more expensive, even on sale, and Bewitching isn’t as refined as it could be.

      All in all, you should choose based on which skin you like the most; setting aside the legacy nature of the skins. You could add that as an extra if you find it relevant. Another important point to consider is that Headhunter and Arcade can go on sale and cost half of their usual price.

      In the end, none of the mentioned skins are actually bad, despite some being a bit better than others, so your personal preference should be the deciding factor.

  9. I have to disagree with the commentary on Headhunter Nidalee’s attire. You say it’s too revealing, yet it fits perfectly with the theme it was going for, ie. a female predator.

    A simple image search (with safe search on for the squeamish) reveals that female Yautja (Predators) have quite revealing outfits.

    The heels, however, I will agree with you on.

    • We understand you point of view but one thing is revealing and another is lightly armoured. If an agile champion like Nidalee prefers light armour it’s understandable. However, we question the need for exposed cleavage in Headhunter. At least, if it were a skin dedicated to sex appeal it would fit in. In this case, it’s the contrary: Nidalee needs to look deadly and powerful not sexy.

  10. Are you sure about that new crit animation in Headhunter? I’ve checked the model animations and they seem about the same.

    • We checked and it is, indeed, the same animation. We must’ve left it from the time that skins incorporated new critical hit animations which where later added to the classic skin, as far as we know. Thanks for the correction.

  11. Hey zero. i love your reviews its helping alot before i buy something.
    the Pharaoh Nidalee is in sale for 260 rp at turkey server. what do you think shall i buy?
    thanks!

    • If you like the Egyptian aesthetic then it’s a fine option. Pharaoh isn’t as elaborate as Headhunter but, considering the price, it offers enough.

  12. Seeing that there’s a splash art update that will be here temporarily for probably a long while, will you redo the Chinese filler splash arts for the updated skins?

    • Yes we will but it’ll take a while as thirty-three splash arts were updated. We plan to update them little by little so as to do things well.

  13. Can you update the review of Nidalee’s Snow Bunny and Leopard Skin please? It’s almost two months and the review here is still the old one.

    • We are sorry for the time it’s taken to update the splash arts’ reviews. We have been rather busy and prefered to prioritize new reviews instead of splash arts; which aren’t as essential to review a skin though they are important too.

      We intend to update everything and we offer no excuses: we should’ve found a way to make time for it. We haven’t forgotten about the splash arts and we’ll try to update the reviews as soon as we can. Our apologies for the inconvenience.

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