May 272013
 
Taipei Assassins Skins
Taipei Assassins Season 2 Commemorative Skins

Taipei Assassins, the crowned champions of the Season 2 League of Legends World Championship, are immortalized with this set of skins. This means that a full team of champions cross the fourth wall and become players with looks and style that reflect the TPA mascot. How well do they stand in this new realm? Read their skins’ review and find out.

Splash Art

The TPA skins have the unusual characteristic of sharing the same splash art. While this is understandable and convenient from a development point of view it doesn’t stop being a disappointing. Let’s take a look at it and see if it’s worth five splash arts by its own.

The background suggests a big arena where the audience clamours for the champions. At least the lights of such incredible place are visible because the rest is just the imagination working. The champions are clearly portrayed though, but their simultaneous exposition makes them compete for attention.

Regardless, they manage to convey a bit of their personality in the depiction: Mundo is brutal and towering, Orianna vaguely humane, Ezreal overconfident, Shen sneaky while Nunu and Willump display their close teamwork. In parts they seem to be escaping from the diffuse maws of the background but the portrayals are correct anyway.

All in all, it’s a nice splash art that displays a team of champions celebrating the fruit of their labour. While it’s unclear in certain parts each champion has its place. Nevertheless, it’s a piece that seems better suited for a presentation of the full set of TPA champions than to be used in individual spotlights.

Skins

TPA Orianna
TPA Orianna Splash Art TPA Orianna Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 750 RP
Concept: Orianna as a gamer gynoid.
Model: New model for Orianna and the Ball.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new 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 StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: TPA Orianna receives a nice modernization of her artificial features that still keep some of her ballerina origins. It could be said that the new model keeps the essence and refines the surface. As such, Orianna doesn’t simply look as a gynoid dressed in casual clothes but instead she also has an admittedly whimsical but nonetheless distinct style that gives her a unique identity. The Ball’s also notable for seeming rather solid and lethal, like a mace or flail. Therefore, the combination feels familiar yet alien at the same time; which is an intrinsic part of Orianna. As a minor complain, her auto-attack particles could’ve been re-coloured to better fit the skin’s colour scheme. Still, in general TPA Orianna is a nice contemporary interpretation of an artificial girl in the gaming world.

TPA Mundo
TPA Mundo Splash Art TPA Mundo Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 750 RP
Concept: Mundo as a triumphant e-sports player.
Model: New model for Dr. Mundo and his cleaver.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: New sounds for his auto-attack and Infected Cleaver.
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 first impression that TPA Mundo gives is that of an uninspired and simple concept. At large, it’s just Mundo in casual clothes with a cup instead of a cleaver. The healthy dose of Mundo brutality in the gamer world is suggested but without a new proper voice-over it stays as just that. At least, what the skin lacks in originality it makes up for with consistency: when hitting someone with the cup the sound is appropriately hollow and metallic. Regardless, it’s not a look that seems special despite not being bad at all. TPA Mundo isn’t a awful choice but it’s potential isn’t exploited much.

TPA Shen
TPA Shen Splash Art TPA Shen Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 750 RP
Concept: Shen as a modern street-ninja.
Model: New model for Shen and his ninjatos.
Particles: New particles for Ki Strike.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: New sounds for his auto-attack and Vorpal Blade.
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: To be fair, Shen is dressed as a simple gamer and not an actual ninja. However, the overflowing ninja features manage to turn him into a something more. Instead of looking as a mere ninja forcefully adapted to a modern look he actually looks like a street-ninja in the contemporary world. This way, the usual tools of the trade are taken from day-to-day items. For instance, the headset could be a ways to communicate with the ninja headquarters. Add to this the new sounds to correctly implement his thundersticks and the skin ends with a distinct and fresh aspect. Of course, there are objections to this interpretation: he could wear fingerless gloves to protect the hands, his weapons are really inoffensive, he lacks any protection and the headset seems forced as it’s hardly discreet. Regardless of how you want to look at Shen his looks are appealing and if you’d like a ninja with a coat of modernity then this is a great choice.

TPA Ezreal
TPA Ezreal Splash Art TPA Ezreal Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 750 RP
Concept: Ezreal as a gamer fan.
Model: New model for Ezreal.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new 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 StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: As far as looks go Ezreal seems to seamlessly flow into modern day casual clothing; which maybe shouldn’t be unexpected. The outfit seems believable and correct to the point that it seems clean and polished with a subtle cartoony feel. This works to the skin’s benefit as it reinforces its identity. The same can be said about the lack of magical bow in his abilities: it makes them look different even though nothing was really added. TPA Ezreal isn’t a striking skin but it’s well designed and refined in its stylization. As such, it’s a nice addition for Ezreal fans; specially those that prefer less outdated weaponry.

TPA Nunu
TPA Nunu Splash Art TPA Nunu Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 750 RP
Concept: Nunu as a gamer and Willump as the TPA mascot.
Model: New model for Nunu and Willump.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new 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: Nunu might be considered the central figure but the one that steals the show this time is Willump. In fact, Nunu simply dons some casual clothing and a headset so he barely looks anything out of the ordinary. It’s Willump in the image of the TPA mascot, that provides all the appeal the skin has to offer. The mascot’s design is easily transferred onto Willump but the underlying yeti features become noticeable remnants: his physiognomy at large but also his hands and feet mostly. While the mascot does display irregular and rough features the grotesque appendages and blubbery belly make a stark contrast with the otherwise clean style of the rest of the body; only interrupted by the spiked bands.
Even though the necessity to keep a measure of Willump’s yeti nature is understandable the elements don’t mesh well nor seem appealing. The result is that of a funny and comical monster that looks like a furry and cute creature with a forced bestial facet. A simian aesthetic could’ve been planned but it doesn’t feel fluidly implemented. On top of that, the unaltered Absolute Zero seems like a wasted opportunity to further integrate the TPA logo into the skin. Nevertheless, the skin certainly has a unique style and that is its saving grace. TPA Nunu looks good enough and if you don’t mind a yeti wearing a mascot’s fur then this is a choice to keep in mind.

Conclusion

For the most part, TPA skins are only re-models but that is enough to offer some nice options. The recommended purchases are Orianna, Ezreal and Shen. They all adapt quite well to modernized aesthetics and feel unique but familiar. Mundo is a bit plainly designed while Nunu and Willump are a bit of a mixed bag; though some may disagree. Regardless, all of the skins are good so if you’d like to add a contemporary feel to some of these champions they are hardly bad choices.

The bundle is an option that shouldn’t be discarded to benefit from its 25% discount. Provided you own all of the champions then if you like at least four of the five skins the bundle effectively makes you save RP: 750 RP * 4 = 3000 RP; the bundle costs 2812 RP if you own the champions.

If you don’t own the champions then you should consider whether you can unlock any with IP or not. As these are legacy skins they aren’t always available but the 25% discount isn’t as attractive as the 50% from a sale. As the skins aren’t particularly astounding, if you don’t own the champions it makes for a rather expensive suit of skins. However, it could be an interesting way of starting your skin and champion collections.

Image Credits

TPA skins model screen-shots taken with Gamebase’s League of Legends Skin Viewer.

  6 Responses to “League of Legends: TPA Season 2 Skins’ Review”

  1. Hi Zero,

    I enjoy your reviews so much that I made your site my homepage in my browser so that I will see it first.

    I cannot help but comment on your new TPA reviews. I do not take your recommendations lightly. When you give a recommendation you are saying this is the best skin for the money for that champion.

    Ezrael is your highest rated skin for that champion and is reasonably priced so your recommendation seems to make sense. Shens 4 star skin ties the Blood Moon Shen at the same cost and comes in again as a recommended skin. Oriannas TPA skin at 4 stars falls a bit short of the Sewn Chaos skin and costs more so Im surprised you did give it a recommendation when there are cheaper and better alternatives out there.

    I like the Nunu skin probably a bit better than you. Willumps’ white fur seems to be more fitting for an Abominable Snowman than any of the other skins including blue classic, green grungy, armor plated demolisher, brown sasquatch, and robot nunu bot. To me the red eyes detract but I get that its a nod to the TPA team and their mascot; though Id still take away a star for the eyes because one is buying the skin to enjoy themsleves and not to celebrate the TPA team. Overall, Id say the improved Abominable Snowman look makes the skin worth 3 stars and perhaps a bit more. As such its value is easily apparent when comparing it to the 1820 point Nunu Bot skin and the 975 point Demolisher skin which holds your current recommendation. With grungy Nunu dropping to 750 points it would seem to hold equal value but if I had to purchase one skin for a reasonable price for Nunu then it would be the new TPA skin and I would give it my recommendation.

    Additionally, I like the Dr. Mundo skin. I cannot stand his bloody cleaver and it disgusts me along with his slobber tongue and sloppy look. There are few “classic” skins in the game that I hate more than Dr. Mundo and as such, I find this new TPA skin a quantum improvement. He looks like a cross between a purple version of the Hulk and fanny pack wielding, undersized shirt wearing gym rat; and wielding a musclehead body building trophy. Its a far better take on the concept of musclehead than Mr. Mundoverse. I find the thwunk sound of the trophy throw satisfying and in game his burning agony skill and his recommended sunfire armor go with his too red shirt. With the headset, it looks like hes listening to music as many bodybuilders do when they lift. I cannot see the disgusting slobber tongue hanging out though the slurp sound remains. Rageborn Mundo is probably a better skin but I actually like this one as well and perhaps better and its cheaper. At any rate its a night and day improvement from his classic stock skin and suddenly I can find myself able to stand playing this champion again.

    Its worth noting that while the splash art is shared that the loading screen splash art is unique to each champion. I usually spend more time studying and enjoying the art while waiting a couple of minutes for the game to start when someone has a slow connection. I do enjoy occasionally loading up the art to enjoy the picture itself but one doesnt even need to “buy” the champions to load the splash art. They can visit your site for free. So for me, the splash art matters most during the loading screen and there are 5 different versions for each individual champion. That said, most are good, but not special. The splash art during loading screen time of the game is not reason enough to buy these champion skins or a reason to feel disappointed and avoid them. Its a neutral.

    Overall, Id have to say that Zero has given TPA Ezrael his highest recommendation with 4 stars so thats a buy. Nunu ranks as high as any of his skins and has a more reasonable price so that seems to me to be a recommendation and a buy. Mundos’ skin is an extreme upgrade over his classic skin and while maybe a tick less detailed than Rageborn Mundo it seems to hold up on overall appeal and is an affordable option with good value so its a buy. For me, Blood Moon Shen is still the recommended buy. I think its the best skin for him and worth the money. Still, TPA Shen, has a baseball cap, fun colors and is a lighter and kickier version of the master ninja and its easy to see why Zero gave it a 4 star review and his personal recommendation. Orianna to me seems like the weak link. Her skin is good, colorful and intersting and probably a worthy purchase to her fans. But the occasional Orianna player might find Sewn Chaos to be a better product at a cheaper price.

    Overall, if you were to only get 1-2 skins then I might recommend Nunu and Mundo merely because I think they are as good of a skin or better than anything else you can get for either chamnpion. Ezrael is a fantastic choice and is Zeros highest rated skin for him. Shen seems to me to be a skin you either like or do not. I like it. But it digresses from the nature of a traditional Ninja. And Orianna is a very good skin that is worth the money but which competes against cheaper and better products. Overall, if you were to get 3 or more then you might as well get all 5 provided you own all the champions 2800 riot points is about $20 and $4 per skin makes this a great deal. A dinner and movie alone would cost you $20 and this competes nicely on a value basis with an evening out and you will enjoy them longer.

    Well thats my take. I know 2800 riot points is a big purchase for many but Ive added my spin to zeros fine work.

    Id like to thank Zero again for this site. And also encourage him to update his revies to reflect the price changes riot announced weeks ago. For instance, Zero has Coral Malphite rated at 4 stars based on 975 riot points when indeed its price was reduced to 750 rp and tomorrow it will be on sale for 375. Would it be a 5 star skin at 375 rps? Or does the 4 star review hold firm ? There are probably a great many skins that need ratings adjustments to go along with their price changes.

    Have a great day everyone. Enjoy Beauty

    • Glad that you find the site useful, we work hard to provide the best recommendations possible.

      You make good points in your comments and it’s been an interesting read. In the case of the splash arts it is indeed a neutral affair. While it’s disappointing that they share it every champion has their portrait so as far as function is concerned it all works.

      Now let’s go over each skin and see how our opinions meet. In Ezreal’s case there isn’t much to add as we both agree that is a nice look for him. Shen’s could be a skin that some don’t like as it doesn’t clearly expose his ninja facet. However, it manages to adapt it into something more modern and while not as mystic as Blood Moon it’s quite appealing nonetheless. We agree that Blood Moon is a better recommendation but TPA Shen is well worth considering for something different.

      With Nunu it’s true that the skin isn’t terrible at all but the adaptation could’ve been more fluid. The difference between fur and skin is too pronounced and the general physique is a bit off-putting. It could be said that all that is owed to Willump’s classic look but skins probably shouldn’t feel restricted by that if possible; as in this case.

      With Mundo it’s surely a cleaner aesthetic that tidies his looks and manners and surely does a better job than Mundoverse. The problem it’s that it seems rather simple in its implementation: casual clothes and a trophy. It certainly isn’t a bad look but it’s nothing spectacular. In comparison, Rageborn Mundo is much more original. Still, that doesn’t make TPA Mundo bad but the implementation isn’t particularly striking. It’s good but just good.

      Finally, with Orianna we agree in certain points and disagree in others. We think that Orianna’s look is an appealing modern interpretation of an artificial girl that mixes her whimsical style with a sensible dose of contemporary technology. There’s no doubt that Sewn Chaos is a fantastic choice but TPA Orianna has it’s own identity and appeal. Still, we agree that it competes with a better and cheaper product so that should be taken into account.

      We would like to thank you for the time to share your opinion as only through the discussion of conflicting ideas we can see things under a different light and learn. We’d also like to assure you that we are actively updating skin prices and will soon move onto the interesting realm of 1350 RP skins.

      The price of 750 RP has proven to not affect value much as it’s actually quite similar to 975 RP. Conversely, 1350 RP is a price quite near to that of a legendary skin so such skins should be really good to deserve such an investment. In the specific case of Coral Reef Malphite, the model is nice but not great much like the particles so the rating stays unchanged. Being on sale increases its value but that can be applied to any skin on sale so the rating stays the same as well.

      Have a great day too and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Purchased the bundle (have all champions).
    These skins are mostly niche and have a place in League for this primary reason.
    Art direction is great for these skins, which is reflected in their individual splash art.
    The headsets on the skins are a nice touch.

    Review of the skins:
    TPA Orianna
    4/5 Could have used auto attack treatment. A “human form” skin is great.

    TPA Mundo
    4/5 Auto attack sound is satisfying. Throwing trophies is a nice touch. Would have been nice if trophy had a shining animation. To be honest, I think a “human form” Dr. Mundo would have been nice to complement Orianna and the rest of the skins.

    TPA Shen
    3.5/5 Regular street ninja-esque, awesome! Auto attack sound is dull, which makes sense.

    TPA Ezreal
    4/5 Main reason for purchase of bundle. Best splash art (subjective). In-game model is a letdown. Recommended purchase out of all of Ezreal’s skins.

    TPA Nunu
    3/5 A bit too plain

    tl;dr Purchase one skin if others don’t interest you much. Purchase bundle if you like 3 out of 5 of the skins. If you main any of these champions, then I recommend buying their TPA skin.

    • We agree in most aspects yet not all but it’s always nice to have another point of view. Thanks for sharing your opinion.

  3. Hey Zero, love your constant reviews however I have a question that is being asked a little bit too late but nonetheless I finally decided to mention. TPA Shen’s passive, Ki strike, appears to have somewhat of a purple sparkling/glowing particles when it is up. I don’t know if you can somewhat check it as it actually is a real nice particle change.

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