The Moon looks down from her dark throne on the ravaged land below as warring kingdoms vie in incessant skirmishes and drawn-out battles. Their mundane stakes don’t concern her divine interest but the courage of those that protect the defenceless elicit her blessings. Whether with a dragon-blade or a humble stick this Lunar Revel they’ll find their bravery shines like never before.
|Concept:||Diana as a Moon avatar with a lotus motif.|
|Model:||New model for Diana and her crescent blade.|
|Particles:||New particles for her abilities and auto-attack.|
|Animations:||New recall animation.|
|Sounds:||New sound for Moonfall.|
|Splash Art:||The background is a fitting starry night with a crescent Moon dominating behind. In spite of the appropriate setting it feels empty despite the clouds made of dyed cotton and dust-like stars. Diana fares better thanks to the fascinating shading. The clothes almost seem ethereal which added to the moonshine adds a supernatural aura to her depiction. Unfortunately, the quality isn’t consistent and her legs seem dull amidst the clouds as well as the ends of her dress. All in all, it’s a fantastic yet uneven portrayal of Diana framed by a letdown of a background.|
|Conclusion:||Lunar Goddess Diana seems like an adaptation of the Moon’s Scorn to Chinese mythology. Instead of simply becoming the avatar of the Moon she becomes an embodiment of Chang’e, the Chinese Goddess of the Moon. In that regard her aspect tells little of any ethereal or even supernatural power. In fact, at a glance she merely looks like a flamboyantly dressed lady; maybe even underdressed considering she’s a warrior avatar. This makes a contrast with the simple elegance of her crescent blade and also with the clear though somewhat whimsical lotus-based theme of her particles. Although Diana isn’t exactly bad looking in this skin she doesn’t instil a sensible touch of spirituality or even a satisfying Chinese style. In particular, the leggings not only look out of place but also discordant with the flowing aesthetic proposed by her dress. Ultimately, Lunar Goddess Diana is an uneven skin that also doesn’t communicate its concept well. In other words, the implementation fails at clearly realizing the theme. While the particles do a lot to help the skin stand out they simply can’t battle the general issues. Even if taken aside from its proposed Chang’e theme it still seems like it does many things without a unifying direction.|
|Concept:||Riven as an armoured, eastern warrior.|
|Model:||New model for Riven and her sword: broken and re-forged.|
|Particles:||New fire particles for her abilities.|
|Animations:||New animations for her hair and sword tassel plus new recall animation.|
|Sounds:||New sounds for her abilities.|
|Splash Art:||The setting is a battlefield flooded with flames and soldiers. At a glance, it’s an eye-catching panorama but a closer look is marred by diffuse scenes that don’t clearly show what’s going on. The result is that much is suggested but little can be perceived. That’s not the case with Riven, quite the opposite actually, as she’s clearly depicted leaping in a furious attack. The clothes are well done yet the fabric looks simple. However, the fantastic lighting adds a lot of depth to her portrayal. Her sword also grabs attention despite being behind her. The expression on her face is also very explicit but a tad unfitting for her usually calm demeanour. Maybe if it harkened to her violent Noxian past it would make more sense, there’s still some of that in her, yet it seems like an exaggeration. On the whole, it’s a vivid piece that gives a great first impression. It works quite well as a portrayal but suffers from some minor but significant ailments on the whole.|
|Conclusion:||The idea behind Dragonblade Riven is clearly that of a warrior with an eastern style. The armour is believable enough as it seems well adapted to an agile fighter without sacrificing protection. Also, the blade has an attractive design that balances ornamentation with practicality. Add to that her animated hair and sword tassel and Riven’s appearance has a lot to offer. However, most of these additions are difficult to notice at a distance: most are rather subtle and the homogeneous colour palette makes her aspect seem simpler than it really is. Fortunately, the red particles provide an eye-catching display; especially for Wind Slash. This makes the skin quite good all around but not enough for its actual price. In particular due to the extremely subtle new sounds and brief new recall animation. It’s, technically, an attractive skin but it also feels overpriced as the changes don’t add up and many elements are almost imperceptible. Therefore, Dragonblade Riven is an appealing skin better caught while on sale as it provides a lot but not at the level expected for its regular price.|
|Concept:||Tryndamere in the image of Guan Yu from the Three Kingdoms period.|
|Model:||New model for Tryndamere and his sword.|
|Particles:||New particles for his fury, Spinning Slash and Undying Rage.|
|Animations:||New recall and critical hits animations.|
|Sounds:||No new sounds.|
|Splash Art:||The background presents a snow-covered land with, perhaps, an invaded fort. It’s mostly a guess because everything is so diffuse that it’s difficult to identify any elements except for Tryndamere. The Barbarian King receives an impressive presentation but one that is also uneven. One look reveals excellent shading and reflections for his armour and sword as well as for his clothes. However, the lower body looks dull and his left arm covers most of his body due to a ostentatious pose. Therefore, it’s difficult to get a clear image of how he looks like. The glowing eye may also be a bit too much as it suggests some demonic energy coursing through him. While it could simply be an effect of his rage it’s the only indication which, added to the lack of context, makes it an unclear element. All in all, it’s a adequate presentation for Tryndamere but one that doesn’t display him in the best of ways.|
|Conclusion:||Warring Kingdoms Tryndamere implements its concept rather well though in a conventional way and without any extra effort. To start with, the beard and armour resemble the popular depictions of Guan Yu to an extent though he preferred to wear a robe over his armour. While there’s a lot of ornamentation and a reliance on bronze his appearance doesn’t stand out apart from depicting the famous Han General. His great sword is also decorated though Guan Yu favoured an also imposing guan dao. That could’ve been implemented as he could wield the weapon in the same manner and just leave the pole behind it. However, that would’ve meant readjustments were needed for some animations to prevent clipping. The new particles and animations feel like decoration as they neither further the theme nor add anything visually striking. Then, what we are left is a furious barbarian adapted into a Chinese warrior paying homage to Guan Yu. The result is good but brimming with untapped potential. Even as a traditional Chinese warrior Tryndamere doesn’t feel particularly exciting or interesting. Ultimately, fans of Tryndamere or Romance of the Three Kingdoms will find that the skin is satisfactory but classically uncompromising in its choices.|
This year’s Lunar Revel skins end up being more interesting in theory than in practice. That’s because the concepts are very appealing but the executions don’t make the most out of them.
The recommended skin is Warring Kingdoms Tryndamere, not because of its irresistible features but, sadly, due to the absence of something better. The skin manages to give him an aspect similar to Guan Yu but closely following its classic blueprints. It’s a good skin but seems like more of the same for the barbarian.
Lunar Goddess Diana faces identity problems: her appearance embodies neither Moon nor mysticism. Additionally, the lotus-based particles are nice looking but they don’t flow with the theme either. If taken on her own, Lunar Goddess seems whimsical and erratic. Unfortunately, fans of Diana will find it a bit of a letdown.
Lastly, Dragonblade Riven is a skin that proposes sensible yet unexciting armour and an interesting blade. The particles also add to the visual display but aside from a new recall that’s, mostly, all there is. Thus, it’s a reasonably appealing skin that doesn’t offer enough for its high price. If you like it, better catch it while on sale.