Argumentative and grumpy, Kled the Cantankerous Cavalier is also known for his bloodlust and stubborn refusal to back down from any battle. As most folk tales, his stories are usually much taller than the heroes they speak about but there’s usually a trail of truth from where they originate. So, if you happen to be in a battlefield and you spot a reptile absentmindedly eating insects you may want to take care. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if it were Skaarl about to be summoned back into action by Kled and that only means one thing: charge. If you hear the word, don’t get in the way.
|Concept:||Kled as an armoured knight and Skaarl as bird mount.|
|Model:||Major model changes for Kled, Skaarl and his halberd.|
|Particles:||New particles for Beartrap on a Rope, Pocket Pistol, Jousting. New flying feathers when walking and new flash for their combined recall.|
|Animations:||New recall animations.|
|Sounds:||New sounds for his recall.|
|Splash Art:||A windmill, confused knights readying for a joust, a broken fence and a little lunatic in the middle? Seems like something is out of place. While the background doesn’t display many elements they set the stage well for the apparition of an unusual knight. The Don Quixote reference is subtle but more than fair. Wildly different but standing among more traditional counterparts Kled and Skaarl make a duo that would surprise by their methods as naturally as they would charge at a windmill. The setting feels somewhat barren as if it would welcome more elements. There certainly is enough room yet it’s good that it isn’t overloaded and that there’s sufficient space for each area to breath. The depth of field effect is unevenly distributed with nearby trees and knights being more diffuse than the windmill in the distance. However, the blur is faint so the setting is clear.
Kled and Skaarl receive a vibrant portrayal. Colours are a bit saturated but display soft and believable shading. The depiction can strike as uneven because Kled looks cartoony while Skaarl transitions from there to photo-realism. The reptilian outline doesn’t help and the fact that the wings are so close to the head and flat bring further conflict with the avian nature. It is, though, faithful to the in-game representation so it’s not really a flaw that originates in the splash art. The pose is eloquently dramatic and convoluted as it would fit such an ingenious, errant knight. Regardless, the halberd could’ve been better shown and the shading could’ve been more consistent all over.
In general, this is a splash art that instead of aiming at sheer spectacularity presents its message with an interesting composition that draws from a valid literary source. The quality is fully consistent across the piece but it allows each element enough room to present their relevance without obstruction or competition. It’s a splash art that accompanies a good portrayal with subtle but felt support from the setting which generates a pleasant scene. Perhaps it doesn’t have the masterful skill of more complex pieces but the accomplished presentation shows greatness in its simplicity. For that, it can, at least, stand as a worthy companion to the best League of Legends splash arts.
|Conclusion:||The initial impression given by Sir Kled is that of a fantastic knight riding an unusual bird. The skin might very well be a tribute to Final Fantasy as it owes more than a passing resemblance to an Onion Knight mounted on a chocobo. However, the skin doesn’t go far beyond the model changes. The new helmet and halberd are the most noticeable gear while the red beard, plume and large ears surrounding a human face contrast the classic, animalistic identity. Skaarl is most notorious by the yellow feathers, armour and beak as the general outline and bottom of the body aren’t far from the classic, reptilian physiognomy. The model ends up being appealing but less creative than the classic incarnation due to the more traditional, human knight appearance and the reptile characteristics of the bird.
The few new particles share vast similarities with the classic counterparts. Bear Trap on a Rope only changes the eponymous bear trap for a treble hook, Pocket Pistol replaces pistol and bullets for crossbow and bolts while Jousting only takes advantage of the feathers already added when walking. Speaking of which, the feathers left when walking are a good touch to further develop the specific identity of the skin but it’s the only feature that is relevant enough to make a difference. It’s worth mentioning that even though Pocket Pistol looks radically different it still sounds like a firearm. It seems lazy to leave such a noticeable and distorting inconsistency on the skin. At the very least they could borrow some sounds from Vayne’s or Quinn’s crossbows.
The new recalls are also a mixed affair. The one that shows both Kled and Skaarl is a good display of their personality: one poses with dignity while the other is more concerned about having an empty stomach; something that is promptly solved by sacrificing a tail feather. When Kled recalls on his own he simply patrols and then loses his patience. In theory, waiting for Skaarl to appear but in practice doing his duty so the wait isn’t smoothly connected.
When all is added together, Sir Kled is an evidently uneven skin. It’s mostly a re-model that adds a few extra touches to feel special but seldom are they significant enough to supplement the new theme. The Final Fantasy reference may end up being more important than the adaptation as it doesn’t seem like the skin had much ambition to start with; at least it doesn’t show it. Fans of Final Fantasy will find Sir Kled an underdeveloped homage while fans of the Cantankerous Cavalier will find it only an acceptable skin, at best, but unavoidably flawed.
|Concept:||Kled costumed as a vampire and Skaarl as a bat.|
|Model:||Major model changes for Kled, Skaarl and his halberd.|
|Particles:||New particles for his abilities, auto-attack and recall.|
|Animations:||New recall animation.|
|Sounds:||New sounds for his abilities, auto-attack and recall. New music for Skaarl, the Cowardly Lizard and Chaaaaaaaarge!!! plus new laughs and screams for his abilities.|
|Splash Art:||From what can be gathered from the background we have a few trick-or-treatsters, including a familiar face and a familiar costume, while an unfriendly Count runs after them. High up in the night sky we also find a Moon over the mansion and another spooky, recognisable figure. Truth is, the setting is good but it takes quite a bit of work to see things as everything is so diffuse. Still, the references to other champions are nice.
Kled and Skaarl crazily chase with expressions that match the approach. The portrayal catches the eye and sets the mood of the skin. The downside is that it’s only sharply depicted in the central areas while outer areas are sketchy. The cartoony style is appealing and the shading helps the portrayal, when it’s present. On one hand, the faces are rich with expression and detail but, on the other, we find bodies that look diffuse.
All in all, this is a splash art with a charming idea behind it. Background and portrayal are appealing and fitting for the Halloween concept. The problem is that they are uneven in their depiction so that the enjoyment is diluted by the disappointing sketchiness.
|Conclusion:||Count Kledula is superficial in all aspects. Starting with the model, Kled merely wears a costume that has a passing resemblance to a vampire. It has some cartoony charm with a few classic elements like the fang and stylish streak of grey hairs but it’s a simple affair. Skaarl, well, it isn’t very clear what he is. He’s got bat wings, ears and face but is too furry for a bat; at least, the classic look associated with bats. The furry tail and dewlap seem evident classic remnants that couldn’t be adapted into a more fitting way. Perhaps a chimerical bat, given Skaarl’s physiognomy, crossed with another animal or taking elements from one would’ve served better; like Bewitching Janna’s Zephyr. Kled’s weapons have a gothic design that is actually rather nice even if they aren’t easy to appreciate due to their small size.
Particles are simple re-colours for the most part. At times some sweets are thrown into the air as is the case of Pocket Pistol. Bear Trap on a Rope is nice with its pumpkin-style and so is the icon for Jousting. Chaaaaaaaarge!!!, as an ultimate, shows too few changes: pumpkin ride and bat shadows on the ground are the more appealing. Regardless, it struggles to have a strong identity.
Sounds don’t fare much better. In fact, most of the audio seems to be barely changed from Classic. There are a few changes but the new music is clearly what stands out the most. The dramatic, comical style of Chaaaaaaaarge!!! is a good addition, though.
The new recall is a suitable joke that adds the cantankerous aspect to the Count. It’s rather nice but Skaarl, even when present, doesn’t add anything. Perhaps he could’ve helped scare visitors when around, at least.
On the whole, Count Kledula is a skin that changes too little and what it does change is rather uneven. There are some things to like, like the new music, and there are many areas that simply don’t embody the theme well. This leaves the skin with a diluted appeal despite the potential present.
For a release skin, Sir Kled disappoints. In practical terms, it’s a re-model with a few extra touches that doesn’t manage to fully adapt the duo to their new knight and bird identities. They appear close enough to their intentions but the classic recesses are noticeable and sometimes flat out defy the new aesthetic. The fact is that the classic concept is more original, especially in comparison with a human knight, and that the new particles are weak additions which means that the skin is a passable option, at best, and evidently suffering from issues.
A Halloween, legacy offering is Count Kledula. What seems rather appealing on paper is actually rather shallow in reality. Even if the new music is nice, the skin is too uneven in the few changes it has; there’s a lot of Classic still present. The result is a skin with untapped potential.