A witch scours the night sky searching for a special ingredient for her latest concoction. Not any ingredient will do, her cauldron can be rather picky and if the mix isn’t right the result will have a sour taste. The old Count doesn’t have it. He isn’t going to share anyway: the old cantankerous coot doesn’t like visitors. The kids trick-or-treating their way won’t be of any help either. They can’t see beyond sweets and mischief; at all times not just now, actually. Where to find it? Perhaps going for some good old classic ingredients would do. Nothing like a good, old scare after all.
“Where would I find that special ingredient for the cauldron? Better to hop on the broom and take a look around. You never know what you’ll find unless you look.” And so the witch called for her broom “Come on, we don’t have all night. Time to go look for that ellusive ingredient! Hurry!” She set off into the night sky and the night breeze just turned a little darker.
“Coot? Cantankerous? Who do you think you are talking to?” The Count wasn’t intimidating by his size or his steed but the trusty pistol he always carried never failed to ellicit the response he wanted. When the bear traps failed to dissuade visitors his pistol made sure the message was heard, loud and clear.
“That didn’t go as planned. No problem, let’s give it another try!” Time rewinds and the kid is back in front of the house, right before the door opens. This time he frees both hands to grab as many sweets as he can and runs after thirty-two seconds. This time, other kids arrive at the house just in time to provide cover. Always rely on the unintended help of others.
|Concept:||Janna dressed as a witch and Zephyr as her chimeric familiar.|
|Model:||New model for Janna, Zephyr and her staff. New gusts of wind around her, new glow for Zephyr and new cauldron for Monsoon.|
|Particles:||New particles for her abilities, auto-attack and recall.|
|Animations:||New flying animation for Zephyr and new recall animation.|
|Sounds:||New sounds for her abilities, auto-attack and recall.|
|Splash Art:||A full Moon, witches on the air and a goblin ready for mischief. There’s also a stone wall and a wooden construction but, ironically, the blurrier area of the background is the most clear about its contents and vice versa.
Janna and Zephyr, who’s partially visible to her right, show much clearer lines and colours. Clothing is detailed with folds and decoration, skin is smooth, pumpkins have believable surfaces, fire looks solid like embers, hair looks simple in a cartoony way, glasses have subtle reflections and the staff goes from charming to sketchy. Truth be told, there are uneven elements but the problems aren’t serious. Besides, the delicate and appealing shading makes the portrayal more interesting and convincing while highlighting the many details on display. It’s strange, though, that Janna’s left leg is completely absent and that objects around her are so sketchy.
All in all, this is a splash art with a few problems but if we look at what it does well it does serve as an attractive presentation card. Perhaps a layer of polish is in order but the result is rather good.
|Conclusion:||Bewitching Janna dresses the Storm’s Fury as a witch but in a cartoony way; without forgetting a good dose of cleavage. The costume is nice looking, colourful and has the witch feel that it intends. The straps of cloth styled as bat wings are a nice touch while stockings and hat are eye-catching with their distinct look. The new staff is turned into a whimsical broom with a pumpkin as decoration. It seems more impractical toy than actual broom but as a sort of familiar it works. Zephyr surely works as the chimerical familiar, made up of several different elements. The glow doesn’t communicate the fire seen in the splash art but the flying animation is quite appealing.
Particles rely more on flying leaves and re-colours than they should. They are different and some stand out. Howling Gale is the most interesting with its circling spectres. Eye of the Storm has a nice dégradé of tones but the effect is too subtle. Zephyr’s active is the most disappointing for its simplicity. Monsoon, cauldron and all, seems too timid for an ultimate.
Sounds follow the design of particles. The classic gusts of winds are all present but modified with some eerie but subtle tones. Howling Gale with its, appropriately, howling spectres is the ability that stands out the most. On the other end, auto-attacks lack any supernatural element.
The new recall is a joke at the expense of a rebellious broom. It works for what it is but doesn’t add to the theme. Zephyr doesn’t take part in the animation which is a pity. By integrating the personality of Zephyr as well we could’ve seen the relationship between Janna and her familiars.
All added together, Bewitching Janna is a fine skin. It has charm but it doesn’t make an effort to exploit it. On the contrary, it seems to play it too safe with leaves that could’ve perfectly fit the classic counterpart. The idea isn’t bad but there’s a notorious lack of depth.
|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.
|Concept:||Ekko dressed for a Halloween night.|
|Model:||New model for Ekko and his sword plus new glow for his sword.|
|Particles:||New particles for his abilities, auto-attack, emotes, death and recall.|
|Animations:||New recall animation.|
|Sounds:||New sounds for his abilities, auto-attack, laugh, death and recall.|
|Splash Art:||Time travel must have some advantages when trick-or-treating in Halloween. That seems to be what the splash art tries to show but it’s not clear exactly how Ekko is benefitting. After all, the holograms he leaves behind are of his past so maybe they are simply showing what he has done. What is clear is that he shouldn’t spill so many sweets on the ground. The whole setting is good, a bit ambiguous in specifics and also quite diffuse. The monster looming on a rooftop is too unclear even if worth adding and a missed chance for a champion reference.
Ekko’s portrayal also shows diffuse legs but the rest of him is clear enough. The saturated and dim colours make his appearance rather muddy and lacking energy despite his expression; the forced trail is an example. The perspective may not be the best either as it doesn’t add anything useful to the portrayal. The running stance could’ve switched leg positioning to allow a full view of his clothes instead of hiding his body. At least, the glow on the club is a subtle touch that is more measured than the unusual intensity of the moonlight.
Overall, this is a suitable splash art but the approach, style and perspective don’t help. There are many things to like but all diluted by choices which, instead of helping, decrease the appeal of the piece. Still, what is good makes it a serviceable presentation card.
|Conclusion:||What Trick or Treat Ekko lacks in certain areas it makes up for in others. An example is the costume which, perhaps fittingly, seems made by a kid or bought as a cheap alternative to something more elaborate. The idea of a skeleton costume is weak due to the adherence to the classic model so maybe a different type of costume would’ve worked better with is design. The sword turned into a club hints at a rascal with potential, delinquent habits. Thus, the model does display a Halloween costume but not really in an attractive way.
Where the skin works is in the particles, most of them. Phase Dive is merely re-coloured and disappoints except for the flurry of bats when teleporting. With that out of the way, auto-attacks and the other abilities have some nice changes. Spectral auto-attack trails, bat shadows in Z-Drive Resonance’s speed buff, ghosts in Timewinder, ghosts and bats in Parallel Convergence are all highlights on the abilities; the pumpkin references aren’t bad as well as the mask when Ekko enters Parallel Convergence. Unfortunately, other areas of the abilities tend to be too tied to Classic as the re-coloured holograms show. Chronobreak tries to stand apart with a Moon surrounded by bats over the hologram, which is nice, but perhaps the hologram should’ve received a ghostly effect as if it were a spectre. The activation produces an even more timid image of his mask; in comparison with Parallel Convergence when Ekko is in the area of effect. As an ultimate, it tries but it doesn’t feel interesting.
Sounds add eerie tunes to abilities and blunt hits to the club. They aren’t impressive but they have the proper appeal given the concept. The screeching sounds of Timewinder, Parallel Convergence and Phase Drive are rather appealing. However, Chronobreak seems too brief and diluted without a strong, haunting feel. It’s not out of place but an ultimate should communicate the theme more strongly and also feel powerful in its effect.
The new recall is a joke that doesn’t have much to do with actual trick-or-treating. It does have a Halloween feel but perhaps something that made use of his time travel as in the splash art would’ve been more interesting than a simple scare.
On the whole, Trick or Treat Ekko is an uneven skin. It has several nice features but always interspersed with less appealing ones. For all that the skin does well it also relies too much on the classic counterpart. Besides, the model could’ve chosen a theme that better suited Ekko’s particular design if that design were to be respected so strongly. The result has issues but it’s rather charming and enjoyable if one concentrates on the best parts. As a Halloween skin it sure is a good option.
The Halloween skins this year aren’t bad but they don’t show the spirit of the event as in other years. Perhaps it’s the fact that Tales from the Rift has been turned into a part of the World Championship instead of being a special event of its own. Either way, the skins have some nice features but can also feel superficial. Here’s a quick summary of the reviews.
Bewitching Janna is charming but also shallow. Instead of taking advantage of its theme the skin plays it safe and makes superficial changes that don’t develop the skin’s concept. The result isn’t bad but brims with unexploited potential.
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.
Trick or Treat Ekko is an uneven skin, with a model that is more concerned about his classic design than the theme. Particles have several highlights and also a reliance on the classic counterpart. Sounds are suitable even if not impressive. The result, despite its problems, is charming and certainly a good option for the event.