The Year of the Goat begins and so flowers and fireworks alike are spread to pave the way to the celebrations. It seems like a certain someone is soaring through the streets leaving behind a trail of mayhem and sparks. She’s not the only way dashing through the city but reason can be quite different. An imperial guard is on the watch so a battle of wits may start behind all the partying. At least there’s something for everyone, so let’s join in.
|Concept:||Nidalee as a lavishly dressed spear-woman and cougar form as an armoured white panther.|
|Model:||New model for Nidalee, her javelin, traps and cougar form.|
|Particles:||New particles for her abilities.|
|Animations:||New recall for her human and cougar forms.|
|Sounds:||New sounds for her recalls. New sound when on the Hunt.|
|Splash Art:||The first thing that might strike the viewer is that the contrast between Nidalee and the background is abrupt. It may intend to give the sense of a great distance but it also makes the setting quite foggy. Thus, the buildings are obscured and lack detail just like the fireworks. Around Nidalee things are a bit clearer but, strangely, not much. The feline statue, which reflects her dual nature, is clear like the border of the roof. However, between both her forms a peculiar mist is present.
At least, Nidalee is nicely depicted with great use of colour and light. Sadly, while her upper body is attractive and detailed her hand, legs and lower part of her spear lack such definition.
All things considered, incorporating her cougar form as part of the setting is a clever idea. However, the depiction is uneven with a depth of field effect that seems arbitrary. It’s a good splash art but also with issues.
|Conclusion:||With ample decorations and elaborate designs Warring Kingdoms Nidalee certainly looks like an imperial guard. Either as a human or a feline the regal air is clear; even if the stylization is firm.
Human: both practical and classy, Nidalee’s dress is attractive and well adorned with an attractive red and gold pattern. Besides the inevitable cleavage, the rich hairpin and exquisite javelin make clear that Nidalee gets first class equipment in all respects. Thus, it’s surprising that her somewhat baggy trousers and long shoes are so dull. There’s some decoration but it’s difficult to notice and the baggy feature doesn’t fit the intended elegance.
Cougar: this time Nidalee becomes a white panther but not just that. This feline is protected with engraved plates and also decorated in gold. The inexplicable mane is also finely styled with gold. The black highlights add depth to the fur and make the appearance more believable. The cartoony paws with black ever-extended claws certainly don’t help but that’s also the classic base’s fault.
In both her forms, Nidalee accomplishes an elegant and royal aspect that, with some flaws, is appealing and distinct. The flower particles intend to add to the style. They are a classier choice than mere leaves for a royal guard but, colour scheme aside, they have little in common with her look.
|Concept:||Katarina as an elegant flower assassin.|
|Model:||New model for Katarina, her swords and daggers.|
|Particles:||New particles for her abilities.|
|Animations:||New recall animation.|
|Sounds:||New sounds for her abilities, auto-attack and recall sounds.|
|Splash Art:||Fantastically sliding through a rope of hanging paper lanterns Katarina swiftly makes her way through the city. The fireworks illuminate the city behind her but around her darkness extends its protective anonymity. For starters, the idea behind the piece is quite nice. The blurriness of the background can be attributed to her movement yet it may be a bit too much. Besides, the city looks lifeless. It’s reasonable to think that everybody is celebrating around the fireworks but it also appears lacking in decoration and detail.
Katarina looks like the completely opposite though. Her clothing is abundant in folds and the metal in highlights. However, her face seems a tad alien and her legs disproportionately big for her body. The right one is also too deformed by the perspective. The colours appear rather dim even though they’re quite good but her left arm is questionably blurry; it doesn’t look so far back.
All in all, it’s a piece that has a good setup but that ends up like the sparks at her feet: looks good for a while but then all the shine disappears.
|Conclusion:||At a glance Warring Kingdoms Katarina is a simple skin and to an extent it is. The new outfit is unassuming and mostly consists of black trousers and a white blouse. There are some golden highlights here and there as well as the unavoidable cleavage but nothing that catches one’s attention. The blades have a nice design and Katarina doesn’t look bad but the Eastern style of the skin isn’t clear.
The particles incorporate red and flowers in a way that is appealing but, again, isn’t striking. The new sounds have a more clattering, metallic feel than the classic ones but still feel too similar. Her abilities do look and sound good but they also seem only acceptable because they fail to impress. In fact, they bear little relation to her simple, monochromatic outfit. The same could be said of the recall: it’s good and fancy but seems just sufficient.
In the end, Warring Kingdoms Katarina is a satisfying skin but not a remarkable one. Everything about her seems nice and different but just enough. Therefore, it’s an appropriate option for fans of the Sinister Blade but nothing out of this world.
|Concept:||Jinx as a dragon-styled fireworks expert.|
|Model:||New model for Jinx, her rocket launcher Fishbones, her minigun Pow-Pow and her shock gun Zapper|
|Particles:||New particles for her abilities, auto-attack and recall.|
|Animations:||New animations for Switcheroo! and recall|
|Sounds:||New sounds for her abilities, auto-attack and recall.|
|Splash Art:||With mayhem all around her Jinx makes her way precariously holding to a dragon shaped rocket; makes perfect sense. The chaotic and explosive background is a good fit for Jinx but also feels lacking in elements that could be exploding or burning; even if she wouldn’t leave much standing behind. Still, the abundance of sparks makes it clear that Jinx is on to something.
Speaking of which, Jinx’s depiction is excellent with a suitable cartoon style that incorporates unpolished bronze to contrast the sudden brightness she brings to the scene. The shading is a bit simple on Jinx though and clearly contrasts with the detail offered by the metal; as if two images were imposed one atop the other.
In the sum of its parts, the splash art succeeds. The setting is simple but eloquent and Jinx puts her heart in display for all to see. While it has some problems it’s a fantastic scene that displays Jinx in her element. Therefore, it could very well be considered one of League of Legends best splash arts.
|Conclusion:||Translating Jinx’s mayhem to the realm of pyrotechnics isn’t much of a stretch. In fact, she seems to be right at home. In that regard, there’s no doubt that the most relevant feature offered by Firecracker Jinx is the eye-catching firework particles and also sounds. That’s because while Jinx’s aspect is nice it isn’t more than appropriate. Although, the ornamented dragon design of her weapons, Fishbones and Pow-Pow, is attractive with its golden dragon heads over dark shades.
Still, the real highlight is the fantastic firework particles that are effectively complemented by new sounds. Explosions tend to be stylized while sparks aren’t as plentiful as one would expect. Nonetheless, the general feel is appealing. Being fireworks they also carry the disadvantage of feeling less deadly than actual explosions but it’s an understandable compromise.
Strangely, Zap! looks disappointing as it abruptly ends without impact. The contrary can be said when shooting the Super Mega Death Rocket!: it initially looks just like a dragon styled projectile; only once it explodes does it reveal its appeal. For some reason, unlike her auto-attack and other abilities, her ultimate doesn’t leave a trail of sparks as it travels.
All things considered, Firecracker Jinx is a stunning skin despite the absence of actual firecrackers. The problem is that despite how attractive it all is there really isn’t any addition that explains the high price: the modifications are similar to those offered by cheaper skins. Therefore, this is a great looking and sounding skin but also a peculiarly expensive one. If you are a big fan of Jinx or fireworks then catch it on sale.
The skins this year are quite good and the one that takes the recommendation is Warring Kingdoms Nidalee. It’s a skin that offers a lot and, though not perfect, there’s much to like. Between her elegant clothes, rich jewellery and regal feline armour she represents her theme well. The flowers and sounds round the skin and it all comes together, with some issues, but quite nicely.
It’s also worth noting Warring Kingdoms Katarina with her classy assassin style. Her outfit is particularly simplistic even if it looks practical and refined. Still, the particles and sounds add to the skin so that it offers something more. All in all, while more was expected it’s a fine option for the Sinister Blade.
Without a doubt Firecracker Jinx is a spectacular looking skin, as long as we are speaking about fireworks. Her clothing is nothing remarkable but the true features are the particles and sounds. Unfortunately, while they are striking there isn’t anything else to back the high price. What the skin offers is quite good but the price doesn’t correspond to the breadth of additions.