Among the stars, an entity creates and destroys universes defying terrestrial comprehension. His kind is a rare one yet we have seen some relatives among us. They are creatures of unimaginable power that live at the source of many legends. This wonderful being has descended to our terrestrial plane and his light bedazzles even the wisest sages. Aurelion Sol, The Star Forger carries knowledge and power beyond imagination and for someone who sees stars as toys we are nothing.
|Concept:||Aurelion Sol as a gold-armoured, fire dragon.|
|Model:||New model for Aurelion Sol’s upper body and new textures for his lower body. New flame-like orbs on his hands and ignited ash particles around his body.|
|Particles:||New particles for his abilities, auto-attack, recall, death and joke.|
|Animations:||New recall animation.|
|Sounds:||New sounds for his abilities, auto-attack and recall.|
|Splash Art:||Burning rocks, an ash covered sky and clouds of smoke stare down at the now muddy waters that gather a few cottages made out of flammable materials. A nearby volcanic eruption could be responsible for this situation but the flaming dragon hovering over the waters may have something to do with it as well. In spite of the circumstances there’s a good variety of colour yet the setting can be a bit blurry; even considering the particles on the air. The fact that most of it is a heavy sky makes the piece feel empty because there’s much unused space around the dragon.
The saturated colours used for Aurelion Sol give him a distinct appearance. The soft but intense shading may prevent the metal from glinting with the expected life but fits the context with its dark, ashen surfaces. The scales are full of detail and make a vivid representation of an otherwise comical physiognomy. The pose seems too dramatic but the composition is attractive: fire in one hand, ash on the other and a tail that dissolves into smoke; all elements that directly relate to the fire theme. The solid look of the flames gives undesirable weight but also a welcome, intense power that combines effectively with the dark smoke they produce.
When all comes together, this is a splash art that presents a background full of technical merit but that ends up merely giving a simple setting for the dragon. The portrayal is excellent and makes the most of the chosen style, ably compensating for the weaknesses of the saturated colours. Without a doubt this is one of the best portrayals seen on League of Legends. However, the background ends up feeling too inconsequential to allow the whole splash art to achieve greatness.
|Conclusion:||Without a doubt Ashen Lord Aurelion Sol is an attractive skin thanks to its complex visuals. In essence, it’s just a fire version of the Star Forger but that is enough to make the skin interesting. The execution doesn’t waste the opportunity to add multiple flames and particles to present the theme in all its glory. The new model isn’t really remarkable: it’s just the same dragon with a different scale colour wearing golden armour; though it’s elaborate it’s also familiar. It fits the skin’s aesthetic but it’s the fire that sets the skin apart. Everything is adapted to flames and while not everything impresses the result tends to be quite good.
Being specific, Center of the Universe coupled with Celestial Expansion, Starsurge and Comet of Legend are quite satisfying; also is the auto-attack. However, Voice of Light receives a simple adaptation that seems to mostly re-colour the ability. That’s particularly notable in an ultimate as it should feel powerful and pleasing to use. Sadly, the problem may lay in the classic interpretation as well due to how weak its feels. The sounds present some fine flaming effects that support the visuals but hardly stand on their own. There’s nothing that attracts attention and they mostly supplement what’s already there; no inconsistencies are felt either. The new recall is rather pedestrian: a dragon breathing fire. Fortunately, the attractive fire particles make it worthwhile to watch.
When all is added together we find a skin that owes all of its appeal to its fire particles. The new model is fitting yet not groundbreaking and the sounds do nothing more than support the visuals. In terms of animations there’s only a new recall so it’s the new flames that carry all the weight of the skin. The good news is that, for the most part, they are good enough to make it attractive. Still, it isn’t enough for the high price added to the skin. All classic elements are present in Ashen Lord but adapted to the new fire theme; there’s nothing remarkable except for the flames. At a lower price, this reliance on a single area wouldn’t be so serious but for 1350 RP the skin needs to be better in more than one single dimension.
The result is an attractive skin that presents a familiar concept with an appealing execution but without any impressive features. The particles are quite nice but it’s the skin’s star feature and the rest of the changes stay as the supporting cast. This makes it a good option for fans of the Star Forger but also expensive.
|Concept:||Aurelion Sol as a robot space ship.|
|Model:||New model for Aurelion Sol and translucent tail.|
|Particles:||New particles for his abilities, auto-attack, joke, death and recall.|
|Animations:||New recall animation.|
|Sounds:||New sounds for his abilities, auto-attack, death and recall plus processed voice-over.|
|Splash Art:||Even after looking at the piece for a while it’s difficult to find a part that isn’t diffuse to some extent. It’s a problem that doesn’t help the sparse setting we are given. Planes unfruitfully attacking a large mecha over a city are conventional enough but with an interesting presentation it could be exciting; this is not the case. The context may be fitting but the background wastes too much space on empty sky. What it does show is out of focus and lacking personality.
Aurelion Sol hovers above the city in varying degrees of blurriness. The head is the clearest part but the rough approach to metallic surfaces makes him look sketchy. It gives the depiction a degree of fitting grim and gritty style but the light sources are too dull to provide a good contrast and so make the depiction vivid. Besides, with light sources being so weak and the surfaces so rough the metal looks old and scrapped even though the idea of a menacing, ancient mecha isn’t really developed. His stars, turned into ships, suffer from the lack of clarity.
All added together, even when taking issues as potential features the splash art does feel sketchy and with ideas that aren’t developed. The setup is rather classic and has its appeal but everywhere the piece puts an issue before the enjoyment of what it could offer.
|Conclusion:||Although the robotic nature is noticeable there’s no shaking the fact that Mecha Aurelion Sol has organic remnants. The holographic tail could belong to a space creature while the body has been synthetically enhanced. At least that would explain the arms and maw which, for a spaceship, seem unnecessary. In other words, the classic design doesn’t mesh well with the robotic adaptation because there’s not enough practical use for arms and mouth while a conventional ship design would work just as well; in fact it would be more believable. The robotic body is stylish and elaborate enough not to seem dull but it doesn’t make the mecha-spaceship fantasy less whimsical.
Particles don’t always strike as fully technological. Not because they look like magic but because explosions and trails look rather generic. Additionally, Celestial Expansion’s stars turned into ships are serviceable yet simple. Auto-attacks’ geometric shapes, Starsurge’s swirling impact, Comet of Legend’s electric glow and Voice of Light’s circular explosions have personality but we are talking about parts of some abilities. The new death particles are rather nice and add to the holographic angle of the skin which seems to be quite relegated.
Sounds employ vibrating tones and metallic scrapings which deliver a hi-tech feel. While there aren’t stand out sounds there’s no doubt that they supplement the theme well; they may even be clearer about the technological theme than particles. Voice of Light is a good example with its rattling after-sound.
The recall, as in most Mecha skins, is the one time where there’s any hint at a transformation. In this case Aurelion Sol changes into a space ship with a rather lean design with an alien, Giger-esque touch. It’s a pity then that it’s completely ignored by Comet of Legend. It’s a perfect match for a transformation and it’s inexplicable why this choice was neglected.
Overall, Mecha Aurelion Sol ends up being nice-looking but not always a good adaptation of the theme. The technological aspect isn’t always clear and while the skin looks good it only captures the hi-tech concept in select parts. It’s good enough to be an option but one with problems.
In terms of release skins, Ashen Lord Aurelion Sol stands among the expensive ones. In spite of that, what it offers doesn’t stand up to the expectations it sets. The concept is appealing but recognizable and the execution attractive but reliant on the particles. There are more changes but they can’t be more than support for the interesting flames. Therefore, Ashen Lord is a good skin but expensive so only fans of the Star Forger should consider it.
Mecha Aurelion Sol looks good but doesn’t adapt its concept effectively. The hi-tech in present only in select areas and the result is rather unclear about the technological aspect. It’s good enough but there are noticeable problems that leave the skin lacking the mechanical feel it should have.