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Archive for October 2007:

Ghost Nimmo

You know, this is really pretty good. Ghost has never lived up to its potential, but this isn't half bad. The red eyes look wonderfully mournful and the worried mouth works perfectly. The aura is lovely and soft, and rather aesthetically pleasing in that cyan shade.

It loses points for being a nimmo, but that's hardly the artist's fault.

Can't think of much more to say myself, but if you guys can then add it on the forum.

Orange and Robot Korbats

Korbats were one of the pets least altered when they were redrawn for customisation, in that the changes which were made were subtle. But, the result was superior to the old version by quite a long way in my opinion, as the new pet is far more animated- it's still a cute batlike creature, but it has more life. Orange is a very ordinary colour, but if you had really wanted an orange korbat its omission from the available korbat colours has now been rectified. Myself, I'm a bit bored of the orange pets- this is the fourth since April which isn't as many as speckled (five so far), but the three split pets are also partly orange too.

Anyway, to the colour itself. Something about the ear shading seems a bit odd to me, but otherwise it's a decent colourfill. The shade of orange is again on the usual reddish side (the departure to a more yellow shade that the kyrii had obviously didn't start a trend). The darker shade used for the wings works well.

Robot is another popular colour this year- this is the fourth again since April. However, robot is much more varied than orange, and this is a new colour scheme again- blues and greys, with yellow lights. The wings, body, feet, and tail seem okay but the head and ears are so big and bulky looking and for me that spoils the overall look of the pet. The visor-light is rather neat, but the lights in the ears look strange, almost like eyes again, and then I can't really work out what the spikes on the ears are there for. It does also look a little bit like a Korbat in a robot suit rather than an actual robot, although that could partly be the limits that the customisation system imposes. It isn't truly awful, but in the end it's the ears that stop this being a great robot pet for me.

Have your say here.

Zombie aisha and flotsam

Well, it's the long-awaited new paintbrush.

And I have to say it's pretty good, even if I'm not a big zombie person. Zombie does seem a little redundant, since we already have Halloween, but we actually didn't have any zombies yet. Mummies, yes, and Frankensteins (Frankenstein's monsters?), but no actual zombies. And these are wonderfully dead-looking, with ragged clothes and some stiching-together - but alas, no actual bits falling off. Maybe it interferes with customization.

The flotsam's glasses are nifty, and I could even see borrowing them for use on another color (assuming the brush isn't too hideously expensive) - they're battered but they're not specifically zombie-like. The tongue seems to be blue, but you can barely see it. The snaggle-toothed mouth adds the final touch to result in a slightly worried-looking aquatic zombie. It seems to be wondering what happened and why it has a sudden craving for brains.

The aisha is a little harder to assign a mood to; the wriggly mouth could be either sinister or funny. The eyes are practically expressionless, which could be good or bad depending on what you want. The color chosen for the inside of the ears is surprisingly pretty, but it matches well. As for its accessories, they're not as interesting as the flotsam's, though they're not bad. I think I'd have preferred it without pants; clothing on a quadruped is awkward anyway, and it's not like it needs them. I mean, really. The collar looks discolored and somewhat tattered, although it's hard to see clearly in the small image.

What's your opinion? Have your say on the new color, and these two pets, here.

Faerie and Glowing Jetsams

Due to a technical issue with the way Neocolours' pet display works, right now the images can't be shown on the main part of the site. I've put them at the bottom of this news item for the moment, just for your convenience.

First of all, the faerie jetsam. I don't think it would ever have worked very well, so in a way at least sticking with the same old pose as the new system dictates has meant the artist drawing the faerie jetsam has not had to put a lot of time into reposing a pet which would always have looked off. And there are some positives: it's clear that the artist who worked on this did try to make it not just a jetsam with wings- the eyebrow detail, and the scalloped edge to the fin on its head are both extra touches. The colours are pretty- aquatic pastels are a good colour scheme for the jetsam- soft, but not too girly. The wings are translucent, too.

But in the end, it didn't work. The wings look awkward, they're strangely placed and look like they would continually be a hindrance. The fact that the fin on its back is placed in front of its left wing only makes that seem worse. I also wish that the expression might have been softened a bit- although fierceness is part of the essence of a jetsam, it doesn't fit all that well with the essence of faerie.

Onto glowing, and I have to admit that it does nothing for me at all. It would help if I liked jetsams, but I don't, and I hate their fin-feet, the standing pose and their eyebrows. I don't like glowing, either. We have the bright green body colour and the fading aura is done nicely, I'll give it that. I wish the eyes had glowed menacingly, though, and the highlights look a bit too light and shiny.

Have your say here

And here, as promised, are the pet images:

Checkered and Halloween Bori

Well it seems black is the new black as we celebrate Bori Day in monochromatic style.

I've always imagined the Neo artists shake a fist in the air when they're told to draw a checkered pet. I know I would. It can't be much fun, but at least now there's only the one pose to worry about. And certainly I can't see any complaints about the new bori on that front. The lines seem to follow the contours of the body quite nicely.

The colour is a bit unusual for checkered, a dark grey rather than white. It's the sort of shade usually reserved for manes, ruffs and manly chest hair. So seeing the bori inverted is rather refreshing, I like it. There's really not much more to say about it than that. Perfectly solid pet, does exactly what it says on the tin. I do wish they were called checked not checkered though. Silly red underlines all over this post.

The Halloween Bori is pretty fabulous really. It's a very simple design for a costume, but it works very effectively. The colour scheme is effective, the skull headpiece (including teeth, scary!) isn't overdone, the boney... rib things break up the body of the pet. I wonder if they come off? All in all, a very solid addition both to bori and to Halloween.

And to anybody who's been wanting a gawth (or indeed goth) pet - I can't think of a better one on all the site. Whether this is a good or a bad thing I'll leave up to you.

As ever you can have your say in the forum.

Faerie and Robot Eyries

Wow. You know it's good when the colours are found in advance of the news going up, but several hours later still nobody has brought themselves to add them to the front page.

Ok, so it's not all that bad. Maybe.

The new Faerie Eyrie is very, uh... it's... how to put this...

It's certainly distinctive. I suppose they were trying to depart rapidly from the old faerie eyrie (personally I'm in the "pretty awful" camp for that one, for colours, pose and vapid expression). And they've succeeded on that front. It's a radical departure from... well pretty much every other faerie pet out there.

I happen to like the colour palette. I'm fond of greens with purples (we'll ignore the wings for now) and jade is a shade I find particularly pleasing in the combination. But I can't help but feel the palette is somehow the wrong way round. Of course then it would have been Just Another Purple Faerie Pet. I applaud the artist for trying to avoid that, but for reasons I can't quite put my finger on it simply doesn't work. I think it's to do with the lighter tones and 'weaker' colour (the jade seems stronger than the purple) being on the ruff.

Then there are the wings. First off, the pink and blue do not fit into the rest of the colour scheme at all. Secondly, they look like they're supposed to be sparkly. But these are seemingly minor complaints compared to the horrendous perspective and the implausibility of a 1.5m tall gryphon having flimsy butterfly wings. We were discussing just the other day how so many of the customisation wing 'clothes' look pastede on yey which is somewhat forgiveable for an item which must be drawn to fit 50 different species. But it's unforgivable when designing a faerie pet, especially one which already has wings! Which have decent perspective and everything. It boggles the mind, it really does. A modified version of the original eyrie wings would have been perfect. Or, frankly, any feathered wing which appears to join vaguely at the shoulder blades. I mean, when this poor sod beats its wings it's going to overbalance and float head down and bottom up!

Yes, I am debating the aerodynamics of a bright green eagle lion with butterfly wings. Ssh.

It's not awful I suppose. But at the same time I don't think it's good by any stretch of the imagination. On the plus side, I fail to see how pre-customisation this design could have been any better - the wings would still be stupid and the colours wouldn't magically work just because it's been reposed. Which is rather a backhanded compliment if ever I saw one.

Moving onto pleasanter tasks, a Robot Eyrie. I'm vaguely surprised there isn't one of these already to be honest. And the first thing I notice is that it's facing the wrong way. How bizarre. I wonder if they've just flipped the pose for the news page (as they have for the clothes release too). I certainly hope so - one single pet on the entire site facing left would be silly, and it would spend the entire time staring at the left edge of your monitor.

The design itself is rather eh. I like the colours well enough, but they're nothing special. The wings are very spiffy, I love their structure, but the ruff looks wrong in its hollowness. Almost like it's wearing an oversized v-neck jumpsuit. Not terribly fashionable. The head is nicely constructed, but the eye could benefit from resembling a normal eyrie eye more. Either that or change the blue bits on the shoulders, hips and ruff. Why they're designed to look just like the eyes I do not know. The paws and tip of the tail have nice detailing, but the overall pet seems very busy. Every positive point has a counterpoint.

If you wanted a robot eyrie and didn't have a specific design in mind, I don't suppose you could be particularly disappointed by this. It's pretty interesting looking, has obviously had time invested in its design and doesn't have any stonkingly obvious flaws. But I can't imagine many people will suddenly find a new urge to target zap random eyries. Except to play about removing the casing, I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd like to see inside. In an entirely non-pervy way I stress!

On another note entirely, the Plushie Eyrie mask they released today creeps me out. Or to be more precise, the Darigan Buzz wearing it does. Every time I scroll past I think this is some hallowe'en curse or something which deforms your pet.

Am I completely wrong? Totally right? Have you already seen a naked robot eyrie? Have your say in the forum.

Sketch and Speckled Grarrls

I'll get this straight right from the start: I don't like grarrls. I didn't like them before they were revamped, I didn't like them after they were revamped, and I don't like them after the customisation revamp. My opinion of these colours, therefore, is based purely on how well they have been applied.

Contrary to most people around these parts, sketch was my biggest disappointment with the customisation revamps, and my sketch pet is the only one I wish I could have grandfathered. It's hardly surprising then that I don't think much of the sketch grarrl. The dark pixel outline makes it look like an adoptable - that pixel outline style being so classic for them. The shading makes it look 3D and thus make no sense.

Those two (major) problems aside, I actually think it's a very nice sketch pet. The line weight is good, it's not the obnoxiously bright blue they could sometimes be, and it has just the right proportion of construction lines and sketchiness. And the face certainly looks better in sketch than when it's inked and coloured in!

If you like the new style of sketch, and you like grarrls, you'll like this. Alas, I don't fit into either of those groups.

Speckled, on the other hand... We've had a rash (pardon the pun) of speckled pets since customisation, for no apparent reason. And some of them have been really rather lovely. Whilst not reaching the levels of beauty that the flotsam does (and frankly, who would want a grarrl to look that elegant) this is certainly a very nicely executed speckled pet. The sizing and placement of the spots looks natural and leaving them off the stomach looks great. I especially like the cluster just above the tail which make it seem like on its back it has some fairly solid patches of white. Similarly, the denser patch towards the tip of its tail looks nice.

If I had to have a grarrl for some reason, I would seriously consider painting it this colour. I can't really find anything to fault with it. 10/10 and a cookie to the artist!

Agree? Disagree? Want to feed me cookies? Then toddle over to the forum and have your say.