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Archive for March 2008:

Royal Chombies

For Chomby day, we have these two magnificent beasts. They're both very... spiky, and give off a rather Tyrannian vibe, which is appropriate. In fact, as somebody commented, these look like they could realistically rule the land they officially come from.

The male is majestically arrayed in all sorts of furs and feathers, and some odd spikes around the collar, which are the only things I don't really like. I'm not sure where they're supposed to be attached, and they feel just a bit superfluous. But the rest is great. The robe is a good choice, as pants and shirts never work quite right on quadrupeds. The crown and necklace appear to be made of stone, which is nice thematically but seems like it would get a bit heavy. Maybe it's pumice. The feathery accents top the whole thing off and pull it together for a very nice pet.

The female is similar in a lot of ways. I'm not sure I like the bright pink, but let's roll with it; I don't hate it either. The artist has gone all out with the feathers on this one and it feels wonderfully prehistoric. Like the male, she has a tuft of them tied to her tail as well. Her robe is more delicate and floaty, and it's really pretty - and also slightly transparent, which is nifty. As a crowning touch, the beads around her neck and ankles are just enough of an accent to push it from "slightly dressed up" into "royal" - the crown alone doesn't really do it, as it's buried in feathers.

Discuss the royal chombies on the forum.

Rejoice! The return of Purple :)

The purple herpes is no more! From the news for the 15th and 16th of March:

"Something has happened and purple Neopets all over Neopia seem to be gradually losing their orange spots!"

Who knew that defeating Dr Sloth would also mean that purple pets would no longer be infected with orange spots? We had guessed it might be the case, having been told many, many NT editorials ago that the appearance of purple spots was in preparation for the Return of Dr Sloth plot, but they had been stuck for such a long time in their herpled state that expecting a change seemed impossible.

The large sized flash versions of pets seem to be in the uninfected state, however, the small lookup versions have not changed yet. It might be that it is necessary to go to the customisation console and add a piece of clothing and then remove it to make that image change, or that TNT haven't got round to sorting out those images yet- it's a little early to tell.

This might mean, though, that we need to go and collect the lookup images for purple pets again for our database... and perhaps our lovely benevolent dictator administrator would keep the old versions for posterity ;)

Squee with us here

Disco and Shadow Scorchios

For a long time with disco pets, people complained about them not having accessories any longer. They pined for the days of the disco bruce. Well it seems that since customisation, Neopets has decided that yes, disco is about the accessories. Which is great for those people I suppose.

But for someone like me who hates the accessory disco pets and loves the pattern ones, not so good.

I'm not a fan of the shading on the glasses or their colour, though I must give some recognition to the nice transparency job there. I'm not a fan of the gold medallion - the coloured outlines have been increasingly common with gold accessories on pets and it just doesn't really work for me, amongst all the black outlining. And then there's the wig... It looks awfully like a clown wig to me. I suppose any wig is going to look unnatural on a reptile, but the shape and the bright orange... sorry, just not working for me.

However these are the heady days of customisation so I could just yank all the accessories off and be left with the rather nice patterned body. I like blue disco pets, the few we have, and this makes a good addition. I might perhaps have swapped the central wing 'stripe' to be purple instead of magenta, but that's a fairly minor problem. And hardly unprecedented - the pale, sherbety disco kacheek has two strong red flecks on either side for no apparent reason.

The shadow is much nicer. It's not so dark that you can't see definition. I like the use of the blue on the wings - I'm not a fan when it's overused such as on the tonu, but for small highlights here and there it looks rather good. And the colour of the eye blends rather nicely with them too, though it perhaps suffers from being so close but not quite the same.

All in all though, a solid pet and I can't see any real reasons to be upset had you ever wanted a shadow scorchio. Truth be told, I'm surprised they didn't already exist.

I'm not going to comment on the clothes beyond remarking that they got a hell of a lot of them!

As always feel free to air your opinions on the forum.

Desert and Split Gelert

So, Gelert day. There's so much going on in Neopia at the moment- both Daily Dare and the Sloth plot are fairly big events- did the gelert get overlooked with everything else going on?

Desert is underwhelming. We've had some really rather good desert pets released since customisation- the krawk and draik- but this doesn't quite match up to those. There was an unreleased desert gelert from before customisation, which wasn't that brilliant either. That's probably a good thing, though, since we'd only have wished that one was actually released rather than the one we have now.

Its wig is an unusual shape- most of the other wigs on desert pets are very square at the bottom, whereas this one is more rounded. The band around its head is easily mistaken for eyebrows and the result is a very worried looking "happy" gelert. Without any accessories, the gelert already has a somewhat anxious expression on its face, but the gold head band in combination with the wig results in a very definitely worried appearance. The rest of the jewellery is okay, but it has no black outlines. There doesn't seem to be any standard on metallic jewellery as paintbrush accessories, so both coloured and black outlines are common. My personal preference is for black outlines, especially after having looked at the royal peophins and pirate draik. I think they look more in keeping with the art of the other accessories and the pet itself. Notable is the omission of a skirt or other draperies around its hind legs- in some ways, it would have been better if it had been included, since it would be possible to remove it if it didn't work.

Split is meh, as split always is. The side-on aspect of the gelert's pose does not lend itself well to the colour and the result is rather peculiar- I can't help but think of two gelerts sliced down the middle and sewn together when I look at it.

The clothes for gelert day are pretty decent- the bone hoody is cute and the little bone toggles on the drawstring of the hood are a neat detail. The feathered accessories are also nice, although the headband again results in a worried expression as it does on the desert pet.

Discuss the new colours here.

Island Moehog

Happy Gadgadsbogen!

It appears that releasing an island pet in celebration is a tradition going back to year 6 (the silver lupe was released on Gadgadsbogen in year 5, but I don't think that counts). Previous winners were the hissi, ogrin, ruki, and kyrii. Hooray for old news archives!

And so this year we have the moehog. The artist seems to like the grass skirt theme, giving it not only the skirt but anklets on all four legs as well. Overkill. Probably removable, though. The grass also looks more like shiny green worms than grass - too 3d - whereas the mohawk looks completely flat and doesn't match at all. The flower would be better if it was a little larger. However, the necklace is quite nice and I very much like the white base with gold trim - that shows up much less often than the tan with white, and it's nice to see it here. The lines on the face seem a little too heavy, though, particularly the odd M shape between the eyes.

Discuss the pet here.

In other news, there are some island petpets, and some new fruit. None of the petpets really stand out, but I have to admit to some bafflement at the millipod, a robot petpet, being transformed into some sort of fuzzy animal.

Two of the fruits are quite pretty. I have no idea what they're called - "honeyplume" and "pluburb" from the urls.

Camouflage and Skunk Uni

Happy St. David's Day to everyone... and more to the point, happy Uni day.

The camouflage uni is not to my taste. At all. I suppose if you wanted a camouflage pattern on your My Little Pony then pink is an appropriate colour, but it's been mixed with brown shades in a sort of half hearted effort to make it more like the usual muddy sort of camouflage. The cream mane and tail are nice enough, but the bright blue eyes (though usual for the uni) look far too clashing- and supposing there was a pink and brown background to blend into, the poor creature would have to keep its eyes closed if it wanted to stay camouflaged.

Skunk is much nicer, until you see the resemblance of the horn to an ice cream cone, and then the white marking on the head looks like melted ice cream. Still, it is one of the most natural looking uni colours, and although the white mane and tail would be unlikely to occur on a real black horse there are probably quite a few uni owners who will love being able to have a black pony with white markings. You can add your thoughts about the colours here.

The clothes are a mixed bag- the gardening kit is a bit weird, in my opinion- the hat doesn't really look like it fits with the horn very well and the boots are sort of blobby (though I wouldn't like to try drawing wellies for a horse!). The parade harness and headdress are shown off very prettily on a royalgirl uni base and I can see them being in high demand among many uni owners.

Also of note is a new month of Daily Dare- last year there were no trophies and the end prizes were books, but there were two new items every day- one for beating AAA's score and one for beating Abigail's. Talk about the Daily Dare here.

And lastly, it's time for Monthly Freebies again.