Friday, August 29, 2008

Woof! A Wolf!

Hey, okay so I am back after a bit of a delay. I've had this product and review for a while now and intended to do a preview but instead have rolled both the preview and review together. Without further ado, the Anthro Xtacy Wolf! Another great addition to the AX line of avs. I must say, I was impressed with it for the most part but the wolf does have it's spots I'm afraid.

Well, I suppose I should begin with the avatar itself. It features plenty of standard extras and features that you would expect with an avatar like HUD, color changing left and right eyes, and moving muzzle for typing or voice, twitching ears, etc. It's all a nice and clean package. While there isn't a huge boatload of extra features and parts to swap in and out, the avatar can be assembled and likewise torn apart fairly easy, making for relatively easy modding.

The first thing you probably notice are the eyes. The AX line has recently some great eye effects. While sporting a slightly cloudy look, they look absolutely great in the dark and have a nice glowy effect. The muzzle, face and entire head is all well proportioned. No matter male or female, the wolf (and fox for that matter) look great and sport nice detailed hair, including a bit of a pony tail. Subtle but a nice touch. Of course there is also a very detailed jaw for muzzle talk if you opt to use it. However, the head is not perfect as it does have some noticeable lines where the sculpted prims meet and intersect. It sort of depends at which time and sky setting since at midnight the av may look one way but during the day it may have different lines hidden/shown. Usually however, these lines are minimal.

Like other AX avatars though, the wolf also comes with very detailed paws with little bits of fur and nails, they really do work quite nicely. Again, another something simple but something done well. Of course, it being an AX product, expect a ton of color schemes. One thing always appreciated in this virtual world! The tail is another nifty feature: a basic flexi tail made up of several prims but it really flows and bounce around nice and realistically. The tail hardly ever looks like it is just being blown around in the breeze and instead looks like it has some heft and weight to it. Very nicely done.

As for the legs however, I am not so sure about them. It can be a very troublesome thing to make some decent digi legs and still have them look great at any angle and pose. Unfortunately these are not the best I have seen. Here is a 'running' pose and both legs are extended backwards as if mid sprint. You can see how it just looks awkward.

Next we can talk about the extras with the avatar. For those of you whom aren't completely stoned right now, you notice the wolf carrying some kind of walking cane and harness. It's actually a pretty nifty sculpty spear that can be thrown in mouselook! That's a first. The leather harness also completes the look. They both actually look good too, though probably not good enough for the hardcore modders out there. However, I'm not complaining.

But if I must be a critic, I have to say the HUD is a certain low point of the av. While I generally am not a button pressing monkey and usually don't wear huds, these huds are just plain annoying. They are not exactly planned out well and take up a lot of space. The huds do have their basic functions and include some fun little emotes and gestures. Still, I cannot get over how 'O.o;' I felt when first wearing the av as the huds certain do take a nice bite out of the screen. 1680X1050 resolution mind you. >_>;

I really would not recommend keeping them open like that. But let's move on, after all, how often do you need to change your left eye's color? I'd like to finish this review bye giving AX a pat on the back for another great av that should make for some very interesting mods and being open to that. The avatar is considerably easy to work with, given it's small complexities. I'm sure with some ease that people will be able to take this av and turn it around into something very unique.

Final Thoughts: While AX is shaping up to be a big competitor in the avatars business, the wolf does have it's spots. Some people might be turned off by them and to others they may just not care, but if you like to play with huds then you might be annoyed by the large but functional AX hud. Extra emotes and gestures are also fun but aren't quite all polished that much and are subject to lag also. The good news is that people won't buy this av for the mouselook spear or the howl emote, so I doubt AX will hear any complaints. All in all, a nice av in the underserved Wolf (and over served Fox) market.

I give the Anthro Xtacy Wolf a solid 8.7 out of 10. It has the fun extras though they really are just novelty at best. The Avatar itself is solid and ready for some great modding. Even right out of the box, all the av needs is a nice pair of cargo shorts, a torn up t-shirt and your good to go. :D


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