AnthroXtacy Mouse

Another seasonal-released avatar, the AnthroXstacy [AX] Mouse is the first avatar from the company that SLARF has reviewed. Given the rising popularity of AX within the market, we’re pleased to have the opportunity to review one of their newest avatars. In an increasingly complexifying marketplace, how will AX stack up in 2009 and beyond?

axmouseandfriend

Out of the Box:axmousemeetscatthin

  • Wagging Tail with Options
  • 16 Eye Colour Choices
  • Individually Colourable Prim Eyes
  • Animated, Hideable HUD
  • ANTHRO.SPEEX™ Talk System
  • Typing and Voice AO with On/Off Option on HUD
  • Moveable eyes by way of using the HUD
  • Toned Skin, Detailed Sculpts

Build and Skin

To start the review of this av, we will discuss the skin. It is well toned, with intricate detailing on the chestfur as well as on the belly and rear end. Additionally, given how the avatar comes in both single-tone and patchy versions, the versions of the avatar with splotches of colour are additionally well textured. The textures used on the both the skin and the prims is continuously well done and matched. What especially deserves recognition is the detail that went into the chestfluff which was baked into the chest.

axmousecolours

axmousestand

Focusing attention on the feet and the hands, one sees that the overall quality of the avatar begins to take a little bit of a dip. The feet are well sculpted in an attempt to carry over an interpretation of mouse’s paws. However, they come across fairly Simian or even bird-like in appearance, which is an unfortunate resemblance; especially when there is a tuft of flexiprims that create a distinct seperation between the fur over most of the body and the furless feet and forepaws. Additionally, the hand-paws are surrounded by fairly large invisiprims which means that anytime the hands are between one’s line of sight and the avatar, you’d see right through the avatar (See picture to the right). The tail is done well enough, however it was positioned improperly; such that it looks like it was placed on the back to stick out without much thought. However, this can easily be remedied by the customer slanting the tail floor-ward.

The avatar head looks best from the frontal view, much like the pictures on the vendors. However, viewing the head from any other angle than straight-on shows the shortcomings in the design. The muzzle utilises ANTHRO.SPEEX technology which allows the muzzle to move while the one is talking in text or voice chat. This is a fairly standard procedure, but many people neglect to include this in their avatars, so it’s a welcome addition. However, a big issue with the talking muzzle is that the avatar features is the lack of teeth except for two chompers in the upper jaw. This unfortunately makes the avatar look either geriatric or infantile.

axfrontandside

Additionally, there are no means through which one can change eye expressions; this feature has been replaced with the ability to change the positions that the eyes are looking at with a HUD. This is a neat setting to use if you’re interested in taking photo shoots, and you wish that the eyes would permanently stare in specific directions. Keep in mind that there is no setting that has the eyes move around at random by way of eye-attachment or texture-movement scripts.

axmouseheadshotFinally, from a side view, the avatar dissapoints with the way that the forehead merges with the muzzle. To be fair, it is very well sculpted in the way there is smoothness in the one-prim head-muzzle combo. However, the muzzle doesn’t look very mouse-like; but rather more reminiscent of Dr. Seuss’ Whos (i.e. The Grinch that Stole Christmas, Horton Hears a Who), which were likely based off of rodents. The avatar head is lacking in many features, even when compared to other AnthroXstacy avatars. Aside from the options to choose which way the pupils are starting and how open or closed the eyes are, you cannot do muchmore than decide tail movement options, open/close jaw state, and eye colour.

Heads Up Display (HUD)

axmousehudThe HUD is user-friendly, making it intuitive and easy to use. The ability to change the direction of the pupils was well planned out; with single-click buttons that do their designated function well. Additionally, the HUD allows the user to choose whether the tail swishes or not, the eye colour, the jaw state, and the settings for the Talking System. It is important to point out that for the lack of keyboard commands, the HUD must make the features of the avatar easily accessible, something that AnthroXtacy does well with this avatar.

Customisation

The avatar is copiable and modifiable, so it’s easy to make additions to the avatar, as well as use parts for other avatars if you wished.  There’s really nothing else that can be said other than the fact that the head is appropriately ‘human’ sized, and thus means that it will be easy to apply hair made for smaller heads to the avatar with minimal resizing or editing.

Conclusion

The avatar is well sculpted, but for buyers, a problem may rest in the application of those skills. That is, does this avatar properly represent or show the visage of a mouse? Colour and Texture-wise, definitely. And from a frontal view, it is obvious that it is some form of a mouse. However, the side view offers a different feel of the avatar from the pictures shown on vendors. In fact, it almost seems like the avatar was well thought of in an almost 2-Dimensional Perspective, but in making the transition from a 2-D drawing to daily use in Second Life, it didn’t make the transition as well as it could have.

In this reviewer’s opinion, the avatar-creation process yielded dissapointing results. However, I look forward to seeing AnthroXstacy continually develop their avatars.

axmouselibrary



Forepawz is a sneaky shapeshifter - if you see him around taking pictures for SLARF, say 'hello!'

  • http://www.anthroxtacy.com Tinintri

    I appreciate the honest and unbiased review.
    Hopefully I get to see more of these on all sorts of avatars, including mine. 😀

  • Tinintri

    I find it curious that you’ve continually updated your website to reflect just about every other release on the market, save for tossing an event on your calender should you hear about one of mine seemingly down the grapevine. I also find it curious that you fail to mention AX as a satellite store for Instinct even though AX handles a fair amount of it’s marketing and placement.

    Just an observation. 😉
    Doesn’t exactly seem so unbiased, as you claim to be.

    • Forepawz – Contributor and Senior Editor

      Greetings Tinintri,

      Thank you for the post.
      First of all, we have been doing our best to get to reviewing as many creators as we can. There are still many, many creators that we have set out to cover; both big and small. We have not been able to reach everything that we would like to as of yet.
      If you are wanting more AX avatars reviewed on this site, just ask us and we’ll be happy to discuss.

      As for your comment on AX not being mentioned as a satellite store for Instinct Avatars, we apologise that you and AX staff may be offended. In general, the Satellite stores have specifically focused on “Avatar Malls” which
      a.) have specifically dedicated areas for creators’ vendors,
      b.) host a large percentage of said vendors, and
      c.) have stability in location and design so as there is no need to constantly update our landmarks.
      Rocket City and Northstar Polaris have met these requirements.

      We do not do this very often, but if you wish to have AX listed under the ‘Main Store’ field of Instinct Avatars, please have Leben contact me with an affirmative and I will have it changed post-haste.

  • Luinith

    AnthroXtacy has really improved their avatars since 2008. I’d like to see a more recent review, if you’ve got the time :3

  • Science

    I checked out the AX store recently, and they’ve really stepped up their game since this mouse avatar. I’d love to see a review of one of their newer avatars, like their otter or cheetah.