Art of the Genre


Ah Exalted… the game that could have been. Today I’m going to take a look at the artwork for Exalted’s Aspect Book: Earth, and I’m going to tell you right off I like it.

Why? Hell, I don’t know. Maybe because I’ve watched a good deal of anime in my day, all the way back to trading bootleg copies of Akira and Dirty Pair in college on VHS before the Internet existed. Maybe because I like the work of Eric Vedder who I first found in the pages of an Exalted book years ago. Maybe because every once and a while I like my fantasy to have big eyes and small mouths.

Whatever the case, I have a pretty substantial Exalted collection that I’ve only played once, in a single ‘test’ game, to try to understand the system. It wasn’t a complete fail, it was just a WTF moment because the damn mechanics were so convoluted and clunky it took my friend Murph and I like four hours to finish a combat and we decided it just wasn’t the game for us.

Still, I collected a lot of it, and probably the main reason was the art, which I still enjoy to this day. I think White Wolf was on to something here, but I’m not really sure it ever got off the ground. If you ask me, it caught the ‘Earthdawn Bug’ in which a beautiful game can’t overcome the flaws of the system.

But, on to art. This book, like almost everything for the game, was done by the infamous Canadian studio UDON, and features the talents of Attila Adorjany, Eric Kim, Chris Stevens, and Jim Zubkavich. Zubkavich shines brightest here, but everyone is solid enough as UDON almost always insures an industry standard that is worth the money.

It was art directed by Brian Glass, and features an UDON cover by Kevin Lau.

In all, it is pretty standard anime stuff, and the cover is both cute and powerful with hardcore computer color and a seamless design. Graphics are solid and the amount of art for this smaller supplement adheres to my rules of the trade, which is to say give us stuff to look at but don’t overwhelm the product.

Artistic Rating: 3 [out of 5]

Written by Scott Taylor — April 17, 2014

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