Friday, May 29, 2015

Avatar Review: The Anthroxtacy Shark

By Bixyl Shuftan

Longtime fans of furred avatars in Second Life will probably remember Anthroxtacy, often called "AX" for short. This maker of avatars produced a line that was quite popular, as well as having a popular club next to their main store at their sim Elliquiy. But in October 2013, they shut down, their maker Tinintri Mistral getting out of the avatar business and eventually leaving the virtual world. Despite being gone from Second Life for over a year, the avatar line remains well known.

For those still interested in getting one of the Anthroxtacy avatars, some are still available on sale on SL Marketplace. But that is not all. As Grease wrote in his review of the AX Fox, many of the avatars are still available in a spot at the Northstar Polaris sim (40, 188, 3001). There are a number of avatar vendors in the room, but to my surprise when I looked under the vendor of the Feral Phoenix (the orange one to the left in this picture of Grease's), there was a surprise. There were two boxes of Anthroxtacy avatars, available for free!

The one on the right contained some older AX avatars, but the one on the left contained several, in "fatpacks" with several of the same kind of avatar in different colors. Some already have reviews about them done on "Second Life Avatar Review Files," such as the Anthroxtacy Mouse. Of those that haven't, one that stands out is the Anthroxtacy Shark. For those whom want to be a part of Second Life's aquatic community, or frequently visit friends there, and wearing a mermaid avatar doesn't seen quite right for you, the Anthroxtacy Shark just might be.

Unlike the other AX avatars, their shark av can either go about on land like the others, or swim about in and under the water.  The "mershark" swims about like a mermaid through use of an AO that keeps the legs together and a tail attachment that makes the legs look like a tail. It's not quite as flexible as some mermaid tails, and it may look a little odd if doing certain mermaid dances.

To go to "landwalker," one detatches the AO and mertail, and attaches the smaller tail, or the "butt" as it's less than elegantly called. It can then go about like any other avatar.

The HUD that comes with the avatar is simple to use. One can turn the AO on or off, the talking animation on or off. One can also keep the mouth open by varying degrees, stick out the tongue or not, make the eyes partially or completely shut, and change the eye color. To minimize, just press the blue triangle on it's edge, and only the triangle will remain on the viewer's edge. Press it again to bring the HUD back.

Of the avatar's finer features, the shark's skin has a marbled tone to it rather than a solid pattern. The throat sports some gill slits, static ones as these are strictly textures. The shape of the head certainly looks sharklike, with the contour of it's nose. Besides on the back and tail, there are also fins on the legs and arms.

The avatar comes in both genders male and female. Some guys might be more inclined to go shark rather than go mermaid's tail when wanting to fit in with a crowd of aquatics. But for some reason, most shark's I've seen out on the Grid are females. Perhaps some ladies are using the avatar to discourage lechers.

All in all, I was fairly pleased with the Anthroxtacy Shark. While having some small flaws such as not being able to use some mermaid dances, it's still a good choice even if one still had to pay the old price. That now one can get it for free, that just makes it all the more better. The downside, is that there's no guarantee of updates. So as Second Life continues to develop, the avatar *might* develop problems should the old scripts fail to work. But for now, the AX Shark is an avatar one can sink their teeth into. Nothing fishy about it ... well, not the bad kind of fishy.

Bixyl Shuftan

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