Update, December 2013: Crimarizon and Crimarizon 2 are both temporarily closed.
I first visited Crimarizon back in April 2012 on the recommendation of a number of friends. I’m glad I listened to them; the region is a marvellous place to explore, have fun and admire. At the time of my visit, Crimarizon 2, sitting next door, was under construction, and it duly went onto my list of Places To See once it had been completed – and I did check back a number of times. However, somewhere in 2012 I managed to let all thought of actually blogging about a return visit slip completely. So I thought it only right that for my first destination visit of 2013 to be to Crimarizon 2 itself.
As with Crimarzon, Crimarizon 2 is the work of Megan Prumier, and it continues many of the themes found in its namesake, mixing fantasy, art and photogenic locations in an eclectic, eye-catching – if not outright eye-watering – mix which is a joy to behold. There is much to see and do here.Crimarizon 2, again like its namesake, is the home of an art gallery – in this case the Benzaiten Art Gallery, featuring artwork by Ariel Brearly and Finger Scintilla. There is also exhibition space, a dance area and even a village to explore, as well forests – both good and evil – to walk through. Mountains and tall outcrops provide perches for creations by the likes of Marcus Inkpen.
This is a region which is best experienced with deferred rendering active, both lighting and shadows and ambient occlusion, which can make it a bit of a strain for some computers – but if you run with the local windlight active, you can set shadows to NONE and still appreciate the immersive appeal of the regions.
Photography is welcome in Crimarizon and Crimarizon 2, and both builds really invite one to play with windlight settings. I opted to go largely with a natural amibient lighting level, simply because the misting effect seemed to fit with the look at feel of the more elevated parts of the regions, and it helped soften the lines of the sim surrounds (which once again played havoc with my computer; I’m still no closer to understanding why this happens, only that when I’m on a region using them, performance invariably falls through the floor, and snapshots become a major pain to save).
There is no set path to follow through the region – where you wander is entirely up to up, although there are trails and paths for you to follow – but you should keep your eyes turned upwards as well as looking around you, as there is a lot going on overhead which deserves to be seen. Just be prepared to give yourself plenty of time to enjoy what you find – Crimarizon 2 will draw you into is beauty as surely as Crimarizon itself.
The fantasy elements here will appeal to a broad range of tastes; Marcus Inkpen’s builds, sitting atop chimney-like rock towers are evocative of wizards and sorcery; elsewhere is at least one building with a more elvish feel to it, together with garden areas with a distinctly Tolkien-esque elven tone. Elsewhere things are perhaps more suggestive of children’s tales, with trees and mushrooms bearing faces and looking as if they would like you to stop and talk with them.
As the Crimarizon regions adjoin one another, it is possible to pass freely between the two – and the crossing is very smooth (or was for me at least, as I shuttled back and forth between the two). Indeed, the only way of noting you have passed, or are about to pass, from one to the other – assuming you’re using the central path – is either by noting the region name change in your viewer, or when you pass under two magnificent elephants.
Caves are very much a feature here; close to the region boundary sits the Benzaiten Art Gallery in an underground cavern, while the trails leading around the region to the village on the East side run through caves and tunnels – one of which in turn leads to a dark and dead forest, complete with a mysterious inland shipwreck and, if you look around, dozens of red eyes peering out of the darkness at you…
Both are evocative regions which are well worth taking your time to explore and enjoy. For those who really like the regions and are looking for a place to live, rental properties are available within the village itself, with some additional housing located along one of the cliffs. There are even a couple of treehouses which may be available for rent, depending upon demand. Please do keep in mind that some of the houses are private occupancy when exploring the village; unrented houses have a green dot outside, those which are occupied have a red dot.
As well as hosting two popular galleries, the regions also host monthly events and parties, to which all are welcome. Details can be obtained through the Crimarizon group, which visitors can join when they arrive in either region.
Whether you are new to exploring SL or an old hand, if you’ve not visited Crimarizon, then you should be making a belated New Year’s resolution to do so – you won’t be disappointed when you go.
(view slideshow full-screen)