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Windows Vista DreamScenes Reviewed (1-11)

The first DreamScenes have started appearing, and I’m going to review every damn one of them so you can choose the best. Watch them all in this video, and read below for my thoughts.

Here are the first eleven:

Aurora comes with DreamScene when you install it from Windows Update. It features the familiar green and blue Vista themes and flair, and matches all of Vista. There is very subtle movement, perfect looping, and the only annoyance is the Vista flair in the lower right-hand corner drawing attention to itself once in a while.

Exotic Plasma comes with Stardock’s Deskscapes. It is a bright swirling mass of color, looks amazing, and has little movement so as not to be distracting. Of the early bunch, it is easily the best DreamScene.

Mana Shades is a sheet of silver/blue silk shimmering slowly. It is subtle, calm, but a little too slow. You might forget it is even moving, which almost defeats the purpose of these. Still, it looks sharp.

Sylock Red features several rotating giant gears. The Gears move slowly so as not to distract or annoy. The quality is excellent, and if you do not want too much bright color, this is the best Dream of the early bunch.

Nebula features a purple/black starry space view. The only motion is the twinkling of the stars, making it a little too simple for those looking for fancy Dreams. If other Dreams run too slowly to look good, this could be your answer, since any lag would not be noticeable due to the lack of motion. Otherwise, forget it.

Robotica is a short video promoting Windows Media Video HD. The graphics are great, but there is a ton of motion, and it repeats every 15 seconds (with no seamless looping). This is way too busy for most users, only good for showing off DreamScene. Not for daily use.

Yellow Sun features the Sun, the Earth and the Moon orbiting on a ten second loop. The looping has a small lighting problem, but is otherwise seamless. The movement, while slightly less than Robotica, is still too distracting, with the giant sun flying around your screen. Also, there is no background detail, with the universe being presented as a flat gray plane and no stars in the sky. Needs slower movement and more detail to be a contender.

Deep Ocean features a great idea, waves in the ocean, very poorly executed. There is no thought given to looping, making it very awkward. Could be way better.

Vista V3 features the Windows Vista logo on a black background with swirling blue ribbons around it. If there’s any better way to say, “I have Vista and it looks killer!”, I don’t know of it. Slightly more distracting than I’d like, but damn good anyway.

Dark Avatar features an alien planet with small passenger ships traveling in the skies and streets. Oddly, the ships are not that distracting, except for one that swoops down at the screen, but the shadowing can get annoying. Too much motion for some, but better than average.

True Blue has a blue fabric background with zero motion, just shifting shadows. Could have been one of the better subtle Dreams, but is hampered by truly awful looping. If they fix that, it would be a lot higher on this list.

Dreams everyone should have installed:
Exotic Plasma
Sylock Red
Vista V3

Dream I’m running right now:
Exotic Plasma

February 16th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | DreamScene, Reviews, Vista, Windows, General | 6 comments