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Game Lover
Original (made with Paint Shop Pro 7:

New (made with Photoshop):

Overall, I like the new one a lot better. What do you think?

(Sad we can't use banners here).
Thread title: 
What'd you say?
Where the images meet the background, you should have the image fade out a bit further. Not nearly as far as in the first one, but just a little more. Just a personal choice though. Noth of those are really great.
Game Lover
It's true, the focal point is scattered on both banners, so it's hard to focus... unlike these two beauties I made:

What'd you say?
Those are very nice as well, impressive.
Game Lover
Yeah, after years of doing signature banners, it was ONLY this year that I learned about Focal points, how to make text really stand out and match well with your banner, etc.

The problem with the Fusion Banner is that its purpose is show the process that Samus goes through to be "reborn" after being infected by the X. The problem is, that creates a lot of focal points. >_<;
Game Lover

Better font; which makes the banner look tons better.
What'd you say?
The font is much better, good call on it.
Edit history:
sabata2: 2013-10-26 03:06:10 pm
I was about to comment on the focal point of the original being Samus in her fusion suit. You've slightly updated it so the logo is now more of a focal point.

But that said. While the font looks better, the color completely blends into the background, making it hard to notice at a glance.
If you want viewers to follow the chronological images, the layout would have to completely change.

As is the text draws our eyes left, away from the first two images. You'd need to correct that.
I can't critique much further because of the condition it's in, but instead I can tell you why your other two are great.

focal point is Cecil himself. He stands out just slightly against the blue background, but enough that he's the first thing to catch your eye. It makes the whole image mesh well. Then after focusing on Cecil himself, the position of his arm draws your eyes leftward, follow his purple "horn" and you fall right into the first line of text, which you then proceed to read downward. The moon is right at the end of the first line and above the end of the second, giving us a glimpse of it, relating it to Cecil, and then tying it all together with the meaning of the second sentence.

Again, the colors mesh incredibly well, our eyes are once again drawn to the character themselves, the brightest part of the image. The way the color is played out it actually draws our eyes upwards to her face, and then eyes. Her eyes point DIRECTLY at the first line of text. Again we read the text downward and end at her hand. But looking at her hand we notice the eye catching white. We follow that out to see the blade, and her character comes to full view. "I may be a princess but I kick ass."

Not only that, but the image also works backwards. Perhaps our eyes catch the tip of the sword first (more likely if you're scrolling down than up, as I was in the above paragraph). We follow the sword down, but it's close enough to the text, which stands out juuust slightly against the sakura trees, that we read it. Reading down we notice her hand on the blade and follow her arm up, catching the color of her dress. Again the dress color leads up up to her head and eyes, which point us back to the text.

Both of these images are simplistic and yet draw your eyes around their entirety.
In comparison, the Fusion image pulls your eyes to the bottom right of the image, to which Samus is looking to the bottom right. Our eyes stay there. Even with the logo as a more prominent focal point we read left to right pulling us DIRECTLY into Samus, looking down left, and we stop looking at the image.

There's too much going on in the Fusion image to get a "good" start point and lead your viewers where you want.

That's not to say "complicated" can't work. I just believe you need far more screen real-estate to pull it off.
I think you're aiming more for "Movie poster" with everything you have in the image as of current, than you are "banner ad"
What'd you say?
Quote from sabata2:
Long-ass, and incredibly detailed post.

Wow. I just, wow... Are you an art teacher or something?
Club 27 Goals
Sigs are an art in of themselves

I actually really miss making sigs... it's gotta have been at least 4 years now since I made one.
I can't even remember the pre-Taiga days anymore.
What'd you say?
Quote from Idkbutlike2:
I can't even remember the pre-Taiga days anymore.

You and me both.
Game Lover
Thanks, sabata for all the feedback on my banners. :)

Also, yeah, you're right, too much happening in the Fusion Banner. Interesting... so, you think there's a way to go from one image to the next as a focal point?
Edit history:
sabata2: 2013-11-10 03:13:44 pm
Maybe not with the images you've chosen but there are various ways.

The easiest way to force eyes to follow the order you want would be a GIF. "New" visual information via gif (ie, a new piece of the chronology popping up) will draw the eyes where you want them to go. You just have to get the timing right. Too fast you have the same problem. Too slow people will stop looking.

However if you don't want to use a GIF then you're going to need to *study* each visual piece you intend to put in. Take note of where your eyes hit the image first (try not to think about it) and try it from different angles (like how I did from the bottom and top of your other banners).
Once you know how your eyes process the image you know the general direction your viewers eyes will take, and you can plan around that.

Taking the 4 plot images in your current banner... a quick analysis would say:
"Goopy Samus" pulls our eyes along a / line. Either towards the upper right over her visor (coming from the bottom) or to the bottom left, with the largest "goop patch" (coming from the top).
"Surgery Samus" seems to pull our eyes up. The light bottom, dark top contrast pulls my eyes (atleast) to her visor and they stay there, maybe they progress further up but that seems to be a single direction image.
"Vaccine" pulls our eyes down and to the left, regardless of view direction. The capsule is to the left of the image and is more prominent (atleast in that cropping) so our eyes move that way, and with it's angle, our eyes want to continue moving left so we follow it down.
"Fusion Samus" as I said pulls our eyes down right because of her visor orientation, and how much her visor stands out against her suit (the only Red in a sea of Blue and Yellow).

Always assume text will go Left to Right unless you pull something fancy like angled text or vertical text.
Also, text is not "evil" when determining image position. It just needs to compliment the way you want the viewer's eyes to read. [ie. we catch Monohime's text from the right if we view as we scroll up, but we still continue the viewing to the sword after reading because 1) we saw the sword tip based on how close it was 2) the text ends at the sword hilt.]

I'll critique anything new you come up with, but I can't give much more tips with just what's here.