In 2018, Nintendo released Pokemon: Let’s go, Pikachu! and Eevee! on the Nintendo Switch. The games served as a 3D remake of the 1998 GameBoy Color game pokemon yellowwhich was itself a revamped version of Pokemon Red and Bluethe OG Pokémon games (released in 1996 in Japan and 1998 in the United States). Let’s go, Pikachu! was a pure delight, especially for me, as my first Pokémon game was, indeed, Yellowand therefore holds a sacred place in my heart.
Whereas Let’s go, Pikachu! introduced wonders such as petting your Pikachu while it coos and putting hipster glasses on it and provided a graphical update, the game retained the style of modern Pokemon games like Sword and Shield. But Pokémon fan artist @pokeyugami bravely posed the question: What if Red and Blue have been remade in a 3D rendering of the series’ original art style?
Pokeyugami is a group of fan artists based in Japan. (I think? They use watashi-tachi in the biography, which usually means “we”.) Their art usually features Pokémon based in a space and time different from ours. (Their Twitter bio, which is in Japanese, asks people not to reproduce their images without permission.) Much of the art posted on Pokeyugami’s stream looks like a seamless continuation of Ken Sugimori’s original art for Pokemon games. Sugimori illustrated the artwork for the first generation of games, created concept art for all 151 first generation Pokémon, and continues to work on artwork for the card game and character design.
Sugimori used watercolors and a distinct, light palette, resulting in a classic look that, for those of us who entered Pokémon on the ground floor, is instantly nostalgic.
Pokeyugami released two original animation videos, wondering what a modern 3D remake of Red/Blue/Green would resemble Sugimori’s style. The results are positively stunning. Pokeyugami nails the art and animation, really making Sugimori’s drawings look like they simply came to life. The camera largely follows a rendering of Red, the Ash-like protagonist from the original games. (In the first video, the girl says to Red, “Hey, you! You’ve been watching me, haven’t you?”, Pokeyugami also borrowed gameplay mechanics from the series’ most recent entry. pokemon, Pokemon Legends Arceus. Notice the Arceus-stylish item interface on the lower right, plus the map and Pokédex on the left.
The Pokemon Internet – which can be surprisingly divisive and critical – is piling up behind this with emphatic support. The two Pokeyugami videos have inspired fans around the world, in many languages, to yawn and gush in awe and excitement. GameFreak needs to hire Pokeyugami and make this game ASAP. Build. This. Real. Give us that berry-eating Chonk Pikachu.
(featured image: The Pokémon Company)
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