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Speculation The future of the chibi style

Fairy Type Arceus

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With lets go and BDSP we've seen that game freak wants to experiment with art styles. No main series game on the switch looks the exact same. Do you think chibi style will stay to remakes ala lets go and bdsp? It works well for old regions so that they can keep their layout. Or should game freak seek to bring that to the new core games? It could mean we see a return to form. The chibi style lends itself well to creating a region the way gamefreak used too, and maybe we could see the return of routes where we need to return to discover a new path, puzzles and less awkward feeling corridors, they were in older games too, but they look worse in a fully 3d world. Maybe gamefreaks biggest issue has been making the region in 3d and maybe a 2.5D approach could see the return of more content. What do you guys think?

Should chibi be reserved for remakes, used for new games if it means more content like the older games, or never used again?
 

Jimothy

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I mean, BDSP's use of chibis is exactly how Pokemon was prior to the 3D jump, just using 3D models instead: diminutive overworld characters, fully-proportioned anime characters in-battle. So in a larger sense it's nothing new and like you said, it's done to allow them to keep the same overworld map layouts.

Let's Go, on the other hand, splits the difference: the characters aren't quite as diminutive, and there's no change between overworld and in-battle models. It's a bit more seamless. It also looks cleaner, to me at least.

Between the two, I do prefer Let's Go's style-- particularly the Sugimori art for Let's Go.

As for what we'll see in the future? I think it depends on if they continue doing remakes, since I do think if they do they'll want to preserve the map layouts so that it is recognizably the same game.

I have a hunch we'll see some kind of LGPE-style Johto followup, even if it drops the Let's Go branding-- Go is kind of old news at this point, but Johto is often seen as on-par with Kanto nostalgia-wise (GS and its buildup were very much part of the initial popularity boom in the 90's).

But I'm not sure they would continue with that second line of remakes beyond that (I mean maybe they would, who knows). So the top-down chibi style might end there.

Or it might end with BW remakes, if those happen-- my current interpretation of events is that Legends is what Gamefreak wanted to make as their sole Sinnoh revisit, but Pokemon Company asked them/Masuda to please do a traditional remake as well to hedge their bets in case Legends falls flat. If Legends does significantly better than BDSP, I suspect they'll just do a Legends Unova instead of a traditional BW remake (although Unova being the final 2D region that's yet to be remade, maybe they'll figure they might as well remake it too, as a last hurrah for the top-down games).

Now, beyond remakes, could we see original top-down chibi games? Like how there are 2D and 3D games for Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Sonic, etc.? Maybe, I kinda hope so. I certainly have specific ideas for Pokemon games that would be better done in that style. But it's really hard to say at this point. Maybe ILCA could become the top-down Pokemon studio, the way it's rumored that MercurySteam is doing an original 2D Metroid after proving themselves with Samus Returns, or how people are always suggesting Grezzo do an original 2D Zelda since they've done such a good job with the remakes.

We'll see how things shake out.
 

Silktree

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I like the Let's Go art style and am in favor of that for remakes. But in terms of gameplay, LGPE veered into catching while still being pretty faithful in terms of the region and story (character swaps nonwithstanding). Now we have Legends which seems to be almost entirely about battling and catching wild Pokemon, except it has an open world to make up for the lack of (frequent) trainer battles and a host of traditional features. I don't think it would make sense to go back to the midpoint that was Let's Go gameplay, and Go already being 5 years old doesn't help (I doubt we'll get any remakes before 2024, either).

I'd use the Let's Go art style for a retelling of BW that would incorporate B2W2 elements (the whole Kyurem plot could easily be addressed in the post-game, and Hugh could be a third rival). I'd like for Johto to revisited via Legends Celebi, but if open world means a barren region, then the game should be a more traditional prequel (it could explain the introduction of gyms in Kanto and Johto) and I am less fussed about the graphics.
 

EmpoleonProd

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LGPE was basically just an upscaled version of the XY and ORAS graphics, compare the two side-by-side if you don't believe me, in a similar vein, SwSh are just upscaled SM and USUM graphics, think of the famous Hau/Hop animation comparison. I don't think the BDSP style is here to stay, and if they were considering using it again, they definitely won't now after the backlash. I think it makes more sense to continue recycling existing 3D engines, Legends: Arceus seems to use the same basic engine as SwSh as well. I think it's more likely that Gen 9 will either carry over from Legends: Arceus and if we get Johto remakes, those would reuse the LGPE engine (particularly because they already have half of a Johto game built with LGPE).
 

Esserise

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I could see them using it for Black & White remakes, but I think overall, the mainline games have created an expectation that full-scale 3D is what they do now, and it's too late to turn back. LGPE and BDSP's divergences are justified in the context of games that are meant to recreate a nostalgic feel, but I suspect it would be widely seen as a strange regression if they were to switch back to a chibi top-down style full-time, especially as the hardware becomes more advanced. (Which is another element that sets a lot of the graphical parameters and decisions.)

Not that I wouldn't love to have meaningful dungeons back.
 

Fairy Type Arceus

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I could see them using it for Black & White remakes, but I think overall, the mainline games have created an expectation that full-scale 3D is what they do now, and it's too late to turn back. LGPE and BDSP's divergences are justified in the context of games that are meant to recreate a nostalgic feel, but I suspect it would be widely seen as a strange regression if they were to switch back to a chibi top-down style full-time, especially as the hardware becomes more advanced. (Which is another element that sets a lot of the graphical parameters and decisions.)

Not that I wouldn't love to have meaningful dungeons back.
It depends on how the chibis are made. Theres a good way to do it where they look great and it becomes a new style. Links awakening did the style very well, altough I do suppose if the zelda team went that direction with new games it would come off strange, especially after the success of breathe of the wild. Still wish we'd get more cartoon like zeldas. Wind waker is actually my favorite because of the different art design they went for in those games. It has a charm to it.
 

takoyaki

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What I think would be interesting is if Game Freak decided to make "diverging paths" games.
Instead of two very similar games, there would be one 3D (normal) Pokemon game, aimed towards younger kids, and one 2D (retro like gens 1, 2, and 3) OR 2.5D (gens 4/5) game. They'd have the same regions, and gameplay mechanic (maybe different story) but the 2D games would be harder, and aimed for returning fans. I think that the chibi style is quite unsettling. If done correctly it's nice, but with how it is I heavily dislike it.
(Also, I loved ORAS's art style (which I guess was a normal 3DS gen 6 style lol))
 

Poke Dragon

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I'm fine with the chibi-style games as long as they introduce new content. I don't care about what artstyle they choose to go for as long as the game keeps me engaged for a long time.
 

PinkIceFox

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Egh, I loathe the chibi style. It worked for the sprite based games because of sprite dimensions and stuff (like with basically every RPG that was sprite based when Pokemon came out) but now that we have the ability to make good 3D models it just feels werid to use chibis to show of the characters. However there are exceptions I'd be okay with I guess. Like if EVERYTHING was chibi. The pokemon? The battles? All chibi? Okay that's pretty freaking adorable. But with battles having normal scale people and pokemon, the chibi artstyle just drives me up the wall. I disliked it in XY and ORAS but loathed it for Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee because dang at least Archie and Maxi looked like adults squished into pseudo-chibi size. Everyone in Let's Go's artwork look like cosplaying 7 year olds.

But that said I'd still prefer the pseudo chibis of XY, ORAS, and LGPE over the full chibi of the diamond and pearl remakes. Because now the characters look like fetus people. Like they didn't cook long enough in the cloning pods so they have the bare minimum of human shape. Man it's like Diamond and Pearl are cursed for me or something. They came out in the time I didn't touch pokemon games anymore (came back when HGSS were announced) and now they're the first remake I absolutely do not care to buy. I was hoping remakes would help me love the games like how ORAS made me love everything about ruby and sapphire's introduction. THey were the games that for whatever reason made me stop playing pokemon.

Like if the gameplay and new additions (that I would be surprised if they DID add anything this time around besides taking out the game corner) were interesting, I'd still be turned off playing it because while the aesthetic choice doesn't actually harm anything gameplay wise it's still what I would be staring at through the majority of my playtime.

Anyway thanks for coming to my ted talk lol
 
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