I would like to discuss the updated creature sprite art because in my personal opinion most of them are inferior to their old ones. While the bulk of the sprites have always looked like something you’d find in a western monster encyclopedia from the 80’s, I doubt that ‘generically ugly’ is the art direction to transform the few that had some Dragon Quest-like charme and uniqueness to them into.
Diabolic: From something that could haunt ancient japanese shrines with their flag bearing to cyclopean uglies for some reason.
Hound: Like something from Final Fantasy previously, now they have seahorse-like spines
Giant: Look no longer ‘giant’ and boulder-like but like overdetailed miniature figurines
Dominator: Previously alien but now with added bug eyes and fins - more isn’t always better
Smith: Looked like actual Smiths before, now they’re lizard creatures for some reason
Imling: No longer the adorable little rhinocerous partner look to the Imler, they’re now as generic and boring to look as can be
Hunter: Cute sprite design easily on par with the better ones of old FF/DQ games, now they’re forgettable
I think the common factor is the sprite artist getting lost in overdetailing and overworking designs - when it comes to sprites especially, oftentimes less is more.
Especially the Diabolic and Hunter family went from very charming and a design you’d put in the background of the cover of a DQ Nintendo game and on merchandise even to completely dull. I understand if the design direction is to eliminate any japanese mythological influence in favour of oldschool western designs - Siralim was never a pretty game, but there was satisfaction to be found in identifying with your teams aesthetic to some degree, and now that’s lost in my opinion.
Unfortunately I don’t have the old and new sprite art available to post side by side - if this is even up for discussion and not at the complete leasure of the sprite artist in power, perhaps someone can post comparisons and we can discuss them.