Pokemon

What would have happened if a Canadian game developer, rather than Japanese, had designed and developed the Pokemon games? Artist Darren Calvert thinks he has the answer, and his designs for a friendlier breed of pocket-sized monsters are pretty fantastic, too.

Calvert's Canadian take on Pokemon have been making their way across the internet today, some of the latest creations posted on this talented artist's Twitter feed. Calvert is apparently a designer and teacher by trade and does freelance illustrations by night. Judging by these great Canadian Pokemon designs, the guy has some serious talent.

Pretty great, right? Rather than just take a bunch of known Pokemon, put them in a hockey jersey and have them say "sorry" all of the time, Calvert decided to take words and concepts from Canadian culture and give them the Pokemon treatment.

The Pux is a pretty obvious reference, with the Loonie and Hozer offering adorable nods to Canadian terminology. The maple moose, called a Moople, is a little bit terrifying, but I simply can't get enough of the clever Aboot monster, which is actually a boot.

The world of video game development is a crazy and unpredictable place, so here's hoping that the next Pokemon game is set in the frigid north and maybe someone over at Nintendo will reach out to Calvert to utilize some of his designs.

These clever takes on Pokemon wouldn't make much sense in the upcoming Sun and Moon, which are set on a series of tropical islands meant to resemble Hawaii. Not sure if they're big hockey fans on the islands or if they'd get the reference from Poutiny and its evolved form, Poutitan.

But Pokemon Sun and Moon isn't the only big news in the collectible critter world these days, as Pokemon Go is also slated to finally launch in the coming weeks. Folks will be able to use their phones to capture, train and battle Pokemon in the real world, meaning you'll never have to go too long without access to your precious Pikachu or Barglebop. That last one was a test. If you thought Barglebop was a real Pokemon, you failed. Just trying to keep you readers on your toes.

And back to the man of the hour, Calvert. His Canadian Pokemon are great, but a quick perusal of his Twitter feed shows off some pretty amazing talent. He's got detailed sketches of dinosaurs on display, as well as characters from the movie Labyrinth, the Rescue Rangers, Overwatch, _TMNT _and more. Not to deny the world an educator, but it seems like a studio might want to snap this guy up, yeah?

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