3DS Nintendo

Pokemon Art Academy UK Review

A small adventure awaits budding artists in Pokémon Art Academy, which is delightfully appealing to children and adults alike. What it may lack in stretching accomplished artists, it delivers in bundles for beginners with easy-to-follow lessons and a good selection of fan-favourite Pokémon.

Though it may be a niche franchise, Art Academy has proven its success in the touch-based generation of Nintendo consoles. And for the first time, Pokémon fans can learn how to draw their much-loved pocket monsters from the adorably small to the ferocious and large in the 3DS application. With a variety of artist tools, Pokémon Art Academy takes you through the basics one step at a time – first you’ll learn how to quickly sketch a Pokémon’s face, then from an angle or from a curled-up pose, and eventually you’ll be taught advance techniques to bring the otherwise flat, two-dimensional sketches to life. It’s linear, accessible and, most importantly, it’s a whole bunch of fun.

charmander_pokemon_art_academy
The first sketch without tracing construction lines – part of the novice stage.

Pokémon Art Academy offers three stages – apprentice, novice, and graduate – along with three to four main lessons and several mini lessons per course. Players will work alongside the Art Academy’s professor and AI buddy Lee in each lesson, learning a basic skill set with one or two main tools at any given time. There’s no grading system implemented so, no matter how your drawings turn out, players will never be forced into creating masterful pieces of art to unlock more content. The stage’s main lessons merely need to be completed in order to progress, with mini lessons serving as an extra practise session to reinforce the skill set learnt.

Although not as diverse as other professional artist applications, Pokémon Art Academy certainly delivers with an array of tools in comparison to previous entries in the franchise. From the standard outline pen and markers to the more creative pastel and graffiti spray can, players can experiment with many different styles to produce their ideal and most-treasured Pokémon. Though the lessons always pinpoint which specific thicknesses and opaque settings you should use, don’t be afraid to opt for the smallest thickness setting in order to achieve those sharper details, particularly in the advanced and unlockable bonus sections.

lapras_pokemon_art_academy
Comic-book style Lapras – her neck is elongated here to reflect the style.

Providing a linear approach, the application’s lessons become too restrictive in due time and its main gripe falls at the feet of the franchise’s mascot: Pikachu. Players must conclude each stage’s finale by drawing Pikachu and applying the various techniques learnt. But since there’s no other option to draw additional Pokémon at this stage, players are forced to draw Pikachu three times – it’s tedious rather than circular, taking up two slots which could be given to other firm favourites instead.

While free paint offers a greater selection of Pokémon, without the guidance of lessons, beginners may feel out of their depth and uncomfortable with such an open format. However, construction lines and grid markers can be chosen from the layer tool, providing a basic guideline for rough sketching. Additionally, users will find the full palette, eyedropper and colour picker tools for a more superior creative control.

charizard_pokemon_art_academy
And the awesome fire-breathing Charizard finishes off the Graduate course. Remember to take regular breaks as this illustration took me two hours!

Pokémon Art Academy gives users plenty of space to save their sketches in the album, as well as Miiverse interaction. But it does lack an image sharing tool, as seen in Tomodachi Life, in order to share to additional social networks with ease. And though 3D isn’t utilised, the app doesn’t suffer from its exclusion, perhaps only missing out on aesthetic appeal, making it perfect for 2DS users.

With superb accuracy between stylus and touch screen, Pokémon Art Academy delivers a solid experience for long-term fans who have yearned to draw their favourite characters. But its main drawback is its inability to bridge the middle ground between lessons and free paint. It may not be a standard Pokémon adventure, but its slogan can always be adapted: gotta sketch ‘em all.

8/10

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43 comments

      1. Yeah ncq. I’ll draw up some awesome stuff I would do to you if we ever meet. Stuff that would make you and your sisters and mother scream and cry from the pain.

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      1. So how does it differ from Sketchbook AA? I really wanna know since Sketchbook AA is pretty nifty as it is. If I’m just gonna draw pokemons over it,I think I’ll pass on this one.

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      1. Never thought Android devices were superior, especially compared to my Surface Pro 2 and iPad Air 64GB model.

        I will accept your personal opinion, although comparing tablet/smartphone to portable handheld console doesn’t make sense at all. It’s like comparing apple to orange.

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      2. Then explain to me why the Nvidia Shield 2 has the Tegra K1 chip which already out performs anything Microsoft or Apple could show ;) Also, 150 GB bitch

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    1. “Miyamoto is overrated just like Martin Luther King”

      – Sasori The Brokeback Self-Racist Gorilla (who is black himself and said that messed up garbage)

      Like

  1. I’ve never heard anyone troll for the ‘tablet master race’ before. Good for you, you special person. So why are you on a console fan website? (I say fan even though this site is overrun by really childish fanboys, but I don’t care, it also gets the news up pretty quickly which is why I use it)

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    1. Because your pathetic accuse for consoles are no match for the increasing power of Tablets and Smartphones. PC Master Race will kiss our feet and you console peasants will kneel before us, the superior race!

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      1. Gamecube will always be the ultimate console. I don’t mind PC’s, but I like to use them for the web and blogging. (Which is on the web) For Video Games I need my large 32 inch screen and my solid controller. Computer gaming is just not as fun for me. #1080P

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      2. U can hook up ur PC to ur TV plus use virtually any controller of ur choice. Unfortunately console slave kiddies rarely venture out into unfamiliar territories. They’d rather be spoonfed like a baby, even if it ends up costing them more. #^Obvious fake PC gamer

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      3. What’s so bad about being spoonfed? I’m a bit of a traditionalist and I don’t go into unfamiliar territories unless it’s absolutely necessary

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      4. Also, explain how the GameCube was the ultimate console other than power and the Sony-inspired controllers? More like the ultimate fail.

        It had no backward compatibility, very little features, memory card save issues, & the mini disc format ended up screwing them with 3rd party support. Not to mention due to storage constraint, some games had less content than other versions (well, so much for power).

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      5. No backward compatibility? You missed the GameBoy player attachment. So, WRONG.

        Very little features? Like what? DVD player? Not essential for a game console since you’re only gonna play GAMES on it. Online? Same as PS2 when it has barebone ethernet just like GameCube. So, WRONG..again.

        Memory Card issues? Newsflash, PS had that same problem since PS1 along with Xbox and it only loses memory if you fuck around with the card too much, dont take care of it or buy a generic one. So, WRONG once more.

        Mini Disc format? They’re ONLY complaint is the size it holds. 1. Make a game that fits. 2. If Retro can make Metroid Prime or Capcom making Resident Evil 4 fit without much fuss and can still produce and read dual-layer discs, what’s everyone else’s excuse besides them being lazy? 3. Comparing PS2 standard DVD with GameCube and seeing that GameCube graphical qualities blows PS2 out of the sky, you tell me which is worse? Mini disc that produces kick ass quality or a larger size disc that still stores games that looks like mid-range crap back then? 4. Last I checked, GameCube 3rd party support was far stronger than Wii, its successor. So, once again, WRONG!

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      6. Gamecube utterly and completely crushes all other consoles for two reasons.

        1. Design. The console’s design is flawless
        2. Games. Sunshine, Melee, XD Gale of Darkness, Tales of Symphonia, Adventure 2 Battle, and many more. No console has ever had such an amazing amount of games.

        The minidiscs didn’t stop the Gamecube from having the best Third Party Support of all time!

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  2. While I acknowledge Android devices power and their capability, I don’t buy products based on number. Each devices I own has its own purpose. I use Surface Pro to draw and some editing job while laying down on my bed and I use iPad Air for entertainment.

    For my purpose I never thought Android were superior.

    I rather game on triple monitor surround setup with surround sound system rather than on 5″ screen. Exception to this is Pokemon as I compete in Worlds.

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    1. So you’d like to have the inferior experience then? Ha, typical pleb, ignoring the fact that their are far bigger and better tablets that use Android that are a power house for creating AND playing.

      Like

  3. Nice job on the Charizard pic 👍 very beautiful. I think I might buy this to learn shading and color techniques🐱

    Like

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