Gamers are notoriously hard to please, but with botched releases like GTA Remastered and Cyberpunk 2077 becoming worryingly common in recent years, there’ve been some legitimate complaints. That said, this latest controversy is a little, um, over the top. 

Nintendo has just announced Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, marking the 9th generation of Pokémon games. But while most fans are busy discussing the three new starter creatures, a few are unhappy about the character design of the new human trainers. 

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet trainers

The eyes! The eyes! (Image credit: Nintendo)

According to Kotaku, fans have called the characters “ugly” and even “too realistic.” Which seems a little unfair to us – what’s not to like? They’re just a pair of bright-eyed young trainers, right? Well, it seems those eyes might be the problem. 

Whereas all previous trainers feature vertical oval eyes, the two new characters’ are much more rounded – even circular. Now, we told you this doesn’t seem a huge deal to us, but judging from the response on Twitter, plenty of users aren’t happy about it. Many have compared the new characters to Studio Ghibli designs (problem?), and feel that the expressive quality of those taller eyes has been abandoned.

Pokemon trainers

Some of the previous trainer designs (Image credit: Nintendo)

See more

“How do you look at the cold dead eyes of the protagonists and say it looks good?” One user tweets, while another adds, “The circular eyes + the blush REALLY separate these from the typical Pokemon trainer design styling They look like Ghibli (which would be cool) but crossed with those dolls that your grandma has a few too many of in a scary room.” 

So there we have it, the slight rounding of some eyes is enough to upset some gamers. Then again, character design can be a contentious topic – who can forget the furore surrounding the Green M&M’s new outfit last month? Oh, and the fact that Master Chief’s helmet is a few pixels off-centre in the latest Halo entry. Told you gamers can be picky.

Read more:

Creative Bloq Design