You've definitely got some talent in pixel art. My concern about these, however, is that they just don't look like Pokemon.
After starting a fangame which include Fakemon, I started to study the style of the existing Pokemon to make them fit into the world, and you might want to do the same.
To start off:
Squidlet kind of looks exactly the same as its real life counterpart, I also think it needs to be simplified a bit more, it has so many tiny tentacles going into one shape and it's details are hard to make out. To compare it to a similar pokemon:
...Yeah, he has a lot of tentacles, but other than that, can't you say he's a bit more simple in terms of shape/construction by comparison? He is essentially a circle with a mushroom-shape cap, two slightly jagged crescent shapes for mandibles, and circles and ovals for the jewels on his head. In that regard, you don't need to go too detailed with these designs. Forget how the real world counterpart looks, this is Pokemon. While I like how you are using reference, you mainly want to focus on simplification
for Pokemon designs.
In regards to exaggeration, I notice you have a lot of little specks and minute details in your Fakemon designs that is sort of breaking away from the style. Taking a look at Tentacruel again, you would notice that his details, from his tentacles to his crystal orbs, are thick
, and pronounced
. Nothing looks unnoticeable in Tenacruel's design, and if you look at other pokemon, you would notice the same thing, even for newer ones.
For the sake of counterargument, lets talk about a "complex" Pokemon like Palkia:
... You can kind of tell Ken Sugimori got happy with this guy, but if you take a closer look, notice that his purple stripes are thick
? His claws are tiny, but not the to point of being invisible
. The lines that divide his wings and his feet are spaced out just enough to make out his details. Even with his accessories, he can still be broken down into simple, basic shapes, which I will show you now.
Broken down, he is an arrangement of spheres, cones, and other geometric shapes.
Another thing is character, with the squids I am just not getting a feeling for them. They don't look like they have any quality I can relate to. This is different with your fire starter, however. With his angry expression and scrawny appearance, he looks like something that wants to fight, which then gets lost with its final evolution, who has a generic pose/expression. When making a pokemon, or any type of design, think about what you want to communicate with the design.
In example, when I look at Pikachu, I see something that is fun, energetic (no pun intended), and friendly. Why is this? Look at how many curves this design has (curvy=friendly). His head is a circle, the lines on his arms are slightly curved, his legs are curved, the only exceptions come from his tail and fingers, but why do you think that is?
Generally, I like to think of these shapes as having a certain connotation:Square:
Something formidable, organized, sturdy, stoic.Circle:
Funny, soft, cute, whimsicalTriangle:
Sharp, dynamic, dangerous
You can create associations with line as well:Straight Line:
Hard, organized, artificialCurvy Line:
Fun, disorganized, organic
Instead of taking a reference and copying it precisely, think about what your shapes mean and tell your monster's story through your design. Sorry that this post was so long-winded, but if you want to improve your work then all I ask is to consider what I pointed out.