Well this was a good way to recreate a sprite you've come to love and appreciate. I think the use of the sprite as a foreground and background really worked here to showcase what you've added and how you've recreated this piece. I love the way you've got almost the original coloring done and the way you've smoothed this out, but also kept some pixels here and there to not lose that feeling of it being a sprite. I think the white was okay, but maybe instead of just that white background with the sprite zoomed in, you could have done a kaleidoscope of colors of the sprite and filled in all these white areas with a bit more color and pixels to fit your theme. I think it is good as it is, but that would be something I would change up if I was doing a sprite recreation like this. You put your own spin on this too, in terms of the style and the look of the face. Faces in sprites are never too detailed and pretty standard, but here you've gone a bit further with additions in expression and just layers the character. I do like this one very much and I hope you do more of these sprites from the game in the future. I would add that.
~~THINGS TO IMPROVE ON~~
Just limit the amount of white space here and there, maybe use more pixels