Spiffing Reads: Nintendo NX, Sonic The Hedgehog and horrendous feet

Welcome to Spiffing Reads, our weekly round-up of the best games writing. This week, the big story is Eurogamer’s leak of details for the upcoming Nintendo NX.

Nintendo NX mockup by NeoGAF's Pittree.
Nintendo NX mockup by NeoGAF’s Pittree.

NX is different, and different is Nintendo’s best option (Eurogamer)

Part of me wants Nintendo to release a super-powerful console, one that will have third-party publishers rushing back, that will put the wind up Sony and Microsoft, and that will see Nintendo competing with the big boys again, just like in the 1990s. I’d love to only have to buy one console that I could play everything on, rather than having a Nintendo machine as my ‘second console’ (although to be honest, the Nintendo Wii U is really my first console, seeing as I’ve played on it more in the past couple of years than on anything else). But as this article argues, the route Nintendo has chosen with the NX might be its only option – and the quirkiness of the hardware reflects the company’s ethos.

How Nintendo’s NX Could Go Very Wrong or Very Right (IGN)

So far, so obvious – the NX will either succeed or… um, well, it won’t. But the writer makes some good points about no longer having to worry about which machine – portable or home console – to release franchises on. One machine for everything has a lot of appeal.


Microsoft rolls the dice in a huge Xbox gamble (GamesIndustry.biz)

Will the announcement of Project Scorpio put people off from buying the Xbox One S? We’re in uncharted territory here, the first time a more powerful console refresh has been announced mid-generation. It’s interesting to note that Microsoft is measuring success in ‘monthly active users’ rather than sales figures – an indication of its priorities in terms of a unifying Xbox gaming platform across multiple devices, including PC.


Foot Hell: Ashi Wash Introduces Awful Japanese Spirit (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)

Did you know there’s a Japanese spirit called an Ashiarai Yashiki that takes the form of a giant, disgusting, disembodied foot that breaks into your house and demands that you clean it? Well, now there’s a game about said disgusting foot ghost. “It has the very worst toenails I’ve ever seen in a video game.”

Can too much choice be a bad thing? (Eurogamer)

“Too many choices are painful, but losing choices is also painful. This is gives us insight into a couple of notorious game design traps. In five minutes you can find five Early Access Unity games from talented, inexperienced developers making something like their favourite game but with MORE FEATURES MORE OPTIONS MORE WEAPONS.”

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Brings Borrowing Full Circle (US Gamer)

An old NES game called Crystalis borrowed heavily from The Legend of Zelda, but added a few ideas of its own. Now the new Zelda game is borrowing ideas from the borrower.

sonic mania

Why I Was Completely Wrong About Sonic The Hedgehog – By Mr Biffo (Digitiser 2000)

“However, stripping the nostalgia out of the equation leaves me wondering how good Sonic The Hedgehog – the original – actually was in the first place. I find myself questioning whether it was all style and branding over substance. Maybe Sonic has never been that good.”

Unofficial Totoro GIFs Make the Internet a Better Place (Kotaku UK)

Just because Totoro.

Pokémon Go transforms Republican convention into gym full of rare catches (The Guardian)

“Despite numerous attempts to take the stage, my comparatively puny Pidgeot was forced from the convention floor with the speed and humiliation of a Rick Perry presidential campaign.”


Pokémon Go Players Are Trolling Gyms With Magikarp (Kotaku UK)

Childish, but very, very funny.

Pokemon GO and the good things that can come from a bad UI (Gamasutra)

Pokémon Go’s lack of hand holding may be one of its strengths, but there are still loads of things that could be done to improve its design – and Chris Furniss makes some cracking suggestions here. “Let’s either move the Transfer button up to a more accessible location, or better yet how about a long press on a Pokemon brings up a menu of common actions, including Transfer.” Yes, Chris, YES.

Spiffing Reads is a regular feature where we pick out the best gaming articles of the week. If you’ve read anything interesting, please let us know in the comments.


  1. Regarding that new Sonic game – I partly disagree with the writer. The original Sonics on the Genesis really were that good. There was a lot of branding and marketing going on, and a lot of the experience was undoubtedly tied up in my being a kid when I played them. But going back to the 2D originals, they stand on their own merits as good games. They’re well-made and fun to play, no matter how bad the series would eventually turn.

    What I do agree with is that SEGA maybe just needs to drop the whole Sonic thing for good and try something new. They’ll never be able to do Sonic as well as they did on the Genesis, and the 3D games I’ve played in the series have been mostly garbage. Even the company’s own Sonic account on Twitter makes fun of how crap Sonic is now. Just leave him back in the 90s and move on, please.

    1. I agree that the first two games were really the highs of the series – a high that the Sonic games have never really got close to topping since. But I’m still not convinced that they were that good to start with. Even as a kid I remember thinking that the first few levels were by far the best, and the games get steadily less interesting as they go on. And the main thing that makes Sonic fun – the ludicrous speed – is regularly interrupted by spiked enemies or walls that you have no way of seeing until you hit them.

      Having said that, I know loads of people who revere the first two Sonic games, so I’m aware my opinion may make me a minority!

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