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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
Just because Totoro.
“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.”
Childish, but very, very funny.
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.