Spiffing Reads: Sonic, that No Man’s Sky patch and why Prey is Prey

Welcome to Spiffing Reads, our weekly round up of the best games writing, which this week kicks off with an alternative take on Sonic.

From @BadSonicFanArt on Twitter
From @BadSonicFanArt on Twitter
Sonic boom: Ellie Gibson on nostalgia, novelty, and that 9/10 (Eurogamer)

The ever-brilliant Ellie Gibson penned this meandering article on her expectations for Sonic Mania, interspersed with parenting metaphors, and ex-boyfriends whose reading material of choice is the FHM Top 100 Women pullout. “Sometimes I worry I’ve read so many video game press releases I’ve started to talk like them. A few years ago, for example, I remember saying to my husband, “I think we should leverage the success of our existing legacy brand to extend the franchise in an exciting new direction.” It was only when he saw I was wearing a new nightie he realised I wanted another baby.”

prey screenshot polygon

Why is Arkane’s upcoming Prey game a Prey game at all? (Polygon)

Arkane has confirmed that the new Prey game will have basically nothing to do with the original – something that I’m a little sad about, as it seems to be missing some of the anarchic sense of humour that made the first game so memorable. So why call it Prey at all then? According to Arkane, it’s because “the name is cool” and it shares some “loose thematic concepts” with the original. Although those shared concepts don’t stretch to include anti-gravity walkways and “vagina doors”.


The making of Head Over Heels (Eurogamer)

An interview with John Ritman, creator of the ever-wonderful 8-bit classic Head Over Heels. I loved the Amiga version of this game back in the 1990s, and it’s fascinating to find out how this bizarre game came into being – Prince Charles Daleks and all. I never finished it back in the day, but I’ve been inspired to return…

no man's sky screenshot

Patch the process (Rami Ismail)

Rami Ismail of Vlambeer (creators of brilliant games such as Luftrausers and Ridiculous Fishing) gives a fascinating look behind the scenes of releasing a game on consoles – and gives some inkling of how a game like No Man’s Sky can end up with an enormous day-one patch thanks to outdated publishing processes. The checklist of things that a game has to have to pass the certification process is illuminating, including a few things that I’d never have thought of: “Some of these make a lot of sense (don’t crash), and some of these are reasonable (if you leave the main menu open for 24 hours, is the game still smooth?), and some of them sound obscene (if you rapidly plug and unplug the controller, does the game know what to do?).”

And finally, how cool is this Resident Evil cosplay?


And make sure to check out some of these utterly bizarre creatures that people have found in No Man’s Sky

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.