I don’t know if my answer to “favourite video game” will remain static year after year, but I do know Yoshi’s Island often takes that spot. The gorgeous and finely tuned Super Nintendo platformer from 1995 was some of Nintendo at its best, making all the Yoshi marketing hype from years before and weird fan art years after worthwhile. The more Yoshi’s Island the better, I say, and ROM hacker Xenowhirl seemed to agree. He took Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and did us the service of turning it into Yoshi’s Island.
Yoshi in Sonic 2 is much more than a sprite swap, which can often be the case, nor is it erotic fanfiction. Not only does this version have Yoshi zipping along, plucking rings and doing loop-de-loops, it also has Yoshi’s signature attack, lobbing eggs like a bored teenager terrorizing the suburbs. Xenowhirl also imported the losing scenario from Yoshi’s Island: Getting hurt separates you from baby Sonic and baby Tails and you have to retrieve them before the timer runs out. The cult beloved Fuzzies from Yoshi’s Island were added too, and if you touch Fuzzy, I promise you will get dizzy.
For such a dream mod to exist, it’s even stranger to learn it was created back in 2010. Having been submitted to, and somehow losing, Sonic Retro’s 2010 hacking contest, it seems this mod had never been released to the public. It only recently began circulating online.
“This is a rather unique character hack,” wrote Sonic Retro as it deliberated the Knuckles Trophy for Best New Character. “You’ll enjoy this one once it’s released.”
Oh, we will, Sonic Retro’s 2010 Sonic the Hedgehog Hacking Contest Results. We will.