|(image / link stolen from Auntie Pixelante)|
[To play Sonic XL, (1) download the Sega emulator Kega, then (2) load the .bin file over here.]
In many ways, Sonic was a really good choice for this hack. What if the same was applied to Mario, a much slower platformer about collection? It's not the same -- the loss in speed, a portly plumber merely getting fatter -- the effect would've been lost, I think.
Anna Anthropy thinks this is a cool deconstruction of how games glorify consumption / accumulation / collection. I agree. As a mechanic, I think it works even better than previous attempts in other genres because there's some granularity / feedback to it all. You actually see Sonic get fatter / his speed suffer.
Meanwhile, you get games like The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion that suddenly say "you're encumbered" and so you just stand there like an idiot, or Diablo 2 asks you to play a kind of Tetris inventory puzzle. There, those limits on consumption are ways to force you to eventually return to town, as a form of imposed pacing. (... I don't know where I'm going with this. Just pondering to myself.)
The cleverest part? Anna points out how this hack turns Tails into a feeder, essentially, dooming your attempts to stay thin.
... As if you needed another reason to hate Tails.