Friday, January 11, 2013

What I Learned from the Guinness World Records 2013 Gamer’s Edition

Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition books are known for providing benchmarks to gauge your own skills against the history’s greatest, but the latest volume provides so much more.

This year’s edition is chock full of valuable knowledge about the 2012 gaming year – or at least about the 2012 gaming year as of the book’s copy deadline of September, as viewed through the lens of marginally informed editors.

I do my best to keep up on gaming news, but the book – which came out Jan. 13 – boasted plenty of mind-blowing nuggets that I somehow had missed.

Here’s what I learned:

* Controversially hiding DLC characters on a disc can net a game a world record. Street Fighter X Tekken snagged the Most DLC Characters in a Fighting Game for the clever tactic. (Page 94)

* EA Sports’ NBA Live franchise, the torch holder for the Best-Selling Basketball Franchise, is “back on track with a scheduled NBA Live 13 Reboot,” despite the vaporware having been canceled in September. Swoosh! (Page 160)

* There is a redeeming quality of the much-derided Vita title Resistance: Burning Skies. Says the book, “The first FPS on a portable console to use dual stick control also has an online option to give gamers the novelty of enjoying deathmatches on the bus or even in the bath!” Which is nice, because slogging through a game with a Metacritic rating of 60 can leave you feeling a bit dirty. (Page 30)

* That despite what rimshot-seeking, sexist comedians of the 1980s would have you believe, females actually can drive, at least in Mario Land. Thirteen-year-old Leyla Hasso, as of Sept. 19 2013, held 30 of the 40 possible time trial records on the PAL version of the game.  Oddly, there is no mention of a male version of the record in the game, nor any distinction between male and female records elsewhere in the book.  (Page 134)

* Draw Something is the Fastest-Growing Multiplayer Mobile Game, for having picked up 50 million players in the 50 days following its launch in February 2012. This despite the game having hemorrhaged 5 million players in May, after the Zynga takeover of developer Omgpop.

* No one does solar system volume like EVE Online, except for EVE Online. The book hails EVE Online for boasting the Most Solar Systems in an MMO, breaking its own record in March 2009, expanding its universe from 5,431 to 7,699 solar systems. (Page 109)

* Uncharted: Golden Abyss is the world record holder for Most Advanced Hand-held Platform Game, despite not being all that good (Page 112).

The publisher provided a copy of the book for review.

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