Hit Entertainment Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2008

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Hit Entertainment Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2008
  • Hit Entertainment Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2008
  • Hit Entertainment Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2008
  • Hit Entertainment Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2008
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Oodles of trivia/info, well written and smartly presented

Cons

  • Strong bias towards modern gaming, the list of high scores is smaller than you might expect

Bottom Line

The Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2008 is much more than a simple list of high scores. With more trivia than you can shake a joystick at, it will provide countless hours of entertainment to any self-respecting gaming fan.

Would you buy this?

Most hardcore gamers are pretty confident in their gaming abilities. In fact, a lot of them sport egos that threaten to dwarf the size of their games collection. Anyone who has spent a few hours with a gamepad reckons they're the top dog at one game or another, but usually there isn't a lick of evidence to back it up. Until now that is.

If you really want to prove your mettle in the gaming arena, it's time to put your idle boasting and trash talk aside. The Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2008 is the first annual compendium of high scores and miscellaneous gaming records, covering everything from the golden age of arcade games right up to current next-gen consoles. Getting your name in there will make your claims official; anything else is posing. Plain and simple.

With over 256 lavishly illustrated pages filled with reviews, interviews, factoids and features, the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition is much more than a list of high scores. In addition to listing the world records for hundreds of arcade and video games, the book comes packed with more gaming trivia than you can shake a joystick at. For instance, did you know that the legendary bust size of Tomb Raider's Lara Croft was the result of a programming error? Apparently, the game's graphic artist accidentally set the character's chest dimensions to 150 per cent. When other members of the team saw the pneumatic results, they insisted that the proportions be kept! This is just one of hundreds of interesting titbits (ahem) scattered throughout the book. Whether you're a competitive games player or just a casual fan, you'll undoubtedly find something to surprise you.

Unlike the majority of game-focused literature, which is usually poorly researched and woefully edited, the Gamer's Edition has been carefully compiled by a host of industry veterans. The authors clearly know their subject, with no embarrassing gaffs or oversights dragging down the publication's quality. It is also handsomely presented, with a handful of explanatory illustrations on every page. If you've ever read a regular Guinness World Records book, you'll have a good idea of how it looks – the layout is basically the same. Our only reservation is that the majority of features and interviews are skewered towards modern gaming. Early consoles, such as the Atari 2600, and the entire computer home gaming scene are almost completely ignored (perhaps this will be rectified in the 2009 edition).

The main drawcard of the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2008 is its official listing of world gaming records. The results were gathered in association with Twin Galaxies, a U.S organisation that has been the world authority on high scores since the early 1980s (though not without controversy; charges of favouritism are rife amongst unrecognised competitors, though this may have something to do with the aforementioned 'gamer's ego').

From Billy L. Mitchell's score of 1,050,200 in Donkey Kong to J.C. Padilla's score of 149,474 in House of the Dead 3, the list of gaming records covers almost every era. With that being said, the listing is far from exhaustive, with hundreds of baffling omissions. The PlayStation 3 is completely absent, for example, while notable arcade classics like R-Type and Millipede fail to rate a mention. On the plus side, this means that plenty of positions are left wide open for next year's instalment – so if you think you've got what it takes, get cracking! (Guinness is currently requesting new high scores for its 2009 edition; click here for details on how to enter.)

Of course, it wouldn't be a Guinness book without an assortment of crazy world records thrown in for good measure. The Gamer's Edition is no exception, including records for the most people dressed as a videogame character, longest game playing while blindfolded, and the world's youngest professional games player, who took part in his first competition at the tender age of four.

All up, the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2008 is a very entertaining read that any self-respecting gamer should have on their bookshelf.

PC World is currently giving away 10 copies of the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2008. To be in the running, check out our slideshow about the book and answer the question that follows.

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