James Richards successfully earned a Guinness World Record for completing Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s Emerald Hill Zone Act 1 in the fastest time. The only problem was, that fastest time was 22 seconds, a whole two seconds shorter than a time officially achieved at the Summer of Sonic convention in 2008. So, what gives?
Gaz Deaves, who was the adjudicator on the Summer of Sonic 2008 Sonic 2 time, explained to The Sonic Stadium that it was a matter of console configuration. James’ record was achieved on an Xbox 360, while Louis Tsiattalou (SoS 2008 record holder) used a Sega Mega Drive. The differences are more significant than you might think, says Deaves:
Bearing in mind the differences between controllers (remember, the Megadrive has 3 useable buttons which allow for faster spin-boosting if used correctly) I’m not convinced 20 seconds is even possible on a current-gen console (but would love to be proven wrong!). James may be in danger, though, as I’ve already had an unauthenticated claim from a guy who says he can consistently pull off 21-second runs on PS3 and Xbox 360.
So that’s that. The main point of contention for some was whether Louis’ record, a faster time despite the apparent difference in configuration, would be dumped for the slower record just because it was a newer attempt, at a higher profile event sponsored by an energy drink. Having something like that muscle out a bona fide achievement accomplished by dedicated Sonic fans would be pretty damning. But Deaves says that all awards get phased out of the book anyway as a matter of keeping things fresh;
The content of the book is never sponsored or paid for – what goes in is always based on what we think is interesting for the reader rather than brand exposure for Lucozade or Nintendo or anyone else for that matter.
As it happens, I don’t think either Louis or James will be featured in the 2010 Gamer’s Edition: we went to press on Thursday last week so there’s no chance of James’ 22-second run getting in. Plus, we don’t feature every record every year (we need to do this to make room for new records) and I’m pretty sure Louis’ time hasn’t been featured in this one. Although, I do know we included a speed run of the Wyle[sic] Coyote-inspired Sonic clone Desert Demolition for Megadrive (dunno if you remember that one?)
Sure, Wile. E’s alright, but it’s just not the same. Deaves notes that he attempted to contact current record holder Louis to defend his title on the Xbox 360, but received no response. Louis, what are you waiting for?