Videogame Shopping Trip Report #3: Thanksgiving and Black Friday Pickups (and how I almost bought another Xbox 360 console)

What’s up, people? I was busy for a few months working on other projects, but now I am back! I will be blogging more now (hopefully), and while the majority of my blog topics will indeed be about videogames, I will also start blogging more about toys/action figures, music, tv shows/movies, sports, and life in general.

Today, I will write about my videogame pickups for the week of Thanksgiving 2011, including Black Friday. I didn’t pick up anything too special, and I didn’t pick up that many games, but here we go.

For Thanksgiving this year, I would have several family members/relatives come over to my house. On Wednesday, November 23, the day before Thanksgiving, my cousin arrived at my house (with her cute puppy Andre) at around 4 pm to help me prepare for the next day. At around 7:30 pm, my younger brother (from out of state) arrived and about an hour later we decided to head out to a restaurant for a late dinner, and then go to a store to make our final purchases for Thanksgiving.

We went to the Outback Steakhouse and ordered steaks. When our food arrived, I’m sad to say that our steaks were less than satisfying, which was a bit surprising, since we have eaten here several times before and have gotten good food. Perhaps, since it was the night before Thanksgiving, the cooks’ minds were already on holiday. Still that was no excuse for bringing us food that isn’t up to standard.

After that, we had to do shopping for some last minute food items for the next day, along with some general merchandise. So the choice was to either go to Meijer or Walmart. We decided to head to Walmart.

The Walmart that we went to had just opened up about a month ago and this would the first time I would be going to this Walmart. This Walmart isn’t too far away from my house – it’s about 15 minutes away. In fact, this area use to be a Best Buy until a few years ago, when it moved to a new location not too far away.

I have great memories shopping at this Best Buy back in the day. At that time I lived with my family in a different location farther way, but in 1993 this was the Best Buy that we got our Super Nintendo console, along with Street Fighter II. In 1998 I would buy my copy of Tekken 3 here and in 2000 I bought my Neo Geo Pocket Color system here. Ah, the memories.

Back to the present, so while we were at this Walmart, I checked out the videogame section. Their selection of games was pretty standard and there was nothing too special there, but I saw 2 games for $19.99 that I really wanted to get, so I picked them up. I bought Battlefield Bad Company 2 (Greatest Hits version) for PS3 and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Platinum Hits version) for the Xbox 360.

Yes, I know that when it comes to Oblivion, I should get the Game of the Year Edition or the 5th Anniversary Edition, which comes with the Knights of the Nine and Shivering Isles expansions but I don’t mind paying $20 for just the standard game. I will probably pick up Shivering Isles later.

I really enjoyed playing Battlefield Bad Company 1 on the PS3. It’s one of my favorite first person shooters of this current gen, so I’m looking forward to Battlefield Bad Company 2. I was also hyped up about Battlefield 3, but then I heard it was very buggy. Supposedly there’s a huge patch/update that will fix a lot of things.

Thanksgiving was a nice day, although it was bit a quieter than usual, nothing too outrageous happened, but hey, there’s still Christmas. In the afternoon some of us went to see a matinee screening of the Greek mythology movie “Immortals”. It had great fight scenes but story was merely okay. We had our turkey dinner, and later on that evening we had some sweet one on one Karaoke Revolution battles. It didn’t get too crazy but again, there’s always Christmas. I think I might get a dancing game to add some dancing to the mix. Anyway, I destroyed everyone in Karaoke Revolution, singing songs like Taylor Swift’s “Love Story,” REM’s “Man On The Moon,” and Kings of Leon’s “Sex On Fire”.

The next day, which was Black Friday, I was afraid my relatives and my brother would drag me to the early morning sales at retail stores. In fact, my fear was that I would go to sleep in my bed on Thanksgiving, and then wake up in line at some retail store early morning on Black Friday. Yeah, I thought they would drag me to a store without bothering to wake me up in the first place. Haha!

Thankfully none of that happened.

I use to be excited and hyped up for the Black Friday thing. I would scan through the paper ads, find some stuff that I was interested in, and then wake up super early on Black Friday to go stand in line before the shops opened. But the fact that both online retailers and the local stores have good deals all year round, combined with the huge crowds and the horror stories I’ve heard (people fighting over $20 DVD players…? haha!) have really dulled my enthusiasm for Black Friday.  I can not remember the last time I woke up early to do the Black Friday shopping thing.

I woke up at a decent time (haha) on Black Friday – around 10 am. At 1 pm, we went to Red Robin to grab some lunch. I ordered a burger. Again, the food here (at least my food) was less than satisfying, but it was better than Outback. Afterward we did some shopping.

One of the stores we would go to was Best Buy. Before driving there, I used the web browser on my cousin’s iPhone to look up Best Buy’s Black Friday deals. I did have my iPod Touch on me but it uses wi-fi. There were 3 games that I wanted to get at Best Buy: Gears of War triple pack (Xbox 360) for $7.99, Final Fantasy XIII (Xbox 360) for $14.99, and Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (PS3) for $14.99

We arrived at Best Buy at about 3:30 pm. Unfortunately, by this time, there were no more copies of the Gears of War triple pack. There were at least 5 copies of Final Fantasy XIII for the Xbox 360 and a few for the PS3. Theses were all Platinum and Greatest Hits versions. And there was only 1 copy (as far as I could tell) of Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions for the PS3. I didn’t notice if there were any for the Xbox 360.

So I picked up Final Fantasy XIII for the Xbox 360 and Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions for the PS3. Again, both cost $14.99 each, so it was $30 total. The regular price for each games was $29.99, so it was 50% off the regular price, which I thought was a pretty good deal. These two games are my only pickups for Black Friday 2011.

The line at that Best Buy was not too long, and there were about 5 or 6 cashiers, so the line moved at a pretty quick pace. When I had almost gotten to the point where there was only 2 people in front of me and then it would be my turn to head up to a cashier, something pretty interesting happened. It was about 4 pm now, and a Best Buy employee came to us and announced that she had two $200 Xbox 250 GB console bundles left, and asked if anyone in line was interested in buying them.

This Xbox 360 console bundle not only included the 250 GB console, but also came with 2 games. All for $200!!!

Oh my goodness, at that point I really wanted to jump on that deal, but I had just bought my Xbox 360 S 250 GB system 2 months earlier. But man, this was a great deal! I don’t remember what 2 games came with Xbox 360 console in this bundle (but you can easily look that up), but it didn’t mattered. This was the Xbox 360 250 GB console and it was $200, which is cheaper than what I paid for my Xbox 360 250 GB system. My Xbox 360 250 GB system cost $299.99, but with some reward points and gaming coupons, I ended up paying about $250 for it. And my system came with no games (although it did come with a Modern Warfare 2 demo). The Best Buy bundle came with the 250 GB system and 2 games, and it was still cheaper!!!

Perhaps I should have waited to buy an Xbox 360 console, but then again, who would have figured that at 4 pm on Black Friday this Best Buy would still have two $200 Xbox 360 bundles left?

The amazing thing is that at that time nobody jumped on that deal either (there were about 25-30 people), and I left that Best Buy without anyone buying that $200 Xbox 360 console bundle.

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One Response to Videogame Shopping Trip Report #3: Thanksgiving and Black Friday Pickups (and how I almost bought another Xbox 360 console)

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