Man, my 2013 Thanksgiving/Black Friday experience was perhaps the weirdest, strangest Thanksgiving/Black Friday experience I ever had.
I went out shopping expecting to maybe buy one or two videogames. That is one of the reasons I bought those seven games right before Black Friday that I talked about in my last blog post “Videogame Shopping Trip Report #16.”
However, for this year’s Black Friday, I ended up getting ten games! And one strategy guide. But that wasn’t the only reason this year’s Thanksgiving/Black Friday felt so weird and strange to me.
For Thanksgiving this year I went to my parents’ place. My brother would be there and a lot of my relatives would go there as well. My family would usually have our Thanksgiving dinner at around 6 or 7 pm.
However, since Best Buy decided to open up at 6 pm on Thanksgiving this year to start their Black Friday sales, we decided to do some early shopping. That meant that we would have our Thanksgiving dinner postponed until later on that evening.
Before this day, I had absolutely no plans of going to Best Buy and I wasn’t aware of any of their Black Friday sales, but since most of my family members were going there I decided to come along. We arrived at Best Buy a few minutes before 6 pm and it wasn’t a surprise for me to see that there was a huge line of people standing outside the store.
On our way to Best Buy, we drove by a Meijer store and I noticed that there weren’t that many cars in their parking lot. I asked my family members and relatives if they wanted to go to this Meijer first and then later come back to Best Buy (when there wasn’t a line outside the store). They agreed to go to Meijer.
We spent about 20-25 minutes at Meijer and it was here that I got one videogame, which I will talk about later on in this blog post.
The next thing we did was to go see a movie. It seems like it’s becoming family tradition now for us to go see a movie on Thanksgiving. Last year we saw House at the End of the Street (starring Jennifer Lawrence) and the year before that we saw Immortals.
This year, originally we were supposed to go see the new Marvel superhero movie Thor: The Dark World. However, we ended up watching Frozen, the new CG animated film from Disney.
I thought Frozen was a good movie. Naturally, it has some gorgeous animation. The film also has charming characters and a few really good songs. The best song in the film is “Let It Go” (Idina Menzel version), while “Love is an Open Door,” “For the First Time in Forever,” and “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” are also good songs.
I did feel that there were a few things that could have been done better in movie. About halfway through the film, a character gets introduced and this character is in the film purely for comic relief. However, most of this character’s jokes fell flat to me, but perhaps this character was meant to entertain a younger audience. Perhaps a young child would enjoy and laugh at this character’s jokes and antics.
But overall, like I said, Frozen is a good movie. It’s worth watching if you’re a Disney fan and/or have young children.
After watching the movie we finally headed out to Best Buy and when we arrived there it was a few minutes past 9 pm. We had kind of a tough time finding a parking space and there were still lots of people in the store. However, there weren’t too many people in the checkout line and the line moved pretty quick.
Like I said at the beginning of this blog post, I only expected to get one or two games this year during Black Friday. However, I ended up buying nine games at this Best Buy!!! And I also picked up a huge strategy guide. I was able to find every game that I wanted to get at this Best Buy – only one game was hard to find. Add in the one game that I got from Meijer earlier in the evening and that is ten games total.
We arrived home after 10 pm and that’s when we finally had our Thanksgiving dinner. It was the usually stuff – turkey, mash potatoes, gravy, ham, etc… but the food tasted great and by this time a lot of us were starving! (haha!)
Alright, before I show you all the stuff that I got for Black Friday, I wanted to show you what my brother got first. During previous Black Fridays, my brother would usually buy lots of stuff, while I would only buy one or two things. This year, however, he only bought one thing for himself.
At Best Buy he bought an Apple TV. Now I’m not too familiar with this device but I think it’s the latest model. The regular price is $99.99 but it was on sale for $85. My brother tells me that Apple almost never puts their products on sale at discounted prices, so he thought this was a great deal and quickly snatched it up.
Apple TV connects to your HDTV and lets you stream content (TV shows, movies, music, etc..) that you have on your other Apple Products. My brother also has an iPhone and iPad that he can stream content from.
He went set up his Apple TV and within a few minutes he had everything up and running, so he’s satisfied with this purchase.
Okay, it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for… time to show you the stuff I got. I bought nine games and a strategy guide from Best Buy and I got one game from Meijer. Some of these games are the Greatest Hits/Platinum Hits versions, but I bought all these games not as a collector to keep them sealed. I buy them to open them and play them, so I don’t really mind if some of them are in the red Greatest Hits case.
First up, for $15 I picked up The Elder Scrolls V: Skrim for the Xbox 360. I also bought the huge strategy guide for this game, which was priced at its regular price of $29.99 (it wasn’t on sale)
I love Bethesada’s open world RPG games, even though I have to deal with freezes and glitches from time to time. Morrowind, Oblivion, and Fallout 3 rank as some of my favorite games of all time. So there’s a good chance that I will love Skyrim. I just hope it doesn’t freeze up too often.
I am aware that Bethesda released a Legendary Edition of Skyrim with all the DLC, but I wanted to play the “main game” first and then perhaps buy some DLC later, if I wanted to.
Yeah, I know that the Skyrim: Legendary Edition strategy guide is priced at $29.99, which is super expensive for a strategy guide, even though this guide is huge and has a lot of content. I believe this guide also covers all the DLC expansion packs which is good if I decide to buy some DLC later on.
I also am aware that there is a $49.99 Hardcover version of the Skyrim: Legendary Edition strategy guide, but I decided to save $20 and go for the $30 edition.
If Skyrim is like Oblivion than I probably won’t be needing a strategy guide for most of the game. And if I do need to consult a guide once in a awhile, then I’ll probably be fine looking at a guide that I can read for free on the internet, even if the guide is just text with no pictures.
However, having spent hundreds of hours playing Oblivion (same thing with Morrowind and Fallout 3), I remember thinking to myself that I would have loved to have the Oblivion Strategy guide by my side, because there were times when I just wanted to look up something. I know I will want to do the same thing when I start playing Skyrim. But will I use this Skyrim strategy guide enough to justify the $29.99 price tag? Well, only time will tell…
The next four games I picked up from that Best Buy are Tomb Raider, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Far Cry 3, and Mortal Kombat. All four games are for the PS3. Mortal Kombat was $11.99, while the other three were $15 each.
When I saw the first couple of trailers for Tomb Raider I remember being really hyped up for this game. I have played a few of the previous Tomb Raider games and I enjoyed playing them. However, I think a reboot of the series is a good thing. Then when this Tomb Raider game came out earlier this year, it got really good reviews, which made me even more hyped for the game!
Out of all the videogames that I bought at this Best Buy, the hardest one to find was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. I actually thought that they might be sold out of it at this store. But after searching through all the videogame shelves, I finally found a copy! I guess that a lot of people were snatching up this game at $15.
At this Best Buy store, there was a bin that contained a lot of the games that were on sale for $15. It was in this bin that I pulled out my copies of Skyrim and Tomb Raider. However, the first game that I pulled from that bin was actually Far Cry 3, but I guess I must have put this game down without realizing it (haha!) when I picked up Skyrim and Tomb Raider. As I was about to head to the checkout line to pay for my stuff, I looked over all the games I had with me to see if I had everything I wanted. That’s when I noticed that I did not have Far Cry 3 on me, so I went back to get it. Man, I almost left the store without buying Far Cry 3 (haha!)
Anyway, I have played Far Cry 2 on the PS3. I thought it was a good, enjoyable game but there were a few things about Far Cry 2 that really irritated me. However, it looks like Far Cry 3 is a better game, which resulted in the game selling a bit better than Ubisoft expected.
Moving on to the bin with the $11.99 games, from that bin I bought Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition. I use to like fighting games a lot but I haven’t been too big into them since 1998’s Tekken 3 for the original Playstation. Sure, I still play a fighting game here and there, but for some reason I can’t get into them like I use to.
When this Mortal Kombat game came out in 2011 I thought it looked like a really cool game but I wasn’t sure if I would ever buy it. I didn’t actually get interested in buying this game until I heard that the story in the game is actually good. So for $11.99 I’ll take a chance on this game.
If I get into it, I believe there’s a lot of content in this game to keep me busy. Kratos from the God of War series is even a playable character (exclusive to PS3 and PS Vita versions of the game). This Komplete Edition has even more content, including DLC characters like Freddy Krueger (from A Nightmare on Elm Street). I think earlier editions of the Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition contained downloadable codes for some Mortal Kombat music tracks and the 1995 Mortal Kombat movie, but this edition that I bought makes no mention of any of this anywhere on the case, so I’m guessing this does not have that content.
The final four games that I bought from this Best Buy were also $11.99 each, and they were all found in the same bin that I got Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition from. These four games are all PS3 games and they are Twisted Metal, Playstation All-Stars: Battle Royale, Little Big Planet 2: Special Edition, and Little Big Planet Karting.
Believe it or not, despite having owned both the original Playstation and a Playstation 2, I have never played a Twisted Metal game, even though there were times that I wanted to. For $11.99 I’ll give this PS3 Twisted Metal game a try. The game did get good reviews, but having never played a Twisted Metal game before, I don’t know if there will be a big learning curve for me when I play this game.
When I first heard about Playstation All-Stars: Battle Royale, my first thought is “Super Smash Bros. rip off” (haha!). But then when I saw which characters would be in the game and watched some gameplay footage, I thought that this could be a pretty sweet game. I would love to use characters like PaRappa, Nathan Drake, Cole MacGrath, and Ratchet and Clank to beat up the other Playstation characters. This game is also part of Sony’s “Cross Buy” Promotion, so it comes with a downloadable digital version of the game for the PS Vita.
Little Big Planet 2 is a game I almost picked up a few weeks ago. I had fun playing the original Little Big Planet, even though I didn’t like the jumping in that game, which made the later levels really tough to get through. But the online was great. I had fun playing online with other folks and I came across some awesome levels that were designed by other PS3 gamers. Hopefully the jumping in Little Big Planet 2 is better.
This version of Little Big Planet 2 that I bought is the Special Edition, which comes with some DLC (according to the box cover, it’s over $35 worth of DLC). For $11.99, I think this is a good deal.
I was actually surprised when I first found out about Little Big Planet Karting awhile back, since I thought 2010’s Modnation Racer was supposed to be the “Little Big Planet kart racing game,” but apparently Sony thought that they had to have one with the actual words “Little Big Planet” in the title (haha!). Now I do enjoy kart racing games, especially the Mario Kart series. I missed out on Modnation Racers, so for $11.99 I’ll give Little Big Planet Karting a shot.
And finally, as I mentioned earlier in this blog post, I got a game when we were at Meijer before going to see Frozen at the theater. While my brother only bought one thing for himself during Black Friday, it wasn’t the only thing he bought. He bought me a game from this Meijer store. And he actually bought this game for me as an early Christmas present. Why he would do this, I don’t know, but I’m not complaining (haha!)
He said that I could have any game I wanted, with a price tag of up to $60. Luckily, this Meijer had in stock a game that I have never seen at another store (except Gamestop). For $49.99, he bought me Atelier Ayesha for the PS3.
With this game, I believe I have all the Atelier games for the PS3 (that have been released in the U.S.). Like I said, this is supposed to be an early Christmas present, so I promise I won’t open this until Christmas. Really, I promise! (haha!)
I started off this blog post by saying that my Thanksgiving/Black Friday experience felt so weird and strange this year. One of the reasons for this is that this year I actually bought more stuff than any of my family members and relatives. In fact, this year I bought more videogames than I had ever bought during Black Friday. In previous years the opposite thing happened – my family members and relatives would buy a lot of stuff and I would only buy one or two things.
But the main reason why it felt so weird this year is that I did all my “Black Friday” shopping on a day that wasn’t even a Friday. I did all my “Black Friday” shopping on Thursday night. I did all my “Black Friday” shopping on Thanksgiving. And I have never done that before. I never expected that I would do this.
Have we gotten to a point where we are going to do our Black Friday shopping (or some of it) on Thanksgiving? Now you won’t hear me complaining about the good deals I’ve gotten on the videogames I bought, but I do miss the days when the Thursday before Black Friday was all about Thanksgiving.
But I guess I just got to go with the flow. Because we actually got our “Black Friday” shopping done on Thanksgiving, I didn’t have to wake up early on the next day to go to those sales. Instead of being a hectic shopping day, the actual Black Friday itself turned out to be a nice, somewhat relaxing day where I got to spend some good quality with family.
I wonder what next year holds….