I think it’s time admit to myself that I like the idea of Kirby more than the games themselves. Kirby Battle Royale isn’t the traditional Kirby game but it reminds me that I have yet to finish a single one of the pink puff’s games. I like Kirby more in Smash Bros. than in his own games.
Street Fighter V was a bit of a disappointment to say the least but after a couple of seasons worth of characters and the upcoming Arcade Edition, it looks like it has the potential to win back casual fans like myself. I thought I was going to invest lots of time improving and playing online but that did not pan out whatsoever. The Arcade Edition looks very appealing but with the likes of Dragon Ball FighterZ around the corner, I doubt I’ll be revisiting the world of Street Fighter V any time soon.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins is the first Assassin’s Creed game in a long time that legitimately intrigued me. Ubisoft gave this game more time in the oven and all the praise I hear about it has piqued my interest. Comparisons to The Witcher III appear to be superficial but the mere mention of CDProjekt RED’s game is enough to give it consideration. I don’t know if I will find the time for it any time soon but when it reaches that $20 price point? I may give a gander.
January 2017 Gold Games
- The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III
Xbox 360 & Xbox One
- Tomb Raider Underworld
- Army of Two
January 2017 Plus Games
- Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
- Batman: The Telltale Series
- Sacred 3
- The Book of Unwritten Tales 2
- Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness
- Uncanny Valley
I know of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds. But I haven’t played it for myself. Why? I just want to play a more complete game and not burnout on something that the developers themselves considers “early access”. Now I have no excuse: PUBG just reached version 1.0 and I should check out what the fuss is all about.
Boxing Day. The once go-to annual sales event is now better known (to me) as Black Friday Encore. Expect repeat sales, expect familiar prices, but also make room for a surprise or two.
Boxing Day 2016 edged out 2015’s if you were in the market for Microsoft first party titles.
The Annual Franchises
Watch_Dogs 2 continued the trend of Q4 Ubisoft titles discounting to $49.99 instead of $39.99 as seen prior to 2015. Call of Duty continued its trend of hovering around the $39.99 price tag by year’s end. Crazy isn’t? Wait just over a month and you can pick up Call of Duty for $40 instead of $80.
Microsoft’s first party titles saw their deepest discounts during Boxing Day of last year. Picking up Gears of War 4 less than 2 months later for just $30 is ridiculously good. And a $10 copy of Rare Replay isn’t too shabby either.
What Will Boxing Day 2017 Look Like?
- Assassin’s Creed: Origins for $49.99 ($30 off)? I can see that for sure.
- Call of Duty: WW2 sales are very good which could mean that we won’t see dip down to $39.99 like in previous years.
- I expect Microsoft to deep discount their first party lineup again. Forza Motorsport 7 for $30? It’s already $39.99 until Christmas.
- Expect repeat Black Friday pricing for Electronic Arts and Bethesda’s lineup of games.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is going to land on the top of many “Game of the Year” lists. For me? It’s definitely in my top 10 but I have my doubts about it resting on the top of the hill. I don’t know what my Game of the Year is yet. I have a couple of known heavy hitters that I haven’t tackled yet such as Horizon: Zero Dawn and Persona 5. Returning to Breath of the Wild would be a wise move since I did purchase the DLC packs. I have no idea when I’ll get around to making my way back to Hyrule though.
I bought a copy of Okami HD for the PlayStation 3 and have yet to even launch it. I loved Okami for the PlayStation 2. It was a little long for its own good but the mechanics, characters, setting, and style of the game was fantastic. I believe it was my first Legend of Zelda style of game. I doubt I will be picking it up the latest release but I’m glad they’re putting it out again on modern consoles. It’s definitely a classic.
I didn’t care for Xenoblade Chronicles 3D which subsequently poisoned the franchise for me. I found their worlds to be incredibly beautiful but I didn’t care for any of the stories and characters. I didn’t play Xenoblade Chronicles X and I doubt I’ll give Xenoblade Chronicles 2 a look but more Switch games is always good. Even if it’s not for me.
December 2017 Gold Games
- Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide
- Back to the Future: The Game – 30th Anniversary Edition
Xbox 360 & Xbox One
- Child of Eden
- Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death
December 2017 Plus Games
- Darksiders II Deathinitive Edition
- Kung Fu Panda: Showdown of Legendary Legends
- Syberia Collection
- Xblaze Lost: Memories
- Wanted Corp
I had no idea The Sims 4 was still ticking along. Electronic Arts released a Cats & Dogs expansion earlier this month and just released the game on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One last week. I have a passing interest with these simulations and I’m always curious with what progress they’ve made. I’m even more curious with how it plays with a controller. Curious enough to buy the game? I doubt it. Even with a decent Black Friday discount, it’s outside of the range of impulse buying for me.
Does this sound familiar?
“Worst Black Friday ever.”
“Last year’s deals were better.”
Is any of it true? We’re going to take a walk down memory lane and look at 2016’s Black Friday and how it stacked up against Black Fridays of years gone by. I sampled deals from 2010-16 and tried to pick popular titles with wide availability — I kept away from door crashers.
The Annual Franchises*
Well this is a bit awkward isn’t? After years of annual Assassin’s Creed releases, Ubisoft decided to give Assassin’s Creed a year off and release a remaster collection featuring Ezio’s adventures instead. In its place, Watch_Dogs 2 was released and forced me to change this category up a bit. I suspect it won’t be too long before I have to make changes to the entire category and simply call it “Big Publisher Q4 Releases” or something along those lines.
The worst Black Friday was 2011’s where we saw both Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 maintain MSRP. With regards to sale price, 2015 matched 2013’s Black Friday offerings. But when looking at the discount themselves, we actually saw the deepest discounts for both Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty titles with $20 and $30 off respectively.
Q4 releases in 2015 and 2016 held firm at $49.99 but if you were in the market for older releases, you had your pick of the litter. Unless it’s first party Nintendo game or a niche Japanese third party developed game, you’re almost always better off waiting until Black Friday. The discounts to western third party published titles from the likes of Ubisoft, 2K Games, Bethesda or Electronic Arts arrive rapidly.
The Lessons Learned
- You should not be paying full price for Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed titles; they often receive discounts on Black Friday.
- Some recent releases around Black Friday will drop to $49.99 or lower
- You will see Q3 releases drop to $39.99
- Expect some first half releases to drop to $19.99
- Year old titles will also occupy the $19.99 price range
- The weakened Canadian dollar caused MSRP to rise but the discounts didn’t deepen to compensate.
The Most Important Point
Black Friday wasn’t meant for “full time” bargain hunters; it’s for the masses who don’t keep tabs on the latest deals. If you kept on top of your game deals, you shouldn’t be surprised — one way or the other — when Black Friday arrives. You will see repeated sales from the past. You will notice discounts that don’t match with Amazon.ca & BestBuy’s E3 promotions.