Tag Archive: thanksgiving


In honor of the day we here in America eat copious amounts of turkey, watch giant balloons float down major New York thoroughfares, and decide we’d rather be saving $20 on a new TV instead of spending time with our loved ones, we here at EGM decided to push aside the negativity and ambivalence that can sometimes befall the game industry and look back upon those things that we were thankful for this year.

Pure West, Baby
01

It made sense that Stan Lee, the king of hamming it up, would make an appearance in Lego: Marvel Super Heroes last year as a playable character as well as replacing the series’ standard “citizen in distress.” But I was genuinely surprised that instead of just going back to a normal citizen for the role, TT Games brought in Adam West, one of the most celebrated men to wear the cape and cowl, to do the same this year in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. It was, without a doubt, a guilty pleasure gone amazingly right.

I’m someone who can point to West’s portrayal of the Caped Crusader from the ‘60s (I watched in syndication, like many folks my age, and now I’m rewatching with the long-awaited release of the entire Batman series of DVD/Blu-Ray) as what helped spur a lifelong obsession with not just Batman but comic books in general, and it thrilled me to see him still embracing the character and hamming it up for his fans—even serving as narrator in a special level dedicated entirely to the show!

It’s Not Just a Car
02

Yeah, I know—two Batman posts on the same list. But the honest truth is that, outside of specific games, there wasn’t a ton for me to be thankful for this year, and you’ll have to wait for our “Best of” lists in a couple of weeks to see what stoked my fire in 2014.

Anyway, back at the beginning of the year, we got what many Batman fans have been waiting for: the announcement of Batman: Arkham Knight. And this time, it’s headed up by true Arkham series developer Rocksteady (even they ignore Warner Bros. Montreal’s Origins effort). Looking to cap off what they’ve said time and again will only be a trilogy, they’ve opened up Gotham like never before and given us what we’ve asked for all the way back when we first saw Arkham Asylum: the ability to drive the Batmobile.

I actually got to go hands-on with this multi-use behemoth at E3 this year, and in the small snippet of gameplay I got to try, it blew me away. Not only was it great for combat against other cars, but it helped with crowd control when Batman got into a hairy situation at Ace Chemicals. What’s more, I could even solve puzzles with the vehicle’s winch. The only thing I’m not thankful for is that the game’s been delayed several times, and now I have to wait until June 2015 to go hands-on with it again. Considering all the recent launch disasters, however, maybe it’s a good thing Rocksteady admitted they needed another nine months with the game.

Flip Side of the Coin
03

I’m completing a couple of trifectas here. This marks my third Warner Bros.related property, and I’m now the third person to mention something from Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.

Normally, I’m not the biggest Lord of the Rings fan, but Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor really surprised a lot of us here in the office. While Josh may appreciate the new patch that lets you play as the female leader of the resistance and Andrew loves protagonist Talion, for me, it was all about the Nemesis system.

This feature offers incredible systemic gameplay, with each victory or defeat changing dialogue, power levels, and how you need to approach your target—and it’s a potential game-changer for the action-adventure genre. It offered me immense replayability well after the completion of the main story as I began to develop my own narrative within the game. Now, here’s the only question: Who will be the first to try to ape this gameplay revolution?

I remember a time when holiday themed items weren’t put on display until December, and “Black Friday” was only a single day. Now, we’re getting “Season’s Greetings” doormats flung in our faces around Labor Day, and “Black Friday” is more than a week long if you don’t count “Cyber Monday” as it’s own shopaholic holiday.

You can’t deny the deals that come about during this time, though, and if you’re on a budget, it might be worth cutting your Turkey Day dinner short to get some items on the cheap. The problem is, there are also so many retailers now that it’s hard to figure out who has the best deals and when exactly they are.

We here at EGM feel your pain, so we’ve put together a monstrous, still growing list of Black Friday deals that might help you sort out this mess of consumerism gone too far.

A few notes:

All games are for the Xbox 360/PS3 generation, unless otherwise noted.

All deals are for Thanksgiving/Black Friday, unless otherwise noted.

Best Buy

  • Cobalt Blue 3DS + Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon – $149.99
  • PS Vita – $169.99 (this week starting 11/24, ending on Thanksgiving)
  • 250 GB PS3 + Batman: Arkham Origins & The Last of Us – $199.99
  • 250 GB Xbox 360 + Halo 4, Tomb Raider, Darksiders II, Batman: Arkham City – $189.99

Games for $44.99

  • Call of Duty: Ghosts

Games for $34.99

  • Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
  • The Last of Us
  • Beyond: Two Souls
  • FIFA 14
  • Madden 25
  • Battlefield 4

Games for $29.99

  • Splinter Cell: Blacklist
  • Saints Row IV

Games for $14.99

  • Far Cry 3
  • Tomb Raider
  • Xbox Live 3-month subscription

Walmart

  • Nintendo 2DS – $99.96
  • PS Vita – $179.99
  • 4 GB Xbox 360 – $99
  • 250 GB PS3 + Batman: Arkham Origins & The Last of Us – $199.99

Xbox One Launch Titles for $49 (week leading up to Black Friday):

  • Ryse: Son of Rome
  • Forza Motorsport 5
  • Fighter Within
  • Dead Rising 3
  • Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
  • Zoo Tycoon
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts
  • Battlefield 4
  • Need for Speed Rivals
  • Madden 25
  • FIFA 14
  • NBA 2K14

PS4 Launch Titles for $49  (week leading up to Black Friday):

  • Killzone: Shadow Fall
  • Knack
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us: – Ultimate Edition
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts
  • Battlefield 4
  • Need for Speed Rivals
  • Madden 25
  • FIFA 14
  • NBA 2K14

Games for $39.96

  • Call of Duty: Ghosts

Games for $34

  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • NBA 2K14

Games for $25

  • Injustice: Gods Among Us
  • Battlefield 4
  • Beyond: Two Souls
  • The Last of Us

Gamestop

  • PS Vita 3G/Wifi bundle – $179.99
  • 250 GB Xbox 360 + Halo 4 & Tomb Raider – $199.99
  • 250 GB PS3 + Batman: Arkham Origins & The Last of Us – $199.99

Games 50% off:

  • Bioshock Infinite
  • Borderlands 2: Game of the Year Edition

Games for $24.99:

  • Battlefield 4

Games for $14.99:

  • Just Dance 2014

Undisclosed game discounts:

  • Call of Duty: Ghosts
  • Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Batman: Arkham Origins

Additional specials:

  • 2-for-1 on Disney Infinity figures
  • Buy two pre-owned items, get a third free (includes games, systems, and accessories)

Target

  • Any Nintendo 3DS XL (including The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds bundle) – $149.99
  • PS Vita – $179.99
  • 250 GB Xbox 360 + Halo 4 & Tomb Raider – $249.99
  • 4 GB Xbox 360/Kinect + Kinect Sports 2 & Kinect Adventures – $189.99

PS4 Games for $49 (week leading up to Black Friday, order online):

  • Battlefield 4
  • FIFA 14

Games for $35

  • Battlefield 4
  • Batman: Arkham Origins
  • FIFA 14
  • WWE2K14
  • Madden 25
  • Xbox Live 3-month subscription – $10

Toys ‘R’ Us

  • PS Vita – $179.99
  • 4 GB Xbox 360/Kinect + Kinect Sports 2 & Kinect Adventures – $249.99

Buy these games full price, get another 360/PS3/Wii U game half-off:

  • Call of Duty: Ghosts
  •  Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
  • Batman: Arkham Origins
  • Just Dance 2014

Amazon

Xbox One Launch Titles for $49 (week leading up to Black Friday):

  • Ryse: Son of Rome
  • NBA 2K14
  • Need for Speed Rivals
  • LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
  • Forza Motorsport 5
  • FIFA 14
  • Fighter Within
  • Dead Rising 3
  • Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts
  • Angry Birds: Star Wars

PS4 Launch Titles for $49 (week leading up to Black Friday):

  • Angry Birds: Star Wars
  • FIFA 14
  • Knack
  • LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
  • Madden 25

Variety of smaller discounts ranging from $2-$20 on current gen versions of all titles listed here, plus other games including Remember Me, Dead Island: Riptide, and Rayman Legends.

Misc.

Certain retailers will have 1-year PS Plus memberships for $29.99. We don’t have a list yet as to who these retailers are, but will update when we find out.

UPDATE 11/26: Microsoft has now released a list of games they’ll have on sale via Xbox Live with discounts ranging from 33-80% off. This list includes WWE 2K14 for 33% off, Deadpool for 40% off, Tomb Raider and Metro: Last Light for 50% off, and Far Cry: Blood Dragon for 75% off. The sale will last from November 26 until December 2, with more titles being added as the week goes on. For the full list of games and when they go on sale, click here.

More to come…

It’s hard to say which ones have the best deals and brand loyalty may play a part in where shoppers decide to go Friday, though Best Buy seems to have a lot of the best bundles available. On the other side of the coin, I remember when Toys ‘R’ Us would be the only place I’d get my games from when I was a kid (mostly because a lot of these other retailers didn’t exist yet). Now it seems they have the weakest deals of the bunch.

What deals sound most enticing to you and where do you think you’ll shop on Black Friday. Are you going to go shopping on Black Friday at all? What do you think of retailers like Walmart and Best Buy opening on Thanksgiving itself? Let us know your thoughts with comments below! 

Being that it is Thanksgiving weekend, ADMIT ONE is coming out a little early this week in anticipation for this week’s movies. Last week, no surprise came with Breaking Dawn running away with the box office with a staggering $138 million opening weekened. I doubt it’ll have much competition in the near future, but as we start to see a bevy of family films centered around the holidays coming out, I doubt it will have as long a run at number one as it could have had it came out during a quieter time of year.

1) Arthur Christmas – When one child is forgotten on Christmas Eve, it is up to Santa’s youngest son to remind everyone what the spirit is all about and use his dad’s high-tech operation to save the day.

This movie actually has a lot of potential as a holiday animated classic as it looks to bring some classic holiday cheer with a little 21st century know how. The animation looks spectacular and when you cap that off with an all-star cast of British actors like Bill Nighy, James MacAvoy, and Hugh Laurie, this movie has a chance to be enjoyed by kids of all ages. Unfortunately, it has some very stiff competition this weekend and I don’t see it doing better than barely cracking the Top 5, but being the holiday season, it might have a bit more longevity than some other movies coming out and could stay there right up until the New Year.

2) Hugo – Set in 1930s Paris, an orphan must figure out clues left behind by his late father involving the train station in resides in an automaton.

This movie came about for the simple reason that Martin Scorsese was asked by his wife to make a movie his daughter could finally go see in theatres. Combine this with his urge to do a tribute of sorts to Georges Meiles, the French cinematographer of the early 20th century who is considered the patron saint basically of movie special effects, and you look to have what could be the visual spectacular of the holiday season. The meaning behind the film will be lost by most patrons though and all in all seems like a solid kids movie, but I wonder if Scorsese’s tendency for nuance and sub plot will creep up into this film and lose much of its intended audience. Either way, the effects look spectacular and when you have Sir Ben Kingsley spearheading your cast, how wrong can you really go?

3) The Muppets – When the infamous Muppet Show theatre is scheduled to be demolished, the old gang rallies together to put on the wackiest telethon ever devised in hopes of purchasing the theatre and saving it from the bulldozer’s path.

I think this will take the number two spot hands down as this is a movie both adults and children will want to see. Our own Paul Semel gave it a glowing review and it only solidifies my viewpoint that this movie is the first in a long time that the entire family can enjoy. Some jokes may go over the kids’ heads, but that has always been the Muppets way, non-threatening infantile humor for the children with some more intelligent humor for the adults that doesn’t offend anyone. I personally cannot wait to see this and highly recommended this as your Thanksgiving weekend pick of all the new movies coming out. Thank you Jason Segel for bringing the Muppets back.

The Newest Face in Late Night

Originally Published: November 25, 2009, on 1050ESPN.com (now ESPNNewYork.com)

He is a Saturday Night Live alum, a movie star, and now he is leaving his mark on the late night landscape in a way no one has ever seen before.

Of course, I am talking about Jimmy Fallon. From using Twitter to drive people to his show’s blog (how about the fact his show even has a blog), to spoofing video games, to having the biggest names in movies, music, and sports on his show, Jimmy has already made his mark during his short tenure in the world of late night talk.

Robin Lundberg and I had a chance to talk with Jimmy about all these things and more as Jimmy gets ready to tackle his next big project…the Thanksgiving Day Parade.

To listen to Robin Lundberg and I interview the newest face on the late night landscape
CLICK HERE
!

Ray Carsillo