Black Friday 1992 – I was a Freshman in high school, and my mom, my sister and I set out to go to a local mall. The problem was that we all got a late start, and my mom and sister didn’t really feel like messing with lines at the mall, or traffic. So instead we hit various stores one town over, and still made a day of it. To be honest I don’t know what we really set out to look for that day, somehow I think it was all household stuff, and a few bulk groceries at Sams Club. Eventually though we ended up at Service Merchandise. Yes, Service Merchandise, did I send a few chills up your spine mentioning them as late-70’s though early 90’s gaming memories popped into your head? Service Merchandise by 1992 had bought in huge toy sections, and strangely I can remember their video games being mixed in with the toys. It was on that day Black Friday 1992 that I got my first hands on, and a close up look at the Sega Genesis, and more importantly Sonic the Hedgehog. I also remember simultaneously running into a very attractive classmate of mine from high school at nearly they same time, although she wasn’t there to play sonic, but to say the least that’s all burned into my memory too. Even though the Funcoland (am I giving you chills again) was in the same strip mall as the Service Merchandise, somehow I would end up back there till hours later and I bought Captain Skyhawk, Silent Service, Afterburner, and Top Gun for the NES all of which I still have today. That pretty much ended my Black Friday but gave me a full weekend of gameplay.
Black Friday 1996 – Being an avid Command & Conquer fan I had been dying to finally get a sequel, and although it wasn’t exactly a sequel Command & Conquer: Red Alert was launched on Black Friday of 1996. To me this isn’t only a gaming memory but a happy memory of being with my mother as well on that day, since we had a nice breakfast out together before going to the nearest Best Buy, to get a copy of the game. Sadly, that was the last Black Friday I would be able to go out with my mom, and I will always remember that day. Command & Conquer: Red Alert turned out to be an excellent game, and I put so much time into playing it that I had it finished before Christmas.
Black Friday 1998 – Ok, this is more of an electronics memory then anything. I got up early that day and was determined to get a stereo/home theater receiver I spotted on sale at Montgomery Wards (more chills?) and then rush back to start work for the day. When I got to Montgomery Wards there was a huge line in front of the store. I began to think my early morning excursion was all for not since the line would have kept me from getting to work on time, but a store employee assured me it was a “Furby only” line since Furby’s were that Christmas’s big toy. I got inside and had to wait a while to get help in the electronics section, in the meantime I watched one of the most glorious music videos of all time “Hit Me Baby, One More Time” by a very young Britany Spears. Trust me if you graduated from a catholic high school you would have a lot of appreciation for that music video too. I was annoyed I had to wait but the replaying of that video about every 5 minutes got me through. To say the least when I was finally served the receiver I wanted wasn’t even there, so instead I bought a slightly better one since I didn’t want to go home empty handed, which I did anyway since they had to order that one too. I still have the stereo receiver till this day and its currently connected to my gaming TV, its powerful as hell too. As for Britney, well we’ll always have Montgomery Wards! No seriously I had a crush on her for several years after.
To be honest my Black Friday Memories would be pretty vague for the next ten years. In 2008 my family and I would head out one morning for household stuff, it was a good memory but hardly anything gaming.
Black Friday 2009 – I got up early to go to Best Buy to score a copy of NHL 10′ with Patrick Kane on the cover for my nephew. In the process I picked up an odd game called Rayman Raving Rabbids for the Wii that was part of a $5 sale. We played it later that evening and it was an interesting party game but eventually got on the nerves a bit.
Black Friday 2011 – As previously mentioned! I spent most of 2011 having the great PS3 vs XBox 360 debate mainly because I wanted to get and play L.A. Noire, trust me if your into that era or James Elroy novels you’ll love it. Eventually I settled on the 360 do to a lot of the good things I was hearing, and long behold Black Friday of 2011 they were on sale for $199 with the Kinect, Halo: Reach, Fruit Ninja, Gun Stringer(?), and I believe Kinect Adventures. I wasn’t able to get up early that morning but when I finally did find my way into Best Buy around 10 I was shocked to still find a pile of them. The rest of that day was committed to Christmas decorating (our earliest ever start to date), but later that evening, lets just say I became a Halo fan.
Black Friday 2012 – Everywhere I went in downtown Chicago, I saw Assassins Creed 3 being advertised. I liked the whole historical aspect of L.A. Noire, and the Revolutionary War seemed like a good place to head next. But, Black Friday of that year I had a sick son, and a Thanksgiving Day exhausted, slightly sick, and very pregnant wife on my hands so we used the day to recover. I wasn’t very heartbroken, after all there was nothing I wanted this year at a Black Friday sale. But, then around 1 in the afternoon an e-mail came in from Amazon, Assassins Creed 3 $30. With a $25 Amazon gift certificate in my hand and order of $25 or more with free shipping back then, I placed my order and picked Assassins Creed 3 for $5. Too bad it took me nearly two years to finish.
Black Friday 2013 – Sometimes you debate about chilling the day after Thanksgiving, and sometimes you want to go out. We made it our decision to do the latter after 10 AM again, and my main place to go was TNT Games, a local retro video game store I was going to visit for the first time. To say the least I left the store that day with a huge pile of Atari 2600 games.
Black Friday 2016 – This year there where a few things I wanted to get going into Black Friday. like an Atari Flashback Portable, but these where sold out long before Black Friday, and the Atari Flashback 7 which I lost out on picking up for $30, and Titanfall 2. Of them all Titanfall 2 is the only one I got, having sold for $28 through Walmart for Black Friday. The other items I can wait on, and I suppose I don’t need but they would be fun to get anyway. Also as a side note I did get the Atari Flashback Volume 1 for the XBox One for $15 the Black Friday price, but the day after.
So that’s my quick synopsis of Black Fridays past albeit a few days late. What memories do you have?