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Gaming Illustrated Selects: Black Friday Edition

/ Nov 28th, 2015 No Comments

NBA 2K16 Review

It’s here (or coming depending on where you are and how you view time’s relativity), the most grossly commercial day(s) of the year: Black Friday. While it is a grueling and punishing day for retail employees, it does provide an excellent opportunity for gamers to pick up games on the cheap that they’ve been on the fence about or hadn’t gotten around to buying.

Our staff here at Gaming Illustrated has reviewed its fair share of games throughout 2015. As such, we have some recommendations for you as you click F5 at home or elbow an elderly lady and a mouthy kid for choice games in store. As you settle in to enjoy a nice dinner before going out into harsh cold world of retail, read up on some of Gaming Illustrated’s “Select Choices” for your Black Friday.

Bloodborne – PS4

In Ben Sheene’s review of Bloodborne, he wrote: “Anything said about Bloodborne or its Souls predecessors is prefaced by addicted players gushing about extreme challenge or those bemoaning the sharp difficulty and rising death count. Those experienced in From Software’s particular brand of gaming masochism won’t lament the lack of change to the developer’s core mechanics. Action RPG is the easiest branding to attach to Bloodborne. Players fight hordes of enemies, they gain experience, they level up, they get stronger, they eviscerate bosses. Rinse and repeat. However, such mundane generalizations aren’t what players face on their arduous journey in Yharnam.”


Slice through with deep savings.

This accurately captures what sets Bloodborne apart; it defies our expectations. To read Ben’s extremely in-depth review, click here for more on Bloodborne. The Old Hunters released this week as a DLC expansion making now a perfect time to pick up Bloodborne.

Target and Best Buy both are offering the game for $19.99 this weekend with Wal-Mart selling it for $25.

Dying Light – PS4, Xbox One

In Chad Whitney’s review of Dying Light, he spoke on what makes this zombie (even if they aren’t zombies) worth your time: “Zombies are challenging, and usually have an advantage over the player, even after completely leveling up. A fairly engaging story teaches players the essentials required to survive for themselves in Harran. The co-op gameplay is not only fun, but seemingly essential to surviving larger hordes. This is a must have for every zombie enthusiast, and gamers looking for a fun social game to play with friends.”

Dying Light released early in the year, and it feels easy to overlook it. However, Techland made a damn fine game that deserves some love, especially when you can get it for a good price. Even though its expansion (and season pass) will be getting a price increase on December 8, if you pick up Dying Light this Black Friday, you can still get the season pass for $19.99.

Wal-Mart is selling it for $15 and GameStop for $19.99.

Rare Replay – Xbox One

In Greg Johnson’s review of Rare Replay, he went into the challenges when looking objectively at such a nostalgia inducing collection: “It is difficult to rate Rare Replay without getting caught up in nostalgia. Graphics and sound have been somewhat cleaned up, but we’ve played all these games before. Having the rewind feature for the arcade games helps a lot in beating difficult challenges, and achievements will satisfy those players hungry for more gamerscore. If gamers have never been a fan of Rare’s lineup, odds are this won’t change their minds. However, this is a solid collection of well-made titles with added bonus features at an incredibly fair price. Rare Replay is a tip of the hat to many gamers’ childhoods, and it deserves a standing ovation.”

Rare Replay

An HD remaster and the original version? Oh Rare, you should’t have…

Rare Replay boasts an incredible value for Xbox One owners. Coupling the jam packed value of the collection itself with Black Friday savings, picking this up is an easy purchase.

Wal-Mart has Rare Replay for $15 with Best Buy and GameStop both selling it for $19.99 respectively.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360

In Kalvin Martinez’s review of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, the topic of farewells and endings came up: “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a spellbinding close to a beloved series. While the story raises some new questions, on the whole, it feels like a punctuation mark. The re-definition of the core Metal Gear Solid gameplay with an open-world mission structure adds new depth to gameplay. As far as goodbyes, Big Boss received one hell of a farewell.”

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Roll with your Diamond Dogs for some deals.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a must buy even for people who haven’t been keeping up with the Metal Gear Solid saga over the past decades and consoles. To read a more thorough review, check it out here.

Target, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart are all offering the game at the price of $35 with GameStop selling it at $39.99.

Destiny: The Taken King – PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360

In Michael May’s review of Destiny: The Taken King, he goes into the idea of Destiny finally actualizing itself: “Destiny: The Taken King has taken one of the best multiplayer experiences available and made it whole. Calling it the realization of Destiny’s potential is by no means putting a cap on future growth, though. There are still many places to go from here for the franchise. This simply means that a fun game that once felt incomplete has achieved a satisfactory level of completion.”


Get the team together to Destiny and chillll.

Destiny released to mixed praise, but The Taken King and its two expansions have made an incredible multiplayer experience into something special. To read more on our thoughts of Destiny, make sure to check out our original review, and our The Taken King review. Destiny: The Taken King – Legendary Edition collects the original game, its two expansions, and The Taken King into one package.

Target and Wal-Mart are discounting the whole she-bang to $35 with Best Buy and GameStop offering it at $39.99.

Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate – PS4, Xbox One

In Kalvin Martinez’s review of Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, the idea of surprise came up (a lot): “Assassin’s Creed Syndicate’s story is one of the best in the series with a complicated and compelling relationship between Jacob and Evie at its heart. The attention paid to make stealth more palatable and the different play styles of the twins make it a blast to play. There are still certain missions that need to be culled completely from the series because they mar the experience. As surprising at it may seem Syndicate is absolutely worth seeking out and getting lost in Victorian London.”

While it was completely fair to write the series off after Unity, Syndicate somehow managed to renew the faith in the series. Even if you’re on the fence about Syndicate, some of these sweet Black Friday deals should tip you over the top to check it out.

Wal-Mart, Target, and Best Buy are all giving you the chance to head to London for $35.

Until Dawn – PS4

In Ben Sheene’s Until Dawn review, he wrote on genre expectations: “Supermassive Games doesn’t take us for fools. The developer knows that players have watched their fair share of of horror films. It knows what kind of tricks directors and screenwriters have been pumping into cinemas for decades. With this knowledge, Supermassive set out to craft a roller coaster ride of horror tropes, plot twists, intrigue, and pure fun. Because let’s face it, being scared can be a blast.”

Until Dawn

Be prepared when you’re out bargain hunting.

Until Dawn is a weird game. It is part B-movie slasher flick, part Heavy Rain, and all fun. Part of Until Dawn’s charm is its effective use of genre conventions and branching story lines.

Best Buy has it for $19.99 and Wal-Mart is selling it for $35.


In Ryan Bloom’s review of Madden NFL 16, he praised the gameplay while pointing out some shortcomings: “Madden 16 is the closest you can get to playing football without strapping on pads. The non-stop decision-making creates a feeling of total immersion. Unfortunately, there are some elements that still need to be brought forward along with the rest of the game — commentary is barely passable and the presentation is bland. Overall, Madden 16 is the deepest, most gratifying football game to date.”

In Michael May’s review of NHL 16, he touches on EA improving on previous current-gen offerings: “EA wisely learned from their mistakes for NHL 16. While not completely back to previous-gen form, the franchise has taken such a leap forward with the latest installment that it’s difficult not to get excited about the future of the series. … if NHL 15 caused you to lose faith in the series, allow NHL 16 to renew that faith. It’s a quality sports game in just about every way.”

Our NBA 2K16 Review: A Ryan Bloom joint, he goes into what makes it more than a sports game: “NBA 2K16 is more than just a sports game. At times, it can be a straight-up sports sim, but it can also be a movie, an RPG and a card collecting game. NBA 2K16 reaches new levels of greatness thanks to major improvements to each of its elements, along with a penchant for customization. These types of changes should not be possible during a one-year development cycle, but NBA 2K16 pulled it off.”

Sports fans have plenty of incentive to track down some of these choice Black Friday deals. Madden NFL 16 is on sale for $29.99 at Best Buy, $35 at Target, and $27 at Wal-Mart. NHL 16 is $35 at both Target and Wal-Mart. NBA 2K16 is going to be $29.99 at Best Buy, $35 at Target, $27 at Wal-Mart (and pathetically $49.99 at GameStop).

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Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
Kalvin Martinez

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