Tonight I had a complete system failure at Toys R Us as I tried to put together a Buy Two Get One Free deal. Clark deserves big kudos for putting up with it. We were stuck in the R*Zone for well over half an hour. Maybe even two half-hours. I just couldn't decide, and every option spawned a new series of reasons as to why this was not The Perfect Deal.
I knew I wanted Super Scribblenauts, since they seem to have made one that doesn't suck. That game just came out; it's $30. That established $30 as the benchmark price. If I tried to combo that with some $60 games, I'd end up doing it wrong. The cheapest item in the trio is your free item, so it makes better shopping sense to get all three games at nearly the same cost. Dead Rising 2 would upset the mathematics in play.
Besides, I can always go back and try to put together a triplet in the $60 range.
Item #2 was - and I'm not especially proud of this - a Sony Move Navigation Controller. Or, Half-A-Damn-Dual-Shock for short. Accessories are allowable in this deal (but not gift cards, duh.) I guess I might consider thinking about perhaps getting Move Heroes, unless I hear it sucks. And you need the secondary controller for that one. Yes, you can hold the Dual Shock and be weird, but I'm not into this to do weird, half-assed-solution shit. So yay me, I own a Move Nav. (And, when your PSEye camera is pointed at the ground to faciliate EyePet, the Move Nav is a MUCH BETTER way to handle the XMB than the Move itself. Incidentally.)
But what for the third $30? See, I did not walk into the store with a solid plan, and that was the killer.
Maybe Borderlands. That's down to $30 on PS3 by now. But no, the Game of the Year edition is out for $60, and that includes a heap of DLC stuff that I bet I'd want. So I'd rather hang out and get the GOTY Borderlands when it starts seeing a discount. I've waited this long for the game, I can keep waiting.
Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest for PS3. $50. Too tall.
Trauma Team for Wii. Now down to $35 at TRU, but I bet it's about to get even cheaper.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold for DS. $30, but you just know that this one will be $20 or less inside of three months. Heck, two weeks ago it was part of a two-for-$40 deal at TRU. Also, I still have a live $5 coupon for it, and I'm not risking a coupon screwing up the deal. Odds are, they'll take the coupon and then make Batman the free game anyway. WASTING THE COUPON.
I thought about dumping the entire $30 plan and moving up to $60... then getting Dead Rising 2, maybe the new Castlevania? If TRU had GOTY Borderlands in stock, this could have happened, but they didn't... which would have put me at struggling to stitch up two games, not just one.
God of War Collection? Again, it's already dropped from $40 to $30. $20 is right around the corner. Plus, I don't even really like God of War.
Just Cause 2? Still hanging me out at $50. Did not see Yakuza 3.
Red Steel 2? The Motion Plus version is down to $35. The box without the +, $25. Still just sort of not interested in that one. I could do better.
Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs? Not feeling like jumping into the Ranger series.
Dante's Inferno? Yeah, it might be $30, but it's also terrible.
Sidebar. You know what's weird? A couple of weeks ago, Toys R Us landed a new wave of ancient Mario DS games. Mario Hoops, Partners in Time and Super Princess Peach. All still $35, hilariously. Apparently they are now exclusive to TRU, and they were positioned as part of a Mario-centric sale. I never did get Partners in Time. By the time I had time for Time, it had vanished from retail. Now it is readily available, and I'm all meh about it.
Because Bowser's Inside Story, sort of a sequel, came out! There's another high-quality DS title I missed that became hard to find. But now - no doubt due to that Mario sale - it is back on the TRU racks. $35. Since we know this first-party product will never, ever go on sale, it became the top contender to finish off my BTGO deal. Sidebar worked in!
Now, I still floated around a bit. I swapped it for Trauma Team for a bit, to Clark's frustrated shock. He went back to playing Transformers on the DS demo kiosk and declared it a great game.
But it was $20 and therefore too low for my elaborate game of price chess.
So Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story it was. Two DS games and a tertiary PS3 controller. Done.
By this time, the clerk had vanished and we had to wait by the register for his return. I had to promise Clark some Taco Bell for this one. He likes the Cheese Roll-ups.
If you want a punchline to this story, it's this: I used $40 in TRU gift cards on the transaction.