I’m really feeling it

Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition came out on Friday, and the very fist thing that I did after leaving work was to go out and purchase myself a copy. And it wasn’t easy, mind you.

It seems that there may have been a bit of a shortage of boxed copies going around, presumably somehow related to to good ol’ Coronavirus. Or maybe it somehow has to to with the horrible goings-on in the USA right now. But I doubt it’s the latter. Awful, awful stuff though. #BlackLivesMatter, guys.

Anyway, my first stop was EB Games in the mall, because I thought that for sure that would be the place that would definitely have copies in stock. But then the woman working there told me that every EB in the city had only received enough to fill pre-orders. So I suppose that “a global pandemic” can be added to the very short list of reasons to pre-order a high-profile Nintendo game.

Fearing that most other electronics- or entertainment-focused shops would also be sold out, because those would be the first targets for savvy shoppers, I decided that my next stop would be Wal-Mart. Also you can just stroll into Wal-Mart without having to sanitize your hands and hear the rules for navigating the store. I sanitized my hands no less than four times in less than half an hour that day.

Long story short: Wal-Mart was also sold out of copies. Or at least that’s what the guy who helped me figured. They certainly didn’t have any on hand, but there was also no proof that there had been any in the first place. I’d also like to point out that for every employee I dealt with during this adventure, I was super nice and understanding when they told me that they did not have any Xenoblades or had no idea what I was asking about. I’m always nice to people who are just doing their jobs, but… I think that especially right now, we all need to be extra nice to each other. even when mildly frustrated by first-world problems.

After that, I jogged across the parking lot to Toys ‘R’ Us, a place that I secretly wish that I had a reason to be at more often. You know, because I’m far enough away from that job that I didn’t like very much, that it’s all pleasant memories now. Anyway, the girl in the electronics department did a very good job of looking every which where for the game I had asked for, but came up with nothing. It seemed like they hadn’t gotten any in at all, which doesn’t surprise me in the least. Late new release shipments are the Toys ‘R’ Us way.

It was at that point that I was about to give up, go home, and just buy a digital version of the game, when my brother sent me a text suggesting that I give Best Buy a try. Now, I had heard that Best Buy had been closed to shoppers and doing curbside pickup for online orders, so I didn’t know what to expect. Lo and behold, not only was Best Buy open to the public, but they also had copies of Xenoblade Chronicles DE to go around, and the woman who helped me knew what I was talking about. Talk about your hat tricks! So there it was, in the place that I should have gone directly after EB failed me. So much for outsmarting the average consumer.

Walking back to my car after my small victory, I mused on the fact that I had actually had a fun little adventure that afternoon. It’s been forever since I’ve had to literally run from store to store looking for a copy of a new video game. It used to happen all the time, but pretty much anything that comes in a physical edition is a high-profile title that gets millions of copies printed, or licensed trash than I couldn’t care less about anyway. All those weird, niche games that I love so much are exclusively digital releases these days, so there’s never a hunt.

Anyway, I guess that’s what passes for an exciting story in my life these days. Not exactly edge-of-your-seat material, I know. But when I’m looking back on this post six years from now, it’ll serve a a nice reminder of that one time I had a moderate amount of trouble finding a video game because of Coronavirus. And how frivolous and carefree I was in 2020, a year that will probably turn out to be one of the bleakest in human history.

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