Since it seems that every game and their grandmothers have midnight release bonanzas these days, I thought it best to share with you a few tips. You might laugh and say that none of these things are particularly vital to getting that prime midnight release real estate, but you’ll still print out 87 copies of this web page, just in case.
Head inside to learn some nifty tips for a midnight launch!
Don’t Wait for More People to Show
We’ve all done it. You’re super-psyched for a midnight release camp-out, only to arrive eight hours early and find no one else around. In a silly and completely random pang of embarrassment, many gamers will sit in their cars and wait for someone else to start the line. Get over it, you’ve already lost respect amongst most of your peers by waiting in line for the midnight launch anyway. Grab your lawn chairs and proceed to prime spot #1 at the front of the non-existent line.
Always Bring Jackets
Yeah, I know. You checked the forecast for tonight, and it said warm with no chance of rain. Let’s face it, weathermen suck. If some higher power is alerted to a midnight release, he will doubtless cause terrible, terrible acts of nature to occur. For example, as I sat camped out in front of Toys ‘R’ Us waiting for my as-yet-unreleased Nintendo Wii, it started snowing like crazy. And, that’s right, the forecast hadn’t predicted anything of the sort. A word to the wise: always bring jackets!
Evaluate Your Neighbors
If you’re going to a midnight release, then plan on going early. And I mean several hours early. While jumping at the first open spot you see might sound appealing, one has to be extremely cautious when selecting a place to dig in for the night. If you aren’t starting the line (refer above), then you have some options available to you. Sitting next to that bearded dude with the ridiculous Mario/Scarface mash-up shirt might be a great way to kick off discussions about who has the bigger game collection, but it’s also going to get old, fast. And when delirium sets in as the midnight hour approaches, you definitely don’t want an angry nerd next to you. Instead, find a guy who dragged his hot girlfriend along to the launch, and sit next to her. Who knows, she might decide to character-swap to you instead.
Bring Extra Cash
Never, EVER, bring the minimum amount of money required for your purchase to a midnight release. Sure, you’re going there for one thing and one thing only, but rarely does that remain the case for long. Retailers know what you’re there for, and so they re-arrange their wares to accommodate this. As soon as you enter, you’ll see plenty of other stuff related to the game you’re about to get, and it will be near impossible not to spring for something else. Maybe it’s a Halo game, or the life-sized Master Chief replicas that litter the store floor – goodbye, $2,500 (ok, maybe this only happened to me). Or maybe a 3,000 page strategy guide for the latest Bethesda release. I’ll take one of those, please! Or hell, maybe you feel like buying two copies of Uncharted 2, because it’s just that awesome. Whatever the case, chances are you won’t be leaving there with just the game.
Don’t Go to a Midnight Release
This is the most important piece of advice we have for you. Don’t go. Just don’t do it. What are you really gaining here? Getting the game a few hours early? Playing it for 30 minutes at home before realizing you’re exhausted and going to bed? In the end, it’s usually not worth it to get the thing early. Just go to bed, and go to the store when it opens in the morning. You’ll actually be awake to play, and will enjoy the game all the more for it. Plus, it saves you from having to worry about any of the things I mentioned above. The only downside? The staff at your local retailer will probably despise everything about the game and you by the time you go to pick it up, so your transaction experience will be diminished. Oh wait, that’s how they always are. It’s a win/win!
So remember friends, heed my words. Or, if you have some better advice for midnight game perusers, heed your own words and list it in the comments below. Have fun ignoring everything I said and going to a midnight release anyway! I know I will.