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Monday, June 9, 2014

The Search

As you all know, Mario Kart 8 was released on May 30th, 2014 in both physical and digital formats. After taking care of the bills for the month, I had little in the way of cash left over so I knew I'd end up missing out and Mario's latest kart racing exploits on launch day. "No biggie," I thought to myself. I'd have money in my bank account on June 3rd, so I'd just go out and nab a physical copy then. Possessing the funds to obtain the game was no longer the problem. Finding a physical copy was what proved to be the real challenge.

The first place I checked was fye. Since I got 10% off whatever I buy, I could save a few bucks off of a $60 HD game. I was actually doing a bit of window shopping on Sunday afternoon after having some adjustments done to my specs and I noticed that there wasn't a single copy of Mario Kart 8 in stock. I thought this could possibly change by Tuesday but when the day rolled around I checked back and there was nothing. So much for saving a bit of change.

The next stop was my local Target, which has a nice selection of games. Surely, they'd have Mario Kart 8. There were two sections behind the glass cases where Mario Kart 8 would be and in the place of each was a whole lot of nada. Nothing is worse than staring at the space a game should be and seeing that nothing, absolutely nothing is there. 'Tis a bit soul crushing.

Still walking around in Target, one of the electronics department workers asked if there was anything I needed. I told him I was looking for Mario Kart 8, but it seems that they were sold out. He said they might have some behind the counter register. Joy! A glimmer of light in the gloom! After about a minutes worth of anticipation, he told them that they were indeed out of stock. Welcome to Disappointment Valley. Population: Me. The funny thing about the whole Target thing? Reserving the game there actually crossed my mind but I decided to pass because I thought getting one a few days after launch would be child's play.

I didn't think K-Mart would have any copies but it wouldn't hurt to check. I picked up a few things for my dad on Father's day as well as snagging their last copy of Kirby: Triple Deluxe along with chatting it up about Kirby and video games with the cute girl that rung me up. So while my search for Mario Kart 8 in K-Mart was ultimately fruitless, I still came out with a few things in tow.

I was about ready to admit defeat on finding a physical copy of Mario Kart 8. I hadn't slept great the night before and I was really starting to feel it. I could just head home, hop on the eShop and get myself a digital copy and always get a physical later when more became available. But then I remembered that there was a GameStop closer to my apartment than the fye, Target and K-Mart I had gone to. Sure, those places sold games, but GameStop was all about games. I know a lot of folks feel GameStop is the Devil of video game stores, but they usually have a healthy stock of highly anticipated games.

After  quick trip home, I set off of GameStop. It was the first time I'd been in this particular store. I'd usually just gone to the GameStop in my mall but for unknown reasons, that one closed down. There was only one person working the store and he was tending to a couple that was trading in their Xbox 360 and some games. The wait on these people was excruciating and it really made me wonder why only one clerk was running the store at that point and time. Yeah, it was getting later into the evening hours but other customers were coming in as well and they couldn't get speedy service since only one employee was on the floor.

Once the 360 trading couple finished up I was waited on and before I could even ask, I saw it and in a surprising amount of quantities, sitting on a shelf behind the store clerk, the light reflecting off the shrink wrap like the light bounces off a diamond. Mario Kart 8. If there was every a chance to play the Zelda Item Catch theme, that was the time. Although to be perfectly honest, I think the Super Metroid Item Jingle would have been more fitting.

I didn't have to ask because I knew they were there, but I still posed the question "Are those actual copies of Mario Kart 8 on the shelf behind you?" Rather than give me some snide remark, he answered my question in a positive tone. I told him I'd take one along with a used, complete copy of the Metroid Prime Trilogy that I'd spotted while browsing the store. Surprisingly, they had like six of those and the Metroid Prime Trilogy doesn't turn up there very often, at least it doesn't from what I've seen. And just like that, my search for Mario Kart 8 was over.

It has been a long time since I've really had to hunt a video game down. I'd almost forgotten what it was like. The the let downs, the hope spots, and everything else that comes with a good video game search makes it all worth while, especially when they end in success. Although in the case of this one, I could have played a version of that was the object of my affections, albeit a digital version. But since this is  a new game and one that doesn't cost an arm and a let, I figured I'd go for  the physical copy. And even if I hadn't got a physical copy, I still came out with some good stuff like a few gifts for my dad, Kirby Triple Deluxe, possibly renewed a cute girl's interest in video games and overall had a good day. Although the fact that I did get Mario Kart 8 along with the Metroid Prime Trilogy with a little more effort than I thought I'd have to put in due to having to search multiple stores made things work out much better than I'd originally hoped.

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