Mario Kart 8 was released on May 29th 2014 in Japan. Now you say, but it’s still only May 28th! Correct, in Europe it is still May 28th. But European time 17.00 it turned May 29th in Japan.
I wrapped up my job for the day, took Feierabend and checked if the game was available in the eshop in my Wii U and if I could buy it with my European credit card. It was and I could! Despite Nintendo’s policy of not letting one region play games released in other regions. I’ve heard they check IP addresses, but apparently I was somehow allowed to give them my money.
After purchasing – a bit over 6,000 yen = around 44 euros – I had to wait from 18.10 to 21.50 for the download, over 4 GB. Then some more minutes for the install. And then I was set to play, at 22.00 on May 28th 2014, the date before the release in Japan! (The English version will be released on May 30th in the West.) I might very well be the first person in Europe who plays Mario Kart 8! How cool isn’t that?
The game? It’s fantastic! I love it! It feels extremely powerful and modern, with very high quality – I’ve seen a documentary about the making of the game, so I know that all the music was recorded with real studio musicians. I look forward to racing against my friends.
Maybe you wonder why I’m so infatuated with Mario Kart 8. The reason is that me and Yusuke saw this game in the game centers in Tokyo last December. It was new then and not available for any console. We did some research and found out that it would be released for the Wii U “in spring”. This was good news for me, since I had just bought a Wii U to be able to play Taiko no Tatsujin. We agreed that I would give Yusuke money so that he could send me the game when it was released.
I went back to Europe, spring came, and then Nintendo revealed the release date: 29th May 2014. So my whole year so far has been a long waiting for Mario Kart 8, and during this whole time I wasn’t sure if it was going to work to purchase it in the e-shop and play it on my Japanese Wii U in Europe. Tonight all that worked out. That’s why I’m so happy!
And let me repeat: I love the game! Everyone who sees it will be shocked at how good it looks! (At least on a 60-inch plasma, just had to mention that again, hihi.)
Ok, now I’m going back to the game!