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As life races by at the speed of a Blue Shell, it’s important that we all take the time to enjoy some good old-fashioned vroomin’ from time to time. Fortunately, in this week’s episode of Nintendo Everything Refresh we finally get to take a deeper look at the next round of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe DLC, which is bringing back some classic tracks that have at least one of us unreasonably excited. Nick and rising co-host Dawn will also discuss what the heck is going on with Pokemon Sleep, nerd out about the newest Sakurai deep-dive on Kid Icarus Uprising’s development, and much more!

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Baten Kaitos name

The Baten Kaitos series is set to return with new Switch versions later this year, but you might be interested to know that Bandai Namco wasn’t originally on board with the name.

Yasuyuki Honne, the director of the series, recently reflected on Baten Kaitos in light of its comeback. He revealed that “there was a lot of opposition”, but the name got passed through in the end.

Pikmin 4 is the next big game from Nintendo, and it’s actually one that’s going to need to carry Switch for a bit – at least from a first-party perspective. As things stand now, Nintendo won’t be publishing a brand new game until October. That’s when things get busy as the company will be involved with Detective Pikachu Returns, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, WarioWare: Move It, and Super Mario RPG in the span of a month or so.

Pikmin originated from Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of hits like Mario and Zelda, but this particular franchise hasn’t quite reached the same heights as those IPs from a sales perspective. Still, the series has continued on since the GameCube days. Pikmin is also one of the few Nintendo franchises with a presence on mobile.

Sonic Chronicles 2

BioWare had ideas for Sonic Chronicles 2 back in the day, but the sequel never materialized. However, lead designer Miles Holmes has now shared details about what the studio had in mind for the story.

For those that never played Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood on DS, that game actually ended with a cliffhanger. The sequel would have picked up right where things left off with Eggman taking over the world, and BioWare had planned certain plot points that would leave the door open to even more games.

Little Kitty, Big City interview

One of the standout indie games we played at Summer Game Fest Play Days was Little Kitty, Big City, an exploration-driven game that was highlighted in a recent Nintendo Direct a while back (check out our new hands-on impressions here). It may be the first release from Double Dagger Studio, but it’s far from being the first project for game director Matt Wood, who’s contributed to numerous influential games released over the past twenty-five years. During our hands-on demo, we had the chance to chat with Matt about his experience developing Little Kitty, Big City, what made him want to make a game about a cat in the first place, and much more. 

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope - The Last Spark Hunter review

System: Switch
Release Date: June 21, 2023 (new DLC)
Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft

2022’s Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope was an excellent evolution of its predecessor’s fast-paced, freeform strategy gameplay, and I’ve been eager to check out its DLC to have an excuse to play more of it. The Last Spark Hunter is significantly larger in scope than the run-based Tower of Dooom DLC from earlier this year, this time offering up a whole new planet to explore, a new antagonist, and even some new mechanics to shake up gameplay. But for players who have likely already sank dozens of hours into the base game, is the overall quality high enough to justify revisiting the world of Sparks of Hope?

Zelda Tears Kingdom Elden Ring

The developers behind The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom didn’t take any inspiration from Elden Ring or any other major titles for that matter. That’s according to Hidemaro Fujibayashi, the game’s director and Eiji Aonuma, the producer of the series.

FromSoftware previously said that when the studio was developing Elden Ring, it was influenced by various titles including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. However, it sounds like the team at Nintendo was too busy to play that game – or at least that goes for the developers at the top.

NBA 2K24

NBA 2K24 has been officially announced, and we know that the series will be appearing on Switch as it has been the past several years. A release is planned for September 8, 2023

2K Sports revealed that 18-time All-Star, five-time NBA Champion, two-time Finals MVP, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, all-time leading scorer for the Los Angeles Lakers, and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, Kobe Bryant will be featured as the NBA 2K24 Kobe Bryant Edition and Black Mamba Edition cover athlete. The title will feature a Mamba Moments mode that recreates some of Kobe’s most captivating performances and progress through his journey from a young phenom to one of the greatest players of all time. More details will follow during the summer.

Yuji Naka prison sentence

Original: A verdict has been reached in Yuji Naka’s insider trading case, and the game developer – known for his previous work on Sonic the Hedgehog and more recently Balan Wonderworld – has been sentenced to prison, but he is unlikely to serve time.

The courts made a final judgement today. The big part of the story is that Naka has been given a prison sentence of two years and six months. However, sine he’ll be seeing a four-year suspension, that should allow him to avoid jailtime. He has also been given a couple of fines of two million and 170 million yen.

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Mortal Kombat 1 Lin Kuei

Mortal Kombat 1 just put out its latest trailer, with Warner Bros. and NetherRealm Studios focusing on Lin Kuei. The video includes a look at Smoke and Rain plus Cyrax, Sektor, Frost, and more.

As a brief recap, here’s what to expect from Mortal Kombat 1:

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