Generally speaking, I play video games of all kinds with Nintendo being front and center on that list, but usually when I buy a new game, I try to follow a few guidelines that I made for myself. One of these is not to buy any sports titles as there isn't much that can be done to them to make them interesting to me. As a result, I usually wind up disappointed if I get one featuring a real world sport such as football or baseball. There is an exception to this rule though: Nintendo; as if you were expecting anything else from me! For some reason, Nintendo knows how to make even the most mundane of sports like golf, tennis, or baseball fun and engaging. I'm betting it has something to do with the fact that each of those games has Mario in it in some form or another, but that's beside the point. Now I recently went outside my comfort zone and got what I expecting to be this simple free-to-start baseball game from the eShop on the 3DS, but what I got was much more out there. So here's my review of Rusty's Real Deal Baseball on the Nintendo 3DS.
Now Rusty's Real Deal Baseball is partially what you would expect: It's obviously baseball themed, but it seems to go much deeper than that. When you first start it up, you are greeted by a retired pro-baseball player by the name Rusty Slugger: an 8-year-old DOG (56 in human years) who runs a little shack shop where he sells sports equipment and baseball video games to support his ten 10-month-old puppies (5 in human years) after his wife Mitzi left him. I tell ya, this wasn't exactly what I expected from a Nintendo game, let alone a baseball-themed one!
Now, Rusty is certainly down on his luck. If it wasn't bad enough that his wife left him, he seems to find himself in a bit of financial trouble as his little shop (and his life's dream by the way) is hemorrhaging money. As such, he's willing to haggle just to make a sale. Now this is where things get interesting. The only things he sells are ten baseball-themed minigames at $4.00 each (real world cash, tax not included) which is a bit steep; even the puppy that you are tasked with babysitting will tell you that. This is where the haggling comes into play. If you can cheer up Rusty with a doughnut and listen to his woes and/or give him a coupon or something that'll help him in his struggles, he will give you a discount or two until the price is a bit more affordable. This can make the game's total go from a maximum price of $40 to the minimum and much more reasonable cost of $16. It doesn't really seem all that moral to take advantage of a destitute man, but he seems to enjoy haggling so I guess it's alright.
Now the minigames are all based around a central theme of being certain parts of baseball such as batting reflexes; aiming, throwing, and catching the ball; and even lesser things you wouldn't expect such as umpiring and lathing your own bat, and they are all played on your Nontendo 4DS. No, that's not a typo. Nintendo actually parodies themselves within the game by making a fictional game system to be used in the player's mii's house. The longer I play this game, the more bizarre it gets, but at least all of the minigames play really well. They're responsive, well designed, addicting, and they are varied enough that they won't get stale too quickly. Plus, if you don't know much of the rules or terms in a standard game of baseball, you can consider this game an educational experience. I wouldn't say that they're worth $4 each though; definitely haggle the prices down.
All in all, this game is fun and extremely unique. Maybe a tad experimental with the micro-transactions, but they work really well in the context in which they are presented. Definitely worth checking out of you have the money to spare, but just a fair warning: you can't get the lowest total price possible unless you get at least ten street passes within the game. Spend your money wisely, but until then, I'll be seeing you.