I feel like this dog is secretly laughing at me when I miss the ball. And oh, do I want to swing the bat at his head when I feel that way. Luckily for Rusty, when I miss there is always another ball coming back at me for me to put my aggression into.

The title of this game is Rusty's Real Deal Baseball, and it is a free-to-play game on the 3DS. Yes, that means a free-to-play model, but it is a bit tweaked. The game will give you a demo of the first baseball mini-game Bat & Switch, which allows you to get a feel of what is to come from the game. (Seems like a lot of reflex and timing based games)

So how the free-to-play model is different is that each game starts at $4. You can lower this price by haggling with Rusty. This is done by first offering him a doughnut which puts him in a good mood, then you will go through a series of chats with him. The correct responses will lower the price, while the wrong ones will make you start over and have to offer Rusty another doughnut to get the haggling started again. As well as there are some items that you can unlock by playing the mini-games that can be used to help get the price lower as well (such as coupons, or items related to Rusty's story). This works by listening to what Rusty is talking about, which is often something to do with his family or life in general. You can then give him an item that will alleviate or fix his problem and he will then lower the price even more. (So far the lowest price I've seen is $1.90)

I think that this system of haggling is actually quite an evil way of marketing to get me to shell out my money. But I think for this game it really works out well since I wouldn't think any of these mini-games are worth $4 a piece. I'm thinking by the time I'm done unlocking everything I will have ended up spending around $18, so about half of the price of normal 3DS game. I'm just wondering if it all is worth that. Eh, at least I will be reassured by Rusty that I am getting an amazing deal!

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My question here for everyone is, do you think this style of free-to-play is a good thing? (It certainly is a good idea.) While it is definitely fun, the game does seem to trick me into handing out $2 every time I talk to the dog. I'm wondering what other style of game could take up this model as well, so any thoughts on that would be appreciated too. ^^