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Every year, since I usually have a pretty good idea of if I'll like a game or think it a massive failure, I make it my goal to find a game that can surprise me. Of course, with all the research in the world, the game could still end up as a massive failure. For example, let us take a look at one of Nintendo’s first entries into the free-to-play realm of gaming: Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball for the Nintendo 3DS, free-to-play tactics and sports games, two things about gaming that I am usually not super fond of. I have gone on record before about sports games being way too focused on having super realistic movements. and all of them being the same with no innovation thrown into the mix. Now, free-to-play sucks, since the business model can be easily abused and has been abused from Final Fantasy: All the Bravest to Dungeon Keeper Mobile. It is awful that companies have put a sour taste in everyone’s mouth with these bad examples of free-to-play, while games like Loadout, which is a great example of the same model done well, get overlooked. Anyway, back to Rusty’s: what do you get when you combine arcade-style baseball mini-games and a surprisingly good free-to-play model? Well, read on to find out.

Nintendo aired the Smash Bros. Direct last night, an entire forty-minute stream of nonstop news for the next games in the Super Smash Bros. series. We've filled up nearly four pages of stories just with the information in that one video—but that's a ton of stuff for you guys to look through, so we decided to gather it all up in one easy-to-read index.

Head inside to find everything you'll ever need to know about last night's Smash Bros. Direct!

NIS, or Nippon Ichi Software, is an interesting company. This is the alternative company you look to for niche titles when Atlus isn’t doing anything else besides Persona-related games. They have released a lot of their games over here in the states, and a couple of their games have fan followings. Like I said however, they are pretty niche titles. Some people will enjoy the Disgaea’s high level of difficulty and weird quirky worlds, and some people won’t. I haven’t played too many of the games released by the company, but one of their more recent titles has caught my eye, The Witch and The Hundred Knight for the PlayStation 3. While an action-oriented dungeon crawler is nothing new, since we have seen a few of those kinds of games do well, it is definitely not the normal kind of game the Disgaea creators usually make. For an attempt at a different genre, this game isn’t that bad. It has some big pros, but like any game, it has its flaws. Let’s put on our swamp boots and pick up your +1 fire sword and read on about this little action RPG.

The Mario Kart 8 news flood was coming at some point, and it appears that last night and early this morning is when the NDA has lifted on what many folks played at a Mario Kart 8 preview event. Earlier this morning we gave you a brand new trailer, and now we're back to present you have detail we could possibly find based on the event, along with new screenshots, a couple mystery items, and a list of all 27 confirmed characters (with more to be revealed at a future date). What are you waiting for... head inside!

So, since I reviewed Lords of Shadow 2 and gave it a high score, I thought I would do a quick little review of the only DLC story add-on for the game. I really liked Lords of Shadow 2 despite some issues with certain levels and how, in my opinion, some characters in the overall story got the short end of the deal. This DLC add-on is called Revelations, and it focuses on Alucard before Dracula wakes up. Let us not waste any time and get started with this quick little review!

The wildly acclaimed, ridiculously entertaining franchise we all know as RollerCoaster Tycoon is celebrating their fifteenth anniversary today, and you can get in on the fun! CD Projekt, the developer behind The Witcher, is celebrating by offering all three games in the RollerCoaster Tycoon series on their website, Good Old Games, for $8.17. If you don’t need all three, you can also score Roller Coaster Tycoon: Deluxe, RollerCoaster Tycoon 2: Triple Thrill Pack, and RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Platinum for $1.19, $1.99, and $4.99, respectively. This anniversary deal ends Wednesday, April 2, at 9:59 AM GMT, so you’ve got a little more than 16 hours to take advantage of this offer!

Planning on making a purchase? Or will you hold out for RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 coming soon for mobile devices and PC? Be sure to let us know!

A lot of franchises have recently been going through some changes. Maybe it’s a change-up in the overall game design or an entire facelift. Sometimes it works, but sometimes it doesn’t. It really does depend on who you ask. Ninja Gaiden, along with Tomb Raider, felt like the right candidate to get these changes made. Let’s focus on Ninja Gaiden for this review since this will be all about Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z. I definitely thought Ninja Gaiden needed some drastic changes to the franchise. It didn’t help that Ninja Gaiden 3, even with the updated version, was not a well-loved game. It had some cool elements, but a majority of its gameplay felt stale to me. It doesn’t help that, in my opinion, the 3D games had a lot of flaws in terms of design and gameplay. It also hurts that we have seen much better action games than the 3D Ninja Gaiden games. Luckily, it was nice to see that the next game was going to be a little different. It had a new main character, it was going to have more colorful graphics, and it looked like it was going to take its over-the-top nature and increase it tenfold. How does the end product hold up? Well, let’s find out.

The story's been making headlines everywhere, from gaming sites to the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and for very good reason: Facebook has bought Oculus VR for a whopping two billion dollars.

For those in the dark, Oculus VR is the company behind Oculus Rift, the virtual reality helmet that makes a reality out of every '80s kid's wildest dreams. It's certainly not the first virtual reality device, but thanks to a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign and a few super-powered brains, Oculus VR aims to introduce sleek and affordable virtual reality to the wider public.

Oculus Rift, and later Oculus VR, was originally conceived as a project by gamers and for gaming. But when news broke that Facebook had bought the company, gamers saw nothing but a red ring. Kickstarter backers began demanding refunds. Notch cancelled the Oculus version of Minecraft. People were painting pictures in their mind of Facebook, the unfeeling corporate powerhouse, sweeping up its prey in a misguided and doomed attempt to absorb Oculus' progress, destroy the Rift we gamers wanted, and repurpose the company to suit their own abstract goal of some weirdly convoluted kind of world domination.

But that's (probably) not true. Head inside to keep reading.

Hey, look! It’s time for another Pokémon spin-off game that I surprisingly haven’t seen a lot of reviews for. Like I said in a past review of Pokémon Rumble, spin-off games are a mixed bag. Sometimes you find one that is highly enjoyable, and sometimes you find one that is not that fantastic. In another review, I also mentioned that puzzle games are rather hard to reinvent. Why do I bring this up? It is because today’s review is of the fantastic puzzle game for the 3DS, Pokémon Battle Trozei. While the idea of matching the faces of the little pocket monsters might not be original, since the concept of matching blocks has been done before with games like Tetris Attack, Pokémon Puzzle League, Candy Crush Saga, and this game builds on that concept and it ends up bringing a more fast–paced puzzle game with plenty of challenge and replay value for you to come back to.

With GDC 2014 now over, one of the games that stood out most was Metrico, by Dutch studio Digital Dream. Being highlighted at the Sony booth for the PS Vita as a pub fund game, it’s clear what Sony’s after; finding studios to create new and innovative experiences in a digestible model. It seems that Sony has found luck with Digital Dream.