Harvest Moon: Grand Bazaar

Yay! Happy happy funtime!

Already this is a vast improvement on Sunshine Islands, with alot more freedom as well!

Once again you can choose your gender, and although I chose the girl again…the boy looks cuter.
The title of the game should give a small clue into what makes this a little different from the Harvest Moon series, and the main difference is you can no longer ship the produce on your farm or the items you find, and instead you open your own stall at the towns bazaar and sell it yourself.
The more successful you are at meeting the towns target figure, the more it increases in size and allows for other stalls to be opened.
Planting crops is a little different too, as now each seed bag bought is for one square, rather than 1 bag of seeds filling nine squares.
And there are little opportunities to mine other than in Winter, which is still pretty rare. Most jewels and stones can be bought from the bazaar.

Yes it’s summer, and yes I’m selling a snowball.

If you’ve played the previous DS game, you’d notice a few appearances from Chen and Gus from the sunshine islands, who jack up their prices considerably. Pierre also thinks he is the gourmet shit, and shows up to host the cooking festival.

Something that really bugged me after I’d been playing for a few days was the voice acting. Now I don’t mind that there was voice acting, or that it was clearly the same as the original Japanese version. My problem was that it was persistent, annoying and pointless.

I should point out there is no actual spoken dialogue, just sound effects and grunts every time you do something. In fact, when you don’t do stuff you make just as much noise.

Usually I like having my DS loud and proud, but when my housemate turns and gives me an expression that suspects I’m playing a dodgy game it can be a little awkward.  Probably not as bad as Duel Love though.

“Uhnn, uhnn, uhnn.” every time you jump or plow something! She even shudders if she misses the mark on a jump.
Not to mention the weird ‘uhn sha’ sound she makes when she sows seeds…I’m tempted to start a new game to hear the boy sounds.

On the subject of sound effects, no sound is more nerve shattering than the sound you make when you cross your cow. It is so terrifying I’ve included a clip from my own playthrough:

I know I woke it up, but no creature should ever make this sound.

Other than this the game is actually really fun. There were no mingers, and there was noone I needed to marry out of pitty. I wont go into detail about my choices as none of them were all that special, except the one I ended up choosing.

Amir wasn’t available until Winter. His heart colour is hidden and he is a prince from a far away country…I enjoy the challenge.

Playing a playa.

One of the things I moan about in EVERY Harvest Moon is that when you get married, not only does the spouse not do anything…if you are female you also keep up the harsh farming and animal raising ordeal up until you give birth and straight after.

He’s supposed to be a prince, I know he is loaded…so why can’t he share his wealth and buy me a maid?

Only my animals truly love me.

Finally, I’m a cat lady!

It is criminal how easy it is to make money in this game as well, not that I didn’t like it. The simplest and easiest way to get tons of cash is by using the windmill to make grass seeds which sell for around 500 a piece. Nice. Which makes upgrading the bazaar a synch. I almost suspect that the reason it’s so expensive to sell is because it is weed. I am a Harvest Moon crime-lord that noone would suspect.

Also once you train your dog and cat they take care of the animals by letting them in and out the barn. Am I the only one concerned that the cats are in charge of the chickens?
This is a vast improvement in comparison to Sunshine Islands, where I was eternally poor, and didn’t have time to rub elbows…and other things with the villagers.

In this game you are spoilt with time, so making the bachelors priority and neglecting everyone else isn’t necessary. I should point out that I take so much pleasure in being the village player that I max out all bachelor/bachelorette’s hearts before I finally choose one, so usually the other villagers don’t get a look in.

I will tickle these boys into marital submission

This could quite possibly be one of the funnest Harvest Moon’s I have played in a while, but I am never completely pleased….especially with my choices, the ladies included. The characters were all drawn attractively, and they were all lovely lads and all…but there was nothing really special about any of them. It sort of reminds me of the original Harvest Moon game where all I had were normal village girls, but at this stage I expect more.

Sunshine islands had an orphaned fisherman living in poverty, the rich boy whose dialogue was poetry and the barbarian who barely knew any English.

If only Raul, the stereotypical Mexican was available….*sigh*

I felt like I didn’t know why I was there…there was no pressing mission that only I could fulfil. The village didn’t really need me, and I didn’t have a story. No sinking islands for me to save, no level to reach after a certain amount of years, my only goal seemed to be to make the bazaar bigger.

I wasn’t even special enough to see the Harvest Goddess or the sprites…and I know they exist in universe of this game because the Sunshine Island villagers kept visiting.

I genuinely think it is...

Your words hurt, Llyod. This is why we’re not married.

But still I prefer the way this game operates to the previous ones, I like having my cat and dog doing all the work and having an easy way to make money to build my home, and the bazaar was pretty fun, I just wanted more storyline to enjoy it even more.

Some more heart events to feel more appreciated would’ve been nice too, but I guess it’s time I was honest with myself…Harvest Moon is mild because a lot of kids play it, so the romantic perverts like me will just have to imagine cute interactions like this:

Created by annako!