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124 of 127 people found the following review helpful.
There's good and there's bad
I got my copy of the game early - not sure why but I'm not exactly complaining. I was a bit put off by the release date being pushed back not once but twice - but the early shipping cheered me up a little.
I've played pretty much all the HM games since the n64, and as sad as that is, I figured I would put this here for other fans of the series that were looking into this game.
-Graphics are A+ for a DS game, seriously.
-Love the art style.
-You start out with a barn built and you don't have to clear your field. One of my biggest gripes about some of the other games was that they'd kinda throw you into it with 3 bags of turnips and you had to scrimp and save until you got a barn. Then scrimp and save until you got a chicken, etc.
-You also start out with storage/cold storage to put your things in, but this also leads to a slight con.
-YOU START WITH A KITCHEN. WHile you have to buy some of the stuff to go in it, no more waiting until 239490234 house upgrades to get a kitchen.
-JUMPING. Seriously, so convenient. Oh hey a stream, LOL I CAN JUMP OVER IT! Also there are shortcuts around town, like jumping on a barrel near the cliff near your farmstead bounces you up and gives you faster access to the town, etc.
-They finally got rid of mining. I realize some would find this a con but I hated mining so, so much. Oh how I hated it. And I hated having to waste an entire day trying to MAYBE find ONE gold ore so I could upgrade my equipment.
-Your stamina depletes more slowly, and your house starts with a bathroom so you can replenish it a little. Also the house has a fireplace. SWANK!
-Erm, the only tools you start with are a hoe and watering can. Granted, without mining and such it's not as essential to have the hammer, etc. but...still.
-Unfortunately, crop quality is back and that means everything you pick up isn't going to stack unless it has the star rating. THey at least give you 2 bag menu screens at first for this but lol, one day's foraging will literally fill both screens up because one toy flower will have 1 star, another will have 1 and a half star so they don't stack, etc.
-You can sell stuff during the week but it won't sell nearly as well as the stuff in the bazaar. The bazaar is only once a week. This means that all your money is totally incremental. I managed to make enough to buy a chick (3500 gold btw) at the first week's bazaar, but I can see this is going to be tedious. Also - you're selling stuff in your stall at the same time the townspeople are selling ESSENTIAL items you need. (Animals, upgrades, etc.)so if you want it you have to shut down your stall and go get it, losing money in the process. : I realize the bazaar is the whole point of the game, but it would be so much nicer if it was twice a week. On some weeks a festival pushes it from Sat to Sun. And if you're out of money, no seeds for you until you can sell stuff for a decent price. The dude in the store that you can sell to every day will straight rip you off for stuff. I guess to make the bazaar seem more enticing but jeez. I guess that's where the difficulty of the game comes from.
-Not exactly a stellar cast of characters. All the bachelors are pretty "meh" and the artist guy REALLY reminds me of David from Roseanne, therefore I can't even look at him without cringing in pity.
-You can only save when you sleep. I hate, HATE this archaic type of game design. Monster Rancher DS fell to this flaw as well. So great, my dog sits on the power button and an entire day's work is lost. WOO!
-I feel bad saying this, but there is very, very little to do. Play with your farm animals, run around and water your crops, say hi to townsfolk, give your bachelor/bachelorette a present, aaaaaaand you're done. And it's only 11am. So what do you do for the rest of the day? Catch bugs and fish I guess. Meh. THe problem is there's no underlying storyline besides, "Make the bazaar a success!" which in the early portions of the game is laughable. The dude sets your quota to like 15,000. Yeah, you're really gonna hit that with the 6 turnips you have to sell. Stock up for the next week and go with it. BUt otherwise there's no, "Save the harvest goddess." etc. type stuff to do. Cook, catch bugs, water crops, pet animals, talk to people aaaaaand you're done. Go to bed at 1pm.
In all I am not disappointed with this game. I think it is very pleasing and a great, dare I say, casual? harvest moon game. It's weird to call a game in a part of an already casual gaming series casual but...it's true. There's no stress. Sit back and enjoy selling your stuff and the festivals and whatall. Something to play after work or what-have-you. I'd say during a lunch break except lol you can't save without going to bed so it's not really, "OH MAN I EMERGENCY I NEED TO TURN THIS OFF!" friendly.
Good? No. Decent? Yes. Bad? No. If a more relaxing HM game is what you want, this is for you. My main hope is that they import some of the designs (jumping, etc.) for later games. Also if you blow into the mic the windmills turn faster...that's pretty snazzy.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful.
A Little Different
This game has different dynamics than the other HM titles I've played. I have never played any of the Rune Factory games; only DS Cute, and the one for Game Boy SP. Getting though the first in-game week was very hard, getting used to the controls (you hardly ever use the touch screen. I feel like they could have eliminated the minute use of it entirely) and learning your way around your farm and town.
The big thing here is the addition of "Freshness" and "Ratings". You can't keep food items indefinitely. They will eventually expire and become rotten after a week or two. Very difficult when you want to cook with food that's out of season. And each item has a Rating on it, from one half to five stars. It seems unnecessarily difficult to grasp these concepts, or even make full use of them once you've got a grip, in the early part of the game.
The Bazaar feature is also kind of jarring. You can sell things to the shop owner in town (and you won't get the full price it's worth), but the goal of the game is to make as much money as possible at the Bazaar by setting up your own shop, which is only once a week. You have to keep your items fresh, and consolidate what you're carrying, since you can only carry 15 things at a time. Also, items that are the same, but a different freshness or rating can not be "stacked" (A Toy flower with a 1 1/2 star rating will take up a slot, while a Toy flower with a 1 star rating will take up another slot! Even though they are the same flower!), which ends up taking a lot of space in your storage and backpack.
Also: for the busy gamers out there, you can only save your game at the end of a game-day. And time in the game doesn't stop moving, except when you're speaking to someone. Meaning if you start playing, you have to finish the whole day; no sitting the game down to have a snack or answer the phone or put out a fire.
Game dynamic griping aside, once you get through that first week, and get a handle on how to make money at the bazaar, this game is at once infuriating and insanely addicting. It took me almost two weeks to play through the first 6 game days, but it became much easier to understand once I had actually done stuff. Anyone can tell you what to expect, but this game seems to have a way of being adjustable to each player's preferences. This is ultimately why I enjoy this game very much. I wouldn't recommend this to someone who had never heard of Harvest Moon unless I was there to help them (Which I have done, and gotten someone totally hooked). This game has a much greater span of game play time as well; in the other games I played, I achieved most of my major accomplishments by the end of the first game year, while in Grand Bazaar, I'm well into year two, and I'm just barely close to being married (and don't get me started on my near-empty cook book!). This game is definitely a keeper. Glad I bought it!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful. See all 53 customer reviews...
Can't Stop Playing!!!!
By Honey Bee
Where do I begin? I have always enjoyed time management games, and Harvest Moon DS Cute hooked me.Looking for more games like this one I found Harvest Moon Grand Bazaar.The better graphics and more detailed map of the town caught my attention.I looked in all the stores that sell games and no one had this game. I looked on Amazon and waited for the price to come down and treated myself to a new experience.I can not stop playing.The graphics are amazing.the amimals are bigger to see, the view is 2 dimentional,food and crops are larger- not flat and the realistic features of items are fasinating. Standing on the dock to fish you can see your characters image reflect in the water. This game is challenging and not that easy. It starts slow with limited resources for running your farm, but picks up after a few trips to the bazaar. I thought i would be sick of playing after figuring out each season, but i was wrong -you open new areas,grow diffent things ,cook new foods and play many levels of interaction with the other characters in the game.You are constantly challenged. I feel anyone that likes time management games that won't end,and enjoy the little things like I do will want this game.-I highly recomend this game to you. Just remember to stop once in awhile to live your life-eat, sleep, and work! The game will be there offering you new ways to be sucessfull in this make believe world! I love Harvest Moon Grand Bazaar and I hope you do too!