E3 2010: Harvest Moon: Grand Bazaar Preview

By Shawn Collier on June 16, 2010, 1:37PM EDT

Natsume's Harvest Moon series has had countless iterations, spanning multiple consoles and handhelds. Natsume, the publisher for the series in North America, is set to release the newest game in the franchise, Harvest Moon: Grand Bazaar, which tweaks the existing formula but adds a plethora of new options which greatly expand the enjoyment of the game.

Unlike previous games in the series, you sell your wares in the game's bazaar instead of placing the items in the shipping bin. While initially your selling area is small and can only hold just a few items, as you progress in the game it becomes larger. For veterans of the game, many will remember that produce will spoil eventually. To alleviate this issue due to the new bazaar system, the game allows you to store items in a storage bin, which initially only allows for a little less than a dozen items to be placed, but allows for up to 99 of the same items to be placed in the same slot. Over time, this storage bin can be upgraded, which Natsume says reaches up to nine bins.

As with the other Harvest Moon games, food recipes and relationships/marriage with the local townspeople is available, and players can choose to play as a boy or a girl. There are no Harvest Sprites, which in some of the other games would help tend to your field, but in local wireless or via Nintendo WiFi Connection, friends can visit your farm and help tend your fields or set up their own bazaars to sell and trade items.

Harvest Moon: Grand Bazaar is set to be release this July in North America. Those interested in the game should note that a pre-order plush horse will be available to those who reserve the game through retailers such as GameStop and Amazon.com.

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