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Golden Sun Review


Golden Sun Review
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Review by Ashton300
  I was the last in my group of friends to buy this game. For this, much laughter was directed at me. I didn't think it could be THAT great of a game. Of course, I was wrong. This is the ultimate GBA game... Well, for now anyway. (This is just my opinion, of course.)

The graphics are awe-inspiring. Bright, vibrant colors, nice looking characters, and great environmental work. They sure beat some of the older PSX RPG graphics. The amazing power of the GBA at work. The battle graphics are great, too. I like being able to identify what kind of creature is coming out to smash the enemy at my whim. No problems here. The magic effects are nice too, from flying starts striking the enemy to a wall of flame cutting through them, or a giant sword crashing down on the poor *cough* souls.

The sound is great, almost orchestrated. Get a pair of headphones to fully appreciate the soundtrack of this wonder. The battle sounds are nice, too. Clanging, bangs, the oh-so-familiar sound of magic spells taking effect... you know, that little chime-like sound? Not really chime like, but.... ah, forget it. The only bad thing with the sound is the SPEECH of the characters. Little bleeps changing in pitch depending on the person speaking. Thankfully, you can turn this horror off. Whew!

Gameplay is nice, also. The story actually maintains a strong structure throughout the course of the game, instead of stumbling or falling on its face like it does in other RPGS (or, doesnt ever come into existence, in Breath of Fire's case. Don't get me started.) It has a nice battle system, which is actually even a bit TOO simple. Pound the A button to kill things. Some boss battles, however, will leave you crying in frustration. If you're not prepared. You'll need to search everywhere in this game, or you're not gonna have enough Djinn to take on the next boss.

Control is simple, and perfect for an RPG. L and R can be used to set shortcuts for spells (''Psyenergy''), A is used to search and talk to people and stuff, and B makes you run. In battle, all you need is the A button. What else?

All in all, this is a wonderful game. It has a few flaws, but nothing too serious. If you have a GBA, I reccomend picking it up.

Graphics 10/10
Gameplay 9/10
Sound 9/10
Control 10/10
Review by im superior
  I'm a really happy person because ebworld called me on November 13 and said ''Golden Sun has just arrived for GBA''
and i just went to the store and purchased it. Once i played it, i was like ''Wow i can't believe a really really amzing rpg would come out for GameBoy Advance''.

Story 8/10
Just like any other rpg game were some evil forces are trying to take over the world using the four elemnts or fire, wind, water and earth (djinn elements). And your quest is the get the rest of the elements from the evil forces and save the hostages. I can tell you more but i dont want to spoil the story to the people that are reading this review.

Graphics 11/10
Now this is what really amazes me in this game which uses the power of the GameBoy Advance and it acctuly has the best graphics that i have. The Battles are soo amazing that I can't even wait too fight and evil bad guy. This game also has special effects if you use magic or even attack the enemy, Now this is the future of handheld rpg games.

Sound 9/10
Sound is like playing a game on a system but this is for a handheld system so its almost breath-taking as you listen to the music. Its even better if you plug in headphones and listen to the music it's soo awesome. You can even use magic on people like read thier minds or move heavy objects and it shows the FX of each magic.

Replay 0/0
Just because i put 0 does not mean i hate this game. Like i said i just got the game on November 13 and im not far in this game so im not counting the replay score. I heard in the Golden Sun message board that there is tons and tons of sidequest to do so i hope there is sidequest to do cause i would play this game all over again if i pass the game.

Rent or Buy
If i were you and you enjoy RPG games than i would ran to the store and get this game before there is no more copies of this game. It's truly a masterpiece game. Not even my words can't discribe the game becuase there is tons and tons of stuff to say. So if you get it than you would agree with me and how this game is A must have RPG Game

Reviewer's Score: 10 / 10

Review by Jerec
  Golden Sun is Nintendos sword that strikes its players with the desired purpose to entertain and to prove that the Game Boy Advance is more than just a medium for dodgy 16-bit rehashes. Made by Camelot, the folks that brought us both the N64 and GBC versions of Mario Tennis and Golf, this title has generated some pretty unhealthy hype due to it being the first RPG to hit the GBA. Of course, when hype and hysteria surround a game, it has a lot to live up to thankfully Golden Sun lives up to its hype in most areas.

When it comes to the story and characterization of Golden Sun, we see Nintendo sheathing their mighty sword in exchange for a clichéd, bland and formulaic story filled with long conversations with boring dialogue. Golden Sun tells the story of a small town named Vale, and its near destruction when some meddling misanthropes decide to break the seal of Sol Sanctum at the peak of the sacred mountain. Right from the start, youll notice the clichéd and bland story take place. Of course, this is really just the introduction, as the main story takes place a few years down the track. Not much has changed, except that the townspeople seem to have completed repairs on their houses, and are coping with the loss of their loved ones. Isaac, the protagonist, decides on going up to Sol Sanctum with his friends Garet and Jenna. As they were severely kicked in the intro, they have learned the art of psynergy (magic) and are much more capable warriors. Some pretty terrible stuff happens in Sol Sanctum, and the fate of the world is handed to two 17 year olds. I bet you didnt see that plot twist coming.

So Isaac and Garet depart on their quest around the world to try and rescue Jenna and stop the bad guys from lighting the lighthouses around the continent. You will get to stop at certain towns and take your mind of saving the world as you complete some side quests that are much more trivial (yet ultimately as important). Isaac, your main character, is about as exciting as a soggy pancake as all he ever says is yes or no. To say yes or no is actually your choice, but in a lot of cases, there will be no differences, apart from times where you will be continually asked the question until you answer right. RPGs with reticent main characters are common for Nintendo, and it really makes for some boring conversations. Garet is Isaacs childhood friend, and a stereotypical tough guy with the mental capacity of a brick. Whenever there is trouble, Garet will offer his suggestions that are utterly foolish and a very poor attempt at forcing humour. Ivan is your cookie cutter nice kid who would never say or do anything morally wrong making him the blandest character of the bunch. Mia is the nice girl who is much the same as Ivan, except she can actually come up with some good suggestions as to what the party does next.

With all the characters you meet, you will discover how emotionless they all are, despite the ironic and overused emoticons, which pop up in every conversation. Your bad guys arent much better. Saturos and Mernardi are really boring and don't actually show their true motive until the end (which would be a spoiler if I were to tell you). All the characters do is chase these two bad guys around meeting up for the occasional battle. The saddest thing about the characters is that there is no development in their personalities or attitude as the game progresses. Most RPGs at least try to have their characters develop through the course of the game, but Golden Sun doesnt even give it a thought.

With the clichéd story and lame characterization, you can be thankful that when it comes down to the actual game play of Golden Sun, Nintendos sword shines like the sun. For you see, this isnt just some cheap rubbishy rehash of an old RPG; this is an entirely new game. For the most part, GS is rather linear, and would rather have you go where it so subtly points you than to let you figure it out for yourself. In the opening scene, you have to get to the southern and lowest end of town. As you try and go down the stairs, a boulder falls and blocks your way. Okay, so you go and try another set and the same thing happens. Although there are many paths to the bottom, the boulders force you into going a particular way so you can meet up with others and have some more boring dialogue. Once you are through with Vale and are allowed to explore the main world, the game is far less restrictive and lets you do some exploring of neighbouring towns.

In every town you go to, there will be a side quest that is usually mandatory for your progression. It can be annoying that you have to do it, but it makes the game longer. The cities and towns along the way are bustling with life. People are walking around going about their daily lives; some have their own problems and some will just snub you, oblivious of the potential threat the world faces. Shops will sell you items, weapons and armour so you can be better prepared for the evil forces that lay ahead. In each town, youll find a sanctum, which will let you revive any fallen characters, cure status ailments and removed cursed weapons that you may have equipped.

It wont all be wondering around towns though, as youll get to explore many caves and dungeons that will get your noggin working as many puzzles are thrown at you. Puzzles ranging from pushing logs around, freezing and unfreezing icicles so you can access other areas or just flicking switches to open up doors. Unfortunately, the logrolling puzzle is used too many times, and soon becomes annoying. The puzzles are good in that they force you to think, but sometimes, random encounters still occur while youre trying to do it, ultimately knocking you out of your train of thought.

Each member of your party is capable of using psynergy (magic) and it varies from person to person. People in this mystic world who are capable are called Adepts, and their elements that they can use differ. Of the four elements (Earth, wind, fire and water) each of your characters is able to possess one and they will gain more and more psynergy as they level up or equip different Djinn.

The Djinn also come in the four different elemental designs. There is Venus the Earth Djinn, Mars the fire Djinn, Mercury the Wind Djinn and Jupiter the Water Djinn. When equipped to a character they can be used as weapons in battle that can do a wide range of different things such as attacking the enemy, causing status ailments, adding protection to your party and healing. Once they have been used in a battle they are on standby. Once on standby, the summon feature will be activated. This lets you summon a mighty beast capable of dealing some heavy damage to your foes. The more Djinn you set to standby, the better summon you can call.

There are 28 of these Djinn in the game, and they can be found around the world by meeting them in battle and defeating them (much like the ancient Pokemon of the last century). Not all have them be fought, as some are more docile and will join you without any fuss. They can be found in the strangest of areas, and can often be difficult to reach.

The most efficient way of equipping Djinn to your characters is to put all the same elemental Djinn on the one character, but you can mix and match to obtain more psynergy. However, it is a double-edged sword, and some combinations will change your character class and will also prevent you from using certain psynergy. It can also become irritating to change your configuration in a temple because you need a certain psynergy to progress. You can also lose important psynergy in battle after summoning Djinn, as it takes a turn to recover. This caused some defeats for me as sometimes I lost the all-important revive or cure all psynergy. While this can be irritating at first, it eventually teaches you to be more conservative with your summoning and not to rely on it, which is good, considering Final Fantasy 8s horrendous use of summoning.

When it comes to the battle system, the Nintendos sword really starts to shine as Camelot have made it really easy to use, as every command is labeled and has a little icon next to it. When battle first starts, you get the option to fight or run, and if you choose to fight, you will get to enter commands for each character such as attack, use magic, summon Djinn, use an item or defend. When youve done this, you will start to fight. The character with the highest agility will get to go first and attacks happen until all the characters and enemies have had a go. The next round will start, where you again have the choice to fight or run. Battles will require a lot of strategy and tact, because if you set all your characters to attack one enemy, and it dies, the other characters will just defend rather than attacking the other enemy. This can get on ones nerves and there is a reason it doesnt happen in todays modern role-playing games. The early battles arent going to be much of a problem to you, but towards the end of the game, each random encounter is going to get you thinking of how to dispense with him properly rather than random attacking.

The visuals are absolutely stunning, and really surprised me after some of the lackluster attempts at creating a breathtaking visual masterpiece. Golden Sun is a beautiful game in that the sparkling ocean of the brilliantly detailed world map will stun you. The excellent character design is also evident and the mode 7 scrolling in battles was unexpected. Camelot spent a lot of time making each monster look detailed, every town wonderfully set out and it shows. It is a general rule that graphics will improve over the life of the console, and with this being only a first generation game, Im looking forward to seeing what this little console can do.

RPGs always seem to have great music, and Golden Sun is no exception. With each track always fitting the mood of the scene, it is really a brilliant soundtrack. From the emotional music of Sol Sanctum to the imperative music of some of the caves and dungeons to the quiet ambient music of some of the towns to the grandeur of the world map score, there is something for everybody. My only problem with the music was the battle score, which could have used some work; it comes across as being a bit dull. The sound effects are brilliant, and are unlike anything heard on a handheld before. The echoes of falling rocks or the water flowing just scream to be heard. The speech is very irritating, much like the sound of a crying baby can just gnash at you. To compliment the words, the screeching sound is used. Thankfully, this unwanted feature can be switched off.

Nintendos sword wont get blunt for quite some time, as this is a lengthy adventure. While it can be beaten in 20-25 hours, there are a few places to explore. Although by the end of the game, youll only be at level 30, youre not likely to go level up any further after beating it, as the last boss isnt in any way difficult. Replaying will not be likely, either, as youll have seen it all before.

In the end, Nintendos sword will shine to the GBA buyers as a great first generation RPG. If you can look past the obvious problems with the story and characterization, then youve got yourself a great game that is certain to provide you with enjoyment for a while. If youre a gamer that insists on an epic story then you should probably look elsewhere for your first GBA RPG fix, but those after an enjoyable adventure with a wonderfully created world and a superb battle system will find much to adore here.
Reviewer's Score: 8 / 10

Review by LegendaryFrog
  After playing countless great RPGs by Square, everything else looked sub par. FF8, despite it's flaws, was still a grand game and better than most games out there. So when I heard a non Square RPG, a RPG made by the folks who brought us Mario Tennis, was a god send... I hade to check it out. (Apparently Camelot has a series of RPGs, but I didn't know...I should look into it.)

GRAPHICS - 10/10

The first thing you notice about Golden Sun is how freakishly beautiful it looks even on the Game Boy Advance's small screen. Chrono Trigger doesn't come close. The best game to compare it to is Super Mario RPG, but with smoother animations.

The Battle has a camera! How cool is that! Spells and Summons are awesome. The overworld as some nice Mode 7 like graphics but it looked a million times better than anything on the SNES. It looked very 3D. Graphics are not a problem with this game.


An RPG is nothing without a good magic system and good gameplay. GS's magic system is both easy to grasp and deep enough to put some thought into it.

Magic is learned though these just little beasties called Djinni. They come in Venus (earth), Mars (fire), Jupiter (water), and Mercury (wind) forms. You set the Djinni to characters and they learn abilities. Take them off and they lose them. The Djinni can be used in battle as a attack, defense or healing spell, and then is place in standby mode. While in standby mode it adds it's power to the other standby Djinni and can be used in a summon spell. After the summon spell, the Djinni is automatically set back to the character after a few turns.

Each Djinni has a useful power. Example: Spritz heals all members of the party while Sap drains HP from a monster. What Djinni you set to characters matters as well Venus Djinni will be more powerful on the Venus Adept character (Isaac) while Mars Djinni will be more effective with the Mars Adept (Garet)

However, if you place a certain Djinni on certain characters (Like a powerful Jupiter Djinni on a Venus Adept) you might get powerful spells. (Like the useful Revive) But equipping Djinni outside you class might replace certain spell. You need to experiment and see what teams work for you.

Psy (magic) Points are recharged slowly by walking around, so you'll always have some PP left and not need to use a item unless your really low. If you die in battle, then you do not revert to the last save state. You return to the last village with all but one character dead, and you need to pay to get them revived. Battles are fast paced and leveling up is never a real problem.

SOUND 10/10

Normally you don't get great music outside Nintendo, Rare, or Square and sometimes Capcom and Konami. But Golden Sun as a soundtrack comparable to Chrono Trigger or any Final Fantasy Game. The tunes are not as numerous as the others, but they are of the same quality. From the surprisingly powerful Overworld Map to the Lighthouse Theme, Golden Sun's RPG soundtrack is the best I heard since Final Fantasy 9.

Characters have this REALLY annoying ''babble talk'' which can be turned off, thank god...

I recommend using headphones to enjoy the music to it's fullest.

STORY 7/10

You are Isaac, the Crono of the story. You and your friends Garet and Jenna can use ''Psynergy,'' a magical power that lets you do amazing things, like move objects with your mind. You start out with a slow paced flashback story, where your village is almost distoryed by a falling boulder. Jenna lost her little brother and Isaac lost his father...

Long story short, it's several years later, you go up a mountain and unlock these stones that you weren't suppose to. These cool evil villains named Menardi, Saturos, and (SPOILER) steal the stones from you. (And something else I can't mention because of spoilers)

The village then blames you for bringing death unto the world and tells you need to get the stones back.

That's the gist of it. The story isn't deep, and the main plot doesn't develop much. Most of quests you go on don't relate much to it, and are really just a way to get more items to continue on your quest.

Although the story is as deep as, say, Zelda: Ocarina of Time, it is enjoyable with a small but well developed cast.


There are a few mini quest you might miss the first time... but the games plot development scenes can be dull to sit through.


The ending. It's not bad, but hear me out. No Spoilers.

The final battle in the game reminded me of the Magus battle in Chrono Trigger. You fight the boss ut then realize there more to things than you thought you knew. After Magus there was Zeal, where it really begins.

The final boss in Golden Sun reminded me of this. You beat the game with little sense of accomplishment because you know the conflict is only halted. When the words ''To Be Continued...'' appear on screen with a teaser from the sequel already in progress, you wish you didn't have to wait because the game feels half over.

Is that a bad thing? Not really. But I didn't know the final boss was the final boss until the credits started to roll. Lack of cart space? Monkeys for script writers? Not enough development time? Who knows, but it makes e want the sequel even more.


Golden Sun is special for reason I can't explain. It has the charm of Chrono Trigger with Final Fantasy like battles and a respectable story and a reasonably challenging game play. And because it's just fun to play and it gets you immersed (My GameCube was going virtually untouched the 20 hours it took to beat the game) it gets a 9. And it's on a handheld

A must own for a Game Boy Advance owner.
Reviewer's Score: 9 / 10
Review by MasterLink23
  A new company for the GBA, Camelot made a very great game. This game proves that the Game Boy Advance can have awesome graphics and game play. This is one of the best RPG games I have played for the Game Boy systems let alone all the other ones.

Graphics: 10/10
These are probably the best Game Boy Advance graphics of any game. The whole game is very detailed and really shows what the Game Boy Advance is capable of. They are AWESOME. Camelot did a very good job on making the characters look so realistic in battles. On the outer world they still look good but not as good. The people actually go up to the enemy and attack. I thought that made the game more fun and looks more realistic. The summons look pretty sweet too. When you use a summon, it goes into the air, has a cool little movie of what it does and then the attack happens. I really liked how that looked. The graphics all around were excellent. If you are buying a game for just sheer graphics then this is the one to get for the GBA. These are some of the best graphics I have seen. Overall the best Game Boy Advance graphics by far.

Game Play/Story: 9.5/10
If you like Role Playing Games (RPG games) you will LOVE this game. It starts off in a town called Vale with Isaac, a regular teenage guy. He is in bed and his mom wakes him up. You must get out of the way of boulders so you dont lose your way to find the other people. Boulders are falling all over the place and you have to get through without getting stuck and losing your way. Thats the very beginning of the game where it first starts off. Then you meet up with Garret in the first town and Ivan and Mia are later in the game. You go on a quest to find the two bad guys. Known as Mystery Man and Mystery Woman (you will find out their real names later in the game). This game will probably take you 20-30 hours to beat. It took me about 21 hours to beat it. Thats one of the only downsides. Its a little bit too short. People talk constantly through the game and it can get boring at times, I really wish there was some kind of fast button or something for those parts. I would still recommend getting it its a very good game if you like Role Playing Games. The menus are pretty good too. In the menu you can choose from Psy energy, items, Status, etc. They are very easy to use and not complicating at all. One thing that I liked is that you could check your experience. Some games do not have this, but this game did, which made it very good. Overall, pretty good game play and story for an RPG game. RPGers will LOVE this game play and story.

Music: 8/10
The music in this game is pretty good. One of the most annoying things in this game were when people talked. It goes rant rant squeak (I dont know how to explain it) and its VERY annoying. There is good music when you are going into towns, in battles, in the world, and dungeons. The only thing is its almost the same all the time. Sometimes the music is awesome like in boss battles, and the enemy battles had some pretty good sound too. If you like repetitive music then you will love this games music, but I thought it brought the game down a little bit. I hummed along with the music a lot, its pretty addicting. Overall, the music was ok but nothing fantastic.

Controls: 10/10
This game has very basic controls. You can use the D-pad to go up, down, right, left, A to talk and pull up the menu with items weapons etc., the B button is basically to use so you can run, and the start button is to save or put the game in sleep mode. The other buttons are rarely used. More buttons would have made it a little confusing so that was good. Overall, very simple controls.

Challenge 7/10
This game was a pretty challenging game. The puzzles and mazes were kind of hard to complete. The bosses were a little too easy though. The summons did too much damage and it took some fun out of the game. Other than that it was great though. The game has a lot to do. The most difficult thing to accomplish is to get all of The Dijins. This game had somewhat of a challenge, just not too much. Overall, not too much of a challenge but can be challenging at times.

Replay Value: 5/10
I dont really think this game has very good replay value. Once you beat it its kind of boring to try and beat it all over again, even though its a kind of short game. Its not very fun once you beat just about any Role Playing game. In my opinion this game has barely any replay value. Overall, not really any replay value once again in my opinion, you might like this games replay.

Overall: 9.5/10
This game is very good as you can see above. It is very addicting. I played it for hours and hours and couldnt put it down. I would recommend buying it. This game is very much worth $30-$40. All the RPG lovers should definitely buy it. But dont buy it if you dont like RPGs. You will be very disappointed then. Its about twenty to thirty hours of game play and very fun and addicting game! Its a must have for the Game Boy Advance. All people who like RPG games should get this.I mean this game isnt spectacular like a Final Fantasy or something but still its a great game. Good for the GBA and even if it was for another system.
Reviewer's Score: 9 / 10

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