Review by Arkmenhah
"The only RPG that had me occupied for more than 3 days!"
To start things off, Golden Sun isn't the god of RPGs that so many people talked, but it is a great game indeed. It has the Psynergy system, which works like magic, but some can be use outside the battle scene, like using Growth psynergy to make a plant grow into a vine, or using Frost to freeze puddles of water. It has the typical story of the villains trying to destroy the world as we know, and the heroes to beat them. The game also features Djinni, which are little creatures that have magical powers. The Djinn can change a character's class, give them better stats, and can be unleashed in battle, at the cost of the stats you had, the higher class, and some psynergies. Now, the battle system has a flaw that can take you to the game over screen, and that is the fact that if a character's target has been killed, that character will not attack the next creature, but will defend.
On the plot of this game, you control a teenager named Isaac, and his childhood friend, Garet, goes with him on his adventures. They also have Jenna, who is kidnapped on the beginning of the game by the main villains, Saturos and Menardi, and then, Isaac and Garet learn about their destiny. On their quest, they meet Ivan and Mia, who have the same power as them. People who can use psynergy are called Adepts, and each one has its own elemental alignment. For some reason (the mystery behind alchemy, the magic), the elements receive the names of planets, so get used to them. Fire is Mars, Water is Mercury, Wind is Jupiter, and Earth is Venus.
The psynergy system is great, due to the fact it breaks the rule of the "impenetrable obstacle" many RPGs have, which is that you have devastating spells, but cannot move that rock out of your way. This also opens up a series of puzzles involving these psynergies through the game, and to unlock some, you need to pass a small dungeon first. This is a good point, as it adds challenge. The battle system, as explained before, has the flaw of not retargeting creatures. The Djinn system is great, as it affects all the battles you take part, by mixing Djinn of different elements, Earth, Fire, Wind and Water (Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Mercury), you can change the class of your character. Each class has its unique abilities, and so on, psynergies. Another thing that is a good point at the Djinn system is that, after unleashing them in battle, they go to standby mode, waiting to be summoned in groups, or alone. The more Djinn you put into a summon, the stronger the summon is. What adds challenge to this is the fact that you lose stats and abilities by unleashing Djinn. This force the player to think more about its attacks.
The plot is nice, even with some nonsense, but what is bad about it, is not the plot itself, but the extremely long conversations between characters when they reach a special place or something like that. They can be boring, but are essential to understanding the plot. Also, the main character is a mute, and the only time his faceset appears on a text balloon is near the end of the game, where it says "!!!". Lots of time the other characters will ask you a yes-or-no question, but it does not matter which one you say, the plot is independent of the player's choice. This is a BIG flaw, making the game boring to replay, as it will not change.
Now, jumping to the weapons and armor, the game has some nice gear for you. Besides ordinary equipment, there are the Artifacts, which are stronger, and have special abilities, randomly used in battle instead of normal attack. There are only a few artifacts that you can get multiples, and these are gained from battles (extremely hard to get one), or on minigames. On your quest you will eventually come across two special itens, Game Ticket and Lucky Medal, which lets you take part at these minigames. The flaw at this point is that some enemies at the end of the game drop the best weapons available, instead of you finding them in chests.
The game has a continuation, which is Golden Sun: The Lost Age, and it is EXTREMELY RECOMMENDED that you play the first game, or you would never understand the plot, as it is literally a continuation of the plot. The two games could be merged into one game at any time with no problems.
This game has great graphics, nice facesets, good-looking icons, and the Battle scenario is on third dimension, and the summons and spells have great animations. The music isn't as great tough, and it would be better to turn it off and listen to some music, like I do when playing.
To finish things off, this game is a great game, meaning the justice is done when I give an 8/10 to this game. Like I said before, this was the only RPG that had me occupied for more than 3 days.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/16/10
Game Release: Golden Sun (US, 11/11/01)
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