Review by Ofisil

"Cardboard Sun"

Golden Sun is a RPG developed by Camelot Software. I simply don't understand what the fuss is all about. Golden Sun is just… a RPG. Your typical, run of the mill, eastern RPG. Fight with enemies in a turn based fashion, talk with people and find weapons… the end! I simply don't get why most people have given this game straight 10's

Story: 3/10
Presentation: 1.5/10

At its core Golden Sun is Final Fantasy 1 with “fancier” graphics. Find some magic items before the bad guys do or something… the characters are even worse than cardboard ones. They are completely undeveloped and uninteresting. Pretty much nothing happens in the game apart from some boring fetch quests that lack the epic factor that RPGs must have and to make things even worse we have a very bad ending but I won't tell you why so I won't “spoil” it…

Gameplay: 5.5/10
Replay Value: 1/10

It's your basic turn-based RPG so I won't go in detail about it I'll just explain the “new” stuff. Golden Sun plays like any other Final Fantasy-type game. You go around talk with people, buy\sell stuff, search for items and fight, fight, fight. There are 2 small innovations here. First the Djiin, which serve as the summons of the game are a bit more complex than just that. When you “equip” a Djinn you actually change the class and spells of each character, slightly changing the way you play offering different kinds of summoning spells and so on. There are 28 of these little monsters I think but they will simply stand in your way and don't do anything to challenge you before you get them making the whole process of acquiring them very boring. Besides the battles are quite easy. I once read a review that said that boss battles are extremely hard and require smart use of the Djinn system… huh? Are you kidding me??? I just equipped my Djinn and pound the enemy with all I've got and that was it, conflict resolved! Next innovation which makes the game a tad better is the Psynergy which is basically your in-battle magic but it can also used outside battles in order to solve puzzles. For me this is by far the best aspect of the game, at least in the first half. The first few puzzles are the simple, “push this there to open that there”, but as you move on they get more challenging and fun, although never mind-boggling. The problem: nothing in the game is really interesting. First of all an RPG and especially an Eastern one MUST have a good plot to make you keep on playing it and GS doesn't and the rest of the game doesn't help at all. The battles are easy and extremely repetitive and there is almost no strategy or real innovation involved.

Graphics: 7.8/10
Design: 7.8/10

The graphics of the game are very good, great for those who like brightly colored eastern RPGs with some of the areas in the game looking simply marvelous. However these locations are only a few, (and the game is quite small), and the rest of them are just some boring looking villages and forests. The same goes on for the main characters. They look good but they must be the most boring and unremarkable characters in videogame history. Two boys that look the same, a short blond guy and a girl with no special characteristics… I mean even I could design better heroes!!!

Sound: 7/10
Music: 6.5/10

I can't say that I the game's sound\music awed me like most of its fans. The sound effects are quite good but nothing special and the music is very forgettable. Many people consider Golden Sun's OST a masterpiece… well since music is all about personal taste check a YouTube video or something and decide for yourself.

[+]:
-Some good puzzles involved
-Good graphics

[-]:
-Easy and repetitive battles
-Just another boring old school RPG
-Boring overall design despite the good graphic quality

Also Play:
Chrono Trigger (SNES)
Final Fantasy 6 (SNES)
Final Fantasy 7 (Playstation)

Overall: 5.2/10

I'm simply speechless. Why, why, why this game is so popular? Please… trust a long time fan of great RPGs like Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy 6… don't buy this game.


Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 04/12/11

Game Release: Golden Sun (US, 11/11/01)


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