Review by Nivrae

"Good, but not great."

Golden Sun is one of the first RPGs for the GBA. (Joining the list with MMBN and soon BOF) It has excellent graphics and nice sound. It’s not exactly a masterpiece though, it like most games has a few flaws. It’s a bit short (but it leaves space for the sequel), also it lacks in storyline and characters.

Gameplay-8
Nice! With the interesting battle system, challenging puzzles and amazing summon spells the game has great gameplay. There are a few ups and downs of the djinn system. One of the ups is whenever your djinn recovers it’s automatically set so you get the stat bonuses. One of the problems is that the game tries to make sure all of your party members get the same amount of djinn so sometimes it force them to carry djinn that are not of their element thus screwing up there library of spells. The only way to get around this is to get more djinn, or set the djinn to standby. If you set it to standby you will get you spells back but you will lose that stat bonuses. The puzzles can be frustrating at times but it helps set the game apart from other RPGs. Overall Golden Son has solid gameplay.

Story-7
Average. The game has a lot of dialog, but the story is kind of bland compared to some RPGs. I don’t want to spoil the story, but most of it will unravel as you play. Basically you need to get all the elemental stars and prevent the evil force from getting their hands on them. If the do get them they will have the power to take over the world (very original…). So basically it’s your job to stop them.

Graphics-10
Beautiful! Golden Sun has excellent graphics. All of the spells and summons are breathtaking.

Sound-9
Nice! Golden Sun has great sound. All the background music goes great with your location. Also there are tons of sound effect, ranging from, attacks, spells and even you enemies dying. As with all GBA games, the sound works better with some headphones due to the limitation of the GBA’s one speaker.

Replay-8
Good. As with most RPG games, Golden Sun isn’t one of those games where you will play over and over again until you bore your brains out. If you play it the next time over it will get a bit boring with all the dialog. But that doesn’t mean Golden Sun has no replay value whatsoever. You can try to play the game again to collect all the Djinn or complete all the sidequest. Also there is a neat battle feature where you can fight with all the monster you’ve seen in the game so far, and you can compare you winning streaks with you friend. Also there is a battle feature where you can battle your friend with your party!

Overall-8
Good but not great. Overall the game was very short for an RPG game, I don’t want to spoil it, but lets just say you only get “half” a game. With the success of Golden Sun it should pave the way for epic RPGs for the GBA in the future.

The Bottom Line
BUY IT. If you’re a fan of RPG games, or are waiting for a solid RPG game for the GBA it’s worth the buy. With the challenging puzzles and good gameplay it’s worth buying even though it’s a bit short.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/18/01, Updated 11/18/01


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