Review by pikachu1221
"An epic game that is not to be missed..."
Camelot has been known to produce excellent games, this one being no exception to this rule. From the makers of the Shining Force series, Camelot has produced an excellent game that is worthy of a spot in any GBA gamer's library of games. With stunning visuals, excellent music, and exciting gameplay, this truly is a must-have game.
We're going to the review!
Shoot! I dropped a contact!
This game has outstanding visuals. Whether you're casting a magic spell, or summoning Djinn, the graphics never fail to disappoint. The GBA makes full use of sprite scaling(A capability that the SNES didn't have) to make the battles look amazing, even on the small screen. The summons have eye-popping effects. The ''Judgment'' summon has to be seen to be believed. The GBA is capable of displaying many objects on the screen at once, so there is next to no slowdown. The game pretty much runs at a steady 60 FPS, so you can expect smooth gameplay. As for the out of battle graphics, they are marvelous. You can distinguish whether the person you're talking to is a man/woman/boy/girl/etc.
The characters let you know their emotions by the little emotion bubbles that appear above their head when you talk. The Psynergy effects look awesome, ranging from the less powerful Growth, to the extremely powerful Ragnarok spell.
SHH!! What's that?....It's Morse code!!
The audio in this game is simply superb. The instruments in this game sound real. Every piece of music fits the mood of the area that it's in, whether you're in a dark dungeon or a lush green forest. There are at least 4 different battle music themes. The battle themes are very good, they make the battle a lot more exciting and may motivate you to try harder. As for sounds, the people in the game make little talking noises(Which can be turned off, by the way) when you talk to them. Enemies make different death sounds depending on whether it's a small enemy or a big boss. The Psynergy actually sounds like the spell it represents. The Tornado spell actually sounds like raging wind, and when Ragnarok hits, it makes a really loud ''CRASH!'' noise, so you can almost feel the bone-crunching pain the enemy takes. With summons, it sounds even better. The Judgment summon actually sounds like a slowly advancing explosion. Camelot really put a lot of effort into this game, and it shows. The only problem? There's only the little speaker in the corner to listen to it. Get yourself a pair of headphones and REALLY enjoy the terrific audio in this game.
They were parted by an inescapable destiny...
The story is excellent, if not a bit used. You play the role of Isaac, a young warrior who is woken up by his mother on a stormy night. Why? Because the giant boulder above his village is about to come crashing down! Isaac finds his friend Garet and goes around helping people. When they come across to Isaac's friend Jenna, they come across a dangerous situation.. Jenna's brother Felix is about to be swept away by the raging river! On their way to save him, they are attacked by two mysterious people and are knocked out. The Psynergy Adepts can't hold the boulder up any longer, and the boulder falls, killing people and sweeping poor little Felix downstream and to his certain doom...Fast forward 3 years. Isaac, Garet, and Jenna have trained hard and can now use Psynergy. They meet with their friend Kraden and head to Sol Sanctum...They find the hidden Elemental Stars after a search of the temple. But they're attacked by those two strange people...and Felix?!?! The adventure continues from here, when Isaac meets two more party members along his quest. The ending is okay, if not a bit abrupt. You may want to buy Golden Sun:The Lost Age if you want to see more of the story. But, all in all, a very good story.
If Billy has 3 apples and Johnnie has 2 apples, why can't they both shut up and eat the apples?
The game has a perfect challenge level. It's not too easy that you breeze through the game, and not too hard that you can't get through the first dungeon. The battles require careful planning, because let's say you set all 4 characters to attack Monster A, and your party kills it with only 2 members, then the other two who haven't attacked yet will defend. It can be both bad and good, depending on your current status. Battles use an HP/PP system, and enemies give enough experience to give levels every so often, but not as often as other RPGs. Gold is rationed slightly sparsely in the beginning of the game, so you may have to fight a bit more battles than you would want to fight. There is a hidden dungeon in the game which is pure puzzles and a really tough boss at the end of the secret dungeon. The puzzles in there are hard, but not brain boggling hard. The enemies have a good mix of magic and attacks, so that way you probably won't be killing enemies in one hit when you progress through the game. Overall, a good, challenging game.
You must find and devour the seven Crystal Babies!
The gameplay pretty much perfect. It uses an innovative battle system which use Djinn as the main part. Djinn are kind of like mini-GFs. First, you choose the person that you want the Djinni on,(Djinn is plural, Djinni is singular) then you choose whether you want the Djinni on Set or Standby mode. On Set mode, your character's stats are raised and you have a greater range of Psynergy to use. When the Djinni is on Standby mode, your character's stats are either lowered or not changed(Depending on whether the Djinni was Set or not) and your Psynergy range is not as great as it might have been if you had Set it. The benefit of putting a Djinni on Standby, is that for each Djinni you put on Standby, you can summon a stronger creature. The more Djinn you have on standby, the more powerful the summon will be. It may seem a bit confusing, but it will make sense. In addition to battle Psynergy, you have out of battle Psynergy, such as Move, Mind Read, or Reveal. These are used to progress in dungeons with obstacles that could otherwise not be passed. You can purchase lots of weapons and armour from shops. Certain weapons have a special effect that is randomly used. These effects range from doing severe damage to the enemy to restoring your HP or PP. When you buy a new weapon/armour from a shop, the shopkeeper offers to buy back your old weapon or armour,(Another indication of the Shining Force programmers) which is very time-saving and helpful. There are a few minigames, which are pretty easy to win actually. The battles are fast-paced and exciting, so fighting random battles is actually fun!
Back to Start! It's fun getting into Trouble!!
This is the only slightly worse point of the game. It's always fun to come back and play the whole game over again, but there are only 2 real sidequests, and only one of them has any real rewards. But, they're still pretty fun.
So, there you have it. If you're looking for a game with an excellent story, amazing visuals, superb music, great challenge, exciting gameplay, and very good replayability, look no further. Golden Sun is the game for you!
And of course, the monumental, titanic question...
RENT OR BUY??? This one is a golden(no pun intended)gem. I would definitely recommend this game for anyone who's looking for a solid GBA title.
Now, I just have to wait for Golden Sun:The Lost Age....still waiting...still waiting.......zzzzzz...
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/29/01, Updated 11/29/01
Got Your Own Opinion?
You can submit your own review for this game using our Review Submission Form.