Review by Noodle Neck
"A big Masterpiece now has a big younger brother."
In my opinion, the greatest RPG in Nintendo GBA history has just got better. Golden Sun: The Lost Age (Now referred to as TLA from now on) is another beautiful masterpiece by our good friends at Camelot. For those of you not familiar with Golden Sun, I will tell a bit of the story later on.
Gameplay - 10/10
Gameplay is an important part in any game, and TLA has got A LOT of it. TLA has many noodle-scratching puzzles that require ingenious use of 'Psynergy', magical powers that have 4 different elements (Earth or Venus, Fire or Mars,
Water or Mercury, and Wind or Jupiter) and many different effects, with tons of dungeons, spread across a vast land, by the name of Weyard. As you travel across the land, you can collect elemental creatures, called Djinn (Djinn is
plural, but Djinni is singular), that will boost your stats and make you more powerful.
It also boasts a great battle system, which allows you to use Psynergy in battle, that can do massive damage. You can also unleash Djinn, which can do amazing attacks, to boosting your party's stats so that they fare better in
battle. Once you have used a Djinni, it will go into Standby mode, allowing a more powerful creature to be summoned. The more Djinn on Standby, the more powerful the summoned creature is. And a new feature to TLA is the ability to use Multi-Elemental summons. To use these, you must search for stone tablets. When you study these tablets, you can summon different monsters if you have a certain amount and type of Djinn on standby. IE: 2 Mars and 1 Venus allows you to summon Zagan. Although the random battles can get annoying when trying to navigate a large dungeon, the battle system is great.
On your journey, you can also stop in towns, and upgrade your weapons and armor. There are hundreds of different types of weapons and armor that you can buy, and some you can find only in forests, dungeons, and hard to reach
places. Equipping different stuff increases your stats, to make your party more powerful.
TLA also holds the ability to transfer your data from the original Golden Sun to TLA, so when you meet and join up with Isaac and co. you will have the same level, attack, weapons, etc. To do this you can use a GBA Link Cable, and link up Golden Sun with TLA, and transfer data, or use a password. You can choose from either a Gold, Silver or Bronze password. Gold will transfer almost everything, while bronze will only transfer the bare necessities. But transferring via password does have it flaws. If you want a Gold password, you will need to copy and input an INSANELY long password. I'm talking 15 minutes to copy it down, and another 15 to input it. And the odds of making a mistake are high. Seeing that ''Password Accepted'' message is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. =)
Story - 10/10
For those new to the story of Golden Sun, let me explain it.
SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T PLAYED THE ORIGINAL GOLDEN SUN!
Deep in the summit of Mt. Aleph, the four keys to unlocking Alchemy lie dormant in Sol Sanctum. But after years of silence, Sol Sanctum has been broken into, and three of the four keys, the Venus, Jupiter and Mercury Stars
have been stolen by two Fire Adepts, Saturos and Menardi. Luckily, Isaac and co. manage to salvage the Mars Star, but Felix and Jenna are kidnapped by Saturos and Menardi. After chasing Saturos and Menardi all the way to the Mercury Lighthouse, Isaac and co. battle and defeat Saturos, but not before they light the lighthouse. Saturos heals himself and he and Menardi set off with Felix and Jenna to the Venus Lighthouse. When Isaac and co. reach the Venus Lighthouse, they find out Saturos and Menardi have kidnapped a Wind Adept named Sheba. Isaac and co. battle Saturos and Menardi and defeat them. S & M throw the Venus Star into the lighthouse and light it, and they get power from it and fuse together and make the Fusion Dragon. But Isaac and co. are too strong for the dragon. S & M fall into the lighthouse to their doom. Felix wants to light the rest of the lighthouses, much to the dismay of Isaac and co. The lighthouse then crumbles to the ground.
In TLA, you control Felix, Jenna, Sheba and later in the game, a Water Adept named Piers will join you. It's your duty to light the remaining lighthouses. The story in TLA is basically a carry over from the original, and from an
interesting point of view as well. Great story Camelot!
Graphics - 10/10
The graphics in this series are as good as it gets on the Game Boy Advance. Summons are look crisp, and the sprites that make up the characters are extremely detailed. The world map is even more detailed than the original.
Your eyes will feel great looking at your screen.
Sound/Music - 8/10
There are plenty of sounds in TLA, although they do get a bit repetitive. It gets a bit annoying when your in a long conversation, and you have a long series of 'bleeps', which sound different for each person. High pitched for a
lady, low for a man.
Sounds in battles are great. It's awesome hearing huge summons nail your opponents. And when you attack with a sword, you can hear it slicing through the enemy.
When you use Psynergy outside of battle, IT'S-THE-SAME-ANNOYING-SOUND over and over and over. Oh well, can't have everything...
Ok, this is where this category gets it's good marks. The music sounds brilliant. A great mix of Vocal harmonies with instruments like clarinets,drums, and flutes. All areas have their own unique music, and MOST are excellent. Some like the Gobomba Statue music scores are just plain annoying. Otherwise, it's a pleasure to hear the music blasting in my headphones.
Replay Value - 9/10
When I replayed this game, I forgot most of what to do in the beginning. That's how long this game is. Im hoping it's going to be just as good the tenth time around, as it was the first. It's an awesome game to play, play and play again.
Overall/Rent or Buy - 9.4/10
I wanted to give TLA a 10/10, but the sound was too repetitive. But 9/10 is pretty damn good. If you like RPG's, I'd call you insane and take you to a mental institution if you didn't buy this. If you don't like or not a fan of RPG's, I would recommend you to get this game. But if you are unsure, you should rent. Hope this helps you! =)
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 05/09/03, Updated 05/09/03
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