Review by Questionable_
"Didn't I play this exact game a couple years back?"
I had a blast with the first Golden Sun and was waiting patiently for this after it got delayed twice. After playing and fiddling with this game for a while, I found it nothing more than the first Golden Sun with a different story and characters, which isn't exactly a bad thing.
If you played the first Golden Sun, you'll understand this game much much better. In fact, if you played the first one, you won't even to read the rest of this review, since it's almost the exact same thing, aside from story. Anyway, you start out and you learn about setting lighthouses to return magic to the rest of the world. So you go to them and you do stuff. Honestly, the story isn't that great. I didn't pay attention to the storyline too much, only to know where to go next. The story drags because there is a fair amount of dialogue, so get ready to tap that A button to skip it if you dislike the story. The story is common fare of teenagers going to save or change the world. Stuff like that.
Nothing to whine about here. These sprites are top notch with great animation. Nice backgrounds in the dungeons and very colorful in all aspects of the game.. The battle scenes are eye pleasing. Your characters jump forward, slash and jump back or they move their hands and you get to see some snazzy magic or summons. When you do cast a summon, it does move along with some slowdown. However, the world map is still ugly. A badly shrunk sprite crawling over some blotchy watercolor picture. But all in all, this is one of the nicest looking GBA around. Same quality as the first Golden Sun, and that's quite a compliment.
To be honest, I haven't heard any super music for any GBA games so far. It just fades and doesn't register in my brain. If you listen intently, you'll hear the nice usual background music: the adventurous tone on the world map and the creepy closing tone in dungeons. Nothing to write home about. The sounds are also the generic RPG. Nothing super, nothing mediocre. The classic slashing sound with the usual fire, water, thunder, and other elemental spell sound bytes. Nothing too out of the ordinary for an average RPG. Nothing's wrong with the music or sound, there's just nothing great either.
Basically the same as the first Golden Sun. If you've played it, you'll understand it completely and be able to dive into battles. If not, it'll take a little time to get used to it. For one, there is not retargeting after your target dies. So you could lose an attack by accident. Second, your stats got effected by the dijinns you get. Third, you can summon dijinns, which in turn can lower your stats unintentionally. It'll take a short while to get used to. Luckily, the rest of the battle mechanics are standard RPG-style. You level up by battling, you get money by battling, which happens in 99% of RPGs, so that's nothing to worry about. Your characters learn spells by equipping dijinns. If you summon and dijinn, you might lose a spell, and that could suck. The battle system is nothing new or original, but it's still quite fun.
Rent or Buy
I'd go with buy. You'd have to be pretty dedicated or an awesome gamer to beat and get everything in this game. It's only $25 for such a good game, so I don't see why you wouldn't buy it. It's a solid game and you won't be disappointed.
It's a nice, solid good game. You'll get a good amount of play from it. However, since it's exactly like the first one, it's not getting points for originality. But don't like that detract from the fuzzy feeling, harking from the 16 bit RPGs. It won't be money wasted on this game.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/20/03, Updated 04/20/03
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