Review by Ethereal Blue
"A very good game for RPG virgins"
To be honest, I never finished the original GS beore playing The Lost Age, but even still, there is almost nary a difference in the two games. I expected GS2 to be a lot more challenging than the first installment, which i did not review for the fact that...well...i never finished it! I was sorely dissapointed, but I should be talking about this in the actual review, not the intro, so let's get started!
Graphics (System-Wise) 10/10
One of the best things about the Golden Sun series (both look pretty much identical)is that both are absolutely gorgeous and you can only stare in awe of the way it uses the GBA's capabilities.
I do, however, have a couple of complaints regarding this game (though they are so minor, i still gave the game a ten in the graphics department). One is the world map...outside of your moving character, and the towns/dungeons/towers/etc., everything looks blurry to some point or another. and the frustrating part is that you will spend 50% of your game time on this map.
Overall, though, the graphics are, as I said before, stupendous for the system.
Gameplay (Genre-Wise) 5/10
Don't hate me for giving my honest opinion, I find the battle system quite boring. It's all text-based, making the game feel like a very pretty dragon warrior with summons and Djinn. Ah the djinn, they are what redeem this game from my full wrath.
Djinn (or Djinni for singular) are these little elemental creatures you find in dungeons, towns and in some cases, on the world map. Depending on the situation, they will either fight or straight up join you. If you fight them, and succeed in beating them (not usually hard because djinn don't have the highest of HPs) they will join your party...sorta. They conjoin with one of your characters and will provide them with stat bonuses and such. Usually, the djinni will join with the character with the least djinn. If there are more than one person with less djinn than the rest, the djinni will join the one who's own element (Earth, Fire, Wind, or Water) matches with it.
ANYWAYS, I'm getting too carried away. The djinn allow for the summons if they are put on standby. Summons do not cost PP(psynergy points) but they do put the djinn used out of commission for a short amount of time. Most of the higher level summons look great and The Lost Age introduces multi-elemental summons who can be aquired via stone tablets. Eclipse is my personal favorite at the moment. Djinn also have the ability to change a person's class, but i find that a bit messy and a hassle to work with so i won't go into detail about it.
The magic system dissapointed me. Psynergy (the form of magic in the game) is great at the start, very useful, but once you get further into the game, it starts to lose its overall appeal. Summons do tons more damage and even advanced psynergy feels significantly weak.
*takes a breath* wow! thatsa mouthful, isnt it? okay, on with the rest of the junk!
Story (Genre-Wise) 6/10
Once again, don't hate me for my honest opinion. The story of this game can sometimes be unbeleivably predictable and the fact that it is a continuation lowers the score a bit too.
It starts off with Character A (it'd be a spoiler to those who want to play GS first) is at the venus lighthouse with Character B and Villain A. After a short, and boring conversation, Villain A tells Characters A and B to leave the venus lighthouse because Saturos and Menardi (The previous game's villains) are locked in combat with the heroes of the last game. Tedium ensues. A peice of the continent the venus lighthouse breaks off after Character A fights a series of battles against ''Ruffians''(Don't ask me, i didn't name them). Sending Characters A, B, C and D out to sea. You'll have to play the game to hear the rest...this is getting annoying use the A,B,C stuff.
One thing that plagues the story is overly long, LONG conversation scenes that seem to drone on forever about things that couldn't mean less to the plot but otherwise, I'm okay with the often boring, predictable plot (DON'T HATE ME!)
Sound (System-Wise) 8/10
Music MUST be recognized in ths game. Though the town themes that can be really anoying at times (One of them sounds JUST LIKE a song that is often sung at my church) the overworld, battle, and dungeon/etc. tunes are toe-tappingly good and almost always suit the mood perfectly. I found myself humming the sea-battle theme and not knowing it.
As for sound effects...it's all downhill from there. BAttle sounds ar ethe most noticeable and they often get quite monotonous. First of all, every generic attack, with every different weapon sounds the same! An annoying ''splash'' type sound. Then there are the noises that monsters/villains make when they are defeated: some sort of roar. Small beasts and human opponents make a high pitches screeching noise, medium sized beasts make a dull roar while huge beasts make an annoying, but louder roar. Wow....such variety. But then again, i consider the system and think it over and decide not to give sound a 5 because of it.
The music is, obviously, the best part of the audio experience of GS: The Lost Age.
Replay (Genre-Wise) 3/10
Although there are lots of classes to create, lots of djinn and summons to find, and many a weapon and armor to uncover, this can ALL be done in a single game file, offering basically the same experience each time.
Multiplayer (Genre and System-Wise) 6/10
To make it short and simple (becuase this review is a monolithic behemoth already), though simple and reptitive, owning my friend like there's no tommorrow then laughing in his face has never been so satisfying!
Alright, like i said at the beginning this game is insanely easy for an RPG (I'm genuinely surprised that the nintendo power award for the hardest boss was the final boss of golden sun) so it's good for RPG virgins to get their start
Another thing i didn't much like was the pointless world map wandering. There is FAR too much of this. After you get your boat, you'll find yourself throwing your GBA against the wall after traveling ALL THE WAY down that inlet to discover it was just a dead end. Fear not, pick up your GBA and use an FAQ like everyone else. (i also found myself doing far too much of THAT while searching for the next place to go.) i think that's basically it for complaints in the other-section.
Now for the positive, though block pushin can be tedious (it almost always is) the abundance of clever and entertaining puzzles in this game is limitless and i thank camelot greatly for it. the commercial for this game was funny, too! (Okay, just taking up space)
5 being my average level, this game is still GOOD. For those of your who find Final Fantasy too hard or haven't even tried RPGs yet, i seriously reccomend BUYING Golden Sun and Golden Sun: The Lost Age. For those of you who are RPG veterans like me, either is good for a rental to kill some time for a week. Oh, and your graphic hounds who care about nothing but visuals will like this game too.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 07/31/03, Updated 07/31/03
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