Review by wolverinefan
"Decent follow up"
Golden Sun: The Lost Age is the continuation of the original Golden Sun which was released about a year and a half ago. At the end of the first Golden Sun we found Isaac and company on top of the second lighthouse trying to stop it from being lit, only to fail. The Lost Age takes place moments before the final battle of the original and finds Isaac's friend Jenna and Kraden trying to escape the lighthouse and get to a boat. The piece of land that they are on breaks off as soon as the lighthouse is lit. Jenna and Kraden find themselves afloat on the island and come across Felix and Sheba who escaped the lighthouse without harm. Their floating island soon lands on a whole new land that they never knew existed. Now they search for the next two lighthouses so they can light them. The story is pretty much the same as the originals but this time around the roles are reversed. You're trying to light the lighthouses instead of keeping them from being lit. You must play the original if you want to make sense of The Lost Age and by the time this came out I had already forgotten most of the story from the original which is never a good thing when a game is a direct continuation.
I played Golden Sun: The Lost Age using my Game boy Advance so I can't say how good the graphics look using a SP but I did use perfect lighting. The graphics are bright and colorful so you don't even need the perfect lighting. Everything looks nice while exploring but the graphics are just ugly whe in battles. The backdrops look blurry and under detailed while the character models are very lacking. The world map is decently done in 3D but it's also a little blurry. Even with those flaws, the graphics are some of the best I've seen on the Game boy Advance.
While the original Golden Sun had amazing sound effects and bland music, The Lost Age has the opposite. The sound effects are less than stellar and come off as bland. The music on the other hand instrumental and sounds great. Of course some of the songs you hear a lot and the do get a tad annoying.
The control is nice and simple. You move around using the D-pad. The A button lets you check stuff on the screen and talk to people It also opens your menu. This can be annoying when you're trying to check something and it makes your menu window pop up instead. You can put spells on the shoulder buttons which is very useful. The B button makes you run and the start button opens the option menu where you can save. The control is very responsive.
The game play is exactly the same as the originals. This could be a plus or a minus. The game is very open and lets you explore to find your way around. This is fine but the world map is really large with few places to visit and later in the game you have to do a ton of backtracking which becomes tedious. The Djinn system returns and nothing new except new Djinn. They are basically summons that you can use once and then have to wait for them to recharge. There are a few different types and it's up to you to decide which character gets what Djinn. They also add more spells for your characters. Spell in the game are called Psyenergy. They can be used in battle as well as outside. You need to use them to solve the games many puzzles. The game has a lot of puzzles, the problem is they all feel like push block puzzles and become tedious. Battles are random and don't happen as much as they do in other games. If you're trying to level up, this is a bad thing. Battles are turn based and are just like every other turn based battle system. The dungeons are done really well but they also provide another problem, you can become stuck because you couldn't see where you could go. This is common in areas where you have to go around a lot of objects and you can't tell which ones you can actually go around. For those who played the original, you can use the password you got from beating the game. There are three types. Bronze which gives you levels and stats. Silver gives both of those plus all Djinn. Gold give you all of that plus all of your items. Sadly, the gold password is over 220 characters long and is cap sensitive. Of course if you still own the original, a link cable and another Game boy Advance you can just do it that way. The replay value is very lacking in this one. You still have two player battles and a secret dungeon. But to get to that secret dungeon you need all of the Djinn from the first game plus all of them from The Lost Age. This hurts the replay value for those who skipped the original.
Game play: 6
Replay Value: 3
Overall Score: 7/10
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 01/01/04, Updated 10/10/07
Game Release: Golden Sun: The Lost Age (US, 04/14/03)
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