Review by AstralFire

"A Must Have Game for ALL RPG Players, Casual to Fanatical."

Gameplay Rating: 9.5/10
Summary: Wow. That is ALL one can say about Camelot's awesome new Game Boy Advance title. Golden Sun presents some of the best gameplay in a pure rpg since the glory heydays of the SNES, as well as a few innovations that keep the game fresh. Unlike many recent RPGs, Golden Sun takes the idea of character customization (first mass introduced to RPGs with Pokémon Red and Blue) and uses it in a way productive to the gameplay, rather than as the whole entire point of the game. The Djinni of the 4 classical elements (Earth, Fire, Wind, and Water) can be used in so many combinations it's not even funny. Using the Djinni, you can make your team a well-balanced, well-rounded group, or give each of your teammates more traditional RPG roles, such as healer, warrior, mage, etc. With MAXIMUM Djinni (7 of each element), I daresay one can have 20+ successful setups for a team. And, for those of us less inclined to venture into unknown fields, they can be used simply as summons that boost your own power whilst kicking some serious... you know. And Camelot left the traditional Magic (Psynergy) and Melee alone, so while it's not that innovative, it works. The only lacking point in Gameplay is that there is a serious void in minigames. There are only 4 minigames (Lucky Medal, Slots, Lucky Dice, and Colosso Tourney) which all occur in the SAME town, 70% through the game. Ech. There are some sidequests, but Camelot could have afforded a few more diversions. The difficulty of Golden Sun is medium. It will require some thought, and the occasional powerleveling session (mostly to take on the final 2 dungeons), but mostly the game is very leisurely, and less stressful than some RPGs can get. (FF5 players-remember trying to get past omega without fighting him? AHHHH!)
Recap Rating: 9.5/10

Graphics Rating: 10/10
Summary: You have not SEEN cool until you've seen the summons Judgement, and Thor. The whole game is a graphical masterpiece that really displays the power of the Iron Boy's successor. Lightning, Alpha Shading, Flames... ya got it all RIGHT here.
Recap Rating: 10/10

Sound Rating: 10/10
Summary: Not the best music in the world, but definitely above average, and with the GBA's compact memory, it can hold a lot, but not a symphony orchestra. Sets a level of expectation for ALL GBA games (with headphones, of course. The GBA has a superior sound card, but still uses the same tinny speaker from the Game Boy Pocket.)
Recap Rating: 10/10

Plot Rating: 10/10
Summary: Very involved and very intricate. Quite a few sidequests that affect the storyline. Not a Majora's Mask, but definitely very good, especially for an early development handheld game. Camelot's experience with RPGs on the Genesis shines through.
Recap Rating: 10/10

Control Rating: 9/10
Summary: Very tight controls. There are a few glitches on the world map (can't move in 3 certain areas) and frost/move/force/lift/douse sometimes go where you don't want them to (no aiming, which also applies for examining pots and barrels - often times, those two are too close!) but a game can be forgiven a few faults.
Recap Rating: 9/10

Once again, for those who don't pay attention:
Gameplay: 9.5/10
Graphics: 10/10
Sound: 10/10
Plot: 10/10
Control: 9/10

OVERALL RATING (Not an average):

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/26/01, Updated 11/26/01

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