Review by BlueInferno83

Reviewed: 04/07/04

One of the best RPGs ever.

There are some games you play and then forget after about a few months to a year. Sometimes you could play that game again and not even realize you already played it. Is Golden Sun one of those games? Well, for me it wasn't. Golden Sun was an unforgettable gaming experience that captured me and pulled me in. Then, once it had me, it would not let go. I could not stop myself from completely all the quests and restoring peace to the world.

Now, the above subject line isn't something that I typically like to throw around. ''One of the best RPGs I've ever played'' is a phrase reserved only for the best. I am absolutely more than confident that Golden Sun is worthy of that title. Golden Sun personifies the greatness of the Gameboy Advance gaming platform. I warn you now, when you play this game for the first time, you will become absolutely hooked. The only complaint that I have is that it wasn't longer (and that's because I loved the game so much.)

In addition to the main quest, there are a couple of side quests in this game. These are optional, but if you really are enjoying yourself while playing, then you will not hesitate to want to complete these quests. They’re not difficult, and they extend the game (which I like.) Golden Sun is becoming a bit hard to find. I think I saw one copy in the game store a few weeks ago, but other than that, I hardly see it. But fret not, because I’m sure that eBay has a lot of copies (that’s how I got mine).

Graphics: 10/10
The graphics in this game were simply beautiful. They had a very Sega Genesis or SNES feel to them, which I like because those games were the best. The unique character designs add a very nice element to the game. I especially like the designs of Saturos and Menardi, the so called “baddies” of this game. Also, I liked the nicely designed backdrops, such as the forests and the deserts. Every place in this game was so nicely designed that I can honestly say that it was downright perfect. Perfect isn’t a word that I like to throw around, but after playing this game, I think that you will agree.

Music: 10/10
Does this HAVE to go up to just 10?! I'd give this like a 20! Anywho, very nice soundtrack! In a gaming world full of overplayed music and repetitive, simple themes, this game really breaks the mold. I did not want to leave some of the caves or towns because I liked the music so much. There are different themes for each town on different continents. I also like how each song captured the moods and settings of the game just perfectly. I could go on and on about the music, and make an exclusive review on it, but since I actually have a life (yeah, right), I'm gonna move on to the next section.

Story: 10/10
Imagine a quest where you're a hero, and you have been sent out by the king in order to save the land from the evil...Modoor? Or some other clichéd bad guy name. Imagine a quest where you constantly know what is going to happen next, and you can predict down to the T what is going to result. Okay, now, forget all of that. Golden Sun is nothing like that. Golden Sun takes a simple young man, Issac, on a journey to save the world. Okay, yeah, repetitive, right? Well, the story and plot thickens and gets so deep that you will find yourself locked and immersed in their world, my friend. This game will take you all over the continent and through magical and mysterious lands. Pretty soon, you will be on the edge of your seat, wondering what is going to happen next. With a significant twist within the story, this game makes the traditional Pac Man or Snake look like…well, Pac Man and Snake.

Characters: 10/10
One of the best things about Golden Sun is the unique and ingeniously crafted cast of characters. Every character has their own unique personality and feel, something rare in RPG genre. There is Issac, the silent but noble protagonist, Garet, the short tempered but loyal friend, Ivan, the child genius who becomes of great aid to the party, and Mia, the kind hearted Ice Adept. In addition, even the bad guys were cool! I have to say that these characters are so life like. They argue and bicker and create such great chemistry because of the mix of personalities within the party. It certainly makes for a very interesting story with some very interesting scenes, I’ll tell ya. And meanwhile, Issac is probably just standing there, silent, and laughing to himself as Garet and Mia get into yet another argument.

Battle System: 9/10
Relatively easy battle system. The thing I like about this battle system is that it is quick and easy. If you want to eliminate some monsters, all you have to do it just hit a few attack buttons, and within seconds, they’ll be dead. There is no slow waiting, no frustrating and complex battles. In addition, you can also add “Djinn” to your party members. The Djinn add to and give powers to your characters. This is an almost pokemon-like system, except instead of the monsters fighting, they just lend their hand in battle. What I like about it is that the battles are at a reasonable frequency; you don’t have a battle every two steps. The leveling system is very easy as well. The only hard battles are the last two.

Originality: 9/10
There were several original points in this game. The first point is that there exist the Djinn, as mentioned earlier, which add to your power. Each of the four characters have four elements of their classes (fire, earth, wind, water). There are also fire, earth, wind, and water Djinn. The corresponding Djinn go with the classes, giving the characters a promotion in class. Also, the new “Psyenergy” element of the game makes it unique. This new power replaces traditional spells and gives the characters powers which they will need to utilize in order to solve puzzles and go on with the game. This is a very original game, but a lot of the classic gaming elements exist. The battle system is mostly traditional, and there is still the basic “go to town, walk around, and get information” scheme of things. But who cares? We like that! If they took that away, these games wouldn’t be worth playing. And I absolutely love to shop in these games! And bake! Okay…next section please.

Difficulty: 9/10
I would have to say this game was pretty simple until I reached the midway point. Then things got to be complicated and then downright difficult. Once you learn an array of psyenergy, the puzzles become very complicated. I swear, if you don’t have patience, then you should consider not playing, although I have to say it is worth it. Some of the puzzles in this game are seemingly impossible, but when you finally solve them, you have one of those “d’oh” moments. This game has some of the most difficult puzzles I’ve ever had to solve, but nevertheless, it really kept me on the edge. I did have to run upstairs to the computer and check out the walkthrough more than once. But still, if you’re into a good challenge, then I would suggest this game for you. You’ll be solving puzzles like it’s going out of style.

Replay Value: 10/10
If you love this game as much as I did, then I swear you will want to play again right after the ending credits roll up. This game was so much fun, and I never want to replay games. For me to say that I would play this again so soon is absolutely insane! Nevertheless, I think I don’t just speak for myself when I say that Golden Sun is without a doubt very replay-able and since the game is becoming harder to find, you should definitely hold on to your game cartridge.

Fun: 10/10
This one is a load of fun. You will play this for hours and not even realize how long you've been playing. There is just so much to do in this game that you will be wondering ''what next?'' Even the battles are fun, especially the later boss ones when you have to actually employ strategy into defeating them. The puzzles, although very hard, are very fun, as long as you don't punch a hole in your wall.

I absolutely love this game. It was the first Gameboy Advance game I ever bought, and I have to say that there were absolutely no regrets. The only regret I had was when I sold it to the game store. However, I smartened up and got another copy of it off eBay, so at least I learned something from my mistake. This game provided lots of great moments, some of which you will see (or have seen if you’ve played this already).

The sequel to this game, Golden Sun: The Lost Age is just about as good as this one. Although I have to say that if you plan on playing Golden Sun: The Lost Age, you need to play Golden Sun first, or else you will be totally lost. The Lost Age contains a lot of the same elements as Golden Sun 1, except that the story takes place directly after Golden Sun 1. But this isn't a review about Golden Sun: The Lost Age. So get over it!

By now you probably think that the makers of Golden Sun paid me to give the game such a glowing review. I assure you, they did not. I do not give that many games a perfect score, but this one by far is an exception. Golden Sun takes the cake when it comes to Gameboy Advance games. It is destined to become a classic even years from now. I know that I will play it many times more.

Who would I recommend Golden Sun to? Would I recommend it at all? Well, the answers are “Everyone!” and “Yes!” If you didn’t know that, you obviously didn’t pay attention to the walkthrough ; ) But on a more serious note, if you are a serious RPG gamer who is willing to put about 30 hours into a game, then this game is definitely for you. I could go on forever, but why bother? Get out there and buy this game!

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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