Review by Detritus
"A very good game with very few outstanding flaws."
When the words, The Lord of Golden Sun Book 2 flashed upon my screen I knew that I was in for the same fabulous trials and tribulations that I had faced in the first incarnation of the game. However I did not begin to fathom the depth and enjoyment that I could dicern from a single game, until I started playing the game. Well, many hours later I emerged from the last boss triumphant and extremely satisfied.
Golden Sun: The Lost Age is one of the most eagerly anticipated games amongst Gameboy Advance owners and many of us have awaited its release for many months. The level of anticipation that I felt while awaiting this gem, I have not felt since my time awaiting the release of Star Wars Episode I. Unlike that movie however, this game not only matched my expectations but it managed to exceeded them. Whoever said ''Bigger is better'' (Was it Confucious or the guys who promoted Godzilla?) was certainly correct. This game is very much like the first part of the series, only everything is bigger and better.
Storyline: Those who know me, know that I value a good story greatly. GS:TLA has not failed to dissapoint me in this area. The main characters are never short of interesting things to say (Except for Felix of course) but this in no way hinders the game. In my opinion it makes the game more compelling and draws the gamer into the decaying world of Wayard. Many cliffhangers and unresolved questions from Golden Sun are finally resolved in this game and I for one was fairly pleased with the outcomes.
Gameplay: The game is a turn based RPG of old that hearkens back to the good old days of RPG gaming. The battle system is as brilliant as it was in the first game with a wide range of super powerful psynergy attacks being very fun to use. The Djinn are also back and as usefull as ever as now there are more than 70 of the little creatures to collect and swap to change classes of your party.
The out of battle gameplay however is my favourite part of the game. The multitude of puzzles that the game throws at you, while not being very complicated, are incredibly fun and satisfying to complete and the game utilises the out of battle psynergy powers to new levels.
Unlike the first game GS:TLA is brimming with side quests that should keep you entertained for many hours.
All in all this game should give you many hours of enjoyment.
Graphics: The game is a visual stunner. Need I say more? Oh well, Ok. The Towns and villages of the game are all very colorful and vibrant and as you journey, the towns and the townsfolk change with a wide range of sprites being implemented throughout the game.
The new summons in the game are very well done and deserve some recognition. Catastophe is particular was very impressive.
All in all the visuals are pleasing and unrivaled by any other RPG to date.
Sound: This is perhaps the only area where the game has disapointed me. However it come as no suprise to me as the original scores used in the first game where not the greatest on a handheld. However this said, the sound is more than adequate with some very catchy and suitable melodies that fit situations well. The battle music for the Ship has a suitably Carribean feel to it and the Lighthouse musics don't fail to impress. However the music can be repetative in some cases and this is the games only real flaw.
All in all this is one of the greatest games that I have had the pleasure of playing. In my 15 years of playing games this game has struck a cord with me and has impressed me with its intriguing story and characters. The game is sure to give you many hours of mirth and enjoyment.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 02/06/03, Updated 02/06/03
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