Review by kHamsun

"Flawed but Fun!"

Graphics: 6/10
To put it plainly: Those rendered graphics look very ugly. Especially the combat sequences suffer from averagely designed - and horribly animated - models. The summoning effects may look nice, but obviously suffer from the 'Final Fantasy Effect': You grow tired of them very quickly after having to watch them a couple of times. The world map is not a joy to behold, either. A couple of backgrounds are well made, though.

Sound: 8/10
I really like the score in TLA. While not each track may be perfect, the overall quality of the music is quite good and matching. SFX are good, too, but nothing to get excited over.

Story: 2/10
OK, this is where the stuff hits the fan: The story is 101% cliché, the dialogues are infantile, the protagonist Felix cannot talk or make relevant decisions, and even though the resident senior citizen Kraden does not partake in combat, he does not get tired of harassing players with his smartie-pants comments throughout the game. Moreover, you cannot skip the boring intro, which takes longer than most boss battles! I can imagine a 6-year-old might enjoy the childish and simplistic story, but grown-ups should just get used to keep pressing 'B' once the talking begins.

Gameplay: 10/10
Lucikly, once you skipped through the sequences that make up the so-called story, TLA begins to shine: Classic japanese console role-playing at its best, even though i found the random monster encounters and most of the dungeon puzzles to be too easy. But with dozens of equipment items, djinns to swap around and bosses to battle (and the last one was admittedly *not* a peace of cake) there is lots of fun to have with this game!

Replay Value: 8/10

Once you play through the game, you might want to take a second tour in order to explore all the sidequests and secrets that this game has to offer - I certainly did. On top of that, you also get to choose between an additional 'easy' and 'hard' game mode.

While TLA is far from perfect, there is just no other RPG on the GBA that can rival it - at least none that got translated. If you own a GBA, enjoy RPGs or would like to get easy access to this genre, I heartily recommend to buy this game. Mind you, though, that you will not be able to get everything out of this game unless you played the first part - so buy Golden Sun, too!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 04/11/03, Updated 04/11/03

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