Review by XxDarktlrxX

"Definetely not a masterpiece... but it's got potential..."

''Well, after playing the first Golden Sun, I noticed that it had MUCH potential, although too much of it was spent making all physical aspects(graphics, auditorials) seem completely masterful so they could slack off in all the mentally effective aspects(storyline, interest, character personality/development, challenge... anything that could change your emotions and/or prospective on the game) and looked forward to them fixing that in it's sequel... well, I can't say it was completely horrible, but judging by the other reviews I can easily see why the stereotype of all new-generation gamers caring about visuals/audios has been created... and so far I've yet to be able to prove that stereotype wrong either as Golden Sun seems to have made it's entire way to the top simply by lookin' good, but that pretty much goes without saying. What I really thought was that now that they had all the graphics made, maybe they'd put a little more concentration into what actually makes RPGs stick in your memory for a while and quite possibly, effect you... they didn't exactly fix that... but I can't say it's a 100% dissapointment...''

Controls 9/10:

No real arguments that don't favor the controls; compared to what I've seen so far on the GBA, this has excellent controls and great collision detection, making the experience alot less frustrating. However I do have a small complaint about certain little things; since they killed off the move 32x32 pixel thing used in most classic overhead RPGs it's somewhat hard to catch on to objects directly in front of you that you need to be perfectly aligned with which doesn't bring too much frustration, but takes quite a bit of valuable time that could be spent elsewhere.

Gameplay 5/10:

This is where I really think they slacked off; most of the time you won't spend adventuring, meeting new characters that instantly conjure up fanclubs because of interest, being attacked by twists in the storyline that add ALOT of interest... but listening to people constantly talk... alot of the times what people say in this game are completely irrelevant to the situation at hand and are usually there to stall you so that the game at least meets average playtime. There are quite a few puzzles, nothing challenging... just long and tedious and occasionally they will have a purpose behind them... but don't expect any mind-boggling puzzles that will make you quit playing for weeks, because there aren't any. Another VERY important thing they decided not to put were twists in the storyline... or anything unpredictable for that matter... if you've played any great or Game of the Year RPGs you notice they all have twists in the storyline as well as something you wouldn't expect to happen... I really expected better in this department of the game but I guess that would be asking for a masterpiece, which are very difficult to create...
The battle system is pretty much the same as the last... just with more skills and more visuals to show those prone to eye candy... still not realistic with an Active Time Battle system, you're still able to get through all the battles by repeatedly tapping A and occasionally healing... and there's still that annoying 'feature' that the creators lazily ignored to remove that makes you go into defense instead of assualting the next foe... which can consume alot more time than it's worth... but they played it off pretty good by actually convincing some people it's for strategy purposes...

Storyline 6/10:

Yeah, it's the same save the world kind of thing... but so it wouldn't be that and only that there's a part in there where you're keeping a promise you made to Babi in it's prequel, which I'll let you find out about for yourself. As I said before there isn't anything special or new about this and is very lackluster, however some of the characters will spurt a remark that may make you grin... briefly, but don't expect anything that will make you switch from a ''Oh yeah, I am SO owning this game!'' to a ''WHAT THE HECK! Where did that come from'' mood, for the storyline seldom brings up an occurance that will do anything but make you say ''Why did I know that was gonna happen?'' or ''Yeah... figured...''

Graphics 9/10:

Sadly, this is the game's most standing-out aspect. The animations and sprites leave nothing to be desired except maybe smooth animation in the battle sequences and perhaps lively backgrounds. Otherwise, the backgrounds astound even me in it's masterlike detail and depth and might even make you explore around levels more just to see if they captured certain details. However, I believe if there wasn't so much of their attention put into this there may be a chance of this being an above average, or even great RPG... but for now I leave it with an ''average'' rating.

Sound/Music 8/10:

Originally I would give this a 10/10 for it's absolutely great soundtrack, but as the music shares a category with sounds I must decrease the score. I really hate to be rude about it but... the sounds are just plain annoying. Of course you can disable the voices(which I believe anyone that lacks nerves of steel has already done) but all the sounds are simply annoying... whenever a emotion... well, actually emoticon, is displayed there occurs a very annoying bleeping sound... and they occur more frequently than lame catch phrases in Monty Python movies... Anyway the music is pretty good, I actually wanted to record some of the music in there to listen to later and don't regret it... but I really wish they left the main battle theme as Jenna's battle theme... wouldv'e been so much better that way...

Fun Factor 4/10:

Ehh... I can't truthfully say I didn't have fun with this game, but it didn't have what was to be expected by most experience RPGamers simply because it was a little too easy. I don't mean to start up any fanboyism or hatred with my next remark but the utter simplicity of this game supports those who say Nintendo's image is directly towards the child-preteen audience as it offers so little challenge it begins to hack at the game's fun factor... I remember an old member of the Golden Sun Message Boards said something to the effect of ''What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?'' which could be directly shot at this game. YOU CANNOT FAIL! I've already let quite a few of my friends play this and it can be blazed through so easily it can only be called Godmodding... which is no fun at all..

Originality 1/10:

Sorry, but this game has no originality whatsoever... the battle system is merely a beefed up Dragon Warrior battle system, the storyline has been used countless times before(alot better might I add) and there is nothing new and unusual except the fact that they slapped ''Psynergy'' on the Magical Spells and ''Djinni'' where special skills/summons would be

Difficulty 0/10:

Well, unless you have some sort of a mental disability or problem with basic mind skills the only challenges would be trying to stay woke through the endless amounts of dialouge and simply puzzles that put shame to all puzzles given the least bit of concentration... however some challenges may hold you for a long time, but don't confuse long and challenging, they are not one and the same... and the only way anything in this game could be classified as a challenge is if you were to suddenly have a brain fart and do something stupid... otherwise, it's as easy as pouring a cup of water.

Overall 7/10:

Definetly not a masterpiece... not even close... but if they hire someone else to work on the dialog and storyline perhaps a third installment of Golden Sun can earn the name of a great RPG... but it's a good way to kill off 25-30 hours... but it definetely has some potential...

Replay Value 0/10:

You may decide to play it again... but then you will remember the massive amount of dialog that will serve as an obstacle, remember there are no peripherals for GBA that allow autofire A button to skip them... and most likely stop playing.

To buy or to rent?

Rent, definetely... I know it's not my place to choose your actions but you can experience all this game has to offer in whatever rental period you are given, of course, unless you're simply in it for bragging rights ^_^...

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 04/14/03, Updated 04/14/03

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