Review by Shadow0131

Reviewed: 04/17/03 | Updated: 04/17/03

Probably the most anticipated GBA game of all time, Golden Sun: The Lost Age makes an amazing arrival!

The sequel to Camelot's astounding RPG, Golden Sun, The Lost Age surely lives up to its predecessor. Offering harder puzzles, larger worlds, engrossing story, and longer play time, TLA greatly improves from the original Golden Sun.

Gameplay- The most important aspect of any game, GS:TLA definitely has amazing gameplay. One of the most unique features in TLA is the ability to transfer your clear data from the original Golden Sun. This is crucial if you want to get all the secrets in Golden Sun, but definitely not necessary.

TLA uses random battles, and features the same battle system as the original game. Although battles occur very often, which can be quite frustrating if you're trying to explore, it still has a very well created battle engine. You choose which type of attack each character will do, and then they do them. One complaint: Say you chose 2 characters to attack one enemy, and only one player defeats it, the other character you chose to attack that enemy will defend, rather then go for another enemy. This can get annoying, but with good strategy it shouldn't be a big problem.

But back to the battle engine, there are many ways to attack. You can just simply attack, which that person will use it's weapon and strike an enemy. You can also use Psynergy, psychic energy, which is when you choose a magic spell to unleash on an enemy. There are many different types of Psynergy, and certain elements have certain spells. The four elements are earth, water, fire, and wind. But more on that later. Even another way to attack is to use Djinn, which are elemental creatures that you collect on your journey. Some Djinn help your party members, and some attack foes. If your Djinn is on Set, you can use it in battle, but if it is on standby you can use it to summon powerful creatures. The more Djinn on standby, the more powerful your summons are. A new feature in The Lost Age is the ability to use multi-elemental summons by collecting combo tablets that are hidden in caves and temples.
And, finally, you can also attack using an array of items which can damage or change your enemy's status.

While your not in battle, you're usually exploring, solving puzzles in temples, caves, mountains, and deserts, or in one of the many lengthy cut scenes.

The puzzles are quite challenging compared to some from the 1st Golden Sun. Most require using Psynergy, such as Move, Reveal, Whirlwind, or some of the new Psynegies, Lash, Scoop, Tremor and more. You can easily get lost and stuck, and you need to use careful thinking to solve these difficult puzzles.

There is also many places to explore, and objects to find. You should constantly be on the lookout for the 44 new Djinn, the Combo Tablets, and important items you need on your quest.

Graphics- The graphics in this game are truly outstanding. The effects of spells, the vibrant colors, the detailed surroundings, EVERYTHING is wonderful. When your in the overhead view, there are amazing colors and unique buildings and scenery, but the real beauty is during battles. The VERY colorful, detailed summons will stun you. It's amazing how the GBA can handle the graphics of this game. The spells, summons, and players and foes couldn't be more clear and beautiful. It's too shocking to describe fully, you'll have to see it yourself.

Story- Another very important aspect in a game, especially an RPG, TLA also has a very interesting story. Picking up where the first game left you hanging, TLA answers many unanswered questions from Golden Sun 1.

Set in a land where the power of Alchemy has been long put to rest, and everything is made up of the 4 elements I mentioned earlier, you begin your quest to restore the Lost Age of Alchemy.

At the beginning, you play as Jenna, the main character's sister, for a short time until you gain control of Felix, Jenna's brother.

Your goal is to light the 4 elemental lighthouses, and you have already succeeded in lighting two of them, the Mercury and Venus lighthouses. You are being chased by Isaac, the first quest's hero, and his 3 friends, who want the lighthouses to remain unlit. Isaac is Felix's and Jenna's friend, but each have different goals.

In the first quest, Felix, supposed to have been killed by a storm the struck the town of Vale, Saturos and Menardi, who were killed at the end of the first quest, and Alex stole 3 of the 4 elemental stars from Mt. Aleph needed to light the lighthouses from Sol Sanctum, and also capturing Jenna and Kraden, a wise scholar who studied the power of alchemy. Trying to save the world from destruction and rescue their friends, Isaac, his friend Garet, and 2 new friends they met on their quest, Ivan and Mia, sought after Felix. Although killing Saturos and Menardi, the still failed them from lighting the 2 lighthouses.

Now as Felix, Jenna, Kraden, Alex of the Mercury Clan, Sheba, a mysterious young girl from a town called Lalivero, are to set out to bring the Golden Age of Alchemy back.

Sound- If you thought this game was already amazing enough, think again. TLA provides awesome new music, and some old music, for your listening pleasures. There are now 3 battle themes, opposed to Golden Sun's one. Almost each town has it's own song, and you'll definitely be humming along. Although I prefer Golden Sun's more peaceful, calm music, GS2's upbeat, exciting music is still thrilling.

Replay Value- Most RPG's have little replay value, but Golden Sun is so thrilling you'll definitely want to play it again and again. It's fun every time, and there's probably always something you missed your first run.

Gameplay-9.5/10 (Some flaws in battle system)
Overall(not average)-10/10 The amazing gameplay and graphics bring up this game's few flaws.

Rent or Buy- BUY! If you are new to the Golden Sun series, I strongly recommend playing the original game first, at least rent the 2nd one to see if you catch on.

But for all you GS1 Vets-This is a must have, don't hesitate to buy it, I guarantee you'll be pleased. Truly a masterpiece.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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