Review by fizz7
"Buy this game.....NOW!!!!"
When I finished the original Golden Sun two years ago, I thought to myself that I had never played an RPG that was so much fun all the way through and as all around amazing as this one. The fact that it was on a handheld left me in even more awe and it was at that point where I had decided that this was the best game that was ever to come out for GBA. I was wrong. When I picked up Golden Sun: The Lost Age and put it into my GBA I was met by nonstop fun, butt'kickin RPG action from start to finish that nearly doubled the original Golden Sun in enjoyment for me, mainly because of its significantly increased playing time. Anyway, on to the review where I will make some comparisons with the original GS as I have here.
Without its magnificent, edge-of-your-seat(couch, bed, economy class seat; you get the point) storyline, GS: TLA is nothing despite its top notch everything else. The storyline isn't always definite, it takes a lot of twists and turns and best of all, despite the original Golden Sun's stellar storyline, I think this one tops it by a long shot. It's true that it is another one of those RPG's where a group of kids with strange powers must save the world from its destruction but, in my opinion, this seems to be the only similarity it shares with your average RPG. For example, what other RPG have you played recently includes lighting four elemental lighthouses across a vast fictional world in order to unleash the power of Alchemy, where the world's fate with or without this goal achieved remains uncertain.... Thought so. Also, one of the biggest bonuses in my mind in playing this game is that you get to be the antagonists of the previous game for a good part of the journey.
The gameplay in this masterpiece is as good as it gets, period. I'll admit that there weren't any dramatic changes from the gameplay in the original but why does that necessarily have to be a con: the gameplay was excellent as it was in Golden Sun; GS: TLA uses basically the same kind with few changes yet these changes significantly enhance the possibilities of the game so, in turn, the gameplay in this game is phenomenal and never ceases to amaze the player. Such changes are the ability to summon multi-elemental summons, the ability to explore a much larger map both by land and water which in turn creates a lengthlier game, the ability to have up to 56 djinn (twice the original's amount) at once. The gameplay of GS: TLA is very deep in that you can do things like attack in three major ways, acquire a mass amount of weapons and other items and learn multiple types of psynergy(magic) that can be used both in and out of battle in addition to the psynergy from the previous game. Also all characters have their own distinct qualities , features and life stories which also demonstrates the depth of the game. I found that difficulty is varied accordingly and appropriately throughout the game as the dungeons progressively get harder and longer. Finally, learning to play the game despite its depth is a breeze as you will progressively learn how to play by yourself(as I did).
The graphics in the Golden Sun series are simply astonishing and easily the superior of the GBA. There is no change in graphics from GS to GS: TLA but this was to be expected as the GBA probably couldn't support any better visuals then what everyone saw when they booted up Golden Sun on their GBA's two years ago, though I could be wrong. Basically the graphics in towns and dungeons are truly spectacular and exhibit stunning effects when something major happens or when you use a psynergy of any kind. Though somewhat different, the graphics in battles are also very pleasurable to the human eye and it is often said that the graphics during the high-level summons are the very best ever to be seen on the GBA. However, the graphics on the World Map aren't so appealing and could use a little work but it probably just seems that way because I'm so used to looking at the other jaw-dropping graphics.
When you look at this 9 under all of these 10's don't get me wrong, I think the music and SFX of GS: TLA are some of the best available on the GBA with no annoying beep-beeps and a variety of tracks with almost a different tune for each place visited. No, the reason why I took off a point is because personally, I find the repetitiveness of the World Map's music kind of annoying but maybe that's just me.
I haven't yet made another round of the glorious journey through the lands of Weyard just yet but then again why would I? I'm sure I've missed dozens of items and even a few side quests before I've fully completed the game. And even then I'd definitely give this game another go from the start within months of finshing it. I'm not so sure about a third time but you never know because this game is so damn good!!
Buy or Rent?
If you don't buy this game the minute you get your hands on a couple of twenties you might die of some foreign disease!!(just kidding) but please buy! BUY! BUY!(you won't regret it)
I'd give this game a solid 9/10 solely because of the fact that I don't think any game is perfect so this is the highest rating I would ever give. Having said that, this game has come ever so close to attaining perfection in my eyes but that dang, annoying, repetitive World Map music made me change my mind.(sorry...)
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 05/12/03, Updated 05/12/03
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