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Game Profile
FINAL SCORES
8.9
Visuals
9.0
Audio
9.5
Gameplay
8.5
Features
8.5
Replay
8.5
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
Game Boy
PUBLISHER:
Nintendo
DEVELOPER:
Camelot Software
GENRE: RPG
PLAYERS:   1-2
RELEASE DATE:
November 12, 2001
ESRB RATING:
Everyone
IN THE SERIES
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn

Golden Sun: The Lost Age

 Written by Chris Reiter  on March 29, 2002

Review: For the first time, I enjoy the Sun being in my eyes.


One of the greatest moments in role-playing video game history was the 16-bit era. It was around a decade ago and I lived through that glorious time. Now one of the smallest platforms out there is capable of bringing that glorious past into our present. Golden Sun for the Game Boy Advance brings back that great sort of memory and does an excellent job as one of the best role-playing games on any handheld system ever released.

The story is set in the small village of Vale wherein the people who live there are happy and peaceful. What is known about these people is that they are magic users. They are capable of wielding Psyenergy, a power capable of controlling the elements. The tale begins as this town is threatened by a giant boulder that is about to collide with the lives of people living in Vale. Many of the villagers die in the effort to stop the destruction of the village. Three years later children of the disaster uncover the mystery of Alchemy, the source of all magic. When their simple curiosity leads them to unleashing an evil presence in the land they must put a stop to it before the entire world comes to an end.

Golden Sun's exploration perfectly captures the two-dimensional perspective that graced the RPG classics of yesterday. Surprisingly, the game battles are not in a 2D perspective. It is actually more like the battle sequences take place in a 2.5D view. You can either face your enemies head on or in a side view. The battle gameplay is easy to adjust to since your options are limited to attack, defend, or flee. To make things interesting later on you will learn about the Djinn. The Djinn are creatures that are summoned by powerful magic. You can search for these creatures throughout the game and give them to any character that you choose. This will strengthen or change your character's magic abilities for a more powerful set of attacks during battle. For example, a fire Djinn will aid you with powerful flame attacks.

Graphically, Golden Sun is one of the best Game Boy Advance games I've ever seen. From glowing light sources to fully well decorated towns and deeply detailed character sprites, the eye popping 2D visuals make a very stunning appearance. Everything is in this game and with well rendered building models and polished dungeon areas, Golden Sun is a great looking game. The graphic detail really takes off when facing opponents in battle. Whether it be from an ally or an enemy, the magic spells always look good for a game of this proportion.

Without sounds, the game in action would be dull. Golden Sun just wouldn't settle for that. It is impressive how much audio power the Game Boy Advance can churn out. The little instances where every little sound you hear counts are amazing and the music is excellent as well. The game is full of cheerful, adventurous, and ominous scores that are addicting to listen to.

Finally, Golden Sun has a multiplayer mode. A feature not found in most RPG games. With a friend, two copies of Golden Sun, an extra Game Boy Advance, and a multiplayer link, you can load up your saved game and use your team of characters in a one on one battle to see who is really the better champion. . Even without a friend you can still enter the multiplayer mode alone and use your saved party against the game's AI monsters for a self-test of challenge.

Bottom Line
By far, Golden Sun was one of the most promising looking titles on the Game Boy Advance when the handheld launched last summer. Now gamers can finally pick it up, play it, and enjoy it to the very last drop. Golden Sun is not the most innovative RPG but captures the feel of the classic RPG's all over again.


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