141 of 162 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2001
Having played the japanese version, I have to say that I'm quite impressed. As others have already written, the graphics and music are excellent - a true demonstration of the capabilities of GBA.
The plot is perhaps a bit predictable, but other than that, I cannot find any complaints about it. Truly the best GBA RPG so far. [...and one of the first ones, but that's beside the point.]
However, one thing worth mentioning is that some parts of this game are quite dark and violent. Unless the english version is *heavily* censored, I feel that the ESRB rating for this game is not accurate. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone under the age of twelve.
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2001
Only a few months in , and this game proves just what the GBA is capable of. The story in this game frankly is rubbish, usual kids save the world stuff but forget that; the joy of this game is in the playing.
Graphically , GS takes it's cues from that all time great Chrono Trigger but it is slicker and prettier though it doesn't make you laugh quite as much. The battles are very much final fantasy style and you will be amazed at the quality of the graphics in the battle scenes - you really feel like you're playing a PS1 game, not a handheld.
There are some nice set pieces in the game as well, the ship from Kalay and the Colloseum spring immediately to mind but I won't spoil it for you! Also the Djinn (magical creatures which boost your stats/change your class (and therefore magic available) and can be summoned when not equipped add a real tactical aspect to the boss battles - do you go in with the Djinn on standby to summon the big hits but have low hit points and rubbish magic or do you leave the Djinn equipped and try and chip away at them - getting the balance right holds the key to the big battles, especially thge rock hard Jupiter lighthousew confrontation.
the game is BIG, so far I have racked up 27 hours on the game clock (and lots more in abortive attempts) and I've not got through it. The puzzles in the dungeons are fairly simple though I have been stumped a few times before finding the right way through.
The music and sound effects are top quality all the way through and you will find yourself humming the music.
Criticisms, well there are a few - Sometimes the game feels a bit too linear and you can't backtrack to places where you feel you've missed something - which is annoying because the routes back invariably are blocked or one way.
Also, there are no easy battles, and there are lots and lots of them - you'll be trying to solve a puzzle in a dungeon and find yourself getting whacked by a random encounter you weren't prepared for - 2 Chimera Mages and a Thunder lizard have been my downfall on more than one occasion because I was trying to find the way through the dungeon and not really concentrating on healing my party etc.
However, this game is still awesome - and really sets the standard for those to follow it - If Nintendo think they can get away with a re-issue of Link to the Past when they come to release a Zelda game they will be wrong because Golden Sun is a better game than that. Buy it now.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2001
This game looks truely amazing. If you like the Final fantasy series on Playstation you will definatly like this game. It features vast and complex worlds and has a truely amazing story. The menues are complex but will get easier to uderstand as you move through the game. Play as four characters. The elements include wind, water, fire, and earth. Summon huge creatures who can then combine with other summons and watch as the battle graphics get a whole new and wonderful look. Animation is great and so are the characters. Multiplayer battles against friends and see who is the better fighter. This game looks totally great and should be one of the best RPG's for Gameboy Advance!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2002
Fans of Squaresoft RPGs (Chrono Trigger especially) will love this game, and even those who are not big on RPGs will get a kick out of it. It is an action-based RPG with a battle and magic systems very similar to that of Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger, and the various Final Fantasy games.
Here are the Pros: The graphics and sound make you understand the true power of this little system. The fights are fast paced, and characters are colorful and well animated. The music is classic RPG material similar to the Squaresoft games. The story, albeit cliched by RPG standards, is engrossing, and will require a lot of reading and attention. This is a major plus because the time flies by as you are playing, so a long bus ride or flight won't seem so long when you are playing this.
Here are the Cons: There are very few. But the one problem that I often experience is that the hours of gameplay required takes it's toll on your batteries. As well, though "Golden Sun" can be considered gound-breaking by handheld standards, the story gives the player a real deja-vu feeling. A more fresh and original storyline would have helped. But a standard RPG story is always engrossing, you just sometimes get that "been there, done that" feeling.
"Golden Sun" is a game for the more intellegent and attentative gamer, and a great way to pass time on the road. You will be impressed by the graphics and sound, but you'll stay for the fun and adventure.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2002
Many reviews have hit the nail on the head boasting about this games superior graphics, sound, game play, and story line. They are all superior indeed for a hand held console. With this and Breath of Fire, you'll have hours of intense RPG action at hand. This is a great game to own for any RPG gamer.
The bad? Well, the story line is sweet, yet the story telling is boring at times. You'll have to sit through many hours of reading on this one, sometimes all at once. I believe the longest wait in near the 25 minute mark. I'd enjoy the book indeed, but this is a game... for playing. I hope with the second one they wear the reading down a good bit, and then they will have a far better game to this already fantastic title. Although the reading is a drag sometimes, especially for people on the go (at least make it where I can save during the talking), I still gave it 5 stars. An excellent game by far if you have time on your hands for reading.
This game boasts the GBAs abilities very well. For those of you with "cheap" battery packs, beware, they'll drain fast on this one. Use batteries or better rechargeable's instead for longer gameplay.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2001
The best word that describes Golden Sun is 'awsome.' The game is truely amazing. The graphics are mind-blowing, the gameplay is fabulous, the sound is CD-quality excellent (you need headphones to do it justice), and in my opinion, it is as good as any final fantasy game. There are tons of cool items that I can only begin to go into, such as powerful (and sometimes magical) swords, axes, maces, staffs, rings, shields and armor not to mention hearbs, and all kinds of other healing medicines. The magic system is very neat once you get used to it, somewhat comparable to Final Fantasy 3's esper system but with much more complexity and ways to use it. Everyone will obtain an impressive array of magic, but it's not too excessive, like the RPGs that you have 400 spells per person to pick from. Some people complain that the plot of Golden Sun is a little dry but I disagree. The plot is (in my opinion) quite different from most other RPGs like the Final Fantasy series and is alot more interesting I think. There are plenty of neat sequences in the game, which keeps it from being just one long, boring quest and the game keeps a cool optimistic attitude if you know what I mean, instead of the somewhat dark attitude of most of the Final Fantasies, it has a kind of hopeful and fun feal to it (more like Final Fantasy tactics) even though it's a serious situation that's going on. Anyway, I could go on like this forever, but I have to keep it short for this review so all I have left to say is buy it! Buy it! BUY IT! It is the best game for GBA so far and is liable to be the best ever... except of course for it's sequel, which I am already anxiously awaiting... -the amazing one
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2002
(I KNOW THIS SEEMS LIKE A LONG ARTICLE BUT WHEN YOU GET DONE READING IT NOT ONLY WILL YOU WANT MORE INFORMATION BUT WILL WANT TO BUY THIS GAME PLEASE READ THIS ARTICLE....) this is the best RPG i have ever played and i have played zelda ,(the newest ones anyway) chrono trigger, and some of the final fantasies. well this is what it is all about , you are a young boy named isaac (you can change the name) and you live in a mysterious village named vale and you and your friend garet (by the way you get 2 more teammates along the way named ivan and mia) are on a quest to take back the elemental stars from 2 villains named saturos and minardi, and 2 others but I do not want to reveal who they are. (it goes along with the story)anyway people from vale and some other places can use psynergy a special ability you can use in and out of battle. you also have creatures called djinns there are 4 types they are earth which is also known as venus, fire also known as mars,wind also known as jupiter, and finally water aso known as mercury. you can use these creatures in battle. each one has a special power and when they are on standby you can summon them.the more standby djinn you have the more powerful the summon is. well although i have not beat the game yet i am very far and am about to beat it the story is awesome and the graphics are very impressive for a handheld. oh i forgot your characters when gained enough exp. points they gain levels and become stronger. you can collect coins and upgrade your party's gear. and also when your characters gain levels they learn more powerful psynergy moves. well i hope this article will persuade you to buy or rent this game bye........
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2002
Golden Sun was the first game I purchased for my newly acquired Game Boy Advance. As a longtime fan of role-playing games, I was very pleased. The graphics are amazing i.e. weather effects, spell casting/summons, 3-D backgrounds during battles; it easily puts any RPG on the SNES to shame as far as visual style. The controls are simple and easy to use and I really appreciate the ability to save anywhere.
The story, the key to any role-playing game, is intriguing right from the start. A catastrophe brings tragedy to your home town and sends you spiraling onto a fantastical journey. It's the stuff of traditional RPG lore but it's presented well here and still retains a fresh feel. As far as its presentation, Golden Sun is a mix somewhere between Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete and The Legend of Zelda games on NES, SNES, and Game Boy.
Untraditionally, the game allows you to interact with the field map and use your spells outside of battle. There's a rock blocking your path? Cast a spell to move it out the way. This allows the developers to impliment many creative puzzles that may leave you scratching your head. None of them are too difficult, though, so you won't become frustrated at all.
The only frustrating things about the game are these: the main character is mute. If you've played other RPGs, chances are you've come across this type before (Lunar, Chronno Trigger). It's not too big of a deal, though, because the game lets you chose between "Yes" or "No" any chance that he would be expected to reply to a question, and your companions' chatter more than makes up for it. Another downfall of the game is the difficulty...or lack thereof. This game is extremely easy if you're a RPG veteran. What do I mean by RPG veteran? Well, if you've at least beaten all the Final Fantasies on the Playstation One, then this will be a cake walk for you. If you've beaten Xenogears then you could play this game in your sleep. By that defult, this makes Golden Sun an ideal game for beginning RPGers. Despite a few dark undertones, the game is suitable for all ages.
That lack of difficulty leads me to my final complaint: this game is way too short. It can easily be beaten in 17, 18 hours. That's either a short or long time to invest in a game, depending on who you ask, but most would agree that it's an incredibly short amount of time for a RPG. When games like Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior VII feature gameplay north of 40 hours (and in the case of DW, north of 80 hours!), 17 hours is just too little. I understand that the Game Boy game cartridges can't hold as much information as a CD or DVD but in the very least they could throw in some replay value, besides an easy Battle Areana. And to add insult to injury, the game is to be continued! That's right, we have to wait for Golden Sun: The Lost Age to finish the story. Therefore, we have no idea about the tragic past of Felix (one of the best characters in the game) or Ivan's heritage, among many other dangling plotlines...alas, Golden Sun is a great enough game that I *want* to find out the rest of the story, so I'll warrant purchasing the next game. I hope that's a subtle enough praise for this way above-average RPG.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2001
This is easily one of the best rpgs ever made for a handheld system. If you've played Shining Force on Genesis or SegaCD you should notice this game looks and plays very similar. The graphics are some of the best (for an rpg) for any system, I would say it is almost as good as S*ny's Legend of the Dragoon. When you talk to other characters you see little emotion bubbles over their heads like ((?)) or ((!)) This is something used in Japanese games/anime to reflect mood in the characters. I think it's cool and original to use over here in the States. The storyline is not that original but the novelty of having such a good rpg on a handheld makes up for it. If you spend your time raising levels and dont rush through the game you could get 40 hours out of it. After that it has some good replay value but nothing like a Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest game. The sound is good but could be better; you wont hear any good musical scores like a FF game. The battle scenes are awesome. Think Shining Force II with full animation... I enjoyed getting into battles instead of just mashing the button down and hoping it would be over. The graphics are very reminicent of Alundra, Grandia and Shining Force II.
Camelot has done an excellent job of making this game and translating it. Try to buy it before Breath of Fire and pick up Dragon Warrior 3 for Gameboy Color while you're at it :)
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2001
Now many of you are thinking if this game is good or should you go get another game. Well look no further. The best RPG to date is here with not only superb eye candy graphics every grazed a system but actually quite fun. The graphics is excellent, the sound is not repetitive, each village, house,cave has its own music. Very addictive, I would strongly recommened a guide if there's one because you'll need it. It's not that hard at first but later it gets harder of where to go and what to pick up. Great characters, names, and everything is excellent! When the battle scenes come up it's a 3-d type battle and the battle rotates every time. The magic spells are so cool especially the matrix type ones!!! (...) it's from Nintendo so you can't go wrong. If your not satisfied by this game, then write a bad review but but the time you have played only 1/8 of the game, you'll be wanting more! Did I meantion it's a 40+ game, but believe me, it goes by fast that I didn't realize that I was playing for almost 7 hours!!!!