|Camelot Co. Ltd.
| The Good
Fun battle system
Deep 'class' based system
Feels like a much bigger game
| The Bad
Lots of stale clichés
Only half of the game
In Camelot Software's Golden Sun you are thrust into
the world of the stereotypical silent protagonist Isaac. Isaac
is accompanied by his childhood friend Garret as they begin
to set out on a very common, stereotypical adventure. You'll
notice I used the word "stereotypical" twice in the last two
sentences. Well that's because Golden Sun can be summed
up by the phrase "stereotypical RPG". Camelot took no risks
when developing this game. They have one of each character
generally found in every RPG ever made. The silent protagonist,
a dimwitted brute, the reserved yet intelligent offensive
magic wielder, and finally your spunky, kindhearted healer.
Although Golden Sun is somewhat cliché, the
familiar feel that the game offers is very welcoming and will
entice you to play for hours and hours.
Gameplay: I honestly can't say that I've ever encountered
a GBA game that controlled poorly. This game is no exception.
One button is cancel, the other is confirm, the two shoulder
buttons scroll through different categories in the menu and
are shortcuts to magic powers while on the map. There is nothing
particularly faulty with this aspect of the game to speak
Audio: The entire game has a pretty decent score of
familiar sounding music. At one point I could swear that it
was music from one of the early Final Fantasy games,
but perhaps not. The only gripe I have with the audio was
that when a character was talking the GBA would make different
sounding beeps to give the characters 'voices' however you
will learn to overlook this very quickly.
Visuals: This is an area in which GS really shines.
This game looks every bit as good as an early 2D PSX RPG.
The spell and battle animations are very well drawn and a
couple were just astounding (namely the spell "Ragnarok").
The character sprites are all well drawn and seem to be animated
pretty well for a game on a screen the size of a business
card. This game easily looks better than any of the late SNES
or Genesis games.
Other: The storyline in this game is pretty awful.
At the onset the story line is enthralling and keeps you on
the edge of your seat, but after a few hours the storyline
seems to drag on and makes your character accomplish completely
superfluous tasks. I thought we had a world to save? Oh, good
point, we have to do this completely random side quest before
we can save the world. At the end of this game I did not want
to finish it, not because it was so grand that I wanted to
keep enjoying it, but because I had no motivation to. This
game is merely the first half of a much bigger game. The ending
has no resolve to speak of. However if you have a friend,
you can transfer your end game party to the next game. If
you don't have a friend, I hope you like copying 6 page passwords,
cause you'll get one. On a much brighter note, the 'job' system
in this game is pretty innovative. It is more or less like
a combination of the materia system from FFVII
and the guardian force system from FFVIII.
The Djinni you don't have equipped can be summoned, however
the ones you do have give you more powerful stats and better
classes. The possibilities are more or less endless in what
your party can end up looking like.
Final Thoughts: This is a pretty solid game. If you
were a fan of the ORIGINAL (that's the first one) Final
Fantasy game on NES, this game is a must. For everyone
else, it's a decent RPG that is worth a play through. If you
can rent this or find it used, go ahead. The game can be completed
in the low 20's with ease. This is definitely a solid game,
however I would recommend Tactics
Ogre or Breath of Fire II over it.
- Casual James