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Golden Sun Review

Developer: Camelot Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: November 12, 2001 Also On: None

Golden Sun was one of the first games to hit the GBA, and ends up being one of the best games for the system. In this game you play as Isaac, a boy from Vale. Isaac has the ability to manipulate Psynergy (magic power). Psynergy, like most magic systems, has four elements. Those elements are water, wind, fire and stone. Isaac must stop a band of thieves from lighting the Elemental Lighthouses, or the world will go into chaos.

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While the game’s setup is quite normal, the rest of the game is far from ordinary. The game is filled with sub-stories, many unique areas, and most of all, great characters. Golden Sun plays a lot like an old-school RPG. The battle system is very simplistic and easy to learn. Each person gets a turn to attack the opponent. You also get to use your Psynergy in the battle and you get to summon these elemental spirits called Djinn (meaning genie in Arabic). Djinn are hidden everywhere across the land. To catch a Djinn, you have to solve many unique puzzles and use your brain. The more Djinn you gather, the cooler summon moves you could perform. The whole Djinn factor really adds up to the length of the game.

You could use your Psynergy not only in battles; you could also use Psynergy out of battle. ‘Why would you want to use magic out of battle?’ you may ask. You use your special skills to move boulders, get across high ledges, freeze water, and a lot of other tasks. You use Psynergy to solve puzzles, both major puzzles and lesser, optional puzzles.

Golden Sun looks great on the GBA. The environments are bright, colorful, as well as varied. Battle scenes are beautiful and breathtaking, at least for a GBA title. Any handheld console RPG doesn’t match these graphics. The audio is also superb. The tunes are original and the sound effects are well done.

While in some ways Golden Sun is generic, it makes up for it with great characters, a good storyline, great graphics, superb audio, and a fun battle system. You should be able to get this game rather cheaply, considering it is an older game. It should be a steal, because I got about 30 hours of gameplay in. Watch out Square, you aren’t the only ones who know how to make a good RPG.

Graphics: 10
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 8.5
Final: 8.9
Written by Simon Review Guide