A great RPG with classic game play and original aspects
The tunes are really exciting, the graphics are nice, colored and detailed (especially in the battles), the controls works perfectly in the games, well, all the "I/O" part of the game is really great. Before seeing this, I was thinking that many "new generation" RPG that have a release date of 1998 or +, would never be as great as some SNES RPGs about this, but this game proves that this is false.
The story is somewhat great. I can't really explain why, but even if the usual "go on a journey and save the world" thing repeats itself for many RPGs, the story is really exciting.
A thing I liked about the gameplay is that you spend more time in the game to fight monsters than to watch stupid scenes without doing anything, like many "new generation" RPGs. For example in Final Fantasy X, you're always walking, speaking with people, or seeing scenes like in a film, and you're in average not often doing battle. In the other side, in very old RPGs like Dragon Warrior or the first Final Fantasy, you were always in battle and you hardly ever spoke to people. In Golden Sun, the balance is just right, you never spend a big amount of time without speaking to anyone or without advancing in the story, but you also never spend a big amount of time without fighting.
The battle system looks plain at the beginning of the game, but it becomes interesting after a while, and actually there is a lot of strategy in it, unlike Final Fantasy games for example.
It's also pretty hard to collect all Djins. But, once you got the strategy to defeat very-strong monsters, the game will become pretty easy.
Finally, the great thing in Golden Sun is that there is very challenging enigmas everywhere. One half of the enigmas are optional (to get items, weapons, etc...), and some of them are so hard that you'll give up (this happened to me a couple of times, but I tried them at least one hour !).
The thing that disappoint me in the game is the item-quantity limitation. Here you can only carry 15 items per character, and this is pretty frustrating to be unable to collect all the weapons of the game, etc...
Also, there shall be ~10 sound effects in the whole game, and all magics and attacks does just a combination of them. They could input more different sounds effects. However I really like the noise that make someone who is speaking. It's really fun ;-)
Well, I found that the last boss was a bit easy, and the ending shucks. I mean that the game finish just where is should not be finished. I just completed the game several hours ago and I was disappointed by the ending. They just want you to buy Golden Sun 2, just to make themselves twice money, just like Pokemon ruby & sapphire and so on... What a shame. By the way, I'll surely buy Golden Sun 2 someday, but... well this is frustrating to buy a game in those conditions, just to know the sequel of the story. Usually, when I buy a game, its for discovering a new world, a new story, not to know the sequel of another one.
The Bottom Line
Golden Sun is a very great RPG that shows the full-potential of the Game Boy Advance. I would recommend it to anyone who like RPGs. I think it has the good side of old RPGs, and the good side of news ones, and just this stuff make it really great.