Golden Sun: The Lost Age
Critic Reviews add missing review
Average score: 87% (based on 47 ratings)
Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 37 ratings with 2 reviews)
Golden Sun : The Lost Age is the direct sequel to Golden Sun, i.e. it has the same story, same characters, and so.
The scenario is interesting and well written. In the first Golden Sun, you had to control a young boy named Isaac and to prevent elementary lighthouses to be lighten, and the game was ending brutally after the second lighthouse, almost forcing the player to buy Golden Sun : The Lost Age.
This time, you control Felix, and your goal is to light the lighthouses. I'll let you discover this in the game, but anyway it is required you first completed the original Golden Sun game in order to play this one, else you won't understand the story at all, and that would be a shame. Characters and their relationships are very well developed and kind of realistic.
The game engine hasn't been touched since the first Golden Sun, which is a very good thing (don't fix it if it isn't broken).
Now, the graphics are amazing ! They are basically the same as they were in the original Golden Sun (which is a good thing), but they added a lot of new tile sets and now the graphics are a lot more varied. The level of detail on the play field (using top-down perspective) is high, and the battle graphics are in fake 3D, with some very nice pre-rendered animations. The effects in battle are definitely the most impressive I've ever seen on any 2D system. Golden Sun : The Lost Age is graphically by far the most vibrant Game Boy Advance game as far I know.
The soundtrack is amazing too. A small part of the songs is directly imported from the original Golden Sun, while most songs are brand new. The old tracks are rather using classical instruments, while the new tracks use more varied sounds and even tropical instruments, and this changes the game to a more varied feel. Anyway, you'll HAVE TO use the external audio jack in order to listen the music with decent speakers, because the soundtrack has a lot of bass lines that cannot be hear at all with the small poor quality speakers internal to the GBA.
The sound effects are just the same as in the original Golden Sun, as good but also lack variation as well (the game will use and re-use the same sound effects over and over using different combinations). Since this is just sound effects, there isn't too much to complain.
The battle system is the exact same as in the original Golden Sun, which is mostly a classical turn per turn battle system. The only difference with the typical oldskool RPG is that you have Djinns (little elementary beasts that you have to collect) that will seriously affect your stats in function of how you use them, and they can summon monsters. Also, a new feature is Golden Sun : The Lost Age is that you can found tablets allowing you to have more powerful summons combining power from two of the four elements.
The most significant change is that you can have both parties at the end of the game : The original Golden Sun party and your main party from Golden Sun : The Lost Age. You're allowed to swap one character per turn, and if one party is beaten, the other one comes back (it's game over only when all characters are dead). This doesn't happen until somewhat late in the game unfortunately. You can import saves from the original Golden Sun for the stats of your secondary party, but if a friend lend you the cartridge of the original Golden Sun (like me) you're stuck with your default party which isn't very good (but you can work with it).
One big change from the first Golden Sun is that now the game has a considerable level of unlinearity. Just like in another portable RPG I've just finished, Dragon Warrior III, you can chose the order in which you want to progress, the only things limiting you are items and magic necessary to enter some parts of dungeons.
There is still numerous puzzles that you have to solve in order to find treasure chests, to get Djinns or just to pass your way in dungeons.
The only downside is that puzzles seems to be a little less insane than in the original Golden Sun. I mean, I had to look for help almost half of the time in the first game in order to solve puzzles, while here, with a decent deal of thinking I was able to found almost all secrets alone (at least I think so).
The Bottom Line
Golden Sun : The Lost Age is a masterpiece. Anyone who seems to like RPGs must try this one (after beating the original Golden Sun of course, else it doesn't make much sense). Additionally, it is one of the longest game on the Game Boy Advance (it took me around 50 hours of gameplay) and it takes full advantage of GBA's possibilities in therms of graphics, sound quality and overall game size.
Game Boy Advance · by Bregalad (937) · 2006
This game is very very long, there are a bunch of psynergy powers, more things to buy, whole new continents and islands to explore and new monsters to battle. Plus you can upload your game data from the Original Golden Sun. (only if you have beaten the game first) It is hard not to get addicted to this game and you may never have a social life again. It's graphics are superb and like the original, it uses symbols to signify emotions, which almost ties you to the characters.
The major downside is that you will start to get annoyed because you are almost constantly battling monsters and never have time to really explore.
The Bottom Line
Overall this game rivals metroid fusion in graphics but it's story line is much more complex. If you have the first one, then you have to buy this one.
Game Boy Advance · by Jester236 (34) · 2003