“ Manufacturer: Nintendo / Genre: Adventures & Role-playing „
The first Golden Sun was amazing, I warmed to it's visuals and it's classic feeling storyline and it was great value for the amount of quest you got! All I can say, is that this is more of the same and that's a good thing!
Set straight after the events of the last game, this sees you lead a new team, some of whom are related to the team of the first golden sun and made appearances in the first game (i won't say who, since you might not have played the original)...
Suffice to say the quest is huge once again, moving from dungeon to dungeon in true old school RPG style, fighting various different creatures along the way and training your squad up... There's even the opportunity to transfer your data from the old game if you've spent time training Issac etc and have great weapons.
I don't want to say too much about the game because it really is a personal experience to me, both games are! So i just recommend you go and pick it up and the best thing is, there are old unboxed carts floating around various sites for £5 or so, which is pennies considering what you're getting..
In my opinion, this is probably one of the greatest games so far for the Gameboy Advance system. Not only are the graphics and music great, but the games concept and storyline is something to truly admire. Such depth and quality to story, character development and interesting worlds is something that is not often seen in video games.
Golden Sun: The Lost Age, is a sequel to the original Golden Sun game which was a brilliant game in its own rights, the slight problem with the first game in my opinion was that it was too short. The Lost Age remedies this, not only has it got much more play time than the original game, the world is a lot richer, more varied and a lot larger.
If you are new to Golden Sun, and have not played the first game, then there is no need to panic because this game is perfect for new-comers and experts alike. You play as Felix, an 18 year old kid who doesnt seem to have any idea what hes about. He and his party have special abilities which enable them to use psychic energy known as psynergy. Anyone who uses psynergy is known as an adept.
Weyard (the name of the world in Golden Sun) is deteriorating. The people are no longer progressing and Alchemy no longer exists. Some people theorize that the only way to save Weyard is to light the four lighthouses in order to return Alchemy to the world. On the other hand, some people believe that lighting the four lighthouses will only bring death and destruction. In the first game, two lighthouses were successfully lit and strange things happened. Now, there are only two lighthouses remaining. Who is right? Should the lighthouses be lit? Will Alchemy be restored or will the world be destroyed? Will Felix and company successfully light the remaining lighthouses or will Isaac stop him
Felix: Felix is the main character of the game. He is an 18 year old earth adept and doesnt seem to know what hes about. His main goal is to light the two remaining lighthouses in Weyard (the world that the game is set in) and return alchemy to the world once more. He doesnt say much which is typical of the main character in the Golden Sun games.
Jenna: Jenna is Felixs little sister. She is 17 year old fire adept and has a very assertive nature. She follows her older brother wherever he goes and remains loyal to him but Im sure that all she wants is to find her parents and return home so that things can go back to the way they used to be.
Sheba: Sheba is a somewhat annoying, 14 year old wind adept whose mouth can be little too big sometimes. Felix rescued her from a couple of maniacs called Saturos and Menardi in the last game. Ever since, she has made the transition from shy little girl to annoying little girl who speaks when she isnt supposed to. She follows Felix partly out of loyalty and partly out of her own reasons.
Piers: A slightly strange water adept whom our heroes meet along the way. He joins the quest out of loyalty and desire to see the lighthouses lit again. No one knows how old he really is (creepy), but at least he has a ship!
Kraden: A truly useless old wind bag, Kraden is literally there for the ride.
He is a scholar of alchemy and has come up with some theory about alchemy being returned to the world once the lighthouses have been lit. He does nothing to help during the whole quest, he doesnt help fight, solve puzzles or anything. He is well and truly USELESS! He seems to exist for the sole purpose of opening his mouth to blab about something when nobody asked him to!
Alex: A mysterious water adept who keeps appearing and disappearing (literally) and treating Felix and his friends like dirt. One minute, it seems like hes on their side the next minute, you dont feel so sure. I think the one thing he truly wants is the lighthouses to be lit for his own personal reasons.
Agatio and Karst: These two fire adepts have the phrase bad guys written all over them. Even though they want the two remaining lighthouses lit, they seem to think its fun to bully Felix and company. Stay away from them if you can!
Isaac, Garet, Mia and Ivan: These four are the main characters from the original game. Although they are good guys, they will stop at nothing to prevent the lighthouses from being lit. This is because they were told that if the lighthouses are lit, the world will be destroyed.
The world in Golden Sun: The Lost Age is huge! Luckily, there is an easy to access map which helps you to find your way around. With seven large continents and over a dozen islands to explore, believe me, youll be grateful that there is a map! You must guide your party across this vast world. As you stay at villages, meet new friends (and enemies!), travel across deserts, forests, icy wastes and oceans, battle foes, climb plateaus and mountains, find your way through caves and solve cryptic puzzles along the way, youll find theres never a dull moment! One of the highlights of this game is the fact that you get to travel in a vehicle. Thats right! You get to sail in your very own ship and travel wherever you want! Some places may seem inaccessible at first but after you do a bit of exploring and puzzle-solving, you may find something, or someone who may be able to help you.
There are plenty of weapons, armour and special items to be found so you should keep your eyes peeled. There are also powerful spells and special little creatures called Djinn to find. The more Djinn you collect, the more powerful you become! After winning a battle, you usually get some money. The stronger the foe/foes you defeat, the more money you get. You can use your money to buy new weapons and armour or stay at inns. There are even some towns and villages that have places where you can gamble and win stuff! Money can also be used to buy healing potions or pay medicine men for special services. You can also find ores and have them made into something new!
The controls of the The Lost Age are simple to master and it doesnt take very long to get used to them. Although all the control buttons on the Gameboy are used, only the directional pad, A,B and START buttons are used for main game play. Of course, Golden Sun: The Lost Age is an RPG and like most RPGs, battle is in the form of turn-based combat (this means that your party and the enemys party take turns to make a move during battle).
Overall, the graphics are good but the quality usually depends on where you are. For example, if you are wandering outside towns, villages and caverns, objects in the background are slightly blurred and out of scale with your character. However, the best graphics are to be seen during combat. Here the background rotates in a realistic three dimensional manner and the events that occur during summons and spells have some of the most stunning graphics I've seen on the GBA. Come on, how often do you see a huge burning meteorite falling from space to land right bang smack on top of your enemies?
The music for the game is terrific and it is almost like listening to an orchestra playing from your GBA. The music always matches the mood of what is happening in the game. If there is action, then the music will be fast and furious, if something sad happened, then the music will be slow and sorrowful, if the mood is happy, then the music is swinging and joyful. Random battles even have their own unique music.
The sound effects are great and match the actions perfectly. Sometimes, if something funny happens, there are cartoon like sound effects. For example, if you find yourself falling down a pit, there is a sort of whistle then bang to accompany your fall and landing! In more serious situations, there are exploding noises for things blowing up, whooshing roars for waterfalls, soft hisses for sand falls, howling for wolves, footfall sounds for running up stone steps and so on.
For me, the highlight of The Lost Age is the fact that I could upload the original characters from the first game into it. This meant that I could transfer all the money, items, weapons, armour, Djinn and psynergy capabilities via my game link cable using a second GBA. By doing this, I could use the original party from where I left off in the first game. If you havent got a second GBA and/or havent played the first game, theres no need to worry as you have the option of entering a special code to unlock Djinn and items instead.
Despite its brilliance, the game has let downs as well. Like most handheld RPGs, there are plenty of random battles as well as boss battles. The good news is, once your characters reach a certain level of strength and fighting skill, you can buy special items to greatly reduce and even eliminate these random battles. The bad news is, these items dont work sometimes and youll have quite a frustrating time trying to find your way through a maze while trying to fend off determined monsters every few seconds. The other let down only applies to people like me who have played the first game because they would have been following the story from there. Im afraid that you dont get to use your original characters until the game is more than halfway through. It doesnt take long for you to get over this though and you will stop feeling disappointed after about an hour or so into the game.
Apart from this, the game is absolutely flawless and a real masterpiece! However I must warn you, if you completely despise RPGs, then it might be a good idea to stay away from it. On the other hand, if you love RPGs, then prepare to be irrevocably addicted to this one!
I would advise anyone who is looking for a good, lasting game to get this. To make it even more worth your while, Id advise you to get the first one too! This is a game youd probably find yourself playing again and again for a long time. I know I did!