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Golden Sun: The Lost Age Review – My Favorite JRPG series part 2!

by on February 9, 2015
Details
 
Synopsis

After the events of Golden Sun, Felix, his sister Jenna, and their friends must continue their journey to light the remaining 2 Elemental Lighthouses!

# of Players

1

Positives

-More Djinn! more Summons! More Psyenrgy! More Everything!

-Side Quests aplenty

-8 character teams allow for more strategy in fights

-Richer story then the first game

Negatives

-Game is very long and will feel dragged out after a while

-Story while better, still feels a big convoluted

Editor Rating
 
Gameplay
A+

 
Graphics
A

 
Sound Effects and Music
A

 
Story
B+

Writer's Score
A


Bottom Line
 

Anyone who enjoyed the first Golden Sun game will absolutely love Lost Age. It's the perfect sequel in every way.

For people who haven't played the first Golden Sun game, it's still a damn good JRPG, though the plot will make significantly less sense.

 

The original Golden Sun when looked at individually, is a pretty small and underwhelming game. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but what a lot of people at the time didn’t know, is that it was building up to this, Golden Sun: The Lost Age. Golden Sun ends on a cliff hanger, and there are so many unanswered questions, and Lost Age does a marvelous job at answering them…for the most part. I’d be lying if I said Lost Age filled EVERY plot hole, but it does a damn good job of tying everything together.

The game is bigger than ever, before you had just a single continent to explore, now you’ve got the entire world! Lost Age does a fantastic job introducing the world section by section, and it retains that sense of “required exploration” that the first game had. You start off playing right as the first game ends, but not as Isaac and his friends, no this time you’re playing as Felix and his sister Jenna who was kidnapped in the first game.

Golden Sun - The Lost Age (2)

Graphics and Audio

There really isn’t much to say here, the graphics are exactly the same if not better, and the same goes for the audio. While the art in the first Golden sun is great, the world itself is quite small, now you’ve got at least 3 times as much world to see and explore, and each village, town, city and country, you visit is more unique then that last. Same with the audio, same great music, only completely different.

Story

As I said, Lost Age takes place right after the events of the first game, like immediately, as the first game ended, Lost Age started, no break time whatsoever. Felix, Jenna, Sheba and Kraden get stuck on a small floating island after an earthquake, and they float towards a new continent, which conveniently has where they need to go next. Where the first game you were trying to prevent the 4 Elemental Lighthouses from being lit, you are trying to light them. This is where the plot gets pretty confusing, about halfway through the game, you meet up with Isaac and his friends from the first game, and they decide to join you…for reasons…I’m sure there’s a legitimate reason, like having most of the Lighthouses lit creates an imbalance or whatever, but the whole gang travels the world together on a boat, that’s the premise of the story.

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Gameplay

Everything that was awesome in Golden Sun, got an upgrade, that means MORE Psyenrgy that you can use outside of battle, MORE Djinn to collect, and MORE side quests! You might think I’m joking, like it’s just a GBA cartridge like the last game, how much bigger could it really be? Well let me tell you.

One really big difference between the last game and the sequel, is your party size. Before you had 4 people you could fight with, now you’ve got 8, 2 of each element and you can mix and match your party as you please. You can only have 4 people out at a time in battle, but if your front team dies, your back up team can take over. This makes long boss battles much easier, and more interesting. You’re no longer immediately screwed if your first 4 guys get wiped out, and if a boss is weak to a certain element, you can stack those 2 teammates up first to deal as much initial damage as possible.

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In my last review of Golden Sun, I talked about how there were 2 main aspects of the game that I loved, the Psyenergy that you could use outside of battle, to solve puzzles or explore, and the Djinn. Just looking at Psyenrgy, the list has grown tremendously, before we had things like “Lift” to pick up rocks, “Force” to push things over, really simple ideas, now we’ve got a huge list including “Hover” which is pretty self explanatory, “Sand” which turns you into sand, and lets you reach new areas you couldn’t, and “Teleport” which is again pretty self explanatory. A bigger world means even more potential for creative uses of Psyenrgy. One interesting choice they made regarding Psyenrgy, is they placed these specific areas all around the world which teach a very powerful Psyenrgy to one of your initial 4 teammates, and these Psyenrgy are required to get through the game.

In the first Golden Sun game, we had a total of 49 Djinn that we could collect, 7 per person. Now, we’ve got a grand total of 72 Djinn!, That’s 18 for each element, 9 per person with your new 8 person party. Additionally, the summons have grown in size as well. You’re given the same starting summons as before, spend x Number of a single element of used Djinn to preform a summon, where X is anywhere between 1 and 4, totaling in 16 different summons. Now hidden throughout the entire Golden Sun world, are these tablets, and if you find them, they’ll teach you new forms of summoning that involve mixing and matching Djinn! The level of summon has increased as well, instead of a max level of 4, you can summon using up to 13 Djinn at once! And the more Djinn you use, the more powerful a summon it’s going to be.

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Golden Sun took a page out of Zelda when it came to designing this world. As huge as it is and full of exploration which I love, the tasks required to get through it are pretty tiresome. Find the key to your boat, find the guy who took the key, go through a dungeon to get the key, take your boat to the Golden Sun equivalent of Atlantis, wait but first you gotta get a Trident to beat a boss, but wait the Trident is in 3 pieces, better go get them, oh whats that? There’s 3 dungeons for each piece of the trident? Better go through those. It just goes on and on for at least twice the length as the first game, and what I’ve just described, is roughly the first half of the game.

One last really awesome thing Camelot included in Lost Age, is a password system, where you could connect your Golden Sun game using a second Gameboy to Lost Age, and transfer data from a cleared save file. There were a lot of seemingly pointless sidequests in Golden Sun, only to see a conclusion to a story, but they were just building up for Lost Age! There’s a part near the middle of Golden Sun where you have the choice to go help out a guy stuck under a rock. You get nothing for helping him, only the satisfaction of leaving no stone unturned. But if you do this, beat the game, and connect it to Lost Age, then you’ll receive a special item just for doing that small task. There’s a bunch of small things like that if you connect it, and even if you are unable to connect your past game to your new one, whether you don’t own it, are playing on rom, only one gameboy, whatever, there’s the option to enter a code to represent a transferred game. The code to get all the rewards from a 100% completed Golden Sun game is very long, and entering it in by hand takes quite a while. It’s actually really similar to entering in an Action Replay code by hand, if you’re familiar with that. But going for the transfer makes the game way more fun, also it’s the only way to get all 72 Djinn, which are required to fight a side boss.

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Final Thoughts

I love the Golden Sun series, the first game was an incredible start to the franchise, especially when you look at how much foreshadowing they did. Lost age takes all that start, and works with it beautifully. This gigantic world is so rich in detail, there’s secrets abound, and even if the plot is a little lengthy, there’s TONS of side quests, and some hidden bosses, some of which are more difficult then the actual final boss of the game! As much as I love Lost Age, it is a very lengthy game, mostly because it drags it out by throwing you in a new dungeon every step of the way. Regardless, it’s a fantastic game and it would have been a fantastic ending to the Golden Sun franchise…but it’s not! A third game exists! But that’s a review for next week.

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  • wetterdew
    February 12, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    I made an account here to comment on your Golden Sun reviews. I think they are some of the best reviews I’ve seen before! Golden Sun 1 and 2 are two of my favorite games ever, especially The Lost Age. Your reviews of the series are great, and they really did a good job of capturing what I love about the series. It rejuvenated my passion for the world of Golden Sun.

    The only things I would disagree with:
    -I think GS: TLA’s length is a good thing. I love how much time I spend on each playthrough.
    -From your review of Golden Sun: I don’t think that requiring exploration to proceed is a bad thing at all
    -I think the music from the first two games is incredibly well done, and often quite evocative.

    -I think Golden Sun Dark Dawn is not actually that good-looking. In battles it looks great for a DS game, but that’s not really saying that much. On the overworld it’s kind of ugly, mainly because of the low-poly super-chibi character models. The spritework of the original games was much more charming.
    -Soundtrack from Dark Dawn isn’t nearly as good as it is in the first two games, but there are still some great tracks in there.

    I love these games so much and I really hope that there is a fourth one that is as good as the first two. If not, then at the very least, I think Isaac deserves to become playable in Super Smash Brothers.

    Thanks for the reviews!


    • Jack of Games
      PyroJack
      February 12, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      Thanks for the love! Everybody has different opinions on what makes games great but I thought I got what sold or broke them for me pretty well.

      I would actually like Dark Dawn a LOT more if they didn’t cut you off and prevent you from returning.


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