Golden Sun 2: The Lost Age (GBA) Review
The sequel to the Game Boy Advances best RPG is here. Continuing on from the storyline of Golden Sun, you take control of Felix and company as you try to light the elemental lighthouses to either save the world or destroy it. A fairly typical plot for an RPG, but when the game is this good, you wont really care.
Some great graphics here. The entire game is 2-D, from the World Map to the battles. Nice, large sprites allow you to clearly see everything, and the animation never looks blocky. The battle graphics are simply gorgeous. The models lack detail when the camera spins to reveal their faces, but other areas make up for this. Attacks are made in fluid motion, but the best graphics are the Psynergy spells and the summons. These are simply amazing. A lot of effects are out in here, and you can tell the developers took lots of time to perfect them.
A great OST. All of the tracks are amazing, fitting the moods they are set for perfectly. An orchestra does all of the tracks, so you can be assured that it is perfect for an RPG. The battle sounds are quite nice, although a bit limited. The only bad thing I could say about the sound in this game is that when talking to people the sound can get a bit annoying.
Alright, Ill split this into 2 sections one for the World Map and dungeons, the other for battle.
The World Map feels a lot like the Pokemon games. You wander around in 3rd person, fighting in random battles. You can also use specific Psynergy in the field, by assigning them to the L and R buttons. Different to the Pokemon world though is that towns are placed on the map unlike Pokemon where going off a route leads to a town.
The main draw for Golden Sun though is the battle system. By configuring your Djinni setup and by using certain items you can change your character class. Certain advantages come with this your Psynergy will change and your elemental strengths will change. Disadvantages are the same as the advantages you will lose some Psynergy and your strengths will change. Having a system like this will really make you think about the way you set up your classes.
Being a traditional RPG, the lifespan of this game is long. Going through it once will take you approximately 35 hours. Beating the game will unlock 2 extra game modes easy and hard. Playing on easy mode lets you use your characters from your cleared file, so you start with your characters from whatever level they were on. Hard mode is self explanatory, really. You start the adventure again, only with harder monsters.
I really love RPGs. I have a whole ton of them at home. But this one holds a very special place in my heart because it is amazing. A better RPG on the GBA you will not find. Hopefully Camelot will decide to release a third on the DS I can but dream. In closing, everyone with a GBA or DS should get this game, it is fantastic.