The Golden Sun is weak and dim

Let’s get this straight: I love the Golden Sun series.  The second game is likely my favorite Game Boy Advance ever.  But, even I can face the fact that there are… problems with the games; little annoyances that make you grate your teeth.  And, what better thing to write about a series I love so much than to point out every flaw?  Why be like the rest of the fanbase and sing praises, when instead I can be like a grumpy old lady?  Sometimes it’s just fun to complain… keep on going to see why the Golden Sun series sucks.

My first, and biggest, argument for this series ‘suckage’ is actually one of the reasons so many like it… and that is…

It’s so old-fashioned.

The Golden Sun series harkens back to the Super Nintendo role-playing days.  Popping one of the games into your Game Boy or DS is almost like plugging in the old SNES and playing your old favorite RPGs.  Of course, that begs the question… why play Golden Sun when the SNES games do it all better?  I mean, the games do offer a lot of the old games’ charm, but the older games simply do it better.  You want some puzzles?  Play Lufia II.  You want an engaging story?  Play Dragon Quest V.  You want a good class system?  Play Final Fantasy V.  Oh yeah, speaking of class systems…

You can’t really experiment with different classes.

When you’re going through the game, you collect Djinns (something I’ll touch on later, since I have a bone to pick there too).  If you play around with them after you get a few, you’ll notice you can change your characters’ classes.  Through this, they can get some interesting new abilities, and it can really spice up the gameplay.  However, there is a problem with this system.  Since there are four types of Djinn (one for each element), it always is best to keep the Djinn with the character of the same element.  While it’s interesting to see new moves, changing around the Djinn tends to make the characters’ stats much weaker than if they would have stuck with same-element Djinn, and in the case with anyone that can heal, it’ll strip them of those abilities.  The class system is interesting, indeed, but trying to implement it would cripple your party.  Oh, and I’m not done with the Djinn yet…

Djinn are supposed to be optional, but if you don’t find them, you’ll be screwed.

So, Djinn are cool as hell, and they make your party strong as hell if you find them all (and keep them where they belong).  However, that’s just the thing:  From the outset of the first game, you’re given the impression that Djinn are optional to find and use, and while they’re helpful, you won’t need them to beat the game.  If you go on in that mindset, you’ll soon find yourself having difficulties.  The games expect you to hunt down all the Djinn, and ramps the difficulty according.  In addition, a lot of the characters’ best skills can only be learned when they have four or more Djinn equipped.  You want Issac or Felix to be able to revive fallen party members (and themselves, oddly enough)?  You better find four Venus Djinn.

Of course, to add insult to injury, if you beat the first game without finding all the Djinn and transfer the data to the second game, you won’t be able to get them all.  It’s just a big ol’ bummer.  On to the next point…

There’s no auto re-targeting!

Seriously, what the hell?  If one character kills a monster and another is set to attack it, instead of attacking another enemy like in every other RPG, they’ll just defend.  Why Camelot couldn’t just freaking set the A.I. to attack another enemy, I don’t know, but it’s kinda annoying to have wasted turns because you misjudged the enemy’s HP, or your fastest character got a lucky critical or weapon unleash.  Thankfully, this is one thing that’s already known to be fixed in Dark Dawn, so at least you only have to deal with it for the first two games.

And, finally…

The first game is only half a game.

So, you’re playing through the first Golden Sun, and stuff’s being revealed to you, and everything’s setting up for an epic quest… then it’s over.  The first game gets suddenly cut short at the second lighthouse, and it practically forces you to want to buy the second one.  Damn you marketing team!

——-

That’s it, my long-winded rant about Golden Sun and how much it sucks.  However, despite all of the series’ flaws, I still love the series, and am buying Dark Dawn within the first week.  But, like I said before, putting games in a new light isn’t a bad thing at all, even if it’s a negative light… because now that you’ve seen all the games flaws, you can go and play and enjoy the games and all the good they have.  So go and play them!

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. koolstorysisguy7_7
    Nov 22, 2010 @ 18:14:39

    haha the only thing I didn’t see was how much fetch-questing there is on Golden Sun 2. Might be preference for people to be lost but I really would hate the game with no internet

    /rpgnoobcomment

    Reply

    • gaiages
      Nov 23, 2010 @ 20:19:24

      Hmm, you may have a point. I haven’t played the second game in a while, so most of my whining is from the first game. XD Then again, I do remember the annoying ‘Rock’ dungeons from the second game… though I don’t remember so much fetch-questing. Maybe it’s something my mind preferred to block out. ;D

      Reply

  2. bet365
    Nov 23, 2010 @ 07:04:28

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    Reply

    • gaiages
      Nov 23, 2010 @ 20:23:16

      The theme is one of the ones that WordPress hosts for any user, so you don’t have to pay for it or anything. It’s called ‘Koi’.

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      Reply

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