Video Game Thoughts: Golden Sun

Golden Sun was a 2001 role-playing game by Camelot Software Planning. This game came out before I got my Game Boy Advance, but I had definitely heard of it. It was regularly featured in Nintendo Power magazine and had received good reviews. I was introduced to role-playing games through a friend. He had the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and the PlayStation, both consoles with many good role-playing games. I got see them and play them a little at his house, but I could never put a lot of solid time into them. Eventually, I got the Game Boy Advance and was able to find a used copy of Golden Sun for a nice, low price.

The gameplay in Golden Sun was very similar to the old Super Nintendo role-playing games. It had a top-down 2D perspective for exploration and a pseudo-3D perspective for combat. Like most role-playing games, the story was about saving the world. The main character was a teenage boy named Isaac. Along the way he found three other companions to join him. The party had to go from town to town saving the day until they could finally confront the main villain, win the battle, and save the world.

Golden Sun was full of role-playing game stereotypes both in game mechanics and story. This was no problem to me though because I had barely played any other role-playing games. It was all new to me. The characters did act a little bit childish though. According to the story, they were all teenagers like I was in real life at the time, but they seemed to act more like young kids sometimes.

Everything was pretty much perfect in Golden Sun as my first role-playing game except for the final battle. Most of the game was pretty easy, but that final battle was way too tough for me. I remember trying again and again to beat the final boss and failing every time. I concluded that I needed to gain several levels before I could beat the boss. This was really tedious. The whole rest of the game I had never had to stop to level. Sometimes I might gain an extra level or two for fun to try out new spells and abilities, but I never had to really spend a lot of time just leveling up the characters. I was disappointed that the last part of game had this difficulty spike.

I don’t remember what level I had to get to, but it was so much higher than the characters’ current levels that I became bored and quit playing. I never even saw the ending. It is always horrible when a game becomes too boring. That is a serious problem a developer needs to prevent. I did, however, come back to the game years later and gain the last levels needed to beat the game. This wasn’t as bad a flaw as I made it out to be here, but it really left a bad taste in my mouth about Golden Sun. I ended up deciding not to get the sequel, despite this first game having a cliffhanger ending. I was just afraid of there being another tedious part in the sequel.

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