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Golden Sun

Aiming to leave other RPGs in the shade

Perhaps the most reassuring sign that Nintendo is serious about restoring some of the hardcore faithful's wavering confidence is the remake of a much loved RPG series last seen some six years ago.

Golden Sun was released in 2002 on the Game Boy Advance and since then anyone who played it has quietly pined for its near perfect blend of gorgeous looks and intelligent, refined gameplay which managed to keep the interest high for all of its 30-hour quest. Its sequel, The Lost Age, was released a year later, and while it was essentially a carbon copy of the original it was still highly regarded. Both were a throwback to the Japanese-style RPG's glory days on the SNES. So even though its announcement carried little fanfare and the shortest of trailers, we saw enough to be convinced that Golden Sun DS looks to be picking up exactly where The Lost Age left off.

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Actually, you pick up more where the original Golden Sun left off. You play as Isaac, the hero of that first game, reimagined here in three very lovely dimensions, much like the rest of the game. The graphical overhaul is really something to behold. Golden Sun has a fine tradition of stunning looks and the sweeping, rocky vistas we clapped eyes on in the demo at E3 must be pushing the DS to breaking point.

Brains And Beauty

If Golden Sun was revered for its good looks, its brain was just as admired. The battle system is being resurrected too, though it'll be suitably updated to take advantage of its new home. It's based around the Djinn system that made the originals so popular. Djinni are elemental beings that give a different advantage to each character by being assigned to that character. They're found strewn through the world and have their own special abilities which can be used periodically in battle. But it's the potential for mixing and matching which offers so much depth. The various attributes of your party members can be altered time and again by simply flitting between each Djinn - attacks are bolstered, defences increased and special abilities are augmented, according to the Djinn selected. The challenge comes from balancing your party's specialities to deal with whatever challenge crops up.

In battle, the Djinni occupy the top screen, while your party members get stuck in down on the touch screen. Freely wandering through the landscape offers no such segregation - huge beasts tower over your party, spilling over both screens. On prettiness alone Golden Sun is a knockout. We can't wait to see how its bones have been updated, but we'll have to hang on until next year to find out.

Comments

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  1. nintendovig Sunday 2nd Aug 2009 at 09:41

    I can't wait for this to come out. The first is in my top 5 games of all time along the likes of zelda and mario.

    Gooing off topic now when do you reckon dsi owners will be able to use the video vault and watch the trailers?

  2. ploiper Sunday 2nd Aug 2009 at 09:54

    this will be the best game ever. fact.

  3. Cinaclov Sunday 2nd Aug 2009 at 10:59

    The announcement made me want to re-play the originals. I'm almost done with TLA and now i'm seriously hyped about this next one. Can't wait.

  4. Violet Sunday 2nd Aug 2009 at 11:15

    You're not playing as Isaac. You're playing as the descendants of the characters from the first two games. This was confirmed with the press release at E3. He just LOOKS like Isaac. Easy mistake I guess, but if you guys had read the release before making that article that would of stopped this misinformation flying around.

    I see more and more errors in ONM in recent months, it's a little depressing.

    As for the game itself, this was THE best announcement at E3 by a good long way. Even better than Other M in my opinion. IT'S GOLDEN SUN 3. People have been wanting this for so long now.

  5. Cacnea Sunday 2nd Aug 2009 at 11:35

    If this game were to come out on the same day as Spirit Tracks, there'd be no competition for my money!

    Golden Sun is classic brilliance.

  6. Shadow Samus Sunday 2nd Aug 2009 at 12:13

    I'd love to like and get into these games, but I just ound the old ones too tedious. I have both golden sun 1 and 2 but stopped playing the first game when I got to the desert.

    Am I missing something? Can someone please tell me what makes these games so good? :?

  7. Tailsdreggman Sunday 2nd Aug 2009 at 12:39

    Golden sun, Golden sun... nope, haven't heard of it
    from what i've seen of screenshots though, this looks like it could be really good - the graphics are just jaw-dropping*. could anyone tell me where i could pick up a copy of the original?

    *not that i judge a game on graphics, of course...

  8. 13th Nightmare Sunday 2nd Aug 2009 at 12:41

    Ii remember playing Golden Sun 1 & 2 on the humble GBA. I've never been a big fan of RPGs until I played those two games. And now that the game is coming to the DS/i, it will be one game that I do intend on getting. The first two games were great fun, bring on the next one!

  9. BOWIEtheHERO Sunday 2nd Aug 2009 at 14:11

    This will destroy every other Handheld RPG... This stands up strong amongst most HOME CONSOLE RPGs, so it'll destroy all the competition. End of

    No more comments are needed, the last 8 and this are all that's needed.

  10. monkeymoo Sunday 2nd Aug 2009 at 14:17

    Been waiting quite a while now for this to come out.
    I never really liked RPGs til I played this. Now I really like them :D

  11. darkandy666 Sunday 2nd Aug 2009 at 15:18

    i want now.... this was my first ever RPG when i was 9 good times good times im goin to start playing the old ones now

  12. NintendoALLSTAR Sunday 2nd Aug 2009 at 15:57

    I always wanted a grand adventure on my GBA. Pokemon was great but it's a different kind of RPG. It wasn't an epic journey with a story you can really get stuck into. I came across Golden Sun and I was blown away. The graphics and music oozed charm; and the mechanics, battle system and side-quests were brilliant. It told a good story and the characters were lovable. Thinking about Golden Sun and it's sequel, Lost Age, makes me all warm and fuzzy-like. I absolutely loved them and they stand up, easily, amongst the best RPGs out there.

    Witnessing the announcement I actually umped up and shouted 'yes' lol. I've been waiting for another Golden Sun for such a long time and I will wait as long as it takes for a console version. For now, though, this DS version will suit me just fine. I have faith that it will provide me with as much joy as the last two titles. I'm playing through Lost Age now, as it goes.

  13. Ai64 Sunday 2nd Aug 2009 at 19:57

    A cool RPG game. Isaac has changed somewhat.

  14. Ai64 Sunday 2nd Aug 2009 at 20:03

    A cool RPG game. Isaac has changed somewhat.

  15. Ai64 Sunday 2nd Aug 2009 at 20:03

    A cool RPG game. Isaac has changed somewhat.

  16. Ai64 Sunday 2nd Aug 2009 at 20:04

    A cool RPG game. Isaac has changed somewhat.

  17. Ai64 Sunday 2nd Aug 2009 at 20:04

    A cool RPG game. Isaac has changed somewhat.

  18. Ai64 Sunday 2nd Aug 2009 at 20:04

    A cool RPG game. Isaac has changed somewhat.

  19. Ai64 Sunday 2nd Aug 2009 at 20:04

    A cool RPG game. Isaac has changed somewhat.

  20. Ai64 Sunday 2nd Aug 2009 at 20:04

    A cool RPG game. Isaac has changed somewhat.

  21. Enigmatic Man Sunday 2nd Aug 2009 at 23:52

    8... has to be a record.

    Am I missing something? Can someone please tell me what makes these games so good?

    A competant, fairly typical JRPG franchise breaking no boundaries, but aiming for none. As I'm sure you realised while playing.

    If you don't own Chrono Trigger you ought to buy that first.

  22. kira-killed-me Monday 3rd Aug 2009 at 12:55

    I love these games, they bring me back to good times xD.
    The story was great and just how everything worked together so well, thinking about the games makes me ...

  23. Violet Monday 3rd Aug 2009 at 17:52

    A competant, fairly typical JRPG franchise breaking no boundaries, but aiming for none. As I'm sure you realised while playing.

    If you don't own Chrono Trigger you ought to buy that first.


    Bawls. Firstly it pushed the GBA like no other game did, with music that's beyond outstanding and graphics to match.

    Secondly it's battle system is FAR more tactical and involved than the average RPG. The Djinn and Summon system was really intelligently done and really came into it's own towards the latter stages of each game.

    It also had a plot that wasn't the usual, villains that actually have believable motives and heroes that actually question their own objectives.

    So yeah, while it is in many ways a fairly standard Japanese RPG, it is also very unique among them.

    Chrono Trigger is great but overrated, and the DS version is basically identical to the age old SNES game.

  24. Oxo64 Tuesday 4th Aug 2009 at 12:20

    Golden Sun and The Lost Age are by far my favorite RPGs ever. There is very little fault, if any, with them.

    They look great, even now and the music is perfect. The story is a breath of fresh air for an RPG too(especialy the twist in The Lost Age!).

    If the DS/i game is going to be anything like the originals, all those other RPGs out there are gonna have a tough fight on their hands...

  25. Zarnak Wednesday 5th Aug 2009 at 18:06

    I agree on the points that Violet made.
    And ONM... it's not Isaac.

    The Golden Sun series was actually one of the few RPGs I've actually enjoyed. The battles could be easily sped up (much unlike the slow Final Fantasy games - at least from what I've played) and the graphics and music were awesome. The plot was pretty special too.

    Playing through TLA right now. Can't wait to see what this is like.

  26. Rufan Thursday 6th Aug 2009 at 19:25

    I can't wait for this game, I'm playging the first 2 again, I just beat Death Beard.

    I read on a diffrent website Golden Sun Syndicate that the charaters in the DS game are the descendants of Issac and the others.

  27. A-Heros-Legacy Friday 7th Aug 2009 at 17:52

    Sorry, it multiple posted on me

  28. A-Heros-Legacy Friday 7th Aug 2009 at 17:53

    Once again multiple post, sorry

  29. A-Heros-Legacy Friday 7th Aug 2009 at 17:54

    I have been egarly awaiting a new golden sun. I have to admit I got caught up in a few of the hoaxes. I'd like to see some of the old gameplay, but I'm also hoping that we'll be able to see something new too. I really enjoyed Golden sun and the lost age, I got into them before Final Fantasy and I think I prefer them over the FF series. What I would like is for the Djinn to have a larger role in the game. From what I remember, Echo and Granite gave you a tutorial and they had quite the attitude. I'd like to see some djinn coversations or something. One last thing I'd like to see would be GBA slot conectivity, i know it'll be unlikely (DSi has no gba slot) but still, I think it'd be a nice treat for us faithfull fans. Whatever they do, I'm sure it'll be awesome as long as Echo's still there!

  30. murraymints999 Friday 7th Aug 2009 at 23:24

    Issac?
    I can't facepalm fast enough.

    Firstly, i am a huge golden sun fan, if not just obessive.
    And i was jumping for joy with this news.
    But then it hit me.
    This game will suck big time. With the hardcore gamers rightfully annoyed, Nintendo is trying to lure some back in with a new Golden Sun.
    But where is the creativity? The wow factor?
    Where are the wonderfully drawn 2d summons, where is Iris lighting up my screen, or Charon's deadly destruction crashing across the tiny GBA screen?

    Gone, instead we get some copy pasted graphics from some FF remake. The same old 3d thrown round in pretty much every handheld rpg nowdays.
    Nintendo just don't know what to do with themselves anymore, and inevtiably they are going to force a sunset on the wonderful Golden Sun series.

  31. A-Heros-Legacy Saturday 19th Sep 2009 at 10:49

    Issac?
    I can't facepalm fast enough.

    Nintendo just don't know what to do with themselves anymore, and inevtiably they are going to force a sunset on the wonderful Golden Sun series.

    Calm down yeah? Have you watched a video of the game? Yes, It may all be 3D, but watching some of the battles is really nostalgic. For one, I can see alot of the old 2D graphics in it, they just look fancier. Second, if you're the fan you say you are, you shouldn't judge the game by its graphics alone. Infact, you shouldn't do that at all. Wait till it's out and you've played it before you start complaining.

  32. globewheel Saturday 27th Feb 2010 at 10:39

    I can't wait for this game to come out. Golden Sun was the the 2nd game I ever played (after super mario world 2) And I was only 5 at the time. It really got me into RPG games and I've liked them ever since.

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