Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 63 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 63
  2. Negative: 0 out of 63
  1. Jan 5, 2011
    100
    The sequel takes everything loved about the original games and updates it for new hardware.
  2. Dec 23, 2010
    92
    RPG smarts and exploration thrills combine into a brilliantly driven adventure. [Issue#56, p.51]
  3. Dec 13, 2010
    92
    The DS does great RPGs and great Zeldas. Now it does both at once. Essential.
  4. An astounding return for the prodigal Sun.
  5. Jun 5, 2011
    90
    It was a long wait, but Golden Sun fans can breathe easy; Camelot have still got it. More of a tranquil sunset and one of the finest swansongs the DS could ever have asked for, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn provides gamers the full package; interesting overworld and story, challenging puzzles, and fun combat, with ease of play no matter what the player's experience.
  6. Dec 15, 2010
    90
    A perfect continuation of the Golden Sun series which will appeal to all, even if seasoned players will find it a little too easy.
  7. 87
    The story of Golden Sun DS is wonderful. The game feels like the GBA version with all the positive aspects. Never change a running system.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 77 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Dec 1, 2010
    9
    Golden Sun is as good as it ever was. That statement will mean one of two things for people: most fans will appreciate the details which areGolden Sun is as good as it ever was. That statement will mean one of two things for people: most fans will appreciate the details which are remeniscent of the original two GBA games and will smile at the similarities and embrace the nostalgia it brings; others, will likely find that the game is out-dated compared to today's standard of RPG. This should not be a deterrent however, embrace the finely crafted traditional J-RPG style of gaming, appreciate the effort that has went into providing a relatively seamless transition from the GBA to DS, and remember the fun that can be had with Camelot's Golden Sun series. Outstandingly familiar. Full Review »
  2. Dec 26, 2013
    5
    I'm a huge fan of the Golden Sun series. The GBA episodes are two of the best experiences I've had in a video game and I naturally was veryI'm a huge fan of the Golden Sun series. The GBA episodes are two of the best experiences I've had in a video game and I naturally was very excited to finally get this third episode. And what a disappointment my friends...

    It felt like this game had almost nothing from the old ones, except the combat system. The writings and dialogs were atrocious, the design was overall extremely poor and tainted with bad choices, the whole thing felt incredibly bland and tedious.
    Golden Sun 1 & 2 already had a gameplay we could consider as "very classic", but they had this perfect... everything, and captivated until the ending credits. Dark Dawn just simplified everything, made it feel very childish.
    The difficulty is not here anymore and you'll basically rush through the game and its poor-designed maps and villages in something like 20hrs. Coup de grĂ¢ce the soundtrack from the genius Motoi Sakuraba, who amazed us with the OST of the first two Golden Sun and with many oher games, sounded uninspired and insipid !
    Overall, I got the feeling that the development team was forced to make this game it while they had no good ideas at all and after the first half-hour, I was already praying for the game to finish because of how much it hurt me to see such a fantastic series getting butchered like this. The fact that the ending was obviously rushed in such a way that everyone thought there would be a sequel when there would be none confirms my theory that this game was not finished and that its development probably went through a lot of troubles. I will try not to spoil anything, but none of the real questions were answered and you basically solved... nothing.

    If you have great memories of this fantastic series and if you expect something out of the games you play, make sure to stay far away from this episode. You'll thank me later.
    Full Review »
  3. Jan 28, 2011
    6
    After seven years, the Golden Sun franchise finally gets a much desired sequel. It doesn't disappoint, either, it's exactly what the fans hadAfter seven years, the Golden Sun franchise finally gets a much desired sequel. It doesn't disappoint, either, it's exactly what the fans had been wanting. Though there were pros and cons to the game, just as in the previous games, the cons were things that often times got in the way of the entertainment. I'll get to that later, though.

    First is the pros. In terms of storytelling and characterization, Dark Dawn does a much better job than its predecessors. While the game gets off to a slow and rocky start, the actual storytelling, especially starting about halfway through, really improves, and it begins to become enjoyable. Also unlike the first couple games, this game did a lot of characterization into the first six or so characters, especially Sveta. While the last two characters simply game too late to get a good feel for them, you got to know the first six, and in conversation even got a feel for the silent protagonist's personality.

    However, the game has a few major faults. First is the ease of the game - simply put, you get too powerful too fast, and the rest of the game winds up becoming a joke. While the final boss does a good job in terms of giving a challenging battle, the combination of surprisingly high experience rewards and rapid acquiring of djinn just keep anything else from coming close to being a threat.

    This leads to the second complaint - poor pacing. Some character just plain and simple should have joined up earlier - the last two you get join you in the last hour or so of the game, too late to make any sort of impact. Even worse, one is used as a deus ex machina of sorts, rather jarring considering how well told the story had been up until then.

    The biggest kicker, though, had to be that the game suffered from the exact same flaws as its predecessors, little if any attempt to fix this was made. In fact, it's almost like it got worse - while psynergy is decent early game, with both rapid class upgrades and level ups, it's quickly overpowered by the unleashes. Near the middle of the game, it just stops being worth it to cast anything other than buffs and healing - enemies aren't enough of a threat to need debuffs or ailments, and even mages wind up doing more damage with their physical strikes than with psynergy. To add insult to injury, the only real saving grace psynergy had in The Lost Age, the advantage that it can strike an area, is gone as well.

    However, the negatives, while it may seem in the review to be greater than the positives, really don't outweigh it. The game is still plenty of fun, and while not phenomenal, it definitely above average. It may be easier than some prefer, but you'll quickly find when doing self-imposed challenges that the game can get very difficult if you skip too many djinn, either on purpose or by mistake. All and all, it's very enjoyable.

    However, it should go without saying that the next installment will need to start addressing ome of the problems with the series, as without the 7 year break, fans will be much less forgiving.
    Full Review »