Golden Sun: Dark Dawn DS

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79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 63 Critics What's this?

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8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 91 Ratings

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  • Summary: After going dark six years ago, 2010 will see a new dawn. Golden Sun DS updates the popular portable Golden Sun role-playing series with an impressive graphical style. This installment follows the story of the previous heroes' descendants and immerses players into the magic of its adventureAfter going dark six years ago, 2010 will see a new dawn. Golden Sun DS updates the popular portable Golden Sun role-playing series with an impressive graphical style. This installment follows the story of the previous heroes' descendants and immerses players into the magic of its adventure by pushing the boundaries of intuitive touch-screen controls. Expand
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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. Jan 31, 2011
    86
    Golden Sun: Dark Dawn is an excellent JRPG. Surprisingly, gameplay is extremely close to previous installments in the franchise and it's quite baffling Camelot did not dare to do more with this third episode. Despite this flaw in originality, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn is a well done and refined lengthy adventure but it does not win over Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Sky as the DS game of the year.
  3. Dec 21, 2010
    84
    Camelot doesn't risk and create a game not so memorable as its predecessors but still very suitable for fans of the Golden Sun series.
  4. Dec 13, 2010
    80
    All things considered, Dark Dawn is still the game series fans have been waiting seven years for.
  5. Dec 21, 2010
    80
    One of the best japanese RPGs that we've played this season, probably the most complete Golden Sun so far - we expected something more from its script, not just the plain and simple story that we've suffered several times, but still, it's a must-have no doubt.
  6. Dec 13, 2010
    75
    If you're searching for a first-class RPG with great writing and complex combat, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn shouldn't even be on your radar. But if you can handle an unhealthy dose of JRPG stereotypes and don't mind breezing through encounters, some fun is waiting to be unearthed here.
  7. Dec 21, 2010
    60
    Golden Sun: Dark Dawn has plenty of great spells, enjoyable environmental puzzles, and enemies whose heads desperately need caving in. The magical djinn are its only remarkable feature, but unfortunately turn the combat into child's play. Dark Dawn is a perfectly serviceable JRPG, and fans of the two previous Golden Sun titles will undoubtedly enjoy it. But it could be far, far better.

See all 63 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Nov 20, 2014
    10
    An incredibly polished game. For a DS game the amount of detail and diversity is incredible.
    I thoroughly enjoyed it despite its lackings.
    An incredibly polished game. For a DS game the amount of detail and diversity is incredible.
    I thoroughly enjoyed it despite its lackings. (too easy, music not as good this time around, dialogue long and repetitive etc).
    I was captivated and used my previous Golden Sun knowledge and experience to enjoy it even more (Djinn , summons etc)
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  2. Oct 18, 2011
    10
    its aparently BETTER if u played the 1st 2, but since i havnt this already gets a 95% for being one of the best ds games...
    THE best non
    its aparently BETTER if u played the 1st 2, but since i havnt this already gets a 95% for being one of the best ds games...
    THE best non japanese rpg of 2010, and easliy awesome.
    speaking of easy, the game is a bit, well.. easy, but thats the only reason why it didnt get a perfect 100%, and the fact that the beggining is slow, and doesnt drag u in like dq9
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  3. Dec 7, 2012
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I have never played any of the other golden sun games, so I don't know if I'm being short-changed or not, but I LOVED this game, with 2 very minor flaws : Blocky graphics and the fact that the game is much too forgiving. I may not have beaten this game completely, but I fought a boss (Mountain Roc) and I thought for sure I was going to die, when I realized, I can summon, OMG. This game is way too forgiving in this sense, compared to Pokemon, which I died numerous times, which made me work hard to get a high enough level to try the gym battle again or whatever it was (Red in Heart Gold/Soul Silver would be one of these people). Overall, 8.8/10 Expand
  4. Dec 5, 2010
    8
    After 7 years, they made this game epic. I wish they would come out with more in less then 7 years now. Game as been polished, awesome storyAfter 7 years, they made this game epic. I wish they would come out with more in less then 7 years now. Game as been polished, awesome story tons of added ji ins and summons and spells new characters possibility to swap new characters. Expand
  5. Jul 15, 2017
    8
    While it isn't quite as good as the first two Golden Sun games, it is still excellent and faithfully continues the story. My biggest complaintWhile it isn't quite as good as the first two Golden Sun games, it is still excellent and faithfully continues the story. My biggest complaint with Golden Sun: Dark Dawn is that it wasn't long enough. I ended this game wanting desperately to experience more of the story. Yet while that can be seen as a negative it is also a positive because I enjoyed the game so much that I wanted more.. While there are some weak areas this is still a far better game experience than most other RPGs offer. The world building, story and puzzles are all exceptional. It's just a shame that this really feels like another chapter in a story that we will likely never see the rest of. The Golden Sun franchise is in my opinion one of the most overlooked game series of all time. If it came out at a different time on a different platform it would be on the same level as the best of Final Fantasy and the Legend of Zelda. It's one of the closest games I can think of to Chrono Trigger but it has its own identity. Nintendo committed a terrible sin by failing to invest more energy into developing this franchise further.

    One of the best aspects of Golden Sun is the way it blends its magic system into the gameplay outside of combat. Most RPGs, tend to limit the use of magic to combat, which really makes no sense. Golden Sun does an excellent job of giving magic a practical use. Magic isn't just a weapon, it's a tool. This makes learning new spells so much more satisfying because you can use them to progress through the world and solve problems. The puzzles are connected to the abilities of your characters and that makes gaining new skills more rewarding. Dark Dawn has some of the best puzzles in the series and has some pretty cool new Psynergy abilities as well. Combat is very similar to the first two games and while I liked that combat alright, it could have done with some upgrades considering this came out nearly 10 years after. They really should have added more diversity to the combat. The summonings are still awesome though and there are more in this game than the other two.

    The story and story telling in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn remain quite strong. it does a pretty good job of picking up a few decades after the first two games and one of the things I really liked is how the story gradually revealed what had become of the characters from the past games. There are a lot of mysteries and the game does a good job of slowly revealing answers in a satisfying way. Once again my biggest complaint is that the story is incomplete. While I really like the story, there are just way too many loose ends. This felt like a handful of chapters in a big novel. It's not that the content is bad, it just wasn't enough of the story.

    The characters in Dark Dawn are decent but I was a bit disappointed that most of them seem like clones of the characters from the first two games. While the cast does get a bit more diverse later in the game, the three main protagonists are far too similar to the one in the original Golden Sun. The villains are also far less interesting clones of the villains from the first game. On the plus side though, the game does a great job of evolving the characters and showing interesting new sides to them as the story progresses. One thing that the game does very well is connecting the characters of this game to the events of the past. Alex also returns in this game and is once again a great character with complex and hidden motives. Unfortunately we never really get to learn the specifics of what his motives really are. What I like so much more about Golden Sun over many other RPGs is that the world feels bigger than the heroes and villains. Alchemy and the ancient world are complex and the characters are just trying to understand and direct that power towards a meaningful purpose.

    To me, the World is the real star of the Golden Sun Series. Unlike so many RPGs were the environments just seem like they are basic backgrounds or only exist as obstacles, every location in Weyard tells a story. Temples aren't just barriers, they are factories or machines that once served a purpose. Every place you go teaches you something about the history of the world and how it works. One of my favorite locations in this game was a mountain town where you have to solve a puzzle to activate a machine that creates dense clouds that serve as a transportation device. The process of making it work tells a story about the ancient civilization of the past. Each location serves a practical purpose in the world and story, so when you solve the problems in those areas it has a meaningful impact. There are dozens of creative ideas. Most RPGs suffer from locations that might look cool but don't really serve a logical purpose within the context of the story. Dark Dawn makes every location meaningful and interactive.

    Despite some shortcomings, loved this game and recommend it to any fan of classic JRPGs.

    I give it 82%
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  6. Jan 27, 2011
    8
    A word of warning: If you didn't like the first two Golden Sun games, stay away from Dark Dawn. The third entry in the much-beloved seriesA word of warning: If you didn't like the first two Golden Sun games, stay away from Dark Dawn. The third entry in the much-beloved series changes little but the graphics, so it's not likely you're going to enjoy this DS iteration.

    But then again, most of those that will be picking this one up are the fans that have waited quite a few years for the game... and for them, this will not disappoint. It contains everything you've loved about the Golden Sun games, with a nice graphical upgrade and a new world to explore. You still transverse dungeons solving puzzles, collect Djinn to become stronger, and fight through now-considered-archaic turn-based battles. Overall, fans will enjoy every minute of this 25-hour adventure, while the enjoyment for others will stem from their like of role-playing games.
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  7. May 9, 2014
    5
    It's fine up until the end. The final boss is way too hard. I was going to go back to get some stuff I missed as well as some more healthIt's fine up until the end. The final boss is way too hard. I was going to go back to get some stuff I missed as well as some more health items, but it locks you out after a certain point. You have to make sure you get absolutely everything in an area before moving on even if that means grinding money for that revival water. First time players will get totally screwed over if they just can't figure out how to get some of the djinn on the map and decide to come back to it later, which is easy to think about doing because of all the skills you get in the game. Why wouldn't you think that you can go back? They probably missed out on that kind of thing because they wanted to dodge all the complaints that back tracking gets.

    Also, the story is super boring and the inventory system blows. The game could be better, but it's okay.
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See all 24 User Reviews

Awards & Rankings

17
7
#7 Most Discussed DS Game of 2010
6
#6 Most Shared DS Game of 2010