Golden Sun Game Boy Advance
User Score
9.3

Universal acclaim- based on 151 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 4 out of 151

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  1. Jul 18, 2012
    10
    I have played the Tales of the World series, the Final Fantasy series and Dragon's Quest series, but none of them came close to comparison with the Golden Sun series.
    A memorable storyline and cast alongside impressive soundtracks for the period of release and a story crafted with pure perfection makes this one of the greatest Game Boy Advance games to exist. The same goes for its sequel.
  2. Aug 28, 2012
    10
    Simply put... this game is amazing. The story, the characters, the emotion involved all stand out in this RPG. I first played this game as a child many years ago. I'm now a college graduate and I still enjoy the game to this day. The thing that I love the most about the Golden Sun series is the story involved. As you play the game, the lives of these characters unravel before your eyes. Emotion can also be involved while playing. Heartbreak from a character's loss of family to determination in hopes of a better future of the world; it's all woven within this game. Aside from the story, the gameplay is actually great! As usual with any RPG, you get random battles in dungeons and on the world maps and you progress more and more in levels and skills until you are strong enough to take on your foes without fail. There are a large amount of items and gear in the game to keep players occupied with upgrading.

    There is a collection aspect to the game involving these creatures called Djinns. These creatures boost the abilities and power of the characters in which they are attached to. They can be swapped between characters to allow for further combinations of abilities. As characters use the Djinns in battle, powerful summons can be used to take out foes once a certain number of Djinns have been used in combat. These summons are learned or found throughout the game.

    The graphics in this game are fantastic for a gameboy advance title. Everything from the environments to the battles to the summoning cutscenes are all great to look at while playing. I remember when this game was first released. I was in awe at some of the graphical effects in this game. The music in the game is some of the best I have ever heard in a portable title. I find myself just sitting in a particular battle or environment just to listen to the music and themes that play. There is a special mode that allows you to listen to all of the music in the game when you enter the arena mode at the title screen (look it up to find out how to find it). The point is that you may love the music so much that you will want to just listen to it at times.

    Overall, this game is a classic in my opinion. The quality of this game is obvious. I can only hope for a remake of this title one day with modern-style graphics. It could possibly become more appealing to those who don't like Golden Sun in its current state...
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  3. Apr 4, 2011
    1
    If there was ever a game more bland and lifeless than Golden Sun...

    Let's go back to the beginning. I saw some GS ads in a magazine or something, and thought it looked great. Mainly, I was impressed with the graphics, but I just assumed the rest of the game would have the same quality.

    Then I got the game. Now, it starts off with some cliche garbage I can't even remember because it was
    so uninspired. I went on for a while, going through some generic dungeons with generic "puzzles", oh and I did all this while fighting random, generic enemies.

    Now the battle? This is the worst part. It's much like Dragon Quest, without any of those "features" or "abilities". All you do is pick a spell out of maybe 5 that are practically identical anyway, repeat 5-20 times and you win. I've played a few mindless RPGs before, but this one just pushes the limits of boredom to their maximum. If you absolutely hate having fun with a burning passion, get this game.
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  4. Nov 17, 2011
    10
    Awww yeah. Beat it again for the 6th time. Greatest GBA RPG ever. From the story to the spells to the environments it's great. The puzzles are kinda easy. They start getting annoying when you're trying to solve something and you run into a monster battle, but that's just being picky. When you beat the game you can use your saved data with Lost Age, so that's cool too. Be warned though, make sure you finish everything in the game (Crossbone Isle) before beating the final boss otherwise you won't be able to go back and finish them. Expand
  5. Dec 13, 2011
    10
    Greatest series ever created! So much fun playing and replaying this game, from the story to the music, it is magical. This game is completely flawless.
  6. Jun 6, 2012
    9
    One of the most original games I've played for the gba and the best Rpg to come out in the year 2002. (it came out in 2002 in the uk , 2001 in the us.) Go to ebay and buy it!

    Ps i'm new to metacritic and i'm just reviewing some of my favourite games7
  7. Aug 23, 2012
    10
    One of greates RPG's ever made. Misterious, Alternative and just great. I can't describe this game in words... It's just a MUST PLAY Game! Everyone should have played this game. Great Graphics too. They only **** up Golden Sun DS .
  8. Aug 24, 2014
    10
    As a handheld RPG, it works fairly well. The story is interesting, memorable characters and great fight mechanics. I would say it's one of the top ten GBA games. If you are a fan of RPGs, definitely try this out. 10/10
  9. Apr 6, 2013
    9
    This game doesn't have to hide itself in front of other RPG giants like Final Fantasy or Chrono Trigger. A great story, interesting characters, amazing music and presentation in general and the fighting system is very clever and strategy driven. You can choose not to grind...Which will result in a VERY hard game.

    I don't get how remakes are allowed here, that's kind of retarded IMO.
    btt.
    Great Game, the only flaw I have is it is an RPG. If you forget what the hell you were doing then you can pretty much start all over again.
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  10. Feb 11, 2014
    9
    This was the first Japanese RPG to really catch my interest. I got it on the recommendation from a friend. I almost wish I had kept it. When I returned it to him, he had told me he sold it. I was devastated.

    This game really shines in it's well-written story, interesting psynergy system, djinn system, and great music. I can never forget the opening scene to the game, and I loved
    the expansiveness of the world. In fact, 9 times out of 10, I was completely lost. I just jumped from location to location, doing each little side quest until I happened upon the main quest. There are a lot of side quests, so I was lost for a long time.

    That might be my only issue with the game. I'm all for a great big open world, but I also prefer to have a better bearing of what I'm doing.

    Nevertheless, it's an excellent game and one that is very memorable.
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  11. Dec 19, 2013
    10
    Note: Very small spoiler concerning Djinn

    One of the greatest and all-time best rpg games I have ever played. The graphics are great for it's time and are still great to this day in my opinion. The story is great and the characters are written very well. It's one of those games that you cant put down after you start it, you want to keep playing and see where the story goes.

    Gameplay
    wise it's simple yet wide ranged at the same time. When it comes to leveling up it's like standard rpg game-get stronger, gain new abilities-but at the same time it isnt like standard rpgs. This is a job-based rpg when it comes to the characters but it's interesting how you change your job. There are creatures in the game called Djinn that you find in the world along your travels, some you have to look for, and you equip them to your characters and by setting them to your characters they gain stat bonuses and job changes. There are 7 Djinn for each of the 4 elements, meaning there is a wide variety when it comes to picking what goes to who. Like other rpg games you collect pieces of equipment such as armor, helm, weapon, ect. Golden Sun has a large variety of different equipment of different types.

    One of the best parts of the game I would have to say is the music. The music is amazing and sounds incredible for a 32 bit system such as the GameBoy Advanced. When you play the game you can tell the developers put much time and attention into making the music great.

    Overall, Golden Sun is an amazing rpg with great gameplay, music, story, and characters. For any lover of rpg games this is a top-notch pick to add to your collection of favorites.
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  12. Jan 25, 2014
    10
    When I was around eight years old or so, my brother introduced me to the joy of Golden Sun: The Lost Age. Although I was young, and, not completely understanding of the plot because I missed out on the first game, I fell in love. It has almost been ten years since then, me finally just in recent times able to experience my first playthrough of the original Golden Sun. And without a doubt, I can say I fell in love all over again.
    Let me start with the graphics and art choices. As an artist, I can say that I am completely blown away by the quality of the scenery that this game presented. I found myself looking forward to each new area that I visited; being thrown into a battle and getting to see the background scenery gives me a complete new feel on how to perceive where I am. The character designs are also fantastic, and very fitting to character. The art style is progressive and solid. Psynergy, summons, and special moves from artifacts are gorgeously rendered. (Though i'm sure we can all agree on the silliness that is the quake attacks). The music is nostalgic, soothing, but tense when the situation calls for it. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
    As for the story, I am easily swept into it. Though sometimes I find myself laughing at little cliché moments sprinkled here and there, it takes nothing away from the entire plot. Sometimes I find that there are parts in which I would like a bit more elaborate detail, I also realize that I have not played the sequel in ages and am planning on going through it again very soon, and, even so, one must consider that this is a Gameboy game and cannot possibly have everything that a person would expect to be in more recent-day games because there was simply not enough space to contain such depth like there is now. Also, /too/ much description could become monotonous.
    The characters are lovable and close to heart. Something that I missed out in The Lost Age was Isaac and co's friendship. It's sweet and satisfying to see how they all work together for the common goal and how their bonds grow as you go on. The only thing I would find a bit lacking is a bit of Mia's backstory, as it seemed slightly rushed so that she could join your team. Other than that, I am very happy with what their differentiating personalities bring to the game.
    Finally, we have the battle system. It is lovely an non-stressful, with an assortment of attacks always keeping the fight interesting. Djinn also add a giant play to this, with the more you collect enhancing your skills and if you so wish you can even assort them so that your classes change, depending on your battle style. New introductions of monsters constantly keep you on your toes, you only feeling satisfied with yourself when the characters have gotten strong enough to take them out with not much difficulty. Battles are never easy nor too impossible to handle when you take the time to train correctly. You never have to grind for too long unless you're short on money, so you aren't ever too slowed up during the playthrough.
    All in all, Golden Sun is a definite recommendation for any RPG lovers. Exciting, close to the heart, and memorable, it will blow players away with the cohesive details that work so well together. You'll have difficult time forgetting a game like this one.
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  13. May 22, 2014
    10
    Unmissable, the best GBA RPG by far. Used to stay overnight with my friends to play this game when it first came out, last month we did it again to remember "ye goode olde days" and it was awesome. Love this game!
  14. Jul 13, 2014
    10
    One of best RPG i´ve ever played, great story, graphic, soundtrack and combat system. I would like to see this game so much as manga adaptation. 10/10
  15. Aug 18, 2014
    10
    one of the most underestimated games and also one of the most perfect games i've ever played.
    great characters, great story, alot of smart puzzles, awesome fights, music that u can't forget, a masterpiece.
    no matter how many games i've played since 2001, it's still my all time favorite
  16. Sep 24, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This game is definitely one of my all time favorites. I played Dark Dawn first, then went back and played the first two because I liked it so much. Alex is essentially my favorite villain ever, and the ending of all three games was so emotional. Expand
  17. Nov 21, 2014
    6
    Ya, its good. But I don't think its as good as some people say it is. The story is meh, the characters are forgettable, theres almost no direction and I always had to look at a guide to figure out what the **** I'm suppose to do...They don't usually explain very well. Like they always gave me some a vague idea of where to go but that's it. So I just looked at a guide so I didn't waste a hour of my time looking around all the time. the puzzles are annoying and tedious busy work, and a lot of the conversations just drag on forever and just repeating themselfs over and over when all you want to do is get on with it already so you can progress. Throughout the whole game everyone always asks Issac the most painfully obvious questions... like "Issac, should we go rescue our friends??" of course we have to rescue our bloody friends! or... "issac, should we go save the word"? ...uhg..... after awhile i just got sick of it and started picking the obviously wrong response for every stupid question, because i was fed up. But the combat is very nice and unique though and i like how you can transfer your save from the first game over to the second game Expand
Metascore
91

Universal acclaim - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 29
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 29
  3. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Hard-core RPG fans may feel the game is too derivative, to a certain extent it is, but for the rest of us Golden Sun is both a fantastic game and a nice trip down memory lane.
  2. A deep combat engine and brilliant graphics make this the best RPG available on the GBA. [Feb 2003, p.97]
  3. As one of the most critical Nintendo fans around, it's nice to see a game come out for the GBA that's original, pretty, fun, and doesn't involve any one of their stupid mascots.