Compared to Golden Sun: Very much on par
Best Character? Errrr um. Yes, well, I didn’t really feel for these characters so…
Golden Sun: The Lost Age is a direct sequel to Golden Sun. That is, the story is not finished until you play this game.
Golden Sun Recap
Golden Sun is a Japanese Role Playing game that borrows elements from adventure/puzzle-solving games like Legend of Zelda.
The plot was this: Our friend/parents have gotten kidnapped and we had to prevent some lighthouses from being lit in order to prevent the end of the world. The plot was quite generic, and I found myself not really caring about the characters.
It heavily used the “explore everything” gimmick of early role playing games, rather than the “this is where you have to go now” gimmick of recent role-playing games.
There is a turn-based battle system (that I found to be similar to Final Fantasy III) and your spells depend on what summons you have equipped.
Now, onto the Lost Age
The Lost Age uses the same system as Golden Sun – this makes sense, as it is a direct sequel.
The plot is still very generic. However, we have the new feature of “playing as the other party” – that is, the party we’re searching for in the first game. We find out that their goal is actually the exact opposite of the original party – they want to light the lighthouses, because doing so may save the world from certain destruction. OK then.
I think the entire first half of the game is spent looking for a boat.
Until a certain point there doesn’t really seem to be a driving force behind the character’s motivations. I felt like I was just wandering around, hoping to find a town and getting something to do.
The battles aren’t particularly challenging. Unlike most RPGs I’ve played – your magic recharges as you walk, so you feel more free to use it, reducing the difficulty of a lot of battles.
Magic re-charging is a good thing though, because the game requires magic to solve puzzles.
I think my favourite aspect of the game was the puzzle-solving. The puzzles within dungeons were not mind-numbingly simple (like in Pokémon Ranger) nor mindly-blowingly illogical (like in Machinarium). They were a nice level of “not too hard consider I’m interrupted every 30 seconds by a battle”. The issue with adding puzzles to games with random encounters is that it can be really hard to remember what you’ve already done, or where you’ve already been.
Now, if you want to get more magic you can either get it through level-up or through equipping summons called Djinn. The more summons you find, the higher class you will become. And if you combine Djinni of different elements, you can take on new classes.
Equipping Djinni also gave you the ability to summon higher powers. Summoning not only damaged the enemy, it sometimes gave you bonuses to your stats.
However, later in the game, it’s honestly more effective to use the “play it safe” method of: attack, and heal as needed. Namely: the final boss.
It’s fun to summon and stuff, but if you’re planning on doing that you have to keep track of “what will this do to my stats, will my magic change” and whole other bunch of crap which just isn’t worth it in a boss battle.
Something that I will say was very good about this game: near the very end, you get the party from the first game back. And while you might still play as four party members – if all those party members fall unconscious, the back-up party steps in! I have never understood why more games do not do this! “Oh no, 3 of your 6+ party is dead GAME OVER!!!” It’s so annoying. So, well done Golden Sun.
Like the first game, this game is “okay”. It make me want to play to the end of it – in fact, towards the very end there were some emotional parts that the entire rest of the game lacked. The biggest challenge is figuring out where you’re going and whether you have the right magic for a puzzle.