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Golden Sun

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Released: 2001

Genre: RPG

Format reviewed: Game Boy Advance

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Camelot Software Planning

Submitted by: Martin Whitehouse

Back when the GBA was the hottest thing since sliced bread, we had games of all kinds showing off just what the handheld could do. One of these games was the phenomenal Japanese RPG Golden Sun, created by Camelot, the team behind the acclaimed Shining series of video games.

Golden Sun takes place on the continent of Weyard where a mystical power known as Psynergy exists. Our heroes are subjected to a huge disaster caused in the beginning of the game which costs them family and friends, and later are thrust on a quest to chase after the people who caused this catastrophe and stop them from igniting the 4 elemental lighthouses and bringing back Alchemy. 

The game was simple, combat was turn based and was all done according to monster/party speed stats, you equip your heroes with various armour and weapons and can attack with spells, weapons or the mystical Djinni which are like summons. The field screen involved walking around and talking as is standard for RPG's, but you had the ability to use some psynergy to perform tasks, such as Move to move objects or freeze to turn water into ice, this simple game element makes up most of the puzzles in the various dungeons of the game.

This game really showcased the power of the GBA and with a sweeping soundtrack by Motoi Sakuraba (who also did the soundtrack for Shining Force 3) it was definitely one of the must-have games for the GBA, and was so big it was split into two games with the follow up – The Lost Age, following soon after.