Golden Sun is a BAD BAD GAME. My relationship with this game is a lot like I have with the game Chrono Trigger. I first viewed both, later heard critical acclaim about both, played both, liked both, read a negative review of both (a kind of revelation, if you will), then hated both and sold them both to GameStop. The only difference? CT got me more money, so I like it slightly more than Golden Sun.
Golden Sun features characters that rival Chrono Trigger‘s or Final Fantasy IV‘s when it comes to stiffness. Well, no, actually this game beats both of those and forces them to eat light bulbs when it comes to stiffness. When each character in your party speaks, a nifty little portrait comes up, and if that was gone, you’d think all of your characters were one entity separated into four bodies (save for the hero; he can only say “Yes” and “No,” and when he says “No,” he’s usually forced into saying “Yes”). The characterization in this game is the worst of any RPG I have ever played. THE ABSOLUTE WORST.
The battles—the diversion from the (bad) plot—are also bad. They feature something amazing that games like Final Fantasy and Lufia and the Fortress of Doom had, the super nifty feature that aggravated fans of both games and has been removed since: When you target an enemy and your ally kills it, you still attack it! Even though it doesn’t exist anymore! Thank God it doesn’t exist anymore, because they’re ass-ugly. Well, maybe they wouldn’t look so hideous if they had more than one to four frames of animation (if i recall) and weren’t so pixelated. I thought Xenogears was ugly until I played this… I thought that was the most pixelated game ever until I played this… I was dead wrong. This game has created a new low for RPGs.
While not in battle, you can talk to the nice emotionless robots that are called “NPCs” in this game. You don’t get the super awesome ones like in Fallout 2 who cuss and drink and have something that resembles a personality; instead, you can talk to them and hear…nothing of use. Then you can read their minds and hear…nothing of use. Then, finally, in aggravation, you’ll use that one spell that makes people do what they were doing before: stand in place like useless NPCs, the only difference being that they talk slower and only say one word of whatever pointless sentence they were going to say before. THIS GAME IS _BAD_.
I said before that this game is a lot like Chrono Trigger. It is. This game also seems to follow the same credo as CT: style over substance. The creators didn’t write a good plot or any good characters or even attempt to not rip off the FF series so blatantly. They just tried to make it look good, and even if it didn’t look so great, people would still buy it and like it. They knew the buyers would rationalize their decision by saying things like “Oh, the controls are top notch!” or “I kinda like the music.” or “Ooh, pretty summons.”
You’re idiots and I hate you. This game blows. NEVER PLAY IT EVER.