Nintendo has added Golden Sun and Golden Sun: The Lost Age to Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, available on the Game Boy Advance app.
Both games were originally developed by Camelot Software, spearheaded by a group of siblings who all work in Camelot. Hiroyuki Takahashi and Shugo Takahashi are often credited as their creators.
The games were released in 2001 and 2002, respectively. With that vintage, you’ll probably believe the Takahashis when they state that they conceived of the first game as Nintendo’s answer to PlayStation’s prodigious RPG library.
Because Camelot wanted to be competitive, the Golden Sun games reach distinction for having complex design and gameplay systems compared to its predecessors. Much of the game does match up to what fans are looking for in a Japanese RPG – playing not as a single character, but a multiple character party, dungeon crawling, and random encounters.
But there’s one particular gameplay element, referred to as Psynergy, that makes these games stand out from the crowd. Psynergy is a particular form of magic, which is needed to progress through the game. While some Psynergy spells can be used in combat, other spells are put to use in puzzle solving on the overworld and in non-combat situations. Some Psynergy spells do both
Your main road to progress in Golden Sun is acquiring more and more Psynergy. Some of it you can get as a result of finding specific items. You can also gain Psynergy spells as a natural result of leveling up.
In terms of combat, there is a variety of compulsory storyline battles, and random battles, against a group of randomly generated enemies. Aside from using your regular magic and Psynergy, you can summon Djinn. In the Golden Sun games, Djinn are generic NPCs you can summon to gain specific set bonuses. Djinn can also be set to standby, giving up those set bonuses in favor of these Djinn hitting enemies with a one-time attack with a lot of collected power.
Golden Sun features a top –down perspective, and when you enter combat the game rotates around the background for a 3D camera effect. That sort of effect is a stylistic choice on the Game Boy Advance, and also demonstrates how these games were intended to compete with PlayStation RPGs.
The Takahashis also developed a fun, enjoyable storyline, having previously earned how to make RPGs on Shining Force III on the Sega Saturn.
These new entries may not be for everyone, but if you’re a PlayStation RPG fan in particular, here’s an opportunity to relive that era of RPGs. You can watch the announcement trailer below: