Golden Sun: The Lost Age impressions

Nintendo shows off a localized version of its excellent GBA franchise.


We had the chance to check out a localized version of Golden Sun 2 this week. The game is the second entry in the fledgling Game Boy Advance franchise from Camelot. It continues the story begun in the original Golden Sun and features improved graphics and new gameplay elements.

The game's extended intro takes you through a summary of the events in the original Golden Sun. The actual intro opens shortly before the ending of the original game and puts you in the role of Jenna. You'll partner with Krayden and head off in search of her brother Felix, who has disappeared.

The game's graphics have been bumped up from those in its predecessor and showcase detailed sprites that animate smoothly. The environments in the game feature rich detail with little touches--such as birds that fly off as you approach--that build on the original game's graphics engine.

While the game handles the same as its predecessor, there have been some notable tweaks to the combat system--you'll be able to mix djinn of different elemental affinities unlike in the previous version of the game. Unfortunately the game still lacks intelligent targeting by the members of your party, which results in missed attack opportunities. The members of your party will not target the next available enemy if their intended target is defeated before their turn to attack comes up. On the upside, the game will let you import character data from the original Golden Sun into the game. You'll have the option either to use a lengthy password like in Animal Crossing or to simply use a GBA link cable. The transfer will let you bring your party, djinn, and item data into the game, which will directly affect your game when Jenna encounters them later in Golden Sun: The Lost Age. The game will feature a longer quest than the original game as well as more challenging puzzles.

Golden Sun: The Lost Age is currently slated to ship this April for the Game Boy Advance. Look for much more on the game very soon.

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