The 90s were the golden age of RPG, with video games that last in the memory of the most veteran users. In the twilight of that wonderful period, a title was presented to us that reminded us how magnificent titles like Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy VI, or Illusion of Time were. It was not made by Square, nor by Enix, but it remained in the memory of those who played it. In fact, it is on the minds of all followers of Nintendo every time a new Direct is announced.
Of course, I mean Golden Sun and more specifically its first delivery (it had three in total). The role-playing game developed by Camelot Software became an instant classic upon its release, one of those adventures that surprised with its attractive story, charismatic characters, and powerful gameplay. About 25 hours of it got a lot of talk when it appeared on Game Boy Advance and I wanted to play it again to check if the legend was still alive. Now that it has been released on the Nintendo Switch Online service, the opportunity was perfect, so I couldn’t miss it…
Golden Sun deserves a remake
The first conclusion is the one that many of you have already expressed on more than one occasion: this game deserves a remake. But beyond making this statement, leaving and closing the door, I want to give some arguments (and believe me, they are powerful). I say this knowing firsthand that the game still has a lot of charm, and that despite the fact that it was released a long time ago, specifically in the year 2001.
What has surprised me most about this retrospection is how good the argument was, or rather the talent with which it was developed and put you fully into the action. It had its flaws, such as taking perhaps too long to start and not being particularly original, but even today, you can appreciate its dramatis, how credible the characters feel, and, above all, the epic that surrounds everything. In addition, it was launched translated into Spanish, which unfortunately was not the norm at that time.
I have obtained a better experience than I expected, with a plot that places us in a world on the brink of collapse. The power of alchemy runs the risk of falling into the wrong hands, and it is our duty to venture into the unknown alongside Hans and his friends. It’s an approach that is familiar to any RPG lover, but the way in which Golden Sun develops the plot, with many surprises and memorable moments, makes the abundant lines of dialogue worth following closely.
On the other hand, there is exploration. Although it is a game for GBA, the magnitude of the world is high, with several regions, towns, and dungeons to visit. Specifically, I have been captivated by the puzzles, which are not at all scarce and propose enjoyable approaches even today. If a remake were made, certain things would probably have to be reformed and made a little more intricate and interesting to solve. It’s not Zelda, but even so I think the base is very usable.
In this regard, the game has a unique dynamic, concerning the use of what is known as psynergy. This simple playable concept provides great freshness and is one of the reasons why we talk about a different RPG. As you progress, you get new powers, which could range from the ability to push objects, destroy them, make them explode, dig, read minds… There are many options, and they depend on the four elements (fire, water, wind, and earth). Dynamics are so central and important in the gameplay that it constitutes a fundamental part of the combats, through different skill commands.
The combats are turn-based, respecting the most classic essence, and although they are relatively simple in their conception, they are accompanied by another quite differentiating characteristic: go djinn. There are a total of 72 creatures that we get to know as we progress and that can support us in combat through invocations (which are very reminiscent of the ones you can see in the final fantasy games).
Actually, there are many fascinating things in Golden Sun and it does not surprise me at all that so many users ask for the license to be returned. Of course, a new installment would be fantastic, but realistically perhaps a remake would be something more conceivable. Having played the game, I see the potential to be rebuilt with new graphics and arrangements for the soundtrack (which by the way I didn’t remember being so notable). Of course, the playable rhythm would also have to be improved and adapt certain aspects to the present but the conceptual base is magnificent and very usable.
If you want to check if you have the same opinion as me, you have the game in the service Nintendo Switch Online, which was recently released. Do you think Nintendo would dare to make a remake? And what aspects can you think of that could be improved? Or are you more of those who think he deserves a new delivery? Tell me in the comments.