English
Gamereactor
reviews
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn

It's time for the third part of the Golden Sun-saga, and as usual the fate of the world rests on the shoulders of a couple of young heroes. Jonas delivers the verdict.

Subscribe to our newsletter here!

* Required field
HQ

It's been 30 years since Golden Sun: The Lost Age when the intro for Golden Sun: Dark Dawn starts to roll. With that, the main character from the prequel, Isaac, has aged 30 years and because of that we get to play as his son Matthew. The world, Weyard, is in danger once again so Matthew, together with some other children from the last game's heroes, have to embark on a new adventure to save it.

Of course, the problems they face are quite severe and the younglings are drawn into a classic Japanese RPG. What I remember the most from the previous games in the series are their fantastic storylines. They were deep RPGs with some unexpected twists and turns and they were also quite serious behind the colorful graphics. Right away, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn doesn't feel as gripping - a feeling that stays with me far into the adventure.

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn

Perhaps the biggest reason for this is all the text. You know, in the old Playstation-sense. I can go through a whole buss trip just clicking past dialogue and watching cut scenes. I usually like this kind of stuff, but the translation feels off and is generally quite weak.

This is an ad:

It's probably worse for the people who haven't played the old games, as Camelot has seeded a lot of background information explaining the world and the people within. So much text will demand a lot of your attention to get up to speed. Fair play to the developer though, its cleverly implemented and does a great job in filling the blanks for newcomers. Just make sure you know what you're getting into. This isn't a casual title by any means.

Early on, there's nothing that sets Golden Sun: Dark Dawn apart from your average J-RPG. It's menu based, you get to choose between defending or attacking (either with weapons or magic, here known as psynergy). If you've ever played a game in the genre you will have seen it all before and on the surface it's more or less completely identical to its predecessors.

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn

The big thing with Golden Sun is the Djinn, small creatures that you add to your characters which unlocks different abilities and allow you to summon them in a way similar to Final Fantasy. They affect which class you belong to, and it's very addictive to try to find out which combinations will maximise your different characters' potential and how the work together.

This is an ad:

Djinn also decides which magics you can use in battle, and it's quite sad that it takes so long before you get enough Djinns to really be able to dig into this system. For a long time, Djinns are completely meaningless and it's much faster to just finish the battles than wasting time on poking around with them or summon them. Summoning them is, by the way, one of the prettiest things I've ever seen on a Nintendo DS, but it's also quite pointless in the long run since it's more efficient to not use them at all.

At the same time you can mess around with the system forever, and it's one of the greatest puzzles in the game. Actually, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn is a roleplaying game consists of puzzles. They do lack dynamics, since you can always be sure that the magic you just gained will be used for the next puzzle and they are a lot easier this time, but they are far from bad. They do offer up some nice brain gymnastics. It's hard to figure out which demographic the game is aimed for, though - the battles, for example, are really easy while the amount of dialogue might scare off younger players.

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn

I would like to praise the graphics, though. Golden Sun: Dark Dawn is, through and through, one of the best looking Nintendo DS games I've ever seen, both when it comes to design and technology. The world is wonderful, filled with color and an insane amount of details without becoming blurry, the menus are well-designed and the summoned monsters look great.

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn is absolutely worth picking up if you're a fan of the series, and it's a stable Japanese roleplaying game. But it doesn't live up to the same standard as the previous games because of the story and its lack of challenge. There's a lot of questions raised throughout the game though, so we can without a doubt expect more Golden Sun-games in the future. And if you want to be able to understand what's going on when they are released, you better not miss Dark Dawn.

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn
07 Gamereactor UK
7 / 10
+
Amazing graphics, intuitive menues, nice levelling system, many smart puzzles
-
Boring music, way too easy, bland dialogue
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

Related texts

0
Golden Sun: Dark DawnScore

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn

REVIEW. Written by Jonas Mäki (Gamereactor Sweden)

It's time for the third part of the Golden Sun-saga, and as usual the fate of the world rests on the shoulders of a couple of young heroes. Jonas delivers the verdict.



Loading next content