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Old 01-21-2011, 05:32 PM   #98
Northeastmonk
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nebraska
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Golden Sun: Dark Dawn – Nintendo DS

Pros
An enjoyable 25-30 hour long JRPG
Great representation
Motion storybooks inform players on previous entries in the series.

Cons
Way too easy
No obvious side-quest system, only hidden secrets found within the world.
Conversations over minor things last longer then they should.
The plot

The third installment in the Golden Sun series, or Golden Sun DS for those like me who got into the series way past it’s prime is remarkably one of the easiest JRPG’s I have ever played. To be completely honest to someone who does not understand what mainstream reviews are saying; if you can defeat any mid-game or status effecting boss from a Final Fantasy entry then you have basically conquered the amount of difficulty that Golden Sun: Dark Dawn has to offer. Considering how easy it is, the game does offer a lot exploration on the world map.

Story: You play as the children from the previous Golden Sun games. You’re quest begins by sheer accident and continues down the same repetitive path until you reach the somewhat basic concept of what is found in JRPGS. The main plot feels better represented by titles in the past (ex: Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, FFVI). Much of the original Golden Sun storyline is used to guide you through Dark Dawn. Basically you’re small quest leads you to fighting against a traditional group of villains after a secret that’s been buried away for many years.

Gameplay: Dijinns are back and are used as powerful weapons to equip characters with even more abilities. You also can use their abilities to conjure summons found within the game. Along the way you also use powers to move objects and go through each area and puzzles with new and innovative ways to solve. There is a lot of great environmental pacing found throughout the world. But boss battles were incredibly easy, considering how easy it was to recover a downed party member. My party eventually had to grind because I kept wanting to press on instead of power leveling, so I took about 30 minutes and grinded around 10 levels. This sounds like I am ranting, but honestly the game made it so easy to grind towards the end, until the last series of events seemed disappointing and rather silly compared to say the sheer amount of content and difficulty that was featured in the earlier released DragonQuest IX. And I cannot see new players truly happy with this content, considering how much it grabs onto the previous titles for structure. But there is an encyclopedia and guides in game for those who want to understand everything. Here’s hoping the next entry does a better job.

Graphics: Great quality here, but not as much glamour that was in DQ9 (which feels a lot larger in size, when comparing the two). The summon attacks look great. But you can skip through each one if you get sick of them.

Sound: The annoying quirky squeak during conversations does get old, but there is an option to turn them off and speed up the seemingly endless amount of chatter. Like the titles before, there is a ton of dialogue.

Score: 9 out of 10

Overall: If you enjoyed the GBA titles, then pick this up sometime before they release another. I honestly felt they could of done a better job on this. Golden Sun: Dark Dawn is a lot of fun, but the lack of an engrossing plot and the lack of difficulty took more of a toll then I had imagined.
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