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Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, a Review

Updated on December 16, 2010

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn is the third installment in the golden sun series, which has been a solid and classic RPG for handheld console gamers for years. This newest game’s story line follows the children of the characters found in the first two games, specifically, Matthew, the son of Isaac who is the hero of the first Golden Sun. The plot for Dark Dawn is set 30 years after the end of Golden Sun: The Lost Age. The Lost Age left plenty for fans to ponder on its end but Dark Dawn is an installment in the series that works well as a standalone game despite this. Golden Sun: The Lost Age is the only one of the three that doesn’t stand alone because it is basically part two of the original Golden Sun. 

The plotline of Dark Dawn works well as a standalone game because it has its own story. It takes the time to introduce all of the characters (new and old) fully, and within the game there are opportunities to learn about the plotlines of the previous golden sun games.

Like the first two games the dialog can get rather lengthy; with movie scenes taking several minutes to get through. Many people don’t find this a problem because long dialog is part of what makes the golden sun games unique, although you might not appreciate it when your battery is running low and you need them to shut up so you can save. I love it when a game takes some time with its characters and is not all about the battling and gear, but that’s just me. The graphics are much better than the first two games, which had nice graphics to begin with. The 3D affect of the first games has really taken off with the DS to work with and the effect is beautiful, and the feel of the original graphics are really carried over in this game. The graphics can get a little less clean in some close up scenes and sometimes the screen angles can be disorienting, but on the whole the graphics are one of the things that make this game worth checking out. This game is for the Nintendo DA so it has the touch screen option for actions. You don’t have to use the touch screen but it helps the game play to use it and can enhance the quality of interaction with battles.

Storyline Rating is 7/10

Graphics Rating is 8/10 or 9/10

The original Golden Sun music is included in Dark Dawn in remixed versions that are very nice.This helps keep the interest going while you explore every inch of world lokking for djinn, items, and dungeons.

The battle system is very close to the original games, a turn based fighting game style. The djinn are still an integral part of the game, and are one of the more interesting and complicated parts of the battle system of golden sun. However, this game, like the first two, is more of a puzzle based dungeon system. There isn’t much to be gotten out of the battle system because they aren’t trying to be creative, except for the use of djinns.Your characters start out as "adepts" who each can use a certain element with their magic powers called "psyenergy", but by letting them hold different djinns that you find and collect around the world you can give them a wide variety of different attacks and puzzle solving moves. The puzzles give the game something much more interesting then boring maze after boring maze, but it still includes the battling and leveling up that most RPG’s have. In the dungeons and towns there will be many different types of obstacles that you can interact with when your characters get different moves, this also means that you must experiment with different player/djinn combinations to get the moves you want. All of this customization is basically the same as in the other two games and is part of what makes golden sun unique. This game does not have difficult battles because the game is not battle oriented. It has many puzzles that are challenging but not too difficult to work through. When compared to the previous two games it is somewhat easier.

Battle Rating is 5/10

Puzzles Rating is 8/10

Over all this is another solid RPG, but it is not quite up to the caliber of the first Golden Sun games. Still, it does live up to fan’s expectations.


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