Golden Sun Dark Dawn: The Nintendo DS Gets a Golden Exclusive

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Golden Sun: Dark Dawn for the Nintendo DS is almost upon us, the game is set for November 29th. Releasing on a system full of great RPGs, what has developer Camelot done to make this title shine among so many great adventures? Trust us, you don’t want to miss Dark Dawn. This high quality DS experience has more to offer than what initial impressions might suggest. From the start of the series Golden Sun has contained impressive visuals, engaging battle system and a story rivaling the best Final Fantasy has to offer. The importance of this Nintendo franchise is full of history, and should be at the top of your wish list this year.

GoldenSun Dark Dawn

The Gameboy Advance has it’s own collection of RPGs, but the systems first ground-breaking one came in the form of the original Golden Sun. For its time, Camelot managed to show the true horsepower of the GBA. Golden Sun was an explosive experience on the Gameboy Advance. The amazing amount of detail that went in to creating spell effects and in summoning of entities to assist the games heroes was a first for the GBA. Camelot and Nintendo made sure this was a universe that would gain a following, and it did. Over a million people bought the first two games, “Golden Sun” and “Golden Sun the Lost Age”. Now a third is coming, and for the first time the franchise has graphical rivals on the portable RPG front. Nintendo has been showing videos of the DS offering since E3 of 2009, but its been slow going in terms of getting all the game’s info. The game is now in 3D, and contains plenty of detail in it’s textures. From the videos on the Nintendo channel, Dark Dawn looks comparable to Final Fantasy 3 and 4 on the DS. The in-town visuals look a little better than what Final Fantasy has done on the DS. The towns often showcase large portions of the horizon, displaying large sunrises and sunsets spanned across the dual screens of the DS. Battles are similar to the classic Golden Sun games with the camera positioned behind the player’s party. Attacks, spell casting and the summoning of Djinn (spirits that aid the heroes) are much more impressive than before. Summoning Djinns have always been one of the most enjoyable experiences of Golden Sun, and in Dark Dawn look especially nice when taking up both screens. Common monster look really feeble when getting pounded by a horse riding giant wielding a massive weapon. The amount of work going into the graphics is still A+. Simple fire attacks will not be a simple blur of red in Golden Sun Dark Dawn. Camelot puts tons of production value into even the little things. Expect large pillars of fire consisting of bright-violent red, and bursts of pixels everywhere. The controls take advantage of the touch screen, and allow the player to move around via the stylus. Commands can be issued easily during battles by choosing the action from a simple menu. Like the Golden Sun games on the GBA Dark Dawn makes use of puzzles and challenges. Camelot has designed these with touch screen in mind. If the puzzles are anything like those found in the first two games then expect a real challenge.

The original Golden Sun had a well written story which had maybe one fault which is that it started off rather slow and a little generic. Eventually it got good, real good. The second game “Golden Sun The Lost Age” ended with the heroes bringing the Golden Sun back to the world of Weyard, eventually referred to as the Golden Sun effect in the Dark Dawn. The DS entry takes place 30 years after the end of the the second title. The heroes in Dark Dawn are the descendants of the heroes in the first two games, so you won’t be able to port your GBA data to this one like you could with the Lost Age. Story sequences in Dark Dawn show zoomed in cameras on the 3D character models, which is a nice change from the stationary view that was used in the older games. The camera zooms in and out, and focuses on what ever character or characters are talking or doing something of particular importance. With seven years passing since the last Golden Sun game, we look forward to another story taking place in the world of Weyard.

Look forward to our full review on November 29th when Golden Sun Dark Dawn releases on Nintendo DS.

1. Players Saved Data from the first Golden Sun game could be imported into the second game “Golden Sun The Lost Age” by starting the Lost Age and picking new game, and choosing load previous data from “Golden Sun”. Doing this required you to keep the Gameboy Advance on, pulling the Lost Age cartridge out, and putting the original Golden Sun Cartridge in. The GBA would then load the first games data into it’s flash memory, after which the player would be told to take the first game out and put the second (Lost Age) back in. This was one of the few, if not only GBA game to utilize this neat GBA ability.

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