41 – Golden Sun: The Lost Age
Developer: Camelot Software Planning
Initial Release Date: April 14, 2003
Why it’s one of the best RPGs: Too bad Camelot focuses so heavily on sports titles nowadays, because Golden Sun and its even better sequel, The Lost Age, were true gems on the GameBoy Advance. The two games span one entire plot, where two different parties of heroes must travel the world of Weyard to save it from certain destruction by stopping the four elemental lighthouses from being lit. In its time, the graphics and soundtrack by Motoi Sakuraba were top of the line, and the world in The Lost Age (opened up via ship partway through the game) seemed simply enormous for a handheld RPG!
Golden Sun’s claim to fame is its Djinn system, wherein collectible elemental sprites can be unleashed in battle with different offense and defensive effects. Once unleashed, they can be combined with other Djinn to use powerful Summons, before resting for a time and then available to unleash again. Different combinations of Djinn assigned to different characters also impact that character’s stats, class, and available Psynergy (spells), making their use a fun strategic game in of itself.
The Lost Age was easily the pinnacle of the Golden Sun series. We just pretend Dark Dawn never happened.
Next: 40 - Deus Ex