Nintendo Reviews Rating:
Age 8+
Posted: February 4th, 2004
By: Webmaster-Josh
One of the first Game Boy Advance RPGs made is also one of the best! This game stunned everyone when it was first
released, and still stands firm today. To see how it competes in the categories, read our full review.
Sound

Since RPGs are generally big games, you'd expect a lot of sound effects. There are definitely plenty, but they are all not
that high-tech, shall I say. Most of the sound effects seem basic and heard of before. There is variety, especially when
releasing the different Djinn. It seems right, but it just doesn't seem all that new. Still, you can't complain because there's
a lot to hear. The voices are simulated with muffle like sounds that give you an idea of the tone of their voice. There's so
much written speech, you wouldn't expect much more. This is still very effective, because you can get an idea of what the
characters are saying.
The music is incredible. There's plenty to hear, and not only do they all fit the scenario, they all sound pleasantly well. I
especially like the battle theme. I think that it's fast and upbeat. The music is paced well, fast when there's action, but
slow when there's just a relaxing or peaceful moment. Of course, since it will take a while to get through hundreds of
sentences of speech, sometimes the fast music during speech seems not so supportive to what's going on.
The sound quality is great with headphones. Although it doesn't seem to be Stereo, it just makes everything sound so
much better. This is a great way to listen to the music. Be sure to put in headphones while playing this. Overall, the sound
is good, with only very minor errors. It all seems to flow the game right, and is what we expect for any game.
Control

For an RPG, the control is great. A and Select are to select Psynergy. L and R are Psynergy shortcuts. This is extremely
helpful when you know that you'll be using two Psynergy a lot. A and B confirms and cancel actions. In general, every
button is used, just differently, depending on the scenario. You can say that the control is responsive, but since this game
involves choosing actions and letting the CPU do the rest, it's not like it matters.
The battle system is great, but has some flaws. You choose all of your party members' attacks before anything happens.
This keeps up the pace. What's not so great about it is that if you choose an enemy to attack, and they fall before one of
your characters' attacks comes, then they will defend. This is annoying when there may still be other enemies on the field.
Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire doesn't have this problem. Otherwise, the battle system is easy to follow, and fun.
The Djinn element also causes some problems, because not everything is explained. When you set a Djinn, some abilities
like Psynergy are lost or gained. It's up to the players to know when to set Djinn, but Camelot should have given more
info about Djinn in the game. Once you figure this out, you can plan battle strategies (particularly bosses) out well. With
only some minor flaws, the control system does the job. The only reason it doesn't score a higher score is because, for an
RPG, some of these really should have been fixed.
Graphics

The graphics are stunning! This is the highlight of the game. Although it's not
all properly resolved, it still has great effects. The artwork is great, and the
battle effects are cool. You'll actually want to watch the effects of battle just to
see how great they look. The backgrounds look great and accurately portray
where the fight is. Motions and movements are life-like, and expressions are
displayed as thought bubbles. This is a bit generic, but for GBA, it's not a
problem. Everything is well visible and is hardly ever fooling. The world map
could be improved, but that's about it! This game rules on graphics and I expect
even better from future GBA games! (Mario Golf: Advance Tour)
Replay

I felt that for an RPG, this was very short. For a game in general, though, this does last long. It took me nearly 29 hours
to completely beat the game. But considering I beat everything, it seems like the experience was short. Some of it was
because they decided to spruce up the replay by throwing in secret tasks that can only be done once. They are not
required, but they add some, if little depth to the 29-hour adventure. Otherwise, that's about it, and there really isn't
much to do after you beat the final boss.
That's not to say that the main adventure is short. It is very long. There's an engaging storyline with twists and turns, and
there's lots of talking which adds more time of playing. There's collecting all Djinn, beating Crossbone Island, and just
leveling up your characters for the final boss. For an RPG, there isn't too much here. Leveling up is pointless after beating
the game, and finding all of the Djinn is easy.
One good thing is the Battle Hall. You can battle with friends, or just your own record. This is based on the status of your
file, but doesn't affect your file in any way. This is a very fun aspect to battle enemies randomly. Overall, there's a lot to
do, but compared to other RPGs there could have been so much more here.
Design

The design is very well done. This is a true RPG, but in a shorter size of a game. The plot is thorough and interesting.
People not excited of reading through hours of speech should be aware that it is in this game. The fact is that the plot
revolves around what you end up doing. When you finally get control, you should feel that there are minimal
interruptions, but in fact there are a lot. I am not a fan of this, because games can be great with implied plotlines that are
faster paced.
However, this is the style of RPG games and is just like an epic book. This game plays that part very well, and I really
think this is a great game. There are plenty of puzzles and loads of amusing bad guys. The bosses are different and fight
uniquely. The characters have personality, and really speak their emotions well when necessary. The 29 hours will breeze
only because you'll want to keep going until you beat it!
Scores
Sound

9.0
Control

8.6
Graphics

9.0
Replay

8.1
Design

9.8
8.9
Final Words

This may not have the best replay when compared to other RPGs, but this is still one of the most enjoyable games on the
GBA. With connectivity to Golden Sun: The Lost Age, you'll want to see this storyline to understand the sequel's a little
more. This game rocks, and you can buy it for only about $20 now!