Psynergy Star Compliant

I started playing the original Golden Sun for Game Boy Advance recently, and I have to say it’s really full of chit-chat so far. I don’t have a problem with dialogue-heavy games, but something about the pacing and the fact that there’s a lot of exposition to get through before the game really starts got to me a bit. Another oddity is that the use of icons to reflect a character’s mood. That aside, I am enjoying it. In many ways it’s a standard role-playing game, where you fight monsters and obtain treasures, but it has some elements that make it stand out. One is the magic system, which is based around psychic energy, referred to in the game as “psynergy.” Spells can have the typical effects like healing and using the elements to attack monsters, but others are used to manipulate objects. This adds a puzzle aspect to the game, as getting through certain areas can require psychically moving objects in certain ways. There are also djinn that can help you by boosting statistics and participating in battles like summoned beings in the Final Fantasy series. I’ve made it up to Kolima, where a curse has turned everyone into trees. The fights have been pretty easy, but the puzzles occasionally had me stumped. Maybe I’m just not used to that sort of game. The battle system is turn-based and very straightforward, my main gripe about it being that attacks on defeated enemies are not automatically redirected. At least the would-be will defend instead of making an ineffective attack. One interesting reference I’ve caught is that there’s a character named Ivan and a town called Bilibin, and Ivan Bilibin was a Russian illustrator known for his work with fairy tales. There’s also a lot of stuff on alchemy that might well have real-world equivalents. Like Final Fantasy IV, this is a game that takes place on a world that clearly isn’t our own Earth (it’s called Weyard), yet makes references to other planets in our solar system. As for the main villains, Saturos and Menardi, I can’t help thinking of Team Rocket when they show up. As of this point, they’re certainly mean, but don’t appear to have that much planned out ahead of time. I’ll be sure to keep an eye on how they develop in later appearances.

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