Quite frankly, it irks me that a fourth installment is not being developed for the Golden Sun series. They’re some of my favorite games to play, and the lack of attention the series gets kills me. I don’t care if it’s underrated – the fact that Camelot will never give me the answer to the cliffhanger in the third game, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, depresses me. I’d like to remain hopeful that one day, the series will get its much needed fourth game, but until that happens, I need to articulate some very important changes that I will need to see in order to preserve my sanity.
1: More Adult Isaac
Isaac became one of my favorite characters in the first two games, and while his short cameo at the beginning of the third game was cool and all, that is unacceptable. In Golden Sun 4, he needs to be more directly involved and contributing to the story. He’s easily capable of aiding the main cast with the experiences he gained from the first two games. Not only that, but we need more of his awesome beard and tame hairstyle. It’s a surprisingly cool, mature look for him considering the insane, Sora-esque hair style he used to sport in the first games.
2: More Challenging Battles, Less Annoying Puzzles
Golden Sun’s battles were challenging yet fun, with a minor emphasis on puzzles in dungeons. Golden Sun: The Lost Age flipped this balance completely, with a heavier emphasis on puzzles and easily won battles, while Golden Sun: Dark Dawn tried to find a balance somewhere in the middle. In the next game, I want the series to return to its original roots as seen in the first game. I’d much rather have a challenge in combat that require careful customization and grinding rather than trying to find my way out of a ridiculous labyrinth of puzzles.
I think there are a couple different ways to revamp the combat in the series as well. Don’t get me wrong, I love turn-based battle systems, but the random encounters can get a little dull from time to time. To spice it up, maybe there can be an option combine Psynergy spells into one, devastating attack. It could add a new form of customization by devising a team based on who has the best spell combinations with one another. I’d also be okay with Camelot going out on a limb and shifting the battle system from turn-based to something like the Kingdom Hearts series. Having the exploration and battles coincide with the puzzles could add some diversity and engaging new elements to the series.
3: More Djinn
Throughout the series, Djinn have been a fundamental part of the story. The games have always done a good job with rewarding players for finding Djinn. It’s similar to the obsession of catching Pokemon – except that it’s not impossible to do in this series. On top of that, Dark Dawn added to the list of Djinn to find along with having adorable distinctive designs. The game even alluded to the possibility of a dark and light element, and should this plot point come into fruition, finding new types of Djinn would add to the already fun customization aspect of the series.
4: Cameos of the Original Cast from Golden Sun and Golden Sun: The Lost Age
Dark Dawn made references to several of the playable characters from the old games, whether it was in a picture book or in conversation. I enjoyed hearing tidbits about what they were up to, but I’d like for them to make an appearance in Golden Sun 4. The fact that we never see Isaac’s wife, Jenna, once is absurd to me. What kind of parenting are they practicing?! Now, the old characters don’t need to be in the game very much (the image of Jenna nagging Matthew every ten seconds makes me cringe and reminds me of my early childhood), they can just join the cast for a decisive battle and then be off on their merry way for all I care. I’m not asking for a ton, but at least some involvement in relation to the plot would be nice.
5: A Graphics Overhaul
Dark Dawn’s graphics, while colorful and nice overall for a DS game, portrayed the characters with uncannily short bodies and eyes that took up half of their face. This stylistic choice was a throwback to the original games on the Gameboy Advance, and while I applaud Camelot for keeping to tradition, for Golden Sun 4 to be successful, they should take full advantage of the 3DS’s power. Updating the graphics to present characters in more realistic proportions would make the series more appealing to a larger audience and serve as a great way to move forward and grow with the gaming industry.
Camelot, I hope you are reading this and are already drawing up a storyboard for Golden Sun 4. Because if you aren’t, we’re going to have some major problems involving a massive fire and sniper rifle.