The year is three-quarters over, and there are about ninety days left until Christmas. Isn’t that crazy?
Golden Sun is a game that I need to play again. I never actually owned it, but I remember a friend lending it to me sometime in sixth grade. She scolded me at one point when I told her where I was in the story and what level I was at. Apparently I wasn’t keeping up with my characters’ levels while advancing the story!
This game was released for the Game Boy Advance in 2001, and the RPG was critically acclaimed, getting almost perfect reviews. It was traditional for the genre in which the players controlled four characters in a party and traveled throughout a fantasy land as they advance the story. Like most RPGs, there is a magic system, with Golden Sun’s magic being based on the classical elements. The magic is called Psynergy and wielders are Adepts. However, the magic that is involved in the game is also used outside of battle for solving puzzles. Instead of playing completely linear, players are allowed to return to previous locations to solve puzzles they couldn’t before after unlocking the magic needed to do so.
Golden Sun also employed little creatures called Djinn. Djinn are found in the world and can be set to a character, helping with the character’s magic and class, among other attributes. Djinn have their own elements and can be mixed and matched when put with a character, offering a wide variety of spells and effects for battles.
I honestly don’t remember too much of this game, but I do remember that I enjoyed the game enough to ask for Golden Sun: Dark Dawn when that had been released for the Nintendo DS back in 2010. With that said, I haven’t played too much of Dark Dawn. Perhaps I should rectify that…
Have you played this game? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
Title: Pokemon Pinball Ruby & Sapphire Developer: Jupiter Corporation Publisher: Nintendo, The Pokemon Company
Platform: Game Boy Advance
Release Date: August 25, 2003
How we got the game: I bought it
It’s no secret Pokemon is one of my favorite gaming series of all time. This is a game I’ve had since childhood and come back to play once in a while. It’s a classic.
The game pinball is but a simple one. You whack the ball around using the flippers at the bottom and the ball rolls here and there bouncing into bumpers and running over certain things for points. The higher the points, the better you do. Pokemon Pinball Ruby & Sapphire is just like that, but of course, it adds a twist.
There are two boards to choose from – Ruby and Sapphire. Each plays the same but has version exclusive Pokemon along with different bonus stages. I find this to be great since I could spend hours on one board getting as much Pokemon as I can only to pick the next board when I lose and it’s like I’m playing a different game, even though I’m trying to accomplish the same goal.
Each board acts like a normal pinball machine where you try to rack up as many points as possible. There are various modes you can activate if your pokeball hits a certain area enough times. For example, you can hatch a Pokemon if you hit Cyndaquil three times on the Ruby board. The Pokemon will wander around the board and if you can get your pokeball to hit it a couple of times, you’ve got it.
Catch ‘Em Mode works the same way. You’re timed and have to reveal the Pokemon by hitting the bumpers in the back three times and then you need to hit the actual Pokemon three times. When you want to evolve a Pokemon, you need to grab three experience points throughout the board within the time limit. I find this one the most challenging.
Once you’ve captured three Pokemon you can move onto a bonus stage featuring Pokemon like Kecleon, Dusknoir, and more. You can challenge Kyogre and Groudon and, once you catch them, you can challenge Rayquaza.
Just like most pinball games, you have three balls to start with. You can use Latios and Latias to save your ball for a certain amount of time if it gets past your flippers and if it gets stuck on the sides, you can charge Pikachu and Pichu up to shock the ball back out. You can easily spend hours on the same game racking your points way, way up. Which is good, because there are a lot of Pokemon to catch.
The graphics in this game are certainly nostalgic. I played my Game Boy Advance on my Nintendo DS and it still worked really well. The graphics were bright enough and the pixelated images brought back a lot of memories.
The music is a delight. It’s relaxing as you play the game but when certain events happen – such as catch ’em mode, hatching a Pokemon, or simple going into the Poke Mart – the music amps up or has a certain jingle that fits perfectly with what’s going on. The music for the bonus stages are epic and tense as well. I stress easily even in the most casual of games and the music is spot-on for those stages.
The sound effects were great too. I found it pleasing whenever I stopped the ball from going down the pit. Having the ball bounce off the bumpers or getting sucked up into something was satisfying as well. Overall, they did a great job with the sound.
I will always go back to this game. There’s a lot of Pokemon to collect, evolve, and hatch as well as so many places to visit. Even after you collect everything, the gameplay overall is just fun. It’s a great game to play, leave, and then pick back up again after a while. This was the first time I played the game in years and I enjoyed it just as much as I did then.
Pokemon Pinball Ruby & Sapphire gets… 4 out of 5 lives.
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!