Nintendo makes a wide array of games in many different genres, and Golden Sun was one of the company’s biggest forays into straight up JRPG. The series started on Game Boy Advance with the first Golden Sun released in 2001, and featured a traditional turn-based battle system focused on party mechanics. One of the more unique features of the game revolved around elemental creatures known as Djinns, which you could capture and assign to each of your party members. These creatures would provide stat boosts as well as unique elemental abilities, both key to winning in battle. The main cast could also use a mysterious magical power called Psynergy, vital in both battle and puzzle solving.
The games were well loved for their strong ensemble cast and fascinating main plots that revolved around the world and its elements. Golden Sun hit at the start of a huge wave of massive handheld RPGs, when the Game Boy Advance became a hotbed for the genre. A sequel called Golden Sun: The Lost Age was released in 2003, with a DS title called Golden Age: Dark Dawn finally bringing the series back around in 2010. Since then, we’ve seen absolutely nothing from Golden Sun.
The Switch is going to need some serious exclusives to attract attention to itself, and there’s no better way to do that than with a giant sprawling RPG. Nintendo could fill a gap in their lineup with a new Golden Sun, bringing on another RPG series to join the likes of the Xenoblade games. The series only ever saw handheld entries, and the development team behind the Golden Sun games, Camelot Software, has been tasked with working on Mario Tennis titles since 2010. Nintendo’s new platform could be the perfect chance to finally realize Golden Sun’s full potential.
Camelot did a great job with characters and world building on handheld, it’s exciting to think of what they could really do with brand new hardware. In the wake of successes like Final Fantasy XV and Persona 5 in Japan, Nintendo stands to carve some space in the RPG scene if they take advantage of a dormant series like Golden Sun.