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Topic: It's Time for Golden Sun on Nintendo Switch

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Menardi

Untitled

It's been nearly one decade.

This is officially the longest wait there has ever been between releases for this handheld RPG series since its critically-acclaimed debut in 2001. Three full Smash Bros. development cycles and three appropriate portable devices like the Nintendo 3DS, New Nintendo 3DS, and the affordable 2DS have all come and gone since Golden Sun: Dark Dawn for Nintendo DS hit store shelves in 2010. In that time, Camelot Software Planning have "transitioned" their priorities from groundbreaking RPGs to mobile app development and full-price Mario sports games with bugs like this at launch:

https://twitter.com/xTROx/status/1016451065317711872?s=19

(No offense to Mario Tennis Aces fans, this bug has been addressed since launch)

Not even an earlier-than-necessary 2018 copyright renewal of the Golden Sun IP for Smash Bros. Ultimate or the Nintendo Switch Online service have offered any respite for this lack of Nintendo's first (and best) handheld RPG on two of their most RPG-friendly handheld consoles, as the service slowly King Zoras its way from two NES games a month to a handful of SNES games every quarter, which does little towards offering Game Boy Advance or Nintendo DS Golden Sun games on the Switch this millennium.

Fans are all too happy to remind Nintendo customer service of Golden Sun's popularity, with daily tweets, letters and fan artwork as well as online hoaxes made to trend like the "Solar Soothsayer" or the recent "Lunar Nation" Switch hoax, all met with canned responses assuring fans Nintendo is listening. (Re)additions of Isaac as an Assist Trophy (albeit with new moves that were not present in Isaac's Brawl appearance), Isaac-themed Mii clothing options, two songs, and several character Spirits to Ultimate, Nintendo's biggest game of 2018, show that these canned responses aren't necessarily just PR.

Those in the know understand that the time has more than come for this dormant IP, and those unfamiliar with its games are a prime example of why there needs to be a new title in this series — an entire new generation of players have picked up a Nintendo console since 2010, yet the series continues to wait on the bench. Those with grey hair on their chest know that no Nintendo franchise is truly "dead" forever, as Kid Icarus can attest.

Golden Sun is often mis-characterized by armchair analysts and players unfamiliar with these titles as a sales dud due to its cult following status, further emboldened by the one lukewarm series entry in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, which released in the eleventh hour of the Nintendo DS lifespan (Dark Dawn released on the DS on October 28th, 2010; the Nintendo 3DS released on February 26th, 2011). Contrary to its reputation as a cult series, 2001 and 2002's Golden Sun: The Broken Seal and Golden Sun: The Lost Age outsold comparable video game series on the same system during the same period by notable margins.

For example, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade and Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, two comparable RPGs on the same system which sold in both North America and Japan, were praised by Nintendo as being among their "successful" Game Boy Advance titles, with 265,286 and 246,719 units sold respectively between March 21, 2001 and December 30, 2007. In contrast, Golden Sun 1 and 2 sold 338,097 and 249,684 respectively during the same period, clearly outclassing these comparable Fire Emblem entries in sales. Generously excluding Dark Dawn's sales, the two Golden Sun entries would eventually sell 1,650,000 and 1,120,000 units by December 2014, outclassing the lifetime sales of Kid Icarus (a far more dormant series which was eventually revived by Nintendo after a far longer hiatus than that of Golden Sun) by 1,010,000 units (vgchartz). Summarily, Golden Sun is not worthy of the poor sales reputation often ascribed to dormant series like these and consequentially cannot be written off like other series.

Further contradicting any notions of lackluster industry repute are Golden Sun's numerous accolades, which include the 2001 Nintendo Power Award for Game Boy Advance game of the year, rank #94 on IGN's 2006 Reader's Choice Top 100 Games Ever, IGN Game Of The Month 2003, and many others. Golden Sun 1 alone holds a rounded Metacritic and GameRankings score of 91 and 89 respectively, ranking it higher than Overwatch (PS4), Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA), and Assassin's Creed II (X360). In terms of both sales and reception, Golden Sun is a commercial and critical success with critics and fans alike (who routinely vote Isaac to the top of most online Smash Bros. fighter polls).

A brief selection of the many fan polls showing consistent enthusiasm for Isaac as a new Smash Bros. fighter.

Of particular note are industry analysts' thoughts on the then somewhat niche Japan-only release Fire Emblem: The Blinding Blade. It is rightly believed by some that the title would have sold far more had Nintendo brought it to the Americas and devoted more resources towards marketing it. Something similar can be said for Golden Sun. When it has the odds in its favor, releases at any time other than the tail-end of a console's lifespan, and isn't a dramatic series deviation with in-game points-of-no-return like Dark Dawn, Golden Sun performs very well.

All told, the "financial risk" argument simply fails to hold water when considering that less-than-profitable modern software like Super Mario Run are still being actively maintained, never mind the fact Nintendo are proving with the Switch that they are open to taking risks. In a time when Mario has his own mobile phone app, Link's latest adventure is open-world, the biggest Nintendo multiplayer game on the Switch features King K. Rool, and Nintendo's latest contraption is a piece of cardboard, avoiding risks in product development is not something one could easily ascribe to today's Nintendo. They are taking chances.

Popular modern titles such as Octopath Traveler show there is a hunger in Nintendo Switch players for unique RPG experiences, and simply put, no RPG series delivers what Golden Sun delivers in terms of its Breath Of The Wild-like environmental puzzles and master-class dungeon design, world-building and intriguing cultures, Pokemon-like Djinn collecting, and lush music by Dark Souls composer Motoi Sakuraba. Stop reading this and just look at this GIF of Lemuria, an Atlantis-like land where time passes slowly and nothing eventful happens:

Untitled

This game released in 2002. The visuals of Golden Sun age like a fine wine.

It's time for a full Golden Sun experience on a modern Nintendo console, be it a fourth game, a prequel, an HD remastered collection of all three titles, or even just the basic 32mb GBA ROMs made available via the Nintendo Switch Online service. No Assist Trophies, no Isaac wigs in Smash Ultimate's Mii Creator, no Spirits. No other RPG will do.

Demand for a new entry in the series is not strictly limited to Nintendo fans, either. Game director of 2018's Game Of The Year God Of War Cory Barlog states in a December 2019 social media post:

Sources:
Japanese sales March 21, 2001 and December 30, 2007: https://web.archive.org/web/20081230005318/http://www.japan-g...
Metacritic - Game Releases by Score (All Time, All Platforms): https://www.metacritic.com/browse/games/score/metascore/all/a...

Golden Sun in the news:
Nintendo updates Dark Dawn Japanese trademark (1/27/2020)
GOTY 2018 director demands new Golden Sun game (12/31/2019)
Fans spread the love with #GoldenSunday hashtag (11/12/2018)
Nintendo renews Golden Sun trademark (9/13/2018)
Illustrator Hiroshi Kajiyama passes away (7/19/2018)
Camelot will deliver if fans demand new GS entry (6/11/2012)

Edited on by Menardi

Menardi

Krull

Amen. It’s a crying shame how few original IP Nintendo RPG series there are. And a really good one should not be left to wither on the vine. This would be a great surprise launch for 2019 - hope you’re listening, our friends in Kyoto.

If Camelot can’t be trusted, find a really good third party to team up with, like Zeboyd Games (Cosmic Star Heroine).

Switch ID: 5948-6652-1589
3DS ID: 2492-5142-7789

Menardi

Good idea! I'm partial to Grezzo as well, their Zelda remakes on the 3DS and Ever Oasis in particular seem to possess many qualities needed to produce an RPG of the same high caliber as Golden Sun.

Edited on by Menardi

Menardi

Menardi

shaneoh wrote:

Majora101 wrote:

It's been nearly one decade.

Pfft, it was 21 years between the last two Kid Icarus games.

21 years too long!

Menardi

Menardi

shaneoh wrote:

Majora101 wrote:

21 years too long!

So they should have released a game right after they released the second one?

Yes.

In all seriousness for the satirically-impaired, it can be argued that one decade is an unjustifiably long and arduous wait for a product with a built-in cult following, never mind two.

Menardi

shaneoh

Majora101 wrote:

it can be argued that one decade is an unjustifiably long and arduous wait for a product with a built-in cult following, never mind two.

You just justified it: cult following. It's not large enough to risk another game.

Edited on by shaneoh

The Greatest love story ever, Rosie Love (part 33 done)
The collective noun for a group of lunatics is a forum. A forum of lunatics.
I'm belligerent, you were warned.

Menardi

shaneoh wrote:

Majora101 wrote:

it can be argued that one decade is an unjustifiably long and arduous wait for a product with a built-in cult following, never mind two.

You just justified it: cult following.

You're absolutely right. In a time when vinyl records, entertainment like Arrested Development, and IP like Kid Icarus are pulled from the ether to meet consumer demand, it's naive as a fan and investor in Nintendo stock to suggest a company with a recent track record of giving fans what they want might eventually give its fans something they want. ❄

Menardi

shaneoh

Majora101 wrote:

You're absolutely right. In a time when vinyl records, entertainment like Arrested Development, and IP like Kid Icarus are pulled from the ether to meet consumer demand, it's naive as a fan and investor in Nintendo stock to suggest a company with a recent track record of giving fans what they want might eventually give its fans something they want. ❄

It's naive to list the successful revivals without considering the failed ones. Bionic Commando, Boogerman and Turok come to mind. It's up to Nintendo if they want to take the risk with their money, and, so far, Golden Sun hasn't been worth the risk.

The Greatest love story ever, Rosie Love (part 33 done)
The collective noun for a group of lunatics is a forum. A forum of lunatics.
I'm belligerent, you were warned.

LzWinky

I'm not entirely sure what Camelot is doing these days

Current games: Everything on Switch

Switch Friend Code: SW-5075-7879-0008 | My Nintendo: LzWinky | Nintendo Network ID: LzWinky

Menardi

shaneoh wrote:

Majora101 wrote:

You're absolutely right. In a time when vinyl records, entertainment like Arrested Development, and IP like Kid Icarus are pulled from the ether to meet consumer demand, it's naive as a fan and investor in Nintendo stock to suggest a company with a recent track record of giving fans what they want might eventually give its fans something they want. ❄

It's naive to list the successful revivals without considering the failed ones. Bionic Commando, Boogerman and Turok come to mind. It's up to Nintendo if they want to take the risk with their money, and, so far, Golden Sun hasn't been worth the risk.

You must be the life of the party! This is a fair argument, but a little polemic, however, I wouldn't lump Golden Sun in with obscure NES titles from the latter Reagan years or an early 3D shooter from the Nintendo 64 era that was just recently brought to the Nintendo Switch, which is a good thing.

Discussions for and against the financial potential for a Golden Sun sequel have been made on a loop since Golden Sun: Dark Dawn released in 2010, and one can draw a positive sales outlook when reviewing the IP's global performance. It is decidedly a successful IP with a large following that has ballooned exponentially with the passage of time — its main protagonist is now one of if not the most in-demand retro fighter in online fan polls following King K. Rool and Ridley's Smash Bros. debuts. The success and longevity of the series is inarguably tangible. It is a question of when for this IP.

Edited on by Menardi

Menardi

Harmonie

I thought the first two Golden Sun games were quite a success back in the day. Not only did I play them, but they were the talk of my middle school among the gamers. I'd hardly call them "cult" following games, more that Camelot, for some reason, took forever to release Golden Sun 3, which killed a lot of the hype momentum that the first two had created. And then Dark Dawn wasn't as well-crafted and thus not very liked by many of the Golden Sun fans still around.

The franchise really shouldn't meet its end like that.

Harmonie

Nintendo Network ID: WoodwindsRock

Menardi

Harmonie wrote:

I thought the first two Golden Sun games were quite a success back in the day. Not only did I play them, but they were the talk of my middle school among the gamers. I'd hardly call them "cult" following games, more that Camelot, for some reason, took forever to release Golden Sun 3, which killed a lot of the hype momentum that the first two had created. And then Dark Dawn wasn't as well-crafted and thus not very liked by many of the Golden Sun fans still around.

The franchise really shouldn't meet its end like that.

Agreed. I remember picking up the first game at the local game store that would eventually become Gamestop (and then a laundromat once the Gamestop moved into the nearby mall, which is now being phased out for a luxury condominium development). We went in looking for nothing in particular and walked out with Golden Sun based on a chance recommendation by the cashier who suggested it was like a new "better Castlevania, it's the biggest RPG right now". Not sure how similar Golden Sun and the Game Boy Advance Castlevanias are, but it was a great recommendation!

Edited on by Menardi

Menardi

kkslider5552000

Golden Sun was decently popular back in the day but tbh, I don't feel like its really kept that audience. There are less successful games I hear far more about that are at least as old. I'd love it, the first 2 Golden Sun games are some of the best turn based RPGs but it's not something I feel like has enough interest to get a brand new game. There are series Nintendo could be making new games for that have far more interest.

Non-binary, demiguy, making LPs, still alive

Bioshock Infinite Let's Play!:
LeT's PlAy BIOSHOCK < Link to LP

shaneoh

Majora101 wrote:

You must be the life of the party!

Not really, but you're opening post (which seems to be getting longer each time I visit this thread) tells me we can still be buddies.

Majora101 wrote:

This is a fair argument, but a little polemic, however, I wouldn't lump Golden Sun in with obscure NES titles from the latter Reagan years

For a Nintendo franchise Golden Sun is pretty obscure.

Majora101 wrote:

or an early 3D shooter from the Nintendo 64 era that was just recently brought to the Nintendo Switch, which is a good thing.

Actually I was lumping it in with the revival game (also called Turok), the rerelease of the N64 version is neither here nor there.

Majora101 wrote:

Discussions for and against the financial potential for a Golden Sun sequel have been made on a loop since Golden Sun: Dark Dawn released in 2010, and one can draw a positive sales outlook when reviewing the IP's global performance. It is decidedly a successful IP with a large following that has ballooned exponentially with the passage of time

Considering the series declined in sales since the first installment (neither sequel reaching one million units sold), the dedicated following couldn't be that significant in terms of numbers. I wouldn't consider ballooning an apt description with the decline in sales. The first game was certainly a commercial success, but we can't use that to prop up the rest of the games and justify a revival, particularly as RPGs are fairly costly.

Majora101 wrote:

its main protagonist is now one of if not the most in-demand retro fighter in online fan polls following King K. Rool and Ridley's Smash Bros. debuts.

People want Shrek and Goku as well, that doesn't inspire confidence that a revival would be profitable.

Majora101 wrote:

The success and longevity of the series is inarguably tangible.

Well if I wanted to get into a linguistic debate I'd argue the use of the words "inarguably" and "tangible." We don't have access to costs of production and distribution, as well as exact sales figures, we have no idea how successful the series was, especially as sales numbers declined from the first game.

Majora101 wrote:

It is a question of when for this IP.

The same arguments could be made for Chrono Trigger (more so even), but there are, as yet, no announced plans to revive the series.

The Greatest love story ever, Rosie Love (part 33 done)
The collective noun for a group of lunatics is a forum. A forum of lunatics.
I'm belligerent, you were warned.

Menardi

We'll have to agree to disagree on this topic and the definitions of 'inarguable', 'tangible', and the correct usage of "you're". Then again, my entire topic is riddled with run-ons, so we're both annoying English majors the world over right now.

shaneoh wrote:

Majora101 wrote:

You must be the life of the party!

Not really, but you're opening post (which seems to be getting longer each time I visit this thread) tells me we can still be buddies.

Of course we can! It's good to disagree once in a while, nothing wrong with that!

Edited on by Menardi

Menardi

shaneoh

Majora101 wrote:

correct usage of "you're".

A simple mistake to make, particularly as I was going back deleting and editing, and you don't see much in these little windows.

Edited on by shaneoh

The Greatest love story ever, Rosie Love (part 33 done)
The collective noun for a group of lunatics is a forum. A forum of lunatics.
I'm belligerent, you were warned.

Menardi

shaneoh wrote:

Majora101 wrote:

correct usage of "you're".

A simple mistake to make, particularly as I was going back deleting and editing, and you don't see much in these little windows.

Don't worry about it, I make the same mistake all the time.

Menardi

Grumblevolcano

I feel that Golden Sun's chance of revival dropped by a large amount at the same time Isaac was confirmed to only be an assist trophy in Smash Ultimate.

Grumblevolcano

Switch Friend Code: SW-2595-6790-2897 | 3DS Friend Code: 3926-6300-7087 | Nintendo Network ID: GrumbleVolcano

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