By Jeff Neuenschwander / May 2nd, 2014
5. Golden Sun: The Lost Age (37%, ahead by 1 vote)
Déjà vu. Just like in our list, Golden Sun: The Lost Age places 5th. It’s like you read our minds and wanted to be just like us…or you just liked the game and voted it higher than most of the games on this list.
4. Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade (37%, ahead by 1 vote)
Full disclosure: This was listed as Sword of Seals on the polls.
Kind of odd how closely bunched these past three games were, literally separated by one vote each time. A couple of votes either way, and the placement could have been a lot different…or they would be separated by even more.
3. Fire Emblem (42%)
The original Western release of the series, Fire Emblem is actually the seventh game in the series. It was actually known in Japan as Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken (translated as The Sword of Flame).
Fire Emblem takes place on the continent of Elibe, twenty years before The Binding Blade. The game stars the parents of the previous games’ heroes as well as features the first female main character since Gaiden: Lyn. The story follows a tactician (you) who is found by Lyn. He helps her stop an uprising in her home of Caelin and reunites with her grandfather, Hausen, the Marquess of Caelin. Afterwards, you travel along with Eliwood (the father of Roy) and Hector (the father of Lilina) as they all hunt down the Black Fang faction.
Along with introducing the West to the amazing gameplay that the series is known for, Fire Emblem also introduces objectives new to the series, like surviving enough turns, destroying all your enemies, or traveling to a predefined spot. In addition, you can view the story from a different angle in Hector’s tale, which makes Hector the main character and views the story from his perspective. The game also has a multiplayer link arena that features battles with you and up to three of your friends.
All in all, Fire Emblem is an excellent game that deserves its time on the Virtual Console.
2. Golden Sun (42%, ahead by 2 votes)
The only game on the list that has already been released on the Wii U Virtual Console. It was also number 2 on our list before Nintendo revealed it would be coming.
Golden Sun is the first game in the series and the first half of a story involving Isaac, his rival Felix, and their friends. In this game, you take control of Isaac, a Venus Adept, as he attempts to stop Saturos and Menardi from restoring Alchemy to the world of Weyard. This is feared, as Alchemy, a prevalent force in Weyard’s development, was a cause for a worldwide conflict and would cause instability if restored. It also didn’t help that Saturos and Menardi were raiding Mt. Aleph twice in order to restore it or that they took two of Isaac’s allies hostage. Of course, this is just half the story.
Golden Sun‘s gameplay features many puzzles, which are usually solved with the use of Psynergy, the game’s form of magic. This contrasts with its contemporaries in that it was one of the few that used its magic for puzzle solving as well as the usual combat and healing. This also introduced the Djinn system that would return in The Lost Age.
Golden Sun deserved its spot on the Virtual Console, and we applaud Nintendo for releasing the game as one of the GBA launch titles. However, this is just half the story. The rest must be told, Nintendo.
Before we get to number 1, I’d like to point out that the last four games listed—as well as five of the last six—have been either Golden Sun or Fire Emblem. One, that speaks to the quality Intelligent Systems and Camelot put into their games. Two, we’ve seen several Fire Emblem games after those three—including last year’s Game of the Year, Awakening—but only one Golden Sun game, Dark Dawn. We appreciate the Fire Emblem games, but why hasn’t their been a fourth Golden Sun game, Nintendo?
Castlevania: Aria of SorrowFire Emblem: The Binding BladeFire Emblem: The Sacred StonesGolden SunGolden Sun: The Lost AgeMetroid: Zero MissionMother 3Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreenPokémon Ruby/Sapphire/EmeraldThe Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap