Golden Sun Short: As typical as a typical Japanese RPG gets.
Longer: In this game you play as a quiet hero whose vocabulary consists of "Yes" and "No" and whose friends do all the decisions and talking. What I mean to say here is that the character are all represantations of clichés and typical behaviour, most rm2k games even exceed this game in character development. Most rm2k games even exceed this game in storyline.
So well, this game is set in a fantasy world where there seems to be only one village where magic powers can be used (or psyenergy as it is called in this game). Psyenergy is one of the strong points in this game, because it can also affect the world outside battles and is a major plot point. The game begins with the death of some young boy and then quickly fast forwards a couple of years when the heroes feels like entering a Forbidden Place. As usual when it comes to Forbidden Places hell brakes loose and the world is about to end. (By the hand of some cliché looking villains, i.e. the cool and nasty ironic looking guys that can't even do that properly). Astonishingly enough the village decides that the only people who can save the world are the two young boys with almost no experience in Psyenergy and that actually caused the problem in the first place. I understand if they didn't believe the threat was real and that sending the young boys off on a suicide mission is the way to go, but the problem is that they realize the threat and STILL send these young unexperienced weaklings to do the job.
Alright enough complaining about the very weak plot that fits any generic game. The battle system is a typical turnbased system with flashy graphics, I must say that I find nothing to complaing about in the graphics of the systems, however the battles themselves get tedious but that's the way it is in all RPGs. Some fun tactical points in the battles are there though, the Djinni and their summons make for some interesting thought sometimes but mostly only in Boss battles (Or in normal battles when you find yourself in the last dungeon with Level 20 characters). The strong points in this game is the Djinni system that makes for interesting battles sometimes and the psyenergy that can affect the "real" world. One of the best psyenergies is the Mind Read which is fun to play with but halfway through the game I didn't bother using it anymore, I didn't bother talking to all villagers either by that time though because they never had any information of value (This actually put me in a kind of a problem since I didn't manage to trigger the event that allowed me to go on the boat to Tolbi and I was stuck for a while).
This game actually only has two scenes making it worthwile, the first is when you get the mission to save the world, you can actually choose NOT to do it and thus making Golden Sun the shortest commercial RPG I've ever played and the second scene is the ending (Or actually two scenes in the ending the credits scene with that awesome artwork and the very last scene with Jenna and that old guy).
The game also has a fair amount of puzzles, most of which I found rather easy, though some were a pain in the arse. And finding all of the Djinnis without a walkthrough is quite hard, but you don't need all Djinnis so it doesn't matter. So if you are alright with the sucky story, the average gameplay and the fact that this is only part one of two (or more?) this is a game for you. If you however wish to see something revolutionary, cool with an exciting and touching storyline stay away from this one. Oh and if you are a fan of 2d "classical" RPGs then I guess this game is alright, my small amount of fandom towards this genre is the only thing that kept me playing the game through (and the fact that I bought it rather than downloaded it).
Oh and one final complaint in this game, those YES and NO choices are so unecessary and doesn't contribute to the story one bit, I always chose the one that the game didn't "want" and my companions always ended up saying "Oh you don't mean that", "Oh but remember our promise". It annoyed me to the extreme, why have choices if they don't affect the game?
To be honest Golden Sun isn't a very good game, it has almost no soul and lives on graphics rather than storyline. It is more of a puzzle game than RPG really, and if you want puzzle games no game is better than Tetris.