A new Castlevania on a handheld system? That sounds great… wait, this doesn’t look like what I thought it would be.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow– Mirror of Fate may have the traditional 2D Castlevania ‘boxy’ map on the bottom screen of the 3DS but don’t let that fool you, the game is in full 3D. At first glance it looks like it might play the same as a 2D Castlevania but I quickly realized that it doesn’t. Once the camera swoops across dramatically you know that this is going to be a different experience. The new dynamic camera is actually pretty nice and exemplifies the action well.
The gameplay is pretty much taken exactly from Castlevania: Lords of Shadow except not as robust. The combat didn’t have any force; you were just wailing on skeletons, who didn’t even recoil, until they died. Quick time events also felt hollow in a similar way. Despite this, it was fun pulling off combos and jumping over enemies to get to a better strategic point.
It wasn’t all combat though; there were a few platforming sections that involved swinging to ledges. This was handled well but felt a little slow and clunky. At least there were still secrets hidden away to discover.
Map exploration is still something that was a decent part of the demo but it’s nowhere near that of traditional 2D Castlevania standards.
The visuals looked good but the charm and beauty of the 2D Castlevania art is lost and we are left with a somewhat generic looking castle.
Sure I would rather this be a 2D Castlevania game but it was still pretty fun once I got over that it wasn’t what I initially wanted. Hopefully they tighten up the combat and make the game a bit more about exploration before it gets released.
If you want a portable version of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, this is for you. The rest of you should still give Castlevania: Lords of Shadow– Mirror of Fate a shot when it releases, just so long as you know what you are getting into beforehand.