Castlevania : Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate

Date Completed: 5/5/2013

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I bought Castlevania : Lords of Shadow based solely on screenshots and it turned out to be AMAZING. The ending totally blew my mind and I immediately started searching online for hints of a sequel.  The last place I expected to find a sequel was on the 3DS.

Screenshots simply can not do this game justice.  It must be played in 3D to properly appreciate the quality of the graphic design. The environments are detailed to the POINT OF INSANITY.  The work that went into designing the levels and the objects in the levels almost makes me forgive Konami for the 20 minutes of credits (OK, I didn’t time them but it sure seemed like 20 minutes).  The game itself has a side view like a classic Castlevania game but the backgrounds are layered into beautiful 3D.  Gothic Arches, Statues, Stained Glass, Gates, Lava, Water – everything looks great, and is fully realized in 3D.

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Looks even better in 3D!

The locale for this game is the castle of the most notorious vampire of all time, Dracula.  The castle is huge and you spend a lot of time exploring, picking up new abilities so you can access new areas.  Over the course of the game you’ll play as four separate protagonists, each with different abilities that give them access to different portions of the castle.

I usually don’t think about the rating on handheld games so when my boys sat down next to me to watch I let them.  Almost immediately I had to close the 3DS.  Enemies explode into clouds of blood, heads are chopped off and bodies get torn to pieces.  Furthermore, Women appearing have yet to discover suitable clothing retail opportunities and appear mostly unclothed.  My wife happened to be sitting next to me during my battle with the sex demon…awkward…

Periodically you are treated to a toon rendered cut scene that pushes the story along.  Previous portable Castlevania games would have used text bubbles so animated cut scenes are a welcome addition.  The toon rendering looks different enough from the normal graphics to be a bit jarring but it still looks good.  They look even better in 3D.

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Toon-shaded cut scene.

Combat uses a combo system similar to the previous Lords of Shadow game but this one is a lot more manageable.  Instead of having hundreds of combinations of button mashes of dubious utility there are a handful of combos that are actually useful.  Unlike the previous Lords of Shadow game I didn’t have a hard time remembering any of the key sequences since they mostly build upon each other.

I thoroughly enjoyed Mirror of Fate and I went for the full 100% (Which gets you an extra cut-scene).  In order to adequately describe my feelings about the ‘Lords of Shadow’ re-imaginings of the Castlevania series I must borrow the catch phrase of an old friend : “I dig it.”

Pros

  • Awesome, detailed, 3D graphics.
  • Improved combo system.

Cons

  • Rated M! Not for kids.
Is it fun: Yes
Score: 8/10
Length: 11 hours
System: Nintendo 3DS
Genre: Action / Adventure
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