To use some horrible mental imagery, Castlevania’s presence at E3 this year was kind of like a reverse crap sandwich; something cool in the middle, but crap for bread. Walking into Konami’s booth, I found out that one of the games I was really hyped to play—Castlevania: Lords of Sorrow 2—wasn’t playable this year. Crap. Going around the booth, I saw that there was a LoS title playable in Mirror of Fate. Score! Playing the demo, I found it wasn’t anything super exciting. Crap.
Not that the demo was total garbage. It draws you in immediately with the visuals; honestly, this is one of the best-looking 3DS games I’ve played in my limited experience with the handheld. Mirror of Fate is a 2.5D side scroller with its roots firmly in the old school games in the series. All your gameplay happens on the top screen, and your trusty castle map appears on the bottom.
If you’re familiar with Castlevania at all, you’ll pick up the controls in no time. Your trusty whip is by your side, and is used not only for attacking, but for swinging around the castle when needed. You do pick up special weapons along the way; the only one I ran into in the demo was a boomerang.
Outside of the visuals and well-done audio, I wasn’t super-wowed by much else. The camera is a little weird in that it doesn’t seem to keep up with you very well. There are places where you’ll drop down pretty quickly through floors or run from side to side, and for some reason the camera requires a little time to catch up to you.
In addition to that, the combat just seemed bland to me. Even the boss fight I played through was horribly formulaic. Every move was telegraphed; by the end of the fight, I don’t think I was even paying much attention.
I’m guessing (hoping?) that the further into the game you get, the combat/boss fights get better. As far as the other issues, this was still a beta version of the game, so hopefully things get tightened up before final release. Castlevania fans will likely want to pick this one up immediately. Everyone else may want to wait to see if the bugs are ironed out before spending the money.
Screenshots and the extended trailer? We’ve got them below.