LOS ANGELES – Day 1 of the E3 conference opened with a bang as the SlimGamer team checked out Castlevania Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate for the Nintendo 3DS. According to Konami, Mirror of Fate is set between the original Lords of Shadow and it’s upcoming sequel, essentially bridging the two stories together. In today’s demo we played an early section of the game, taking control of Trevor Belmont (who is only one of the four playable characters in the game).
Did you like Lords of Shadow, but thought that you’d like more if it were a 2D game? Well then, consider your wish granted. Mirror of Fate is surprisingly similar to the original Lords of Shadow, only now on a 2D plane. Every bit of this game, from it’s art style to the direction of it’s cutscenes make it out to be part of the LoS universe. The combat engine itself seems to be taken directly from the previous game, featuring the same God of War inspired, combo based combat complete with cinematic, brutal finishers. The blocking and rolling is present, too, but it doesn’t work quite as well in 2D. It’s still fun, but a few times I found myself missing that third dimension. Non-combat gameplay only furthers the new Castlevania feel, featuring plenty of climbing puzzles that wouldn’t be out of place in Lords of Shadow (or God of War).
What about the 3D? Castlevania‘s implementation reminds me a lot of the 3D in SF4. It looked like a small diorama built behind the screen with the player looking in on it. It’s not game changing, but I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t look nice.
The load times, at least in the demo I played, were distractingly long. It could take up to 10 seconds to load the next area at times, and the controls were finicky at first and took some getting used to before I could navigate with the same ease as I could in previous Castlevania games. However, I do have faith that at least the load time issue will be fixed by the time it hits your handheld.
It seems Konami is sticking to it’s rebooted universe for Castlevania. Mirror of Fate is almost the perfect transition of Lords of Shadow to 2D. If you liked the last outing you might want to keep this one on your radar.
And don’t forget to check out the screenshots below.