Castlevania Lords of Shadow: Mirror of fate, is this HD port a gem or a monster
My Video Review
Castlevania Lords of Shadow: Mirror of fate.
Note: all pictures in this video were taken by me using a capture device. The game is made and owned by Konami.
Even though October is over and I did a Top 5 Castlevania game count down, reviewing my favorite Castlevania game there was one left on my hard drive for some time that been shouting play me. It’s time to look at Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of fate (yes its game with two freaking subtitles). Is it a good game or is it a crappy one lets go and take a look shall we.
The story is kind of all over the place in this game, but it’s not necessarily bad. Anyways the game starts with Gabriel Belmont spending some alone time with his wife. The next day he leaves on a mission that lasts more than a year, why do I know that well it gives her time to become pregnant and hide his son Trevor Belmont from Gabriel. His wife learns that it is Gabriel destiny to become the dark lord Dracula. Anyways skip about 20 years in the future and Trevor Belmont does not return from his journey into Dracula’s castle. Dracula’s forces counter attack the brother hood of light and young Simon Belmont loses everything he knows. Skip 30 years (that would make it 50 years after the original game) and Simon Belmont is about to set into Dracula’s castle to retrieve his father weapon and kill the legendary vampire (not knowing said Vampire is his grandfather). Being in the castle though awakens a man named Alucard who after a long sleep has discovered someone must have slipped him a mickey full of vampire blood, and he’s not happy about his new look or transformation into the undead. He decides to go and hash it out with Dracula. Along the way he encounters Simon and the two help each other out, Alucard accidentally let’s slip that he might have encounter his father at same point but refuses to tell Simon what happen. After Alucards story line we go back and see what happen to Trevor and the big reveal of what Alucard is hiding. It’s not too hard to figure out the clues are dropped everywhere (Alucard is still Dracula’s son, and Gabriel only fathered one kid) so it’s a bit of a letdown.
The game does to good by the classic franchise when it points out it’s differences in more subtle ways. Like the fact that are heroes weapons were made by Rinaldo Gondalfi, which is also the name of the character who invented Vampire Killer in the original game series.
Graphically speaking it’s for the most part pretty good. My video and pictures are from the Xbox 360 HD remaster of it and considering how it is a 3ds game it looks dang good in HD on a television screen. The screen quality is sharp, the backgrounds are detailed and the character’s all look really good. Then the cut scenes are my favorite part with a cell shaded look to them that gives them a comic book feel. There really great to look at. That said from time to time you can tell an object or an areas was animated to have a 3d pop effect using the 3ds special screen..
Sometimes You Can Tell an Object Was Meant to Pop out in 3d
There are a few complaints, number 1 none of the castle really seems to feel too different from each other outside of the toy maker shop. 2nd complaint some of the dungeon areas are lit really dark and it’s just hard to see on a default light level of the game. Luckily there is an option to turn it up.
We get some pretty good voice actors, more theatrically train then the VA’s that were used on cartoons on previous Castlevania games. The quality of the voices is different, I am not saying better or worse just different and the game stands out for it. Unfortunately Patrick Steward’s character never makes an appearance in this installment. The music for the game has eerie sound to it. It fits the game perfectly but it is not has memorable or enjoyable has past Castlevania games.
The gameplay is a bit of an odd mix. You get something akin to an IGA made Castlevania but it mixes in some of the action from the Lords of Shadow. Anyways you start the game has Simon Belmont has he explores the castle looking for his father’s weapon so he can put an end to Dracula once and for all. You will notice when meeting enemies that the combat system is different from the other Castlevania it is more combo oriented you learn new moves has you level up and finishing these combos can end up in some pretty cool and devastating end for your enemies. The game has you blocking on occasions to stun enemies so you can finish them off in some rather devastating looking moves.
Has you play you will learn new magic and pick up a few sub weapons like the axe for example. While these are cool you will lose them when you switch characters at the end of Simons chapter. That is the most disappointing thing about Mirror of Fate is this switching. Since all the characters have the same whip (yes Alucard uses the whip) they all feel the same. However you’re stripped of all sub weapons and magic when you switch a character. You always seem to take one step forward only to be thrown 2 steps back in this game.
While each one picks up their own magic and sub weapons these don’t really add much value to the character’s or the game. A few puzzles and obstacles can be solved using said character’s magic like being able to transform into a wolf allows Alucard to break down special doors, while summoning Sypha for Simon will allow Simon to pass through laser walls, but combat isn’t changed to much between the 3 character’s. This is a bit of a disappointment but what is worse is there are no other weapons and armor to pick up searching every nook and cranny for power up items and other secrets now becomes worthless. Outside of the health and magic pickups scatter along the road there is no need to really search everything out unless you’re going for a perfect game. And to be fair there is a one minute video clip that you can unlock for getting the game perfect. But because the games areas all feel similar and so do the character’s I really didn’t care about the extras after I stopped playing.
Castlevania Lords of Shadow: Mirror of fate had an uphill battle to begin with, all of IGA teams DS Castlevania games were great, in fact some of the best on the system. Being just good is going to cut it when compare to what it had to live up to. So it’s unfortunate that it never even gets close to being has good an IGA, or even really good on its own. Castlevania Lords of Shadow is a meh game. It is not a good game, it is not a really terrible game, and it’s just meh.