BADGP Reviews: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate (Mercury Steam, Konami)
Review: A Combination of Two Great Things Does Not a Great Thing Make
April 30, 2013
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow was released in 2010 to skepticism about the potentiality of a decent third-person character action Castlevania game. Past entries in Konami’s franchise failed to make the transition to 3D as well as other classic 2D properties. Though it divided the audience and every one has an opinion on it, I really enjoyed my time with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. I would argue it is one of the best looking games of the generation both artistically and technically. With this high regard of the first game in the Lords of Shadow sub-series, I had mildly high expectation for the second release in under the LoS umbrella. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate is a 2.5D sidescrolling action/exploration game that takes the action from its older console brother (LoS) and the exploration from older handheld DS games (Dawn of Sorrow, Portrait of Ruin, Order of Ecclesia). Unfortunately this excellent sounding combination does not add up to being more than a sum of its parts.
The game looks good on the 3DS. The in-game engine gets the job done, but the 3DS cannot handle many enemies on the screen at one time. The cut-scenes look better, but the mouths of the characters do not move during dialogue, which kind of got to me. The sound is not good in the game. The 3DS cannot handle the kind of music that being pushed through it. I do not possess the technical understanding to know or explain why, but there is something wrong going on with the sound. This is a shame because there is some good music in the game only to be heard through poor quality. There are too many loads. They are present between every section of the game. I got used to them by the end of the game, but it was testing during the first half.
I already mentioned that the engine does not allow for many enemies on the screen at once. This makes the action quite boring. Only fighting two to three enemies at time does not really test the player. Mirror of Fate offers a handy note system that is especially helpful in a Castlevania game. This makes it easy to spot the obvious places the player could not previously access due to not having the right ability. Much like Lords of Shadow, Mirror of Fate has no qualms in lifting many ideas and gameplay mechanics from God of War. The camera work of pulling way out to see the entire area (a castle in this case), the battle cross is on a chain much like Kratos’ Blades of Chaos (but of course, Kratos stole the chain from Rygar) and the forsaken quick-time events all are very reminiscent of God of War. The best thing Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate does is its boss battles. They are numerous and provide many impressive moments.
It seems fitting that in a game that mixes gameplay styles of the franchise’s past, that I have a very mixed opinion on it. It combines the great styles of two games and it is better than neither. Mirror of Fate is caught with a foot in each world and falls flat. The game takes a great idea and does not coalesce into the greatness of its potential.
BADGP: 7.3 out of 10
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