Castlevania: Mirror of Fate’s Developer Looked At 2D Fighters For Combat Design

By Kris . February 11, 2013 . 6:00pm

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate uses combat similar to the original Castlevania: Lords of Shadow game on consoles, but in a 2D perspective. Mirror of Fate is a side-scrolling “2.5D” Castlevania game for the Nintendo 3DS, and has been described by Konami as inspired by Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse.


We got in touch with Lords of Shadow series producer, Dave Cox, to ask about how the devteam handled combat in Mirror of Fate, and whether there were any challenges in replicating the combat of the console games on the 3DS.


“The combat was something we really struggled to get right, the feeling of power and the fluidity was particularly difficult to replicate,” Cox shared with Siliconera. “We looked at 2D fighting games like Street Fighter and Samurai Shodown, and we tried extensive play testing in order to just get the feel right.”


“The combat has a 2D fighting game quality to it and we have kept the strategic element that people really liked, where you mix up your magic abilities and combine them with the sub weapons. This is a game you have to think about enemies and a game where you need to learn the moves and use the tools we give you. Otherwise you are going to die a lot! Its definitely not a button masher and studying the bestiary and your travel book will pay dividends later on.”


Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate will be released for the Nintendo 3DS in March. A demo will be made available via the Nintendo eShop prior to release.

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  • Tom_Phoenix

    I find it odd that they looked at 2D fighters for combat design, yet still decided to add QTEs.

    • Ethan_Twain

      Eh, what is a QTE except a cinematic super that requires occasional button taps during the animation?

      • gold163

        the difference between a Super and a QTE is that one involves both strategy and execution while the other is completely brain-dead lazy design used as an excuse to test a player’s reflexes in the majority case. You can bait an opponent’s super, or they can have a lapse of judgement and whiff it. The only condition of failure in a QTE sequence is that oops, you pressed the wrong button out of a random selection of monotonous button-pressing sequences. And consequently, the only condition of winning a QTE is that you happened to get it right, possibly because you memorized it after failing so many times. It’s boring as hell in games like God of War where many of them aren’t even randomized.

        There are games where QTEs are appropriate; action games that are designed to challenge a player’s grasp of a combat system are not those games. It is paradoxical and should be considered insulting to players and their intelligence to add QTEs on top of a combat system that is supposedly touted as having depth.

        Most of the time QTEs are just there to make sure you’re still awake. That is not a good sign.

  • I always liked Samurai Shodown when I was younger mostly because if you played your moves right you could perform a parry maneuver which blocked your foe’s attack and set up a counter attack, and this would go on to be implemented into SFIII’s parry system, which the blocking seen in this game is derived.

  • Solomon_Kano

    I hope the beastiary looks as nice as the original LoS’. It was enjoyable to look through. Then again, I just like games having beastiaries period.

    It’s also interesting to hear the inspiration for the game’s combat. Looks like it won’t exactly be LoS in 2D, so I’m looking forward to feeling the difference. Wonder which SF they looked to? The only one I can see really being applicable to combat outside of a combo-heavy actioner would be SF3.

  • Tee Niitris

    It’s been a long time since a truly great game in the series was made and yet I still hear occasional praise about how much of a classic Samurai Shodown was.

    Come on SNK, a new Samurai Shodown with classic gameplay and awesome visuals would be a instant money-maker (it worked for Street Fighter). It’s SamSho’s 20th anniversary; what other motivation is needed?

    And the series must have potential if developers from a high in prestige company like Konami is using is as inspiration for their next game.

  • kylehyde

    I respect their decisicion, but, it would not be more convenient (and easy) to be inspired by a beat em up?

    • Solomon_Kano

      Well, I’d imagine they looked to 2D fighters for the depth of their combat systems. Beat em ups usually don’t have the deepest combat.

      • kylehyde

        Still, their 2D fighting inspiration would explain why some early non boss enemies required a ludicrous amount of hits (at least on the first builds). I like fighting games, but I like my action games fast paced, and maybe a take on the beat em up would be more convenient, some on them have fast and nice combos.

        • Solomon_Kano

          True, there certainly are beat in ups that aren’t so shallow.

          Hadn’t heard about the enemies, but I wonder if that decision was informed by their fighting game inspiration as well or if it was narratively influenced? It would make sense from a narrative standpoint that you’d struggle with earlier enemies. Seeing if that balance remains when playing as Gabriel will answer that for me.

  • Calibraexis

    That’s all fine and well, but I wish Cox would make up his mind as to what the future of this game is after it’s exclusive rights expire with Nintendo. First, he wanted this game to be played by “as many people as possible.” Then, it was ” . . .an HD version does exist, but a port or different version is unlikely.” So which is it, Mr. Cox? It cannot be both. You hype your own trilogy, but you put the center chapter on a handheld exclusively, when the beginning and ending will be on the big consoles. So do we have to shell out hundreds for a 3DS just to play your centerpiece? Make up your mind!

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