Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate: Good Ideas, Bad Design

By Kris . March 23, 2013 . 10:30am

I really liked Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. I really enjoyed the game’s combat and the majority of its story, so I was pretty excited by the prospect of Mirror of Fate, which takes place between Lords of Shadow and its upcoming sequel, Lords of Shadow 2. When I found out about the game, I thought a side-scrolling Lords of Shadow could, in theory, combine the precision platforming that old-school Castlevania was known for with the combat I loved and keep telling the Lords of Shadow story (which got significantly more interesting with its epilogue).


Here’s the thing, though. Mirror of Fate is built in a way that undermines the things it’s trying to do. Challenging platforming segment with damaging pillars of electricity between you and your goal? Why worry about carefully watching for the patterns in the movement of the electricity when you could just plow through it to get to the other side? If you die, you’ll just reappear on the platform that you needed to be on and your only punishment for death is a load screen.


Whereas older Castlevanias would use death as a teaching mechanism, death is so insignificant in Mirror of Fate that simply trying to dash through the obstacles in front of me while taking damage was faster and no less effective than patience.


Combat is similarly handicapped, focusing on the wrong elements from Lords of Shadow. LoS used “direct and wide” attacks as opposed to your standard light and heavy layout, which gave you a bit more control over how you managed crowds of enemies. Wide attacks were slower, but allowed you to hit multiple enemies at once, and there were a number of interesting combos on offer if you wanted to mix things up. There was also a reward system in place: build up an unbroken combo and you’d fill up a gauge. When it was full, each strike would provide you with extra magic, which could then be channeled into light magic, which would fill up your health with each hit, and dark magic, which would make you more powerful. Both magics would also provide access to different attacks. It was really clever and provided something that I’d never seen in the genre before.


With the jump to 2D, Mirror of Fate has removed the rewards for extended combos, but kept wide attacks. This is completely pointless. Wide attacks fly in slow, overhead patterns, do less damage than direct attacks (that can also hit multiple targets), and don’t even hit behind you until the third hit of a combo. There’s no reason to use them instead of direct attacks. It’s poorly thought out, and that lack of balance makes it so you just use your one direct combo more than anything else (at least until you level up to get a couple more useful attacks, but wide attacks are still largely useless). The last act of the game’s move set is a bit more flexible, incorporating heavy versions of direct and wide attacks, but the final move set feels like it should have been the game’s starting point.


Fortunately, bosses force you to get a little bit more out of the combat. They’re often wars of attrition and pattern recognition that teach you to use your magic properly (light and dark magic make a return with one character, but the other two each have one defensive and one offensive magic, even though nothing expands each character’s moveset substantially), learn how to parry attacks for the (practically necessary) damage boost, and even occasionally utilize the new tools you’ve found to survive. While these fights can be fun even with the limited moveset, it’s disappointing that standard combat is basically a matter of putting all the enemies on one side of you and wailing away, with occasional launchers or magic use to change things up.


On the downside, each boss fight also ends with a rather grisly (but typically entertaining) QTE finisher. I’m not opposed to QTEs when they’re used cleverly. However, they are not handled with any sort of care in Mirror of Fate.


Each boss required a QTE sequence of some sort to finish it off, using the incredibly annoying “we will put the button prompt on the corner of the screen that corresponds to the relative position of the button so you don’t notice it while you’re watching whatever we painstakingly animated and fail the first time it pops up” approach to QTEs that God of War III popularized for some terrible reason. That would have been bearable if not for two things. First of all, Lords of Shadow had a really clever alternative to standard QTEs where you could press any button with the right timing to perform the QTE-style finishers, and it’s a disappointment that they didn’t bring those back. Secondly, finishers aren’t the only QTEs in the game.


There was a point where I had to do a QTE to open a door. You know, those QTEs where you hold a trigger, and mash a button while your character strains to open whatever they’re trying to open and the only punishment for failure is having to attempt the exact same QTE again? Well,  the only thing behind that door was a treasure chest that I had to open with a QTE on a different button. This was in the middle of a fetch quest to find the second of two macguffins that opened a door. Now, one would typically think getting the second macguffin would involve a boss fight, a puzzle, or something to justify my backtracking through the castle. Not here. Instead, I had to perform another identical QTE to wrench the macguffin out of the hands of a corpse. That was it. Then I could go back. There is no reason for backtracking in a game to feel that much like padding, and the annoying QTEs did nothing to make the experience less tedious.


So the platforming pales in comparison to classic Castlevania, the combat pales in comparison to Lords of Shadow, and forced exploration feels completely useless. What else is there? Well, I found that I kept playing just to see how the story played out. As simple as the plot is, I really liked the interaction between the three generations of Belmonts. The very pretty cutscenes and environments didn’t hurt matters either (despite the rather uneven framerate). While I’m happy to see the story continued and I’m looking forward to Lords of Shadow 2, that shouldn’t have been the only thing that kept me going.


Food for Thought:

While exploring occasionally nets you collectibles, more often you find scrolls detailing the way that the various corpses of soldiers you find lying around died. Humorously, another scroll explains that the scrolls are magical and designed to capture their final thoughts to help other travelers… but there are certainly a lot of corpses everywhere in Dracula’s Castle.


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  • I enjoyed the game, but yeah it was far too easy. Not enough punishment for death. The game was really easy, even on Hardcore difficulty.

    Although I have to disagree with the wide attacks being useless. They’re very useful when you’re fighting aerial enemies, or when you need to attack an enemies strategically from a point where they can’t hit you back (although such positions are rare). Also once you reach a certain, you gain a special wide attack that’s actually stronger than the direct attack version of it, which is really good for mowing down enemies.
    Although these don’t matter much when dying is insignificant.

    • Kris

      You mean the heavy wide attack? Yeah, I used that later, (like I said, the game improves when you get a few more attacks). But aerial enemies are better taken care of (in my opinion) with the direct launcher, because it moves faster and sets up more powerful attacks. I did like the buzzsaw thing mapped to wide (hold it in the air), but I just wish things were balanced a bit more…

      That said, I can see why someone would enjoy it, it just didn’t do it for me outside of the story and visuals. I thought the VA in MOF was actually better than the VA in LOS proper, which was kind of nice (maybe it’s because Patrick Stewart didn’t totally phone in a performance as Zobek XD).

      • Testsubject909

        You know… I really… Really wanted to fight Zobek… Just because I’d get to hear Patrick Stewart grunt, yell out attacks and a bunch of other corny stuff that I could just laugh at while listening to something like this:

  • Crevox

    Gotta say, I wasn’t expecting much from this. I love Castlevania, but this always looked meh to me.

  • To be fair, really, what is the punishment for death in previous handheld Castlevania games? Going back to the title screen, loading your save game, and having to walk all the way back to wherever you were when you died? What does that really do for the player other than frustrate them and waste their time?

    • Well yes actually. At least the punishment taught you not to screw up as much because you don’t wanna waste your time.

    • epy

      It gives you consequences for your actions. NO, you can’t just jump through electrified fences and ignore deadly pitfalls without any penalty, otherwise why are they even there? Progress in a game should be a reward for completing a task, a “challenge” as we used to call it, and your total disregard for trying to complete it SHOULD stop you from advancing.

      I can’t blame you though. Current game design dictates that just by crouching somewhere, you can regain all your health for some reason disregarding any consequence for your mistakes which I still can’t get my head around of.

      • I see what Kris explained as a more simplified version of what Atem mentioned for other Castlevania games, however it should not be that simplified. As with the last game this one has been getting pretty mixed reviews but I’ll pick it up at some point nonetheless.

      • Exkaiser

        But the other portable Castlevanias had both regenerating health via crouching and no consequences for your actions. Oh, sure, there were a few sections where you’d get hurt if you tried to do something you weren’t supposed to do, but it was always a signpost telling the player to come back later with a new super power that can open the area for them.

        What does it matter if there are electrified fences if I can just pop into my inventory and eat steaks to heal myself instantly?

        They’d much rather block off progress with locked doors of various types than challenges. It’s not simply a problem with Mirror of Fate, but something the franchise has been very weak with for sixteen years or so.

        There have been challenging segments, yes, but they tend to be optional like the obstacle course in Ecclesia.

    • 60hz

      you answered your own question: the punishment for death is time and having to redo the section CORRECTLY thus keeping it skill based not lack-of-skill based (dying your way thru as described in the review, for example).

      You then erroneously assume this will lead to frustration – punishment doesn’t lead to frustration, imbalance and unfairness leads to frustration.

  • isotrex

    I didn’t think it was designed badly. I think it was good. The only problem I this game has is the lacked of contents liked boss rush, probably dlc, and other replayable elements.

  • Solomon_Kano

    What an unfortunate turn out. Well, I’ll still snag it to see the story between LOS and LOS2.

  • Tom_Phoenix

    It’s sad to think that I was so excited to hear that a 2D Castlevania was in development for the 3DS, only for it to turn out to be….well, this.

    I just hope that, once the Lords of Shadow saga is finished, Konami will hand over the series to another developer, preferably one with experience in developing 2D platformers.

    • I hope its over too, i still want a game based off on the 1999 war featuring Julius as the main character.

      • I agree with the Julius bit because it will be the first Castlevania game in a more recent and modern setting. Also it would be cool to transverse a suburban city locations and the like before getting to Drac’s castle.

        • Testsubject909

          Um… Aria of Sorrows… Happens after the year 2000.

          Same for Dawn of Sorrows… They have guns.

          But I guess you really want a modern area setting… Yeah… I don’t know about you but, when people first circulated that teaser at the end of Lords of Shadow… A lot of people were bitching and whining about how Castlevania should never be set in modern day setting…

          Almost as if they just wanted to grab anything to bitch at.

          • Aria of Sorrow is set in 2035, which is way into the future from when the game was made. Even though with our current year we’re closer to it in the time line.If Konami did decide to do a game on Julius Belmont we would be closer to that game in the timeline. And yeh I don’t think it was that big of an issue, my issue was with the Belmonts being the Dracula bloodline instead of being related to Dracula in some kind of way (because of Trevor’s mom boning Alucard).

      • epy

        I really want a game that finally covers the 1999 Demon Castle Wars produced by IGA, with character designs by Kojima and a soundtrack by Yamane in a 2D, HD sprite Metroidvania style. That would wrap up the original Castlevania storyline for me so I can stop caring about it.

        They can give the franchise to Ninja Theory after that for all I care.

        • Testsubject909

          Eh… After Lords of Shadows… I want Kojima far away from Castlevania… I honestly do.

          You know all them people complaining about how Gabriel is so whiny, gloomy and etc?

          Yeah… That all began due to Kojima’s influence… Remove Kojima from the creation of Lords of Shadows… And they probably would’ve went with their original plans: Make Gabriel a Reinhardt type Badass.

          For those who don’t know who Reinhardt is… I don’t blame you.

          Edit: But whoever he is… He’s not he Gabriel we ended up with.

          • epy

            True, but I meant Ayami Kojima, the charater designer for Castlevania SotN, AoS, CoD, LoI and so on.

          • Ni

            Ayami Kojima (character design of SotN, AoS, LoI Harmony of Dissonance, Dracula X Chronicles etc) not Hideo Kojima

      • Testsubject909

        I fear… sometimes the question might be more interesting then the answer.

        Like… Say… Midichlorians and the Jedi Force.

        The question was far more interesting then the answer of… It’s some sort of thing in your blood cells that you can measure with technology.

    • AkuLord3

      You mean to the proper hands…like the guy who did it very well Koji Igarashi? Cuz i know i would be happy

      • Tom_Phoenix

        Frankly, I’m not sure I want the series back in Igarashi’s hands either. While I respect the guy’s support for 2D games, he essentially pissed all over CotM (the most successful Castlevania game prior to LoS) instead of building upon it just beacuse he wasn’t involved with its development. Plus, I can’t really disagree with the people who’ve said that he essentially ran the series into the ground.

        I want to see a proper 2D Castlevania (it doesn’t matter if it’s Classicvania or Metroidvania, I’m fine with either option), but I wouldn’t mind it if Igarashi was kept out of it or if someone else served as the producer.

        • brian

          I thought Symphony of the Night was most popular.

          • Testsubject909

            Same here… Not sure where he pulled the CotM was the most popular… Mind you, CotM is a Metroidvania prior to Iga popularizing the Metroidvania genre with SotN… And in turn also made it so that so many gamers coined the term Metroidvania and the lesser used Castleroid.

          • Tom_Phoenix

            See my reply to @brian yup.

            Also, CotM came AFTER SotN; it was a GBA launch title. Not only that, it took the Metroidvania formula established by SotN and built upon it (which is probably the reason it did so well).

          • AkuLord3

            Don’t really care how u feel with beef with CotM cuz he made Aria of Sorrow (my favorite) the ones after that which i liked and OoT (my 2nd Favorite)…i enjoyed his games no matter how u feel for whatever reason

          • Tom_Phoenix

            …Ok? I’m not really sure how whether or not you care about how I “feel” even matters as far as the subject matter is concerned.

            Also, it’s not really a “beef” so much as that it makes me wary of where the series would go under Igarashi’s control. Rejecting the most successful pre-LoS Castlevania for trivial reasons isn’t exactly the kind of behaviour one expects from the series producer. Plus, that’s not even the biggest problem; it’s the fact that he was in charge of Castlevania before and it resulted in the series’ fortunes dwindling.

            Just to be clear, I would NOT have a problem with Igarashi developing another Castlevania game. He does have experience with 2D platformers and I suppose every person deserves a second chance. I’m just saying that I wouldn’t mind it if they chose someone else for the job either. At the end of the day, Castlevania doesn’t NEED Igarashi to be successful.

          • Tom_Phoenix

            I said “most successful”, not “most popular”. While I guess it could be argued that SotN is the one with the more enduring popularity, CotM was the only Castlevania title prior to LoS which sold over a million copies.

      • I’m with Tom for a couple reasons. First, Iga’s done nothing to help Castlevania’s popularity in recent years at all. I think people forget that it was with Iga’s approval that Castlevania Judgement was developed, so I wouldn’t so quick to put him up on a pedestal just because the Internet needs to hate one developer and love another.

        The second point is related to the first. Order of Ecclesia was a great game, but it was just too damned hard. If Igarashi is so blind to the fact that people don’t have the time or patience for those kinds of games anymore, he isn’t the right developer to be trusted with the series. There’s no point handing the reins of a game over to someone if they aren’t going to do anything useful with it.

        In order for Castlevania to succeed, it not only needs more exposure now, but also the right circumstances to ensure longevity over the next several years. Going by his recent games, I don’t feel like Igarashi is capable of providing that.

        • Valtiel Ikari

          wait, you complain that order of ecclesia was too hard, but acording to the article, one of the problem is that this game is too easy.
          I know Iga may not have done a lot to help the popularity of the franchise and make it massive, but he maneged to create a solid fanbase, in the long run, that can value more.

    • firstarioch

      Lord of Shadow storyline is really bad and uninteresting. However we are stuck with it for now. Music was bland on LOS and and here is the same .I just wonder when Konami will give it back to IGA ,Yamane ,Kojima triumvirate and give them budget to innovate but stick to canon timeline . This is a travesty .

  • There must be a hefty amount of macguffins in this game for you to use that term so much Kris xD.

    Edit:In case someone has no idea what a macguffin is, educate son!

    • Kris

      There weren’t a ton, but they were possibly the most macguffin-y macguffins of all time.

      • Testsubject909

        Which begs the question. How many muffins can you make with all of those macguffins?

        • As many as there are mouths required to feed.

  • SirRichard

    “God of War III popularized for some terrible reason.”

    If I remember right, that was with the series from the very first GOW, which is probably why it got lifted for this one. The idea is you see the area of the screen light up and hit the corresponding button, I guess?

    Reviews and impressions of this one have been all over the place, it’s kind of a shame. Going to wait for the price to slide down a bit before I give it a shot, can’t remember if the EU eShop ever got a demo for it.

    • In the first two God of War games, the QTE prompts usually showed up around the center of the screen so you wouldn’t miss it, but it was kind of distracting because the buttom prompts were enourmous and got in the way of the visual spectacle.

      God of War III tried to solve this problem by moving the buttom prompts to the corners of the screen, but it just created another issue: they’re now too easy to miss because your eyes are usually focused on the action.

      • SirRichard

        Ah, okay, I remembered wrong then. I had the opposite problem in 3, actually, I wouldn’t be watching the action for the QTEs. I have that problem with a lot of games that use QTEs, actually, the original Lords of Shadow managed to avoid it for the most part.

        • Kris

          Yeah, I still have no idea why they didn’t just use LoS’s system instead of going with standard QTEs…

  • Adrián Alucard

    10 hours, 10 hours took me to get the 100% in my first playthrough, it’s a shame
    It is not a good platformer, neither a good hack n slash and it is NOT a Castlevania
    it’s a disposable game

    • you are right , i can’t even understand what the plot is telling us about ? Fate , Mirror ? no , no it’s not , the title may have it’s written but the game make no sense of it ? i don’t want spoil the game but this game is incredible frustrated about it’s “Fate” ! Plus the QTE are terrible , combat is mindlessly attack the enemy and the boss fight finisher is completely off . NOT a Castlevania i been waiting for .

  • Exkaiser

    Hm, to be fair, death hasn’t been a teaching tool since, what, Rondo of Blood? All the Metroidvania games are pretty vapid about death. Sure, you have to go back to the title screen and lose whatever progress you had, but it doesn’t really help the player to learn anything.

    • Adrián Alucard

      If You die fighting a boss, You start a few seconds earlier (each boss have 5-6 check points) You don’t need to learn patterns, just smash buttons

      When I play Mirror of Fate I feel like a casual gamer…

    • oh , then have you ever death when you wander around the Dracula’s castle map and can not find the save room ? You lost everything you have found and the map going back blank again , that make me scare the hell out of dead in castlevania order of ecclesia , man . It’s teach you NOT BEING SO COCKY and mindlessly going straight ahead .

      • Testsubject909

        You died in Order of Ecclesia?

        … I remember that game being fairly easy…


          I don’t know if you honestly said that or just want to troll me , but i really feel being insult .

        • epy

          Yeah, only the optional challenges were hard in Ecclesia really, and I don’t think I’m particularly good at games.

  • Hector Velar

    I knew it was going to suck. everytime a castlevania goes 3d does. they should remain 2d sprites, if it is not broken why try to fix it. example of this is their castlevania HD which was so successful on the 360 it got ported to ps3 and after being out for so long you still see people playing it and still can find groups online. saddly they stop the production of it and instead of releasing more stages as fans asked they went to this garbage. Atem Yugioh Elbotamy sorry to hear your frustation but past castlevania games were made for adults. I suggest Barney hide and seek game.

    • dragoon_slayer12

      Contrary, both lament of innocence and curse of darkness were great “metroidvania” 3d attempts (though flawed), and LoS was a great action title, regardless of its Castlevania attachment. And with LoS2 promise of post SotN exploration, it mite be the best in the series, period

      • i don’t think so , LoS was not that great action title but it’s completely mess up the story line of the main Castlevania ( Gabriel kill too much of his innocent , i don’t care if he being control or not , doing that just make us sympathy is wrong , they involve too much with the god and the final result , Satan appear out of nowhere , i rather play Dante’s Infernal than that) . The only thing make them popular is Kojima name behind the game .

        • Testsubject909

          1. LoS was a reboot. It’s an alternate take on the story, think of it as a different alternate timeline. For the most part, they stayed true to what was set up in the original Castlevania timeline, right down to who Dracula is… If you’d care to look up who Gabriel is the bastard son of.

          2. I never found out exactly whose idea it was to put Satan in there… Never did… But I do know whose idea it was to turn Gabriel into who he is now… And that’s Kojima. Their original plan was to make him more like Reichter. That is to say… Their original plans was to make Gabriel a badass… That is until Kojima suggested to them to make Gabriel a more relateable character, which then caused them to pour in the drama.

          3. Okay, I’ll out with it. Gabriel is a Cronqvist. If you’ve played Lament of Innocence. You know what that means.

          • 1. I know LoS was a reboot . And i do care ,as you said, if they stay true , then a Belmont wouldn’t became Dracula . Say , beside he was abandoned at the doorstep of one of the monasteries of the Brotherhood of Light as a baby , what more is he ?

            2. Of course it’s Kojima . It’s his idea is to make Gabriel more like a normal human than a super power man , but he is too morose and moody for us too understand , i can only see his fail , his murder and his regret , nothing else about how he was before so i can’t sympathy him and whola in the end he hate human , pray for god in the last fight but kill the hell out of army in LoS 2 .

            3. What , he a Cronqvist ? How can i miss that when i play through LoS ? You must be a genius , man

      • 60hz

        i dug the pre LoS 3d castlevania’s (lament, and COD) – i thought they were underrated and lost their lustre in the shadow of DMC brightness… they should’ve been compared to Onimushas which are closer in spirit but less popular… oh well…

  • NightzeroAX

    Majority of the Castlevania fans want the Julius story (whatever happened in 1999) so just give it to us already.

    • Nah , if IGA willing to make him more powerful like other main char , or i’m pass . His super jump are the worst of all Belmont for a Belmont he is weaker than Jonathan !

      • Testsubject909

        But his ability to whip in all 8 direction is pretty useful in Castlevania Harmony of Despair.

        • When other main char can use more weapon than the whip , that ability is not that great now , why do you remind me of the Angry Nerd video about Castlevania ( not sure , too lazy to check ), he point that out just like you did ? In castlevania 3 ?

  • Sentsuizan_93

    To be fair, when I played the demo for this game, I also felt the death mechanic was too lenient compared to most Castlevania games, especially with the boss battles. Overall, it was okay, but nothing to write home about.

  • kylehyde

    Actually I liked the game, certainly not best castlevania on handhelds, but not a bad a one. It had great ideas, but I agree that some of them were not good executed. But the ones that worked certainly make this game really fun.

    Maybe a better directing or a little more of time could have helped this game. I liked the effort from mercury steam, they have potential, they just need some one that guide them.

    • Testsubject909

      Probably won’t happen though, if I remember well, after their next Castlevania game that’s coming up… Well, they’re passing the baton to whatever other company will pick up the Castlevania brand.

      • kylehyde

        In the last lines i was talking about mercury steam in general. I heard that they are interested in contra and metroid

  • So, in other words, this game has a good story, but unrewardingly easy gameplay?

  • Elvick

    Waiting for an HD release to try it out. Knowing it was developed in HD first, made me not care much for this version. xP

    I think I’ll like it enough. I don’t think I’ll like it as much as LoS or Metroidvanias.

  • Göran Isacson

    Aaah… and here I went and sent after this game for reviewing purposes since I liked the preceding game. Excitement well and truly mollified now, if the combat is that simplistic. I really thought they meant it when they said they wanted to emulate the original Castlevania games, which were all about positioning and learning how to control your sluggish Belmonts to avoid punishment, but judging from this test it’s like they took almost all depth out and made something as challenging as a Metroidvania when you’ve powerleveled.

    Also, am I the only one who likes the GoW 3 style QTEs? I dunno, I guess I just have a muscle memory so bizarrely trained that I associate the “screen direction” with the appropriate button instantly, because it works superfine for me. Liked it even better than the old GoW’s systems, I did.

    • neo_firenze

      I like the QTEs too. Despite having decades of experience with the Nintendo diamond layout, I STILL have some hesitation on the “X/Y/A/B” designations if I’m quickly asked to hit “Y”. It’s just so unintuitive to have Y/B to the left of X/A.

      Something that makes it even harder is playing games on 360 pads with any regularity, since that controller uses the same letters in the “normal” order (plus has the memory/visual aid of different colors for each button, unlike the 3DS). Makes it more difficult for me to make it an ingrained habit to instantly associate the letters with the correct location in an instant-response QTE setting.

      So yeah, seeing the relative position of the letter that flashes on the screen for a QTE makes it MUCH easier for me to respond correctly immediately. I think this is actually pretty good interface design.

      • Testsubject909

        I can understand the pain.

        I go to a friend’s place, we play his 360, I end up being confused where the ABXY is… The colors don’t help either since sometimes I think about the PS3 controls. It takes a few minutes before I mentally readjust. It’d be faster if I played the 360 with more frequency, but I don’t… Because mine died a long time ago… And I never bothered to pick up another one and I’ll probably never let go of the fact that Microsoft built machines made to crash in their early batches.

        Edit: And never really rectified the problem of how ludicrous of an idea that X-clamp heatsink is…

      • Göran Isacson

        I’m honestly kinda curious to hear that there are people who find it clumsier than “make the button pop up in the middle”, because the time it takes me to “read” the button and then consciously decide to hit that button can sometimes be the difference between life and death. Having a direction to go with means I don’t even have to look at the button I have to press, just go in the direction that glows and I’m all set.

        Guess that just goes to show that different people operate with different standards, if it’s more important to Kris to see the actual button to “get” what he’s supposed to push. Guess that means there isn’t really an “optimal” design, just one that works differently for different people.

    • No , you not the only one love the GoW 3 style QTEs , me too . But the biggest problem is this is not Kratos , the Belmont clan don’t have god like power , doing QTE just make me realize how fake can it be in MoF ( remember Trevor use the combat cross to cut half the boss’s arm and body with human strength , WTF man ) And with normal enemy , doing QTE is a pain in the ass , it’s not awesome or smart compare to GOW and Resident Evil’s one .

      • Göran Isacson

        Ha ha, true that. On the one hand you can destroy some pretty awesomely huge bosses in the older Metroidvania games, but there wouldn’t be any, as you say, huge and dramatic superhuman arm-rips and so on in those games. There will be spells that do a lot of damage perhaps, but nothing like GoW-levels of pulling a titan down and punching his head off and stuff like that.

  • fireemblembeast

    Does that mean that those annoying popup ads will stop now? >_>;

    • 60hz

      man my twitter feed was dominated by LOS:MOF spam – it was pretty transparent tho, i think most of them were posted by the developers o_O I just wish konami would spend the same amount of energy on supporting a proper castlevania hand held…

  • dragoon_slayer12

    I loved the game. Ten hours at 100% was disappointing, and the story was too gapped to be consistent, but I thought it was an excellent attempt of marrying the old and new for what could lead to better Castlevania games. I was really dissatisfied with how they handled my two favorite characters of the series though (alucard and Trevor belmont), but it’s a re imagining, and I can see the potential of great story telling with these great characters and Gabriel.

    I would love to see a Symphony of the Night remade by mercury stream (or any post SotN would be fine).

  • neo_firenze

    My first impressions of Mirror of Fate were negative, but it’s growing on me a bit to where I at least think it’s decent (currently in the third of three main Acts). Certainly no SotN, but after some initial fear I’m now at least glad I played it. For a point of reference, I love the IGAvanias, like the old non-Metrovania 2D games, and thought Lords of Shadow was trash (subpar take on the God of War formula with a decent light/dark mechanic and way too long for its own good).

    A few comments on Mirror of Fate:

    The good – Needs to be emphasized how nice the 3D effects are for the environment. Some of the best use of 3D I’ve seen on the system, and I’m generally pretty apathetic to that feature. Really doesn’t show through in screenshots or video to give the background design justice.

    The bad – It really is a bit weird the way they tried to shoehorn 3D-based hack-and-slash gameplay in two dimensions, and a lot of the moves are safely ignored – at least the control responsiveness is solid though. The game could also stand to have a bit more meat on its bones. Swung too much the other way from LoS, which I thought had the opposite flaw in that it felt like it was overly padded and trying to drag things out way too much. MoF feels a bit more… “that’s it?” Could have used a bit of a larger world to explore. And I’m usually someone who MUCH prefers short-but-sweet to long games for length’s sake.

    The indifferent – Difficulty. Yeah, it’s easy to just plow through (and admittedly poor from a design perspective to just be able to plow ahead and respawn past an obstacle), and the boss fight “checkpoints” make what could be tense affairs a lot less engaging. That being said, it’s not like SotN or the GBA/DS Metrovania style games presented much difficulty either. SotN was a cakewalk yet still one of my favorite games, and frankly I’d rather explore the game with ease than run into frustration like old school Castlevania (damn medusa heads)

    • i’m agree with you , the game is a good action title but it’s not a decent Castlevania . And your ” Lords of Shadow was trash (subpar take on the God of War formula with a decent light/dark mechanic and way too long for its own good).” , man i could not agree with you more

      About the plot , your thought about MoF completely hit the mark , i think MoF is just a filler one about the Belmont bloodline swear to hunt down Dracula , with now the main story only focus on Gabriel , i don’t think Mercury Steam should go talk about Belmont bloodline anymore , they doing MoF just to please the fan and the old storyline ( heck , if they make Gabriel become the main char in LoS 2 then why bother about Belmont anymore ? ) The game make no sense about how ” Fate ” manipulation Trevor , Simon and Alucard . If you want to troll us , then you done well Mercury Steam .

      • Testsubject909

        TL;DR: If that’s true about MoF, that’s kind of sad. And like it or not… Castlevania LoS is actually a good Castlevania… Just has it’s flaws… Long detailed broad strokes to avoid a much larger wall of text version below.

        To note. I won’t touch on MoF since I haven’t played it… I don’t own a 3DS. So I can’t pass personal or even impartial judgement on it. I could always do what I did with LoS after my own personal experience with it… That is, spend a good two days surfing the internet doing nothing but read promotional articles, reviews, forum ongoings and debates as a lurker, look up gaming news articles, review information on past games of the series, gather all the data I can perceive as objectively true and from there set a point to which I stand by and await to see whether or not someone can effectively counter it so to better readjust as to determine what is the most accurate and truthful assessment of the subject, in this case, the game.

        I’ll touch on the LoS thing, just know that I don’t think it’s Teh Best Game Evar, or that it’s what a 3D Castlevania game should be, it definitely could’ve been way better, things could’ve transitioned better, I honestly believe that Kojima is in part to blame for the alterations on the main character which in turn altered the story (and if you do your research, compare a few articles and interviews, it’s pretty evident that Kojima’s influence was rather large in term of altering the main character) so… That said. It’s still a good game… And the more I think about it… The more I have to say, it’s a good Castlevania. Just one riddled with problems of which only a single one I feel is major (music).

        I’ll defend it in that. For what it’s worth, it’s one of the better 3D Castlevania and I am quite ready to defend it to high heavens on how it is, whether fans like it or not, pretty much a Castlevania game through and through and am quite ready to smack anyone who tries to argue continuity of elements in one way or the other as anyone who has studied up on Castlevania’s long history should realize that there really isn’t anything that is always consistent in the Castlevania series, mainly because of the many still canon Castlevania games that a lot of folks here have probably never played or never heard of. … (That said, the only female Belmont is non-canon in the timeline/overarching story of the Belmonts). The only one I’d let pass is music, agreeing that the lack of a very Castlevania-style musical track heavily damaged it’s chances of being perceived positively by a larger audience. I’ll also note, it’s interesting to compare how people take to LoS to how people took to LoI. That is to say, a lot of people hated Lament of Innocence and compared it as a sub-par clone of DMC… But now it’s entertaining to see in the forums how people praise LoI quite a bit while bashing LoS for similar reasons that they did LoI. Honestly to date LoS is the second best 3D Castlevania game we’ve had…

        But that said… Yeah, it’s still lacking, it’s sadly honestly overshadowed by LoI (Lament of Innocence by the way for those who don’t know) which is ultimately the better 3D Castlevania game of the bunch… For those who liked Curse of Darkness. And I liked it too… Be honest. It wasn’t really that good of a game or a Castlevania game…

        • nah , i don’t think LoI is that good , but i don’t want to debate about LoS with you while i been talking about MoF , cause everyone have their own taste . I respect that , it’s just like talking about DMC and DmC . While i don’t like it , more like hate it , there are plenty of other gamer like it . I can not see the replay value of it at all , the story is now more politician than DMC , the combat is more simpler . But many is love that kind of style , so i won’t fight over DmC . If you not like me , than It’s a good game , have it’s own merit , fun to smash everything . DmC is a good choice for your wallet .

          See what i did there , i just take us to a completely strange subject that have no connection or little it have with the previous one . Just like you did . The DmC talk about just a parody example , so everyone please don’t hate me for this .

        • epy

          I think LoS is a good game, a solid GoW clone with some SotC in it for good measure. I also think MercurySteam is a great developer (though Cox pisses me off) but what is Castlevania about LoS? Extremely subjective question, but when you play LoS, does it feel like you’re playing Castlevania?

          They can give Castlevania to say, Infinity Ward next, and they’ll make a solid FPS and it will sell tons, but would that be a Castlevania game? And that’s what irks me about LoS pretty much.

  • Happy Gamer

    This was the only castlevania handheld I sold back after getting 100%. I have yet to sell back any since Legends for gameboy.

  • 60hz

    it’s a shame that konami tried to fix something that wasn’t broken at all… what’s also shameful is the amount of marketing push this version got compared to the previous hand helds… the demo was enough for me to know not to even waste my time purchasing it, if it wasn’t for the constant twitter spam i got for the game it would have faded from memory.

  • gamerdude

    What happened to actual exploration in these type of games?
    I mean I get the skill that I can use to unlock new areas and a new area like that is highlighted with camera zoom 2 seconds before the skill is obtained and same stuff is happening throughout the game.

    It doesn’t make the level design any less linear so why did they even bother adding these skills since the combat doesn’t have any depth either.

    The first Los had AMAZING graphics and a great ost but the rest was just a very insecure action game.

    Doesn’t this sort of dumbing down insult your intelligence as a player? When the dev is so hell-bent in holding your hand that you’re never let to play the game by yourself anymore.

  • HavocAccelerator

    I’m saddened to see that Siliconera is yet another site that decided to be unnecessarily harsh to this game for the most nitpicky of reasons.

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