Developer Mercury Steam Publisher Konami
Release Date October 25, 2013 (Xbox 360) October 29, 2013 (PS3)
Alas, an HD port of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate arrives. Mirror of Fate is a bridge gap for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow and its sequel. The 3DS version launched back in March, and was designed to appeal to older fans of the Castlevania series. Pixelvolt reviewed the 3DS version of the game after its March release, and I will be using that review as a basis for mine, pointing out things that have changed and things that were not fixed that bring down the overall quality of the game.
Cutscenes possess an style of art comparable to that of a graphic novel. The animations seem odd, and tend not to portray the character’s reactions well. As stated in the 3DS review, the character’s mouths don’t move. This issue is still prevalent in the console port of the game, and makes the overall quality of the cutscenes seem worse than they could be.
While playing in-game, however, the graphics have been noticeably improved. Areas seem to be highly thought-out, and characters are nicely detailed. As with the 3DS version of Mirror of Fate, the game comes paired with a great soundtrack. The music in the game uses a variety of instruments and compositions that provides the mood necessary for the emotion of a scene.
The game takes place throughout three acts. In each act, you control a different character. The game’s playable characters switch from Simon Belmont to Alucard, and from Alucard to Trevor Belmont. Each character comes paired with his own special ability.
Just like with the 3DS version, the game’s perspective is 3D, but for the most part, is confined to a 2.5D playing field. This allows easy exploration through the maps. Throughout the castle, there are dead bodies holding scrolls or treasure chests with special items inside to boost XP or other stats for your character.
Playing the game on any difficulty, even easy, can be challenging. The game makes good use of its combat system, and no matter what difficulty you’re playing on, you’ll need to be on your toes making combos and blocking to take out enemies. The way the game is set up, it basically requires you to work on leveling up with a system that is not very creative, essentially just defeating enemies and getting XP without offering much in the way of incentives, making it quite boring.
Still, Mirror of Fate HD’s improved visuals make it the definitive version of the game, and its few leftover issues are easy enough to overlook when the core experience is this fun. If you’re a fan of the series, this bridge gap’s remake offers more than enough to make it worth your time.
+ Improved visuals.
+ Great soundtrack.
+ Challenging combat system.
- Cutscene graphics make poor use of their improvements.
- Leveling is still superficial at best.
On the fence? Mirror of Fate HD is a fantastic port to current-gen consoles. If you were not able to pick up the 3DS version, this game gives you the same experience with improved visuals, so if you enjoy Castlevania, there’s no reason not to pick it up.