Great addition to LoS series. Smooth controls, with fun combat and exploration to be had and a great story!

User Rating: 8.5 | Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate 3DS
First off. I went into this game without the highest expectations. Seeing it at E3 it looked pretty rocky, and the preview videos made me worrisome. Then reviews came out and boy was I upset. It took about a day after it's release till I started seeing some smaller sites pump out some better scores, and being a fan I had to get the game.

Gameplay
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So the game plays great. It definitely has a medium learning curve to climb, and the 3DS controls can be mildly cumbersome. All in all the game handles quite well. I've seen some mentions of bugs thrown around online, and the ones I noticed were beyond minor and not an issue.

I have to say I enjoyed the branching paths concept, it was great to play as all three characters. The characters are each designed for environments only they encounter, so with each character change comes new ability's and some stick throughout the game.

The leveling system works good as compared to purchasing abilities in LoS, and I felt like new abilities showed up just in time for more difficult combat situations. Overall I feel the game progresses very smoothly, and by the time you reach the end you don't even realize how powerful you are.

Lastly there are quicktime events. Is it a bad thing? Not necessarily. I feel they're executed fairly well through the game, but there really isn't room for error. But with most areas in the game there is frequent autosaves, so failure holds no issue. The game itself can be difficult so the autosaves honestly save a lot of wasted time and lets you move on. I like it! (he likes it, he likes it!)

Story
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Another thing people are having an issue with, and I don't understand why. There are some twists that would make no sense with the original story, but guess what? It's a reboot!

The story is pretty good, the characters have a lot of personality. I don't really want to give away too much, because everybody who likes Castlevania should probably play this and experience it themselves.

Being able to see the story through all of the characters point of views, is just awesome. Everytime you progress to a new character the game becomes a little harder again as you have to gain the new characters abilities.

Also a tip, make sure to collect as much items off the map as you can (duhrrr, it's Cassuvainya right?), scrolls help with the story as does reading the bestiary descriptions!

Visuals
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I honestly felt the game was beautiful to look at. This game has an aesthetic to it that's appealing and grows on you. The creature and environments are well designed, and most are well suited to the game. The graphics come across well for the most part, and cut scenes look awesome in 3D.

I mostly turned off 3D while in gameplay, my hands move too much to look at the screen while playing, though I tried playing with the 3D on here and there and it looked good from everything I saw.

Cutscenes (another issue with other folks) are mostly pretty awesome, but as everyone else has complained there isn't a whole lotta mouth movement. Me personally I wasn't bothered by this. It was kind of like watching a picture book in motion anyways, and with all the goods in this game, something this minimal didn't hinder my experience.

Sound
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I would say if you have a decent set of headphones, they would probably be good for this game. I have to say the audio gets too loud for my 3DS with some of the music, and the clarity is nicer.

Sound effects are nice, and suitable to actions in the game. Nothing really seems too dramatic or serious and the voice acting I felt was pretty great. The only character that felt a little off was probably Simon's mother.

As for the music itself I can't say it was their best soundtrack. It wasn't bad, and it felt similar to the original LoS. Nothing that quite gets stuck in my head like most of the original titles, but the music was definitely emotional, and it made you feel the game. I'd have to say I'm probably in mid ground on the music for this installment.

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So lets do a breakdown!

PROS
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-Great Story!
-Great Controls!
-Pretty stuff to look at!

CONS
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-Small bugs, like smaller than potato bugs..
-mouths don't go flappa flap flap like folks think they should..
-music doesn't jam it's way into your head, so you can listen to it all day..

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