A solid platformer-adventure game, with a threaded narrative to reboot this classic series.

User Rating: 8 | Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate 3DS
Growing up with the original NES games, there was a sigh of relief after seeing that the game is in 2D view, yet done with 3D graphics. It gives it a fresh look while still keeping the heart of the gameplay. The majority of the game takes place within the castle, yet covers the Belmont Clan beginnings and carries a cut scene stlye animation/ narrative as to just how they became vampire hunters to begin with.

The controls are tight and responsive, and the added combos are easy to master as you level –up. You start with just a whip and an axe, yet other spells and techniques come into play as you discover them. Things such as wall-slide and whip-grapple open up new areas, yet there isn't a lot of exploring to the levels.

Each stage is rather linear, yet open enough to feel like there are some options. The maps are interconnected, yet gone is the massive map of the older games. I can forgive it this time since it's still a solid game, yet it was missed. The levels vary enough where you're not just looking at bricks and chains the whole time.

There are a couple puzzles that break up the action and the bosses all have multiple patterns that make them fun and challenging…yet each boss has a save-spot; where if you die after doing so much damage, you pick-up in the middle of that fight. It makes it a bit easier, yet it keeps the flow going.

The music in the game is full of somber violins and orchestra swells. They're lovely and fitting, yet at times I missed the wild funky-organs that Castlevania has been known for. The sound effects are vivid and fitting though, so overall it tightens the game.

The 3D effect really shines in this game. Being a 2D perspective, the levels really sink-in and give nice depth to the caverns and castle. I had the 3D on most of the time, it was like looking through a window at this little vampire hunter trying to stay alive.

Overall I was impressed with how much went into this game, it succeeded with making a modern take on a classic game. The game /was/ a bit short, about 11 hours with some backtracking, yet it weaves a nice tale, shifting between a few characters. It's a nice slice of gothic soap-opera, and it opens the door to further entries on the 3DS. It does give the option to play again on a hardcore mode, with an added scene at the end, so someday I'll replay it all over again.

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