Lords of Shadow sequel: Mirror of Fate

The first thing that comes to mind when hearing about this new Castlevania game and its title is this: will it be a mirror of Lords of Shadow? Will be fun but rather lackluster? Will it be with the same cumbersome battle system, and will the graphics be as grainy as they were gorgeous? Will this game be another game that’s just not quite good enough to carry the Castlevania name?

Second thought: no, this game is going to be a stand-out, possibly the very one Konami needs for this much-beleagured series.

Castlevania use to have a golden age, starting with Symphony of the Night and continuing with Dawn of Sorrow and the like. Then it fell into ruin, with such unimpressive games as Lament of Innonence and Curse of Darkness. These games were hardly horrible; they had their own virtues. But every time I played them I felt like Castlevania was a shadow of its former glory. Playing Lords of Shadow didn’t really dispell that feeling, though there were parts I enjoyed.

Now comes along another game in the series that just might break this half-assed mold: Mirror of Fate. There’s a dozen youtube trailers of the game. See one of them below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xr48joNwppw

Details are very obscure but the artwork is beautiful and the music is haunting. Another thing I noted that pleased me immensely was the return of the side-scrolling. Seems from discussion with the developers that they intend to keep the best parts of Lords of Shadow in its sequel and expand on the parts gamers asked for. Specifically the developers discussed increasing exploration, as this is a key element to Castlevania; the feeling of vast untouched regions waiting for you to discover them.

The involvement of better-known Belmonts such as Trevor (and other favorites) also add to my delight. Dracula’s integral engagement with his age-old enemies also pleases me. Lord of Shadow’s detailed the vampire’s origins, and this game looks to dig even deeper. Add the gothic, eerie atmosphere we’ve always loved in this series, and my hopes are flying high for this game.

I make no promises for a series so unstable as Castlevania. But if they return to their roots while still plowing through with new and advanced gameplay, then we shall see her glory days renewed.

Will it be a terrible day to have a curse? We’ll keep you in the loop!

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