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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Turn the Brightness Setting Up to 7 or Higher.
This game is loaded with beautiful detail that comes through so much better when you turn up the default brightness setting ("5") to a "7" or higher. OK, now that I got that out of the way, here is the rest of my review. The game is awesome, don't believe some of the crappy reviews out there (I'm looking at you IGN). This game is essentially the old-school, pre-SOTN...
Published 21 months ago by Old Guy Gamer

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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars As a huge Castlevania fan, it kills me to say this, but
As a huge Castlevania fan, it kills me to say this, but this just isn't a great game. The art is amazing, the sound and story are excellent, but the controls and the gameplay just aren't good enough.

At first I was shocked at how masterfully they'd combined the 3d combat from Castlevania: Lords of Shadow for the PS3 with the traditional side-scrolling...
Published 19 months ago by Zombie Mark Twain


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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Turn the Brightness Setting Up to 7 or Higher., March 7, 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Mirror Fate - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
This game is loaded with beautiful detail that comes through so much better when you turn up the default brightness setting ("5") to a "7" or higher. OK, now that I got that out of the way, here is the rest of my review. The game is awesome, don't believe some of the crappy reviews out there (I'm looking at you IGN). This game is essentially the old-school, pre-SOTN style of gameplay (think Castlevania 1-4 and Rondo) with a new, 3D, LOS skin and theme. It is a perfect blending of the old and the new, it all fits together beautifully. As long as you are not expecting an RPG-heavy hardcore Metroidvania-style Castlevania game, you will be very happy with this version. There are still some mild RPG elements, great upgrades to obtain and powerful skills to unlock so it will keep you motivated to keep exploring and playing all the way through. The graphics are beautiful, Dracula's castle is loaded with great little details in the nooks and crannies. The 3D effects work really well, it is a pleasure to watch and play. Yes, the cut scenes are a bit cheesy and the story is kind of a throwaway, but come on, it is a Castlevania game, they all pretty much come down to "run through the castle, kill everything in sight and defeat Dracula". Most of your favorite Belmonts make an appearance in this game. The music is fantastic and sets the mood for the game perfectly. My only slight complaint is that you should have the choice to use the D-pad if you want to, the game defaults to the control stick. I've played just about every Castlevania game since the original NES version in 1987, this one is a great addition to the series. I look forward to the next 3D Castlevania game on the 3DS (get to work Konami!!) the 3D effect just seems to be a perfect match for a side-scrolling platformer like this. I highly recommend this game, if you can handle a couple of minor wrinkles and accept that this has only mild RPG elements, it is a pure gem. A must-have for all Castlevania fans.
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48 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore The Jaded, March 26, 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Mirror Fate - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
I've finished Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate twice now.

The first time I played on easy mode and explored every intricacy of the castle, gathered every scroll and bestiary note and upgrade, and maxed out to level 18 with 100% and the extra cutscene in just under 12 hours.

On the second runthrough, I went for speed and avoided every enemy possible, avoided all but one collectible which was located on an unavoidable chandelier and finished at level 14, 41% in 5:28. I had intended to play it on hardcore mode but it seems it only unlocks the mode for the game you already finished, and doesn't let you start the new one on that mode or switch to it during play. I began on hard, but had to switch to normal for Act 2 and then easy for Act 3 as without more life, the reaver boss and then Dracula killed instantly with one hit and I couldn't move on.

I consider this to be the best Castlevania I've ever played. Everything about it sucked me in, obsessed me with the game, made it one of the most pleasurable and fun games I own.

I can't stress how flawed the negative reviews of this game are. They want it to be an RPG. More exploration. That's fine but you can't review a game based on what you want it to be, what you wish it were. You must address what the game is. This game is a perfect Castlevania game for those who played the original. You enter a castle, fight monsters, and jump from platform to platform. You don't sell items, equip armor, or any of that. I understand you did in several games since. You don't here. Deal with it.

The focus in this game is on action. Good old fashioned jump and whip action. Now with bonus swinging and swimming! This is all handled in a manner far more advanced than the NES games of course. You have dozens of moves now, all taught or earned gradually as you play. You even get to perform "Fatalities" on many monsters. The variety in terrain and enemies is vast and at times surprising (Unless you've seen Lords of Shadow, to whose central castle this game is confined in scope). Mirror of Fate also adds a complex, clever story to the format, some humor, heaps of eye candy, rewarding side quests ala Metroid and more. The gameplay and tale are very much like LoS, and I imagine fans of that game will be in heaven here.

Some fans of the more Metroidesque Castlevania games consider this one to have a lack of such quests, but I found the number just right to make it fun. As a linear action game, the original Castlevania had no such things at all, only slightly multidirectional levels. Mirror has all the fun of exploration without the time consuming and often tedious backtracking you find in many Metroids or "Metroidvanias". You do get new weapons, items, moves as you level up but it happens naturally during the game. You don't have to focus on it, just enjoy it as it happens and occasionally run back a couple floors to pick up something you couldn't before. Why some people think "Linear" is always a negative is beyond me.

Castlevania for NES did not play like Super Metroid of Final Fantasy 2(/4). For most players, it ended in level 3 when they threw the controller across the room in frustration at finally getting to the mummies and then dying. That was what difficulty meant back then. Mirror of Fate is rarely frustrating, if ever. Is it easier? Yes. Is that bad? Only for critics who spend 20 hours a day mastering the way they jump. And that's who the negative reviews come from. In this game, you start near where you died. You lose little time. You aren't punished with banishment to the start of the level. You can save and collect health regularly. Surely this has earned the wrath of the expert player who could beat every NES game. All 4 of them worldwide. I implore the casual player to ignore their complaints. I don't care if this game is hard. I care that it's fun. And it is.

The replay value is high. I could start a new game this instant. I've read one review that criticized the 10ish hour gameplay (About how long I'd expect it to take for one casual playthrough). Absurd. The most enjoyable games in the world have taken under 30. Castlevania took 30 minutes if you played it through flawlessly. Added time came in the form of dying and doing it over again. And again. And again andagainandagain. So when I get an action platformer that takes 10 hours to finish without having to repeat long stretches of the same material, I'm in heaven. When it adds a dash of Metroid without making me backtrack 10 times for one health chest, I love it so much I write a review like this.

Add to that a great story. A phenomenal story if you enjoyed Lords of Shadow. It's complex, it's smart, and while I generally hate cutscenes and easter eggs that only develop the story, I was fully engaged from start to finish even before knowing the Lords of Shadow tale. I coveted every scroll. I was so interested in the story from this 3DS game that I watched the whole original game on youtube to learn the start of it.

Add to that some of the coolest graphics ever created. It's 2.5D, you move in 2 dimensions but see it as an intricate 3 dimensional world around you. I've heard criticism of the dreary color scheme. I can only assume the people who make that complaint have no concept of gothic horror imagery. It's not the Mushroom Kingdom. It's set in rich, deep browns and cold, sinister blues. The greys of ancient stones and heat of fire and sanguine sunsets. The game has incredible atmosphere. Several times I thought, "Why couldn't the dang Van Helsing movie have been this good?" This is a game for Hammer Horror buffs.

The creature design is similarly beautiful. Silly, nasty hunchbacks, epic suits of haunted armor, Hellraiser like demons, awesome Gargoyles, voluptuous succubi, big bosses, strange and colossal insects, concepts straight out of Bosch. The fights against them are always fun and complaints of their tedium make no sense to me. Do these reviewers tire of jumping on goombas after one level? The variety here is infinite by comparison. I hate button punching quick time events but enjoyed those in this game due to the appeal of the imagery and epic action that went with them. Other sequences such as an escape from a rolling bell were heart racing- Without being frustrating. That combination makes for an impressive brand of entertainment.

I was on the fence because of that IGN review, because of my usual apathy toward games full of laborious cutscenes and button mashing first person shooters in any other form. That's not what this is. This is all the technology of the 3DS applied to making Castlevania on an epic scale with golden concepts. A real treat for players who know what it's like to blow on a cartridge and a real treat for players who just want something cool and fun for a rainy day.

All but the most cynical and jaded readers should ignore the negative reviews and try this for themselves. I've never been so happy I did.

Also awesome: Great atmospheric music and it contains 2 Professor Layton puzzles.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really... who has upper bodies like this?, April 22, 2013
By 
Uke-kyun (Western hemisphere) - See all my reviews
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Mirror Fate - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
The last time I played Castlevania was... Castelvania II on the NES. Yes, it's been that long. Any of you remember having to actually _write down_ your "save code" on paper -- and having a pile of scraps by the NES filled with codes that didn't work because you could not tell a 1 from an l or a 0 from an O? Then you'd start crying because you'd put hours into a game you couldn't get back to... What, no one? Moving along then...

So I saw the demo for this one on the eShop, and I figured, WTH right? Gives me something else to try... and the demo's free. So I downloaded it and it pwned me. So as soon as I was able, I bought it. I don't know the whole story with Alucard and Dracula and the Belmont family at this point, but really I'd like to (so if anyone is reading wants to save me some time and point me to an URL with a concise history I'd appreciate it), but the game is FUN. The graphics are sweet. The 3D is deep. Audio is awesome. And I usually hate platformers with a passion, even though I want to like them... but in this case, I really like it. With all the different types of cool things you can do in the game, the different types of doors, the tracks, the rappelling, and so on... it really makes for a fun experience.

Until you get to that one boss which eats you alive and you can't seem to get any farther and you don't know what to do because you're stuck. Gaaaahhhhhh. So... yeah.

Get it. Play it. If you're thinking about it, it probably means you'll enjoy it.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome game, March 7, 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Mirror Fate - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
Guys, please dont believe what IGN wrote about this game. i cant really believe, he actually gave bad review for this masterpiece. This is the best looking game ever on 3DS till now. amazingly detailed backgrounds, excellent storyline. I think IGn was the only website that gave negative reviews for this game. I'm a big fan of Igarashi's games, sidescrolling platforming. This game is an awesome tribute to those old games, and it gives the series a new direction, its just like a reboot, that actually works pretty well. please get your copy today, you wont regret it.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars As a huge Castlevania fan, it kills me to say this, but, May 9, 2013
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Mirror Fate - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
As a huge Castlevania fan, it kills me to say this, but this just isn't a great game. The art is amazing, the sound and story are excellent, but the controls and the gameplay just aren't good enough.

At first I was shocked at how masterfully they'd combined the 3d combat from Castlevania: Lords of Shadow for the PS3 with the traditional side-scrolling exploration action of earlier 2D Castlevania titles. There are two attack buttons you can use to do combo attacks, there's parrying for well-timed blocks, and your guy can dash in and out of the action. There's even a variety of cool limited ammunition attacks.

Major Grievances:

After playing for an hour or so, though, I noticed a pattern to the combat: All I was ever doing was hitting the "Y" button and dashing around to dodge the enemies' attacks. Their attacks were almost always unblockable, and what few attacks weren't unblockable weren't worth the trouble of parrying. OK, so the combat's not great. No big deal, most Metroid-vania style games have mediocre combat.

There's another problem, though. I found I was mostly jumping from one shining highlighted jump location to another en route from one huge red highlighted spot on the map to the next. The red highlights weren't even necessary for the exploratory element of the game to be trivialized, though, since the levels are almost entirely linear and straightforward. The areas you can get to are strictly controlled by your character having tight limits on mobility. Even later in the game when you get the ability to climb walls, for example, only certain (very rare) walls allow you to do so. Another annoyance is that when you encounter a door or other obstacle you can't yet pass, a message will pop up like "You can't open this door yet" or "You need light magic to unlock this gate".

Minor annoyances:

There are a couple of other things I found very frustrating about this game which I would like to mention. First and foremost is the quick-time events (cutscenes where you have to press certain buttons at certain times). I absolutely HATE quick-time events. Fortunately, this game doesn't beat you over the head with them, since starting a quick-time event locks you into it until you've successfully completed it, and you don't die or have to redo any boss battles/jumping puzzles to retry the quick-time event. Sometimes I'd glare in disgust at the screen and watch the cutscene fail a couple of times in disgust before attempting to pass a cutscene.

Second, the implementation of jumping and swinging was very annoying. I can understand that the game developers wanted to limit how and where you could swing so they wouldn't have to devote as much effort to playtesting, but it feels as clunky as a cell phone game. Honestly, most of the exploration parts of the game feel like something I'd find on a cell phone game with a single virtual button. You can't magically control your trajectory mid-jump, or control how hard you fling yourself off of a ledge. You have very limited control of how fast or far your guy swings when he's swinging from something, and it's very difficult for me to swing from one swing point to the next due to finicky timing/targeting.

Parting words:

As you can probably tell by how much I wrote about this game, I really WANT to love it. I just can't bring myself to finish it, even though I'm about three hours in and just started the third act. I desperately hope that more Castlevania games will be forthcoming, though, because it's only a couple of 20XX-era design decisions that ruined this game for me. The game engine and graphics seem perfectly fine, and indeed I would happily shell out $30+ for a remake of any of the older Castlevania games with this level of graphical quality.
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26 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great addition to the 3DS and Castlevania lineup!!, March 5, 2013
This review is from: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Mirror Fate - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
I've been a fan of the Castlevania series since Symphony of the NIght and loved it since. I've played all of the Castlevanias since then and loved that they added the RPG element to the games. Now, Lords of Shadow is the prequel to this game as you get to play Gabriel and his pretty f-ed up story. I didn't play through all of it, but it was amazing and is a good game (except for the Shadow of the Colossus part. That part pissed me off). This game has you playing Gabriel in the Prologue and then Simon after that (I'm only three hours into the game), but you also get to play as the awesome Alucard and then Trevor Belmont too! So enough of that! Pros and cons next.

Pros:
The graphics are amazing for a 3DS title (Fire Emblem still beats this easily).
They brought back the good ole Castlevania CASTLE! Means you get to explore Dracula's castle again.
The music is haunting and a great addition to the game. The composer, Oscar Araujo, did the first Lords of Shadow game.
They brought the fighting mechanic from LoS to this game and is pretty good. No complaints yet.
Items are back! You get an axe from a zombie early in the game, but you only get five to throw, though you can replenish them with hearts (which are back again).
The game is back to the side scrolling again. This is cool for the old school Castlevania players too, like me.

Cons:
The FMVs are a bit funky. The opening sequence was pretty dramatic, but there was this part where Gabriel was looking at Maria besides his horse, pauses for two seconds, then he gets on his horse, pauses for another two seconds, then the camera cuts to Maria closing the door...and pauses for another two seconds while the picture fades black. Also, the characters look like they have lockjaw, as they never move while talking.
The controls are a bit clunky. When I was trying to climb a certain part of the game, I tried to jump up and grab another ledge, but then I FALL! I don't know why, but that killed me and the game has to load the area again, which is another con.
The loading is long, even for a cartridge game. One area took me about 15 seconds or more to load one area, which is where I died while trying to climb.

All in all, this game is very good and is a great game to play on your 3DS. I'm going to get the PS3 prequel again cause I love this handheld version, just so that I can beat the story. Fighting is fun, the story is interesting, and the graphics are great! This game is awesome, so DON'T BELIEVE IGN'S SCORE OF 4.7!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Castlevania with a new skin, March 31, 2014
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Mirror Fate - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
The first thing you need to know before getting this game is that if you expect it to be anything like SOTN or the GBA/DS Castlevania games, you'll be severely dissapointed. Mirror of Fate is classic NES/SNES action with a few small RPG elements thrown in for good measure.

If you want to get a more direct comparison, this game is basically a 2D-perspective version of God of War. The fighting style, down to the QTE-boss-kills, the puzzles, even the mash-button-to-open-chests-and-get-upgrades system is here. If I didn't know about the older Castlevania games I'd say it's a blatant rip-off, but instead I realized that God of War owes a lot to Castlevania.

The second thing you need to know is that this game is dark. Literally, really dark. As in, impossible-to-play-in-daylight dark. But that's fine, because it's best to play this game in the darkness, to get sucked into its world.

If those two things are of no consequence to you, or you actually find them appealing, then this is a game you should play. The gameplay is fun, the art style is magnific, the story is classic and the content is extensive. That being said, there are a few cons that might turn players off.

First, as I mentioned, if you prefer the Metroidvania style, you're bound to be dissapointed. While you can backtrack in this game, it's still more in line with the classic titles. The map, instead of being one big comprehensive page is divided in zones, making it kinda useless, except for one thing that makes it too useful: a red arrow that constantly points you where you need to go, which cheapens the experience.

In fact, that's the main gripe I have with the game: it's too easy. Yes, enemies are strong, and offer a variety of attacks, but when you lose you return almost to the same place. This is specially jarring in boss battles, in which if you lose you'll return in the middle of the battle, and the boss doesn't get his energy back. That reduces the challenge quite a bit, and you have to resort to certain puzzles to find some challenge in the game.

Another thing, but this might be a matter of personal preference, is that you don't feel your attacks have power. In the previous games (most of them, anyway), when you struck and killed an enemy, you FELT it. Your attacks had "oomph". There was good audiovisual feedback that your attack was strong, no matter how much damage you actually dealt. Here, you feel as if you're hitting your enemies with a big straw.

One more thing to mention, and this is not necessarily a bad point, is the style of the cutscenes. Characters move, talk and their faces change expression, but their lips never move. This is obviously a stylistic choice, and, as I said, it's not really a bad thing, I just think it's strange.

Still, it's a good game, I just hope the next one addresses the difficulty issue.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good game, but isn't the Castlevania we remember., June 26, 2014
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This review is from: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Mirror Fate - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
I absolutely love the old-school side-scrolling Castlevania games on the NES, Super NES and Game Boy Advance. They were extremely difficult in some areas, and had a style all their own. It pains me that they went in such a different direction for the 3DS version. I understand they are trying to align it with the PS3/X Box 360 games that have come out, but they really should have kept the original gameplay style with this handheld version. Gone are the days of whipping a candle to reveal hearts and weapons, and using a single whip thrust or thrown weapon to attack the enemy. Instead, you have to upgrade your combo list to make your attacks look like something out of God of War, and you collect "souls" from treasure chests and defeated foes to use as magic and health...just like God of War.

Now, the game isn't bad at all...it's just not Castlevania. I enjoyed playing it, but I couldn't get past the feeling of disappointment that I was expecting to play a new Castlevania GameBoy title that played like the old Castlevania games, but with awesome 3D graphics.

Speaking of the 3D, it was very well done. In my opinion, the 3DS is the most exciting piece of gaming hardware we have received since the Nintendo 64 reshaped the gaming landscape with Super Mario 64. Forget the PS4 and XBox One...the 3DS beat them all in innovation, in my opinion. I just wish developers would produce more games on the 3DS for true gamers who are older than that product's main demographic, because the technology is truly amazing! Castlevania used the 3D effect wonderfully, and the castle really came alive with it turned on.

Ultimately, if you like the Castlevania games that have been released on the PS3, or the God of War games, you will like this. If you are hoping for a return to the Castlevania style of gameplay that we knew on the NES and Game Boy Advance, you will be disappointed. I like all of the above games, so I both enjoy, but am deeply sad with this game.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nicely marries old-school Castlevania with a fresh coat of paint, March 6, 2013
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Mirror Fate - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
As a Castlevania fan since the days of the original NES title, picking up this game on day one was a no-brainer. But, does the latest entry do justice to the beloved franchise 25-years in the making? Mostly, yes. The well-crafted reboot of the story with "Castlevania: Lords of Shadow" finally has more light shed on its seemingly foreign approach to the original canon. Series favorites making a return include Trevor Belmont, Alucard, and Simon Belmont, the protagonist. Castlevania purists disappointed by the replacement of the trademark whip with the "combat cross" in "Lords of Shadow" will not be disappointed, as the whip makes its return, as do sub-weapons like the throwing axe, holy water, and boomerang. The gameplay is an interesting mix of "Lords of Shadow" and classic 2D melee and "Metroidvania"-like non-linear exploration. Graphically, the game is gorgeous, utilizing the Lords of Shadow style mixed with water-colored cutscene graphics. Animation is smooth, and the 3D feature beautifully enhances the lush backgrounds. The true divide for me was the music style. As anyone who played "Lords of Shadow" knows, the catchy pop/metal/techno music was replaced with orchestral work that seemed lackluster. Unfortunately, the music for "Mirror of Fate" sees no departure from that style. This is disappointing, as the series was previously known for its grooving music. I'd much rather have heard the latest from Michiru Yamane than the boring soundtrack present in the game. Overall, "Mirror of Fates" is a worthy entry to the series but is held back by "elevator music." Nonetheless, it's worth checking out if you're a long-time fan or are just looking for a good action game.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy addition to my favorite series., June 23, 2014
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This review is from: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Mirror Fate - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
If you want a chance to wrap your head around the new reboot of the story, then you gotta play this. That's a good thing! Everything about this game is top quality as the series is well known for. You learn how Trevor, Simon, and Alucard are tied together (closer than you think) to Dracula. Rock solid combat and the incredible boss fights make this one shine and fulfilling. You will want to play more just to see what happens next. The more you play the better the combat/challenge/story get. If your a fan this is a must have. If your a fan of action/rpg's, this might be your next favorite game.
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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Mirror Fate - Nintendo 3DS
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