The locations in the game are definitely fitting to the Castlevania as they are almost all filled with low lighting or darkness. However, the problem after awhile is that the locations start to seem a little too similar. This is not a good thing in a game with lots of backtracking, which is a staple of the Castlevania series. This game doesn’t quite require the level of backtracking as past titles in the series, but it still does cause some problems as you go back to access locations you could not prior without the use of new items.
Luckily, the map system in the game is superb to make up for the above problem. The map itself is made up of a number of square blocks with your objective highlighted by a red arrow, or a red dot if you are already in the right area. When you enter an area, some of the square blocks will already be visible, but most of them will not show up until you actually visit them. This means you must look for hidden areas often, as they won’t show up on the map until after the fact.
One really neat addition, that I’ve never seen seen in a game before that I can remember, is the ability to make annotations on the map itself. You can makes marks and notes so you can know what is located there and why you need to come back. For instance, when you first learn how to do it early in the game, you will be in an area with an inaccessible ledge, that requires an item you receive later to reach. I made a note saying I needed something for that area and then went back later once I received that item.
One of the more annoying aspects of Mirror of Fate HD is the load times. Considering how often you are moving between areas, the load screens are plentiful, especially when backtracking like I mentioned above. The game also experiences some technical hiccups throughout the game, especially during transitions to boss battles or the segments during said battles. I also had one strange audio messup during a boss battle where the boss’ audio was almost silent compared to the background music, but otherwise the audio was fine.
Perhaps the biggest standout in the game was the boss fights. Luckily, these fights occur pretty regularly throughout the game, often when you least expect them. Each one has a completely different moveset and pattern to learn, so it may take you a few tries. They do sadly become a little too easy due to the number of checkpoints during battle, but it doesn’t take away from them too much.
One of the standout fights was the Succubus, which took place in a very different location for this game, somewhere bright and colorful. The Succubus required a set strategy to beat her, while later changing up the battle, requiring you to be very quick on your toes. As aforementioned, some of the combat in the rest of the game can get a little repetitive at times, but the boss fights are designed uniquely enough to prevent this from happening. On top of the main quest, the addition of Boss Rush mode makes it even easier to relive these magnificent boss fights.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate HD is a great return to the 2D scape for the Castlevania series after the very good but different Lords of Shadow. The combat, while very simple to learn, can be kind of tiresome after a long playthrough due to repetition. As a result, the boss fights are a nice breath of fresh air with unique strategies needed to defeat each one. The locations in the game are quite fitting for a Castlevania game with a fantastic map to get you from one place to the next. Familiar faces fill Mirror of Fate HD with iconic characters such as Simon Belmont and Alucard, so longtime fans will feel right at home. At only $14.99, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate HD is an excellent pickup for many, especially Castlevania fans. Considering the 3DS version of the game is still double the price, the HD version is your best bet if you have never played Mirror of Fate before.
[Editor’s Note: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate HD was reviewed on the Xbox 360 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate HD (Xbox 360) Review,