Game review: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate

This reboot of Konami’s Metroidvania series of handheld games comes from Mercury Steam, the same team that created Castlevania: Lords of Shadow in 2010. They’ve worked their magic again as this epic tale of the cursed Belmont clan, dark castles and hideous beasts stays true to the source material.

£32.99, Nintendo 3DS

It’s a 2.5D platformer with plenty of climbing, much like a side-on take on the God of War series. There is also a demanding battle mechanic that sees players unleashing whip-based attacks against undead skeletons, harpies and other mythical abominations.

While the attacks are simple, you can also block, pull off dodge rolls and parries, which add depth. You can also hurl a range of classic Castlevania items such as axes, exploding bottles and more.

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As the plot spans three characters – Simon and Trevor Belmont, as well as the mysterious Alucard – these weapons and abilities change, drawing on some skills from previous games. All three want to kill Gabriel Belmont, who has become Dracula. It’s a neat story-telling mechanic which is full of twists.

The tone is spot-on as you explore every dark crevice of the castle, from the dank caverns underneath, to the grand, crumbling hallways above. Special mention must be made of the music which keeps in-line with the series’ emotive orchestral soundtrack over the years. This game is a great tribute to the fans and a must-have on Nintendo’s handheld. Even if it is a little on the short side, it’s highly enjoyable for the duration.