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.

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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.

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.