The New 3DS Castlevania Brings Back Metroidvania In Lovely 3D

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate is likely to be a better game for being on Nintendo’s 3DS. It is, for the most part, a game that gets two important things right.

  1. It’s mostly a side-scroller, which means it’s the rare 3DS game to use the system’s glasses-free 3D to add visual depth through parallax and the overall feeling like you’re actually seeing your character run through a diorama rather than, as most sidescrollers would seem, through a painting.
  2. It doesn’t just have the kind of huge Metroid-style map that so many Castlevanias have had (and the last one didn’t)…it lets you draw notes on the map on the 3DS’ lower touch screen.

Mirror of Fate is the middle game of what is apparently a Castlevania: Lords of Shadow trilogy, bookended by the well-received joint-Konami-and-Mercury-Steam 2010 Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 video game and the newly announced sequel for those same console platforms.

The portable game appropriates the light and dark magic systems from Lord of Shadow letting players absorb and improve their abilities at either end of their magical spectrum by using more powers of that type. This game is set 25 years after the main events of that first bookend, though that specifically means a quarter-century after the bulk of that game, not 25 years past its surprising ending. You play as Gabriel Belmont’s son, Trevor Belmont, armed with cross, boomerang and glave. You’ve got a huge area to explore and backtrack through, in more of a throwback to the so-called Metroidvania-style Castlevania games and not the batches-of-levels style of the last one. You’ll be in and around Dracula’s castle most of the time and play as Simon or Trevor Belmont (and possibly two other characters?)

Producer Dave Cox promises a 15-20 hour adventure and says this not-so-little 3DS game is running on a modified version of the graphics engine that made Lords of Shadow so beautiful.

He also says the game will occasionally switch to behind-the-back 3D.

And does it have multiplayer? Now he’s not saying anything.

Castlevania: Mirror of Fatewill be out for the 3DS in late 2012.

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